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I have always carried an emergency fishing kit in my pack. It is nothing more than some fishing line and a few hooks, but it will do the job in an emergency situation. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that there might be a better and easier way to get most things done. Fishing is no different.

In any survival situation, procuring food is necessary; and, in many cases, fishing is one of the easiest ways to do it. I’m not saying that fishing is easy, but if you have the patience and the tools to do it, fish can be caught.

The pack rod is one of those tools that will help keep you fed.

The idea of pack rods is nothing new. The 1970s were a time when people were looking to “get back in touch with nature.” More and more people were hiking and camping in wilderness areas—often ill prepared, but going out, nonetheless. Those who brought fishing gear soon realized how cumbersome it was while trying to hike to some remote pond or stream.

Back then, many standard rods were one piece and made of fiberglass. Sometimes, the result was a broken rod before the destination was ever reached.

Fishing rod manufacturers saw a need for a rod that could be taken apart and easily transported: the pack rod. Keep in mind that these rods were not designed as “survival” items; rather, they were intended for the weekend outdoorsperson. As a result, many of these multi-segmented rods tended to fall far short of expectations. They wouldn’t hold up, they cast poorly and were basically little more than novelty pieces.

There have been many new improvements to fishing gear over the years, but the concept of the pack rod has never gone away. New materials and designs have made them stronger and lighter.

With that in mind, it is time to take a look at the pack rod as a survival tool.

The data for this article came from testing many different rods and reels from many different manufacturers. The rods were broken down into two categories: true pack rods and travel rods. Because of their size and weight, pack rods can be easily carried in your pack or bugout bag. Travel rods are designed to be taken on vacation by the average person.

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