If you're like me and hate missing an opportunity to fish a new body of water, well then you need to get a travel rod. When I moved to Colorado I found myself hiking in the mountains and back country often. I would hike past a secluded lake, stream, or beaver pond and always wonder "are there any fish in there?" I started researching manufacturers of travel rods and reading up/reviewing/talking about their products. There was a couple of cheap travel rod alternatives ($40-50) but they didn't seem to receive very favorable reviews and I believe, in most cases, you get what you pay for. I also thought about getting a short 2-piece Ultraight rod (5ft-6in or 6ft) and putting that on the outside of my pack but I didn't want to have to worry about breaking the tip on a branch or rock or something. Besides a couple of Eagle Claw Featherlights, all of the rods I own are made by St. Croix Rods so I decided to look into their options for Travel Rods. One of their Travel Rod options that caught my eye was from their Triumph line which is basically their entry level lineup of rods. I already own 4 of these Triumph rods, both spinning and casting models, so I knew I liked the quality and build. St.Croix is an industry name that you can trust and a company that has been in the business for a long time. So my research and search was complete, I went out and purchased the St. Croix Triumph Travel rod and I love it!
The Triumph Travel rod comes in 4 different lengths and models: 5'6" UL, 6' L, 6'6" ML, and 6'6" M. I planned on using mine mostly for Trout in smaller lakes and streams so I went with the 6 foot Light action model. I went with the Light action over the Ultralight action so I could have some more backbone in case I ran into a larger Trout (hopefully optimistic) but mainly so I could make a longer cast if needed. All 4 of the models break down into 4 pieces and they all come with a carrying case that fits nicely inside or on the outside of a hiking pack. I was concerned that the 4-piece rod would lose it's light-action feel and be too rigid but my concerns were wiped away when I tied on a lure and hit a local reservoir. It still behaved and acted like a light-action rod should while having the backbone to handle a large fish. These rods come with a premium-grade cork handle, quality graphite blank, hard aluminum-oxide guides, Fuji reel seat, 2 coats of finish, outstanding strength & sensitivity, and a 5-year warranty. Contrary to popular belief, not ALL St. Croix rods are handcrafted in the U.S.A. Some of their less expensive lines (Triumph being one of them) are designed and tested at their Park Falls, WI factory but are manufactured in Fresnillo, Mexico.
Overall, this is a great quality travel rod that will last you many many years. I take it on every backpacking, camping, and hiking trip that I go on. I also leave it in a compartment in my Jeep in case I drive by something that looks "fishy". I like it so much that I just purchased the 6'6" Medium action model as well. I plan on bringing both of these St. Croix Triumph travel rods with me on vacation to Florida in February!
Mitch. Sounds pretty awesome. I now have several St Croix rods as well.
But my travel rod I bought about 36 yrs ago. It's a daiwa mini spin. Love that little thing. Rod itself is so so but the reel has been great.
Have had tons of fun with that thing. The largest pike I caught this year was on it. Was tremendous fun, especially on the float tube. Pike dived and the majority of the rod was under water. lol It's held up to some serious abuse.
What reel did you go with?
Angler, that sounds awesome! I'm hoping to stick some Saltwater fish in Feb. with the Medium Action one I just bought.
Spicy, they can be had for $100-$110. I found a sweet deal on Cyber Monday this year so I bought another one. I have a Shimano Sedona 1000 that I put on my Light action one for Trout..
Good write-up. St Croix makes a mulit-piece travel rod in addition to the Triumph series. The Tidemaster is specific to salt water travel...a little heavier powers and more aggressive tapers, perfect for inshore and near shore salty stuff. We've had good success with both series' of rods. CL
Thanks for the review Mitch. I find myself grabbing my fly rod when I travel as it's the only rod I own that breaks down into four pieces, but this sounds like a good option for spinning gear. I love the Bass Mojo I got last year.
Great review on an awesome rod!
My wife gave me one as a gift a few years ago. Perfect for taking into RMNP. I'll fish it with a fly/bubble, with small spinners, and tie a fly to it and fish it Tenkara style in small cricks.
Nice blog Mitch!
I was eyeing up the St. Croix Premier Travel Rod due to it having a hard case (similar to the ones most fly rods come in) but I decided to save a few pennies and get the Triumph series since I know I've had good luck with them in the past. The Premiers are great rods though!
Mitch, the Premier Travel series has been discontinued for 2014...just as a heads up. CL