Berkley Pack Rod



There has been some recent discussion on this site about telescoping rods. Older discussion about the same, as well as the telescoping rod cousin, the pack rod. Here is a Berkley pack rod that some may find interesting. Vintage is 1980 give or take a few years. Berkley was touting their “Parametric” rod construction at that time, supposedly computer designed (that must’ve been a near first around 1980!) to eliminate unwanted rod vibration, especially while casting. Harmon Henkin’s 1977 Complete Fisherman’s Catalog offered the opinion that the Parametrics were some of the better spinning rods around. Rod is fiberglass with fiberglass ferrules “for one-piece [rod] feel”. Between the two handles (spincasting/baitcasting and fly/spinning), the two tips and various other pieces, one could theoretically construct 8 different rod “outfits”: 1) Four spinning outfits, including a 5′10″ spinning/trolling rod, a 6′8″ medium light action, a 7′2″ medium action and an 8′ steelhead/salmon rod; 2) Two fly fishing outfits, a 6′6″ light (trout) action and a 7′9″ bass action; and 3) Two spincasting/baitcasting outfits, a 5′10″ medium action and a 6′8″ light action.

The handle setup for fly fishing converts to one for spinning by adding the short butt grip that was part of the kit.

The rod pieces are a dark brown, almost chestnut color (I guess Berkley called it “mahogany”), with brown thread about two shades lighter, trimmed with white and blue thread over gold foil. Cork handles. It may or may not fish well, but it is, IMHO, a good looking combo.

I have not fished this rod, but suspect, like most older fiberglass rods, that the action will be slightly slower than what a more modern rod might supply. I am prepared for the compromises that undoubtedly were made for the sake of making this package compact. I do not expect world-class action from any of the eight possible outfits, compared to what a rod dedicated to just one use might provide. Still, that compact package appeals to me; my wife and I both bicycle and many of the trails we go on have shore fishing spots that are more difficult to access by any means but bike. I can take this travel package, along with a telescoping rod I have as well, and we’re both ready to go!


So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Vale: Nice review! It seems like a good rod to take along on a hike or, as you mentioned, a bike ride.
  • skip smith: TRD, I feel like it’s important for us to be flexible in our choice of tackle and be willing to make concessions appropriate to conditions. You and your wife’s willingness to use telescoping or pack rods to access certain fishing areas illustrates that flexibility.
    Because of age and slightly limited mobility, I have to fish at places I can get to easily, so one or two-piece rods work well for me, but I can certainly see the value of more portable tackle for athletic folks like yourselves.
  • Ron: Great information. I have used backpack rods since the 80’s. When I was an assistant scout master, and my son was in the Boy Scouts they would go camping every month. If near water I would always have my back pack rods. I still have two 4 piece 7 1/2, Eagle Claw rods that convert to spinning or fly rods. I also have a Johnny Walker 4 piece spinning rod.
    I was using one of the Eagle Claws in the South China Sea last month.
  • skip smith: Boy Scout motto: "Be Prepared". Right, Ron?
  • Ron: Right, don’t ask me about knots. I forgot!
  • skip smith: Hah! I’m an ex-sailor and I can only tie about three different knots. I usually mess up one of ‘em.
  • timmy: thanks for contributing this TRD. i have never used a pack or telescoping rod. however i can remember some times when it would have been nice to have one. hope you continue to contribute...

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