Coming in at number eight is another cheap yet awesome item.
I love to fish in the high Sierra lakes but am not a serious hardcore fisherman. (woman?) I want something I can use to throw in a few casual casts at the end of the day. It just needs to be strong enough to haul in some healthy wild dinner trout; I’m not out there hunting lunkers.
I also want something light and compact that I can lash to the outside of my pack easily. Enter the Shakespeare Telescopic Casting Rod. A few years ago I discovered this rod in a Big 5, retailing for a whopping $14.
I’ve been carrying it for three or four years and it’s been great. Originally I expected it to break on my first 1/2 lb catch so I bought two (hey, at $14, why not?) The second one is still in the back of my gear closet, never opened.
I love how I can collapse it down without having to undo everything. Quick to cast, quick to put away. A perfect backpacking rod for the casual fisherman.