Re: Travel 5 Weights
Back in my wilderness back packing days I had a 5 piece fiberglass Scott Pow-R-Play with an LRH and it was a surprisingly fine outfit which employed ingenious hollow spigot ferrules intended to enhance the taper (hence the "Ply" in the name). I travel a lot on airplanes to fish and carry multiple three and four piece rods as carry on luggage in a 6" diameter hard carry tube. I suppose where I traveling via motorcycle (in which case my trip would be at least as much about the bike as fishing) a 5, 6 or 7 piece rod (I think the old Hardy Smuggler is 7 pieces) such a compromise would be within reason. However, if fishing is my intent rather than, "I'll try to squeeze a morning on the local creek in...", I am going to stick with a 4 piece rod.
Much better than they used to be, 4 piece models are the dominant design today but that does not mean the ferrules do not affect the action. Simply cast a 4 piece Zenith next to its 1 piece equivalent and it will blow your mind! I did that with my beloved Zenith 8 1/2'/#4 next to its 8'10"/#4 one piece sibling at Somerset this January and, though I will continue to plane travel with the 4 piece, I have my heart set on the 1 piece version for travel by car (it easily will fit in my old VW Passat Fish Wagon). Yes the old Redington, newer Albright 5 piece rods are not bad back-ups, I have two: a 5-weight which is pretty good and an 8-weight which is less so, but even with improved and computer aided design, the more ferrules the worse the rod. A 9' 4 piece rod easily fits in my wheeled duffel and, if not in yours, you should be shopping for new luggage not a compromise rod. If I still had the physical ability to back pack up into either head water area of the Bob, I would strap an 8 1/2' 4-piece rod to my pack because, if I were lucky enough to ever fish the upper Flathead or better yet, Sun, ever again I would want a great rod, not a compromise, along for the experience.