Six-piece rods that fit in your carry-on for business trips, or stash in a backpack for long hikes, ensure you always have a rod with you. The Pescador on the Fly El Jefe Packable Fly Rod Combo ($399, pescadoronthefly.com) is a six-piece, fast-action rod that breaks down into a 22-inch padded rod tube with a rod sock, carry strap, extra tip section, and a machined aluminum reel—all with a lifetime warranty. As far as packable rod and reel combos go, this one really is “the boss.”
I fished the 5/6-weight combo on Pennsylvania’s Yellow Breeches and Conodoguinet rivers and found the fast action of the rod handles light-duty smallmouth bass fishing, as well as the accuracy and presentation demands of trout fishing.
The IM12 carbon fiber and 40-ton Toray graphite blank creates a sturdy rod that recovers quickly, tracks straight, and has the power to handle large fish. Titanium-coated guides allow fly line to glide through them and stand up to wear. You could use up to a 6-weight, weight-forward line to load the rod, especially for bass flies.
The reel is machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and balances the combo. It has a surprisingly strong sealed disk drag that handles any fish in its weight class.
The El Jefe combo comes in 3- to 8-weight sizes.