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Backpacking Light Ultralight Fishing Rod Case

Weighed On Our Scales » 3.5 - 5.1 oz

Backpacking Light Ultralight Fishing Rod Case

The lightweight backpacking solution to protecting your pack rod.

The Million Dollar Question

Wow - the 1.5" tubes are light! When I trim the 1.5" tube to 24" - the length of my 5 piece fly rod, it weighs only 2.6 oz - a 40% weight savings over the 2" diameter tubes! Will my 5 piece rod fit into the thinner tube?

That is a great question - in fact, it's the question any good ultralight fisherman should be asking. The answer of course, is "perhaps."

Whether or not a 4 or 5 piece fly rod will fit into this tube depends on a number of factors, including, primarily, the diameter of the handle, but also, the bulk of the cloth rod case (if you use one). Ryan packs his 3-weight 8'9" Cabelas 5 piece Stowaway into the 1.5" diameter rod case without a problem. Generally, fly rods with cigar grips should fit fine, and 5-piece rods with full wells grips probably won't fit. 4- and 5-piece rods with half and full wells grips may or may not fit, but you should be able to figure that out (the inside diameter of this tube is actually 1 5/8").

Overview: Fishing Rod Cases for Lightweight Backpacking

Lightweight backpackers who enjoy fishing have few choices on the market for protecting their fishing rods. A stock fishing rod case is typically made of thick-walled aluminum or PVC strong enough (and heavy enough) to protect your rod if it's rolled over by your car or slammed in your door! Unfortunately, all that weight is unnecessary when you actually have to pack your rod in the backcountry.

Cordura-coated PVC tubes are also common, and aesthetically pleasing, and are a great solution for keeping your rod stored in the attic or while transporting it in your vehicle.

And then, there are custom titanium, kevlar, and carbon fiber fishing rod cases that are incredibly expensive and don't really save much weight over stock cases.

So, we wanted to search for a simple, cheap, effective, and light fishing rod case that was waterproof and able to protect the rod during agressive bushwacking or throwing your backpack around in rocky areas. Ryan Jordan has been using this case for three years and swears by it - he is even confident enough to use it to house his fly fishing pride and joy - his Winston pack rod.

Rod Case Product Description & Application

The Ultralight Fishing Rod Case is made of a clear plastic tubing with pliable endcaps that create a waterproof seal. The rod case is designed for pack rods with a breakdown length of less than 24" (e.g., 4- and 5-piece fly rods are ideal). The rod case is 2" in diameter and is thus suitable for virtually any fly rod, and most spinning rods. If the packed size of your rod is less than 24", simply cut the length of the case down with a bandsaw, stout blade, or tin snips. Your significant other's stainless steel sewing shears may work as well, but you didn't hear that from me.

If you use this rod case with a very expensive fly rod that you want to keep free of blemishes, the Ultralight Fishing Rod Case is roomy enough, for example, for a 4- or 5-piece fly rod in its cloth or microfleece rod sock. For less expensive rods, where you are not concerned as much about moisture buildup at the rod blank surface, you may want to simply add a few pieces of squishable open cell foam scraps to each end to keep the fishing rod from rattling around when you hike (or, for us dual-use optimizers, we simply insert the rod ends into each of our spare socks!).

Did we mention that the Ultralight Fishing Rod Case might help you catch bigger fish in the backcountry like this 21" Yellowstone Cutthroat from ** LOCATION ENCRYPTED **?

This rod case is made with thin-walled plastic. More than 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of force is required to deflect the wall at the center of the case 1/4" (0.6 cm), and the case can bear more than 20 pounds (9 kg) without cracking (room temperature). However, it is not designed for bearing heavy weights or dramatic impact forces - not necessarily because the plastic will crack, but because the thin walls will deflect and force will be transferred to the rod. The backpackers that we've talked to that have used this case, including our own staff (who have been using it for more than three years), have never reported a damaged rod in one. More attention is required to successfully use this case around car doors and Lab puppies than in the backcountry.

End caps can be left at home to save 1.04 oz (30 g) if you aren't worried about moisture. Simply pack the rod case inside your main packbag, or strap it to the side with the bottom in a wand or watter bottle pocket and your rod will be protected just the same (assuming you don't hike upside down, causing the rod to fall out!).  To secure one end cap permanently to the case (reducing the risk of loss), simply line the cap walls with a waterproof glue, slide on the case, and let dry.  Make sure that the permanent, sealed end is on the bottom when you strap the case to your pack.

Other Uses for the Rod Case

  • Oreo Cookie Storage
  • Snorkel for People with Huge Mouths
  • Elk Bugle / Reveille Trumpet
  • Rain Gauge
  • Seep Pipe

Other Uses for the End Caps

  • Sippy-cup for a young child
  • Scoop for water from a shallow spring
  • Trekking pole cap to protect tarp fabric
Due to the size of these products, we are only offering FedEx Ground shipping at this time.  To process an order to be shipped to an international destination, please file a customer support issue.


Model Length Nominal Diameter Actual Inside Diameter Actual Measured Weight Applications*
2 x 24 24" 2" 2 1/16" 4.3 oz 4-7 pc fly/spin
2 x 35 35" 2" 2 1/16" 5.1 oz 2-4 pc fly/spin
1.5 x 35 35" 1.5" 1 5/8" 3.5 oz 2-7 pc fly/spin

* Trim to fit: Any of these tubes can be cut to size to fit your packed rod to save weight and case volume. Use a hacksaw, tin snips, or heavy duty scissors. The wall thickness of the rod cases is .03 inches.

Weight of endcaps: 1.04 oz (30 g)

Size: (Will update display)


Regular Price$17.99
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