Getting caught in an SHTF scenario means you need to struggle for survival. And one important aspect of it is finding a daily supply of food.
In case you find yourself in such conditions, a simple survival fishing rod can be a handy piece of gear to have. Whether you fish all the time or are just learning, you’ll want to use this strategy as a way to obtain protein.
That said, you can just use any rod. Regular fishing equipment can be bulky and hard to transport on the fly. These fishing rods are portable, primitive, and easy to learn. Here’s our top choices.
Top 5 Best Survival Fishing Rods: Our Picks
What We Like
To start with, this survival fishing pole comes with top-notch build quality. It’s made from premium-grade materials like carbon fiber and fiberglass. Even the reel seats are of stainless steel.
Admittedly, it’s a perfect choice for rough outdoor conditions.
While it’s a medium-powered fishing rod, some users also mentioned that the rod held its own even under heavy loads.
Besides, the rod comes with an instant anti-reverse feature and the reel offers smooth performance. A gear-driven s-curve oscillation system ensures easy line winding.
Note, the pole is available in various lengths. When collapsed, the length of the 5.91-feet rod comes down to 17 inches.
Perfect for storing in a backpack!
At 5.29 oz it’s not too heavy either. Also, the grip area is made from EVA material which feels comfortable.
Another thing that stands out is the excellent customer support of Plusinno that users appreciated.
Note, you can also choose a full fishing kit with a carry bag, fishing line, and lures.
What Needs Improvement
Frankly, this rod isn’t designed for tackling large fish. The reel isn’t made for heavier loads either. There were a few instances where the tip snapped off when subjected to heavier loads.
Users remarked that the casting isn’t the best with this rod. A few others found that reeling takes a lot of effort.
The superior portability and advanced features make it a great choice for survival situations.
We had no second thoughts about marking it as the best survival fishing rod in this category.
What We Like
The first thing we liked about this survival fishing pole is the ultralight design. The high-density material is a mixture of 24 Ton carbon fiber and E-Glass composite.
Furthermore, the reel seat is made from aluminum and feels durable enough to handle any high-end survival fishing reel.
The overall fit and finish are top-notch.
Since the material is corrosion-resistant, you can use it for saltwater fishing without any issues.
Now, the pole breaks down into multiple sections and each section has a line guide. In terms of power, this is a medium-grade rod. We feel that this is good enough for most users.
The 5.91 feet rod has a closed length of 16.5 inches and weighs only 7.9 grams. You hardly get any hand fatigue even while using this pole for long hours.
Coming to performance, the rod offers great performance when used within its limits. It’s available in six lengths and even the 5.91 feet rod is good enough for long casts.
Lastly, the low price makes it perfect for buyers on a tight budget.
What Needs Improvement
One thing is, this rod is best for small and medium fish. If you are planning to catch larger varieties, look elsewhere.
We also noted that the tip is on the thinner side. There’s a chance of damage if don’t use it with care.
Beyond that, some users didn’t like the short length of the EVA grip.
Overall, this is an excellent choice for anglers looking for a reliable survival fishing rod at a pocket-friendly price.
What We Like
This survival fishing pole kit with its affordable price tag is one of our favorite picks.
The kit combines a light-action fishing rod with a size 20 fishing reel in a compact package.
The six feet rod can be broken down into five pieces to save space. Not to forget, there are ceramic guide inserts in each piece to reduce friction.
Users were satisfied with the long-term durability of the rod. Quite simply, it can handle abuse like a champ.
The reel comes with a corrosion-resistant graphite frame and an aluminum spool that makes it ultralight. It’s also equipped with a ball-bearing drive system for smooth functioning.
Once assembled, you’ll be impressed by how lightweight and well-balanced the pole feels. The handle is made from high-grade cork which adds to the overall feel of comfort.
For portability, you get a padded travel case with carrying handles.
What Needs Improvement
Keep in mind, the design isn’t telescopic. So, the assembly will need some time.
Next, this is a slow-action fishing rod designed for smaller fishes. We wouldn’t recommend it for larger fish.
While the travel case might fit into a backpack, it’s not small enough for your bug-out bag.
At the given price, this survival fishing pole kit offers unbeatable value. We think this fishing pole kit will serve as an important survival tool when the time comes.
What We Like
The survival fishing pole from Bassdash checks enough of the boxes to be considered a top pick.
For starters, it’s made from a 30 Ton premium carbon blank. That ensures a lightweight design without compromising durability. Most users found the compact design a great choice for rough conditions.
The telescopic design is super easy to fold down. Also, the weight is well-balanced. This makes the rod easy to handle for longer periods.
A combination of floating and fixed guides makes the rod a versatile performer. The stainless-steel guides come with zirconium inserts that reduce friction.
Now, like most others in this category, this is a medium-grade rod. Even so, compared to other telescopic poles, it offers good sensitivity.
When it comes to casting, it’s good enough for survival fishing requirements.
This pole is available in four sizes and the compact size makes it perfect for storing in a backpack. In addition, you get a foam carry bag.
What Needs Improvement
Some users raised concerns about the durability of the pole. There were some issues with the pole breaking and the eyelets popping off.
Beyond that, the floating eye needs periodic adjustments. That can be an issue for newbie users. Granted, if you find yourself in a life or death situation, you won’t be complaining about these little functionality issues but every second you spend adjusting the rod could be better spent on targeting and catching fish.
With a good price to performance ratio, this is a survival fishing rod that you won’t regret buying.
What We Like
This isn’t a traditional fishing pole but a unique fishing system that’s designed for outdoor adventures.
While the unit comes with quite a few features, the first thing that you notice is the handle. Made from Ultramid material, it’s designed in line with the KA-BAR USMC knife and feels super durable.
Fact: the entire unit floats in water.
Moreover, the handle is hollow and allows you to store the lines and the hooks. Other than that, the unit has a head for attaching the fishing line. There’s also a clamp-like device to hold the line in place when it’s not in use.
Can it be actually used to catch fish in the field?
Most users were satisfied with the performance in a variety of conditions.
Surprisingly, using the unit and casting the line is super easy.
And the best part is, it weighs just 0.25 lbs. The compact size makes it a great choice for your bug-out bag.
Likewise, the cheap price tag is another plus. Overall, the device offers excellent value.
What Needs Improvement
First off, this isn’t designed for heavy use. Besides, without a pole, the casting and reeling will take some practice.
Then again, the overall versatility is limited. This isn’t a unit you’d use in deep water or in the sea.
Ka-Bar has designed a fishing system specifically for outdoor lovers and post-apocalyptic preppers. If you want something super portable, lightweight, and perfect for primitive environments, this is the one.
Three Additional Survival First Aid Kits
This product from Ronco offers a complete package that includes a double-ended rod and a reel. It also includes a hook, swivel, weight, bobber, and casting plug.
What makes this a solid choice for survivalists is the ultralight and super compact design. With a folded length of just 5-inches, the pocket fisherman is easy to carry around.
The durability of the plastic material is good but not great. But at this price point, we aren’t complaining.
However, the overall length is 9-inches, which is on the smaller side. As expected, that also limits the casting distance.
Moreover, the quality of the supplied line isn’t the best. Obviously, it’s not designed for larger fish. That said, the device works flawlessly when used within its limits.
We also like the fact that you can replace the reel and reel cartridge if required. At this price, this pocket survival fishing rod is a steal. If you aren’t bothered about the limitations, go for it.
This combo fishing kit comes with a fishing rod, fishing reel, and fishing line.
The telescopic rod is made from ABS plastic and glass fiber. The unit feels sturdy and can handle rough use. That said, the overall fit and finish are average at best.
On the whole, it’s an easy-to-use fishing kit. Folding and unfolding the rod is super simple. The extended length is 51.6 inches. At 10.4 inches, the retractable length is on the compact side. This makes it super easy to carry in a backpack.
Also, users loved the portability of the unit.
However, it isn’t the lightest survival fishing pole kit on the market. In addition, the pole feels stiff and there’s hardly any sensitivity. Some users also found the handle to be on the shorter side. That said, with the affordable price, we feel the unit offers great value.
Overall, if you’re looking for a combo fishing unit at a reasonable price, this is worth a closer look.
The Lixada survival fishing pole and reel combo comes in five sizes and offers excellent portability.
The rod is made from aluminum alloy and fiberglass and feels. Moreover, the material is corrosion-resistant as well. Users mentioned the overall durability of the rod is good. On the other hand, the long-term performance of the reel isn’t the best.
Since you can’t change or repair the reel, the unit becomes useless with a broken reel. Nonetheless, the spinning reel comes with a 4.3:1 gear ratio and works smoothly. Most users found the performance to be good in real life. But you need to stick to small fish.
The overall portability is top-notch. When collapsed, the rod is just eight inches in length. The weight of 9.8oz makes it easy to carry around.
The unit comes in five sizes and the price tags are affordable.
If you’re looking for a light and cheap option for the bug-out bag, check it out.
How to Choose the Best Survival Fishing Rod
Note, fishing for survival is different from recreational fishing. So, some features like rod action, sensitivity, and power aren’t the priority here. The focus is more on weight, durability, and functionality. However, picking the right one from a wide variety of choices isn’t easy.
Here are the main factors you need to keep in mind.
Size and Weight
It goes without saying the weight of the survival fishing pole in your bug-out bag is critical. Every extra ounce can be a burden in an emergency scenario. That said, you need to make sure that the rod is sturdy enough and doesn’t break apart while using.
In case you are carrying a survival bag, it’s best to pick the smallest possible size without compromising functionality. If you are planning to stash the fishing rod in the car, slightly bigger sizes can work.
Based on the options, you can choose between a traditional fishing rod or minimalist ones like the Ka-bar fishing system.
In reality, you can’t expect much power or fast action from these lightweight rods. However, they are good enough even for inexperienced anglers.
When it comes to picking a compact survival fishing rod, telescopic designs are the best choice.
To be honest, they aren’t a reliable choice for many pro anglers. Even so, there are a few high-quality products that can easily withstand rough outdoor use.
Truth is, most extendable sections will come with a few weak points. That means you need to handle them with more care. But even though solid-bodied fishing rods offer more durability, carrying them around in a survival situation isn’t practical.
Another important factor is choosing the rod length. While longer rods increase the casting range, shorter rods offer more control.
We suggest picking a rod length between 5 to 7 feet. A shorter length will also make it easy to use for amateur anglers to find more balance and accuracy.
Fishing Rod Materials
The material is another factor that will determine the durability of the rod. It also determines the strength of the rod and the level of forces it will withstand. Keep in mind, poles that are slightly flexible are better than stiffer ones.
Fiberglass fishing rods have been around for a long time and they offer reliable quality at an affordable price. However, they aren’t the lightest options.
Advanced anglers also prefer graphite rods. While they are a popular choice, affordable survival fishing rods rarely use graphite as the prime material.
Other than that, there are rods made from composite materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber. They offer excellent durability and can be used in a wide range of conditions.
It’s important not to neglect the rod guides in a fishing pole. Ideally, the more guide you have on a telescopic pole, the better it is. This will help in distributing the stress evenly.
Also, choose a rod that offers guides with ceramic inserts. Bare metal guides increase friction and heat.
Other than that, choose a rod with a comfortable handle. Cork handles offer more cushioning and are more sensitive than materials like EVA. But EVA is more durable.
Is a Survival Fishing Pole Necessary?
Now you have the list of top choices for the best survival fishing rod.
The PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel combo is our top pick in terms of overall performance and durability.
For budget buyers, the Sougayilang Telescopic fishing rod is a solid option that comes with an ultralight design.
Picking the right survival fishing rod can improve your chances in any long-term survival scenario. While using these poles may need a bit of practice, they will ensure that you don’t run short of food in critical scenarios.