1. Has to be a 9'ft rod but would settle for 8'6" if necessary.
2. Has to be at least a #4WT. Nothing against the wet-noodle guys and fingerling brook trout fishermen out there, but I just don't like to fish with a cocktail straw.
3. Must pack down into at least maximum carryon length (~35", I think)
4. Can't cost an arm and a leg, less than $300 total.
5. Isn't Tenkara. Again, not my steez, but nothing against those guys. However, naming all your flies something weird and Japanese-y is exactly as weird as those kids who watched a lot of Anime in college and only ate ramen -- REAL RAMEN -- from the only Japanese grocery store in town.
6. Ideally, weighs less than 16 oz, total.
Here's what I'm looking at so far:
Rods (I'm assuming these are all in the 4-6 oz. range)
Cabela's Stowaway -- $139.00
Orvis Frequent Flyer --$225.00
L.L. Bean Double L Travel Rod -- $250.00
Now, this was the hard part because reels aren't necessarily light and the ones that are are basically made out of unicorn bones and are priced accordingly. Given that I don't have a ton to spend, the tradeoff between price and weight is a fine balance here.
The obvious choice here to begin with is the Orvis Battenkill bar stock, both on price and weight (it's $90.00 for a 4.2 oz). The only downside is it's a super "clicky" reel which I don't particularly like.
Okuma SLV -- On price alone ($59.00) it seems like a worthwhile choice. 4.8 oz.
Tibor Spring Creek -- Supposedly the best reels out there and it shows. Nearly $400 bucks. Included just for reference.
The image of the fly fisherman with a billion doodads hanging from an overstuffed vest is common, however, the more I fish, the less I feel like I need. Here are some possibilities.
Taking a cue from MAWOI I'm considering trying a big chalk bag as a stand-in for my chest pack when weight and size are serious considerations.
I like this one from Metolious. It has a clear pocket on the back for things like a license, maybe a some tippet spools or spare leaders...who knows.
The site called BackpackFlyfishing has a custom solution that looks pretty handy. At $35.00 however, I'm not sure it's worth more or functions better than anything else. It does have a foam drying patch and what looks to be a specific place for flotant.
Cabela's has a little chest pack that's currently on sale for less than $7.00 that looks like it could be worthwhile. It's also ugly as sin, but that, I think, is because it's also probably leftover stock from 1990.