Have you ever been in an emergency fishing situation? Perhaps you’re along for a stroll by the river with your significant other and as you peer over the sunset rays beaming off the water a monster bass pops out to taunt you?
If that sounds like you, worry no more because after reading this guide and a little wallet action, you’ll be prepared for fish slaying anytime anywhere with the best telescopic fishing rods available!
In this guide, we’ll talk about the controversial topic of telescopic fishing poles, how they work, and where to snag the best deals on my favorites!
Before we get started, yes, I know a lot of you professional anglers are going to sling some hate towards the telescoping fishing rod and that’s okay, this guide isn’t for you. I’m writing this as more of a novelty, a fun little piece of gear to throw in the trunk and just have along with you in the case of a spontaneous few casts every now and then. Something fun for your boy to open up on Christmas day. A backup for your professional setup. Telescoping fishing rods weren’t made to reel in whales, they’re just a quirky little tool that’s cheap and fun to have around!
- Telescopic Fishing Rod Buying Guide
- Here Are The Best Telescopic Fishing Rods
- 1. KastKing Blackhawk II
- 2. Plusinno EW300 Retractable Fishing Combo
- 3. Eagle Claw PK555SP Pack-It Telescopic Spinning Rod
- 4. Troutboy Black Warrior
- 5. Hurricane Mako
- 6. Robson Fishing Portable Telescopic Fishing Rod
- 7. Wakeman Ultra Series Telescopic Spinning Rod Combo
- 8. Goture Sword
- 9. Leo Sports Telescopic Fishing Kit
- 10. ZACX Telescopic Fishing Package
- 11. Keiryu Rod Co. Trout Rod
- 12. MaximumCatch Maxcatch Tenkara
Telescopic Fishing Rod Buying Guide
What is a Telescoping Fishing Rod?
In easy terms, a telescoping fishing rod is a fishing rod whose pieces fall down into each other to be stored and carried in an extremely small package. They are comprised of multiple sections which fall into each other, down to either the handle or one section before the handle. When deploying, you simply pull out the rod and it will extend into roughly what’s close to a full standard fishing rod, without the hassle of needing to deconstruct the rod or try and fold it up to put it in your car.
Most telescoping fishing rods are constructed of fiberglass or graphite (carbon) and contain much of the same attributes you’d expect to find in a regular fishing rod such as eyelets, an action trigger, etc. Sometimes you’ll see this in sets that contain a telescoping fishing rod and a reel suitable for the rod, but you’ll also find just the rod itself as well, allowing you to choose basically any reel you want.
Anglers generally use telescopic fishing poles for small freshwater fishing, however, if you buy one of decent quality, you could, in theory, use these for just about anything, even saltwater fishing! Just like normal fishing rods, there are several categories of telescoping fishing rods to choose from for different styles and types of fishing.
Other names for these are folding fishing rods (there is another category of rods called folding rods that actually fold, but some people call what I’m talking about a folding rod too), collapsing or collapsible fishing rods, portable fishing rods, or slidable out fishing rods. These are all generally the same and the market for these tends to use multiple different names.
Since telescoping fishing rods collapse into less than a quarter of their uncollapsed size, they make perfect fishing rods for those of you who are biking, driving ATVs, taking a flight, or backpacking to your fishing destination. They can easily fit in a backpack, large suitcase, and I’ve even seen some people ride a bicycle with them in their pant pockets! Furthermore, if you’re low on space, such as living in a small studio apartment or living out of an RV, telescoping fishing rods will certainly be much easier to store than a standard fishing rod.
Telescopic fishing rods are also popular among surfers and paddle boarders as they allow easy transport out into the depths for some quick fishing.
Telescopic Fishing Rods Versus Traditional Full-Size Fishing Rods
When comparing a telescopic fishing rod to a traditional rod, you’re essentially deciding on tradeoffs between performance and convenience. Telescopic rods can be easily collapsed and taken just about anywhere, with easier storage and more options to carry them. Most telescopic rods can collapse into roughly a 2’ long package which is much easier to transport than a full 8-10’ fishing rod!
Like most things in life, convenience comes at a price. Telescopic rods have several joints where they could incur breakages and failures whereas a full-size rod may not have as many and are typically much stronger. This also means that a telescopic rod doesn’t allow for as much flex and bending as a traditional rod.
Furthermore, traditional rods generally have much better quality and/or larger eyelets and more feature rich handles. Since the whole idea behind engineering a telescopic rod is to create the smallest form factor possible, there are several tradeoffs, such as smaller and lighter components and the inability to use some materials due to the construction of the rod. Furthermore, the fishing experience to a trained eye may be drastically different.
Comparing a telescopic fishing rod to a traditional fishing rod to most people would likely yield very little difference, but putting them into the hands of a seasoned angler would result in immediate observations in behavior. Probably the most prominent attribute is the action. Due to the multi-piece construction of a telescopic rod, you’ll lose a great amount of sensitivity and some claim this may result in missed sets.
While the durability of the telescopic rod may be lower while extended compared to a full-size fishing rod, when you collapse them, they’re extremely durable! This makes sense, as you’re basically compounding the strength of each section when you push them inside each other. Every broken a rod while falling down a steep bank? That likely won’t happen with a collapsed rod!
Obviously, the market for telescopic capable fishing rods is much smaller than that of traditional fishing rods. With that said, this means there is a much smaller selection and an ever smaller amount of choices when it comes to high-quality rods. Prices for well built telescopic rods tend to be much higher than that of an equivalent high-quality traditional rod. If you’re buying one just to have one as a novelty, though, you can find some extremely cheap ones just to try out and have around for fun.
Since pretty much anything with moving parts is bound to incur degradation over time, telescopic rods can become damaged in a way that ruins their collapsing ability. If one of the rod sections develops a crease or gets bent, you may not be able to collapse it ever again. To make matters worse, dirt and dust can accumulate in between the sections where it’s hard to see and even harder to clean, making the collapsibility rough and inconsistent.
Lastly, if a piece starts to corrode and rust, that will also lower its ability to collapse properly. You should be cleaning all of your fishing equipment regularly, but telescopic fishing poles may require a bit more attention than your average fishing rod.
Is a Collapsible Fishing Rod Right For You?
Many people straight up ask me whether or not they should buy a telescopic fishing rod and to be frank, I don’t have a “one size fits all” type of answer. There are many factors and attributes you would need to consider and I think whether or not a specific style of fishing rod fits you is really up to you and your personal preference.
At the end of the day, there are tradeoffs as we spoke about in the previous section, however, an experienced angler, even with the lower level of sensitivity should be able to catch roughly the same amount of fish with any rod. Some people argue that the rod itself makes all the difference, and although there is some merit to that, I just don’t think the difference is large enough to tell people telescopic fishing rods are awful.
I think if you’re someone who needs the telescopic portability of a rod you should give it a fair chance. After you get used to one, I think you’ll see the differences in sensitivity are minimal, but still, there are differences. If you have to have the absolute best of everything because being a fishing enthusiast with the best gear is your thing, then you should probably stay away from telescopic fishing rods.
There is always the option of having both. Why not? I have both and have had both for a very long time now. I know people who usually fish 90% of the time with their full size 10’ rod but every now and then they simply don’t feel like jamming that pole into their vehicle and they just quickly grab the telescopic rig instead.
My recommendation here isn’t to live or die by a specific type of fishing rod but rather try and use multiple different setups to find the one that’s right for you. Remember, there are many options among all styles of rods, so don’t make your judgment based on just one rod in that category but rather try and use a wide range of options to make sure you like or dislike that specific style. I’ve gotten to try some really terrible telescoping rods that, if I had only ever tried them, I would hate telescopic rods, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to test run a few that have performed incredibly well.
What to Look For When Shopping For a Telescopic Rod
Just like pretty much everything in life, you get what you pay for, so before setting out with specific expectations, you’ll need to figure out a budget. You can get your hands on a telescopic fishing rod for as little as $12 if that’s what you want to do and you can also spend several hundred bucks.
If you’ve got a little money to play with, I’d recommend looking at something in the $50-$80 range. Those usually consist of a level of quality that gives you a good idea if using this type of rod is something you’d be interested in without going overboard and spending a lot on a rod you’re not sure about. On the flip side, yes, you can get a telescoping rod for under twenty bucks, but those are hit or miss and usually give up a lot to be offered at that price range, whether it be in quality, durability, experience, or all three.
You can find telescopic fishing rods primarily in either fiberglass, carbon (graphite), or perhaps a mix of the two. Either one isn’t exactly better, but more so just different and you can usually find each of those at every price range, so it really comes down to personal preference. Cheap aluminum and thin steel rod materials are not worth buying and once they bend, they are damaged forever.
Between carbon and fiberglass models are some distinct differences. Carbon fiber rods are usually lighter and more sensitive due to it’s enhanced ability to flex. This also translates into better vibrations and an overall better user experience when it comes to fishing species such as crappie and bluegill since you’d likely be using soft bait and they hit rather lightly.
As a general rule of thumb, but not always, fiberglass takes the cake when it comes to durability and heavier species. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty tough carbon fiber rods on the market that can handle some good fights, but the general consensus is that fiberglass is stronger and better suited for larger fish such as walleye or pike.
Aside from the rod material, you’ll also need to consider components. The rod guides or eyelets need to be up to the task at hand. Rod guides constructed of ceramic are usually the best as they are both lightweight, low-profile, and decently durable. The lighter your rod guides are, the better the sensitivity of the entire setup.
Handles are often chalked up as a personal preference by most people and usually, I agree. So long as the handle isn’t going to get damaged easily by the sun or by being wet, it comes down to what you personally prefer.
For me, I like EVA rod handles because they seem to hold up the best in my experience. Cork falls apart, regular plastic is just cheap, and aluminum gets hot and slippery. If you find the rod you want but it doesn’t have your preferred handle, you can always buy grip tape and/or grip cord and some models allow you to change out the handle.
Since we’re buying a telescopic fishing rod for its convenience and small form factor, it makes sense to go with a cork handle. Cork is generally lighter than EVA and cork also tends to have a lower damping effect, which means increased sensitivity.
Telescopic Fishing Rods Versus Telescopic Fishing Poles
Many people use the term “rod” and pole” interchangeably, and although in a normal conversation this may not matter too much when it comes to buying something to fish with, it matters a lot. This guide is focused on telescopic fishing rods, so I won’t talk about poles too much but I want to make sure you know the difference because if you shop around, you’ll likely see both and sometimes the marketing copy used for them is incorrect, leading you to buy the wrong one.
Since I don’t want to go too deep into this, I’ll give you a very quick rundown of the differences. A fishing rod is constructed out of non-natural materials such as fiberglass, graphite, carbon fiber, etc. A fishing pole is constructed out of something natural, such as bamboo, reed, cane, wood, etc.
Another difference is that a fishing rod has eyelets that run up the length of the rod while a fishing pole usually only has a loop at the top of the pole for the line. There are more differences the deeper you get into this topic, but for the most part, that’s a basic explanation that should help guide you through muddy waters so to speak in commerce.
There are not many options for telescopic fishing poles. Many listings will include “pole” in the description for the people searching that term or the people that don’t know the difference. At the end of the day, stick to searching for telescopic fishing rods, as almost all of these will be constructed from something that poles are not.
Teloscopic Fishing Rod Reviews
The fun begins here! I’ll review all of my favorite telescopic fishing rods while doing my best to offer several solutions among a vast array of different price ranges. There are a lot of options out there but there aren’t many that are actually good. I could certainly see more telescopic fishing rod options coming out in the near future, so if something really cool hits the market after I publish this guide, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to review it!
I will first review a bunch of standard rods and finish up the guide with a couple of the best telescoping fly fishing rods!
Here Are The Best Telescopic Fishing Rods
1. KastKing Blackhawk II
My Review: If you’ve read my other pages on various other items such as the baitcasting reels page then you already know I have an affinity for Kastking when it comes to bang for the buck.The Blackhawk II uses a graphite constructed rod with floating line guides and an high density EVA foam handle to provide one of the best telescoping fishing rods i’ve gotten to review. There are 14 different models and lengths available, all with different lengths between 6’ and 8’ with various different weight levels and flexibility levels.
Some of the options are purpose-built for spinning reels or as baitcasting rods.
The floating line guides are a pretty interesting little perk as it allows the rod to collapse much further than rods with fully fixed line guides. There are a few fixed as to provide stability but for the most part, most of them move which makes this one of the longest rods that collapses into such a tiny package!
The soloscopic performance technology (SPT) essentially means its a six-piece telescopic rod with similar attributes to a single-piece rod in that it has similar line performance, full length power transition, and extremely high sensitivity levels.
I’d recommend this rod for both beginners and anglers with more experience. You can reel in some fairly heavy catches and the rod has no problem taking a beating during a fight.
Why I like it:
2. Plusinno EW300 Retractable Fishing Combo
My Review: This is a real good place to start that won’t break the bank. They have two packages you can choose from, one with the rod and reel and one with the rod and reel combo with a carry case and a bunch of extra goodies as well.The rod itself is available in the following six size configurations: 6’, 7’, 8’, 9, 10’ and 11’ and they all collapse into roughly something between 17” and 21”.
The rod is constructed from high density carbon fiber that allows it to have much better sensitivity than the fiberglass competitors and is extremely light weight. All the hardware is stainless steel to ensure its salt water safe and you get the traditional EVA foam handle.
The reel you get is kind of cheap and like i’ve mentioned on other combo deals, its kind of a freebie that doesn’t do the rod justice by itself. For most people, it’s probably alright to do some light fishing but I think a lot of people could squeeze out a much better experience by using their own reels.
The Pulsinno retractable rods are certainly a good choice for just about anybody looking to break into retractable rods. They’re fun to use, offer lots of versatility in a very small collapsable package, and they’re priced pretty fairly.
Why I like it:
3. Eagle Claw PK555SP Pack-It Telescopic Spinning Rod
My Review: This is by far the cheapest telescopic fishing rod I’d recommend and really, I only recommend this if you’re truly strapped on cash or you aren’t sure you’d like having a telescopic rod.
It’s not that it’s a horrible product, and actually, for the price, it’s not bad at all.
The rod is constructed from the typical fiberglass materials you’d expect to find on most of these rods and it comes with a decent EVA foam handle.
The guides are ceramic, which means this rod fits all of my basic material recommendations and overall, it should hold up fairly well with small game fishing.
Why I like it:
4. Troutboy Black Warrior
My Review: Getcha some trout with the Troutboy carbon fiber telescopic fishing rod! These aren’t bad at all and since theyre relatively cheap, I recommend anyone interested in telescopic rods to check these out for sure.
They come in seven different sizing options which are as follows: 5’10”, 6’10”, 7’10”, 8’10”, 9’10”, 11’10”.
They also come with different levels of flex and since they’re all carbon fiber, they have excellent sensitivity and the thicker ones feel really hefty and robust, meaning you could get a fairly durable rod that also provides a great fishing experience.
Troutboy has a little package deal with a reel going on, but of course, i’m not really a fan of the reels that come with these rods, I always recommend just buying your own if you can and lucky for us, Troutboy offers the rods by themselves which is what I would go with.
Why I like it:
5. Hurricane Mako
My Review: Another cheap rod, the Mako by Hurricane still manages to impress.
You can pick it up in either 7’ or 8’ lengths for under $30 and it comes constructed of durable fiberglass.
This model has a graphite reel seat with an EVA foam handle. It collapses into 6 sections and only weighs about a pound.
I’d recommend this rod to those of you who are just getting into telescopic rods and/or you only fish for the small stuff, like bluegill and panfish.
Why I like it:
6. Robson Fishing Portable Telescopic Fishing Rod
My Review: Again, another fairly generic telescopic fishing rod in the budget section, except this one is a bit longer than the aforementioned rods with options of 11.8’, 12.8’, and 13.8’.Something I noticed, though, was that this rod feels significantly higher quality than the other rods in this price range. If you need something longer than a standard rod but you don’t want to spend much, I’d say this is a fantastic place to start.
The rod is constructed from a very nice looking high-density carbon fiber material which makes this by far one of the most sensitive telescopic rods under $30 I’ve ever come across. It comes with a sweat-wicking EVA foam handle which I’m always a big fan of and it has some rather robust ceramic line guides. It’s also resistant to corrosion, so this would be my go-to for a cheap ocean fishing solution!
Why I like it:
7. Wakeman Ultra Series Telescopic Spinning Rod Combo
My Review: The Wakeman Ultra series is an excellent 7’ 2” carbon fiber rod kit at an absolute killer of a price.
The reel is pretty basic, but for most people, it’s actually not bad and since I’d consider the roughly $30 price tag well worth just the telescoping rod itself, the reel in my mind is basically a freebie.
Free stuff is always great and with this combo, you’re also getting a convenient little carry case with molded foam thrown in on the deal.
The rob itself is constructed from fiberglass with a false carbon fiber accent appearance. Kind of an odd thing to do but I’m seeing that more often now in rods of all different types. The full length of this bad boy is over 7’ and collapses down into just a tad under 20”.
For the price, this is an absolute killer deal. Yeah, the reel that comes with it is only a single bearing and comes in a 5.1:1 gear ratio, which isn’t stellar, but as I said before, I see that as a freebie and most people that are serious about fishing will likely upgrade to a better reel. All in all, if you’re totally new to fishing, this is a fantastic little kit that packs up nicely into its case and fits inside a backpack with plenty of room to spare.
Why I like it:
8. Goture Sword
My Review: The telescopic fishing rod offered by Goture has length options for just about everybody with options as follows: 6’10”, 7’10”, 8’10”, 9’10”, and 11’10”. These rods are constructed from carbon fiber and E-glass.I didn’t cover e-glass in my guide, but basically, this is a type of glass that softens instead of melts and acts similarly to fiberglass.
E-glass is used often as a reinforcement fiber in the production of fiberglass. Basically, this rod is primarily made of carbon fiber with fiberglass reinforcement for extra strength and durability.
Furthering its durability is triple welded stainless steel line guides with ceramic rings. These are a bit heavier than other ceramic guides but they do seem to be extremely durable and capable of withstanding heavy lines.
With all of the emphasis on extra durability, this rod is a bit heavier than most on this list, however, I’d also expect it to be one of the toughest. They also used a bunch of corrosion resistant hardware such as the aluminum reel seat, making this rod great for beach fishing in the sea.
Why I like it:
9. Leo Sports Telescopic Fishing Kit
My Review: This little kit offered by Leo is an excellent place to start if you haven’t really been into fishing thus far. You’ll get pretty much everything you need to get started including the rod, a spinning reel, some lures, 100m of line, hooks, and a nice little Leo carry bag to stuff it all into.There are several length options you can choose from including the following rod sizes: 5’, 6’, 7’, or 8’.
The rod is constructed of a very sleek looking high-density carbon fiber and fiberglass mixture. These types of rods are purpose-built to provide a happy medium between durability, flexibility, and sensitivity. Attached to the rod are multi-colored piano porcelain guide rings.
Overall, this is a fantastic kit that’s priced more than fair and perfect for a beginner fisherman. If you’re a bit more experienced, I’d probably not recommend this to you because you’d likely want to use your own reel, lures, etc and wouldn’t get much value from the package deal. The rod itself is available sometimes, but rarely can you find it outside the Leo package.
Why I like it:
10. ZACX Telescopic Fishing Package
My Review: This is an excellent choice for the frequent traveler as you can buy it, pack it all up in the little carry case they give you and throw it in your backpack.
These ZACX rods are super tiny and perfect for some casual fishing fun and the package they offer has everything you need to get started immediately.
Of course, this isn’t my top recommendation for the serious anglers out there reading this. This is better for new fisherman that want to buy one quick package and get started fishing right away to feel it out and choose what they need after they gain some experience.
These rods are constructed from high density carbon fiber and are available in both 6.89’ and 7.87’ length options.
Why I like it:
Trout and flyfishing style Telescopic Fishing Rods
11. Keiryu Rod Co. Trout Rod
My Review: These T100 rods are just unbeatable and i’ve really started to love having these types of rods around. This bad boy is constructed of an intermediate modulus carbon fiber that is ultra light and super sensitive. These rods flex more than just about any other carbon fiber rods out there, offering top tier flex and some pretty insane fish fights.
Let’s get to the point. These rods are for more experienced anglers to go fly fishing and that have a sick overhead orbit cast or a fine tuned bow cast.
It’s real tough for a telescopic rod to offer that same traditional fly fishing experience, but to me, this rod is probably as close as it gets while retracting down into an insanely small package.
You can stuff this 17.7’ monster down into a 30” package and slide it right into the included carry case. It’s hard to beat that kind of modularity.
Why I like it:
12. MaximumCatch Maxcatch Tenkara
My Review: This nifty fly fishing setup is a nano carbon 8-section Tenkara rod thats available in either 11’, 12’, or 13’. These are insane as they collapse into just 20.5” which makes them perfect to stuff into a backpack and go hiking or biking. The rod itself is surprisingly lightweight and come in a 7:3 action.The rod is interesting, the nano carbon feels really stiff until you hook into a fish. Once the fight is on, the rod flexes and offers that exciting experience that I think even the most experienced anglers could respect.
This rod really makes me feel like im using a classic traditional style of fly fishing and that experience is topped off with an 11” AA grade cork handle. This rod has a lot of science and technology backing it, but still, it just feels ridiculously natural and truly gives an excellent fishing experience.
Why I like it:
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands and Alaska. Cody grew up in Pennsylvania and has also done extensive freshwater fishing including bass fishing tournaments. Cody strives to provide detailed information about the best fishing gear and tactics to help both novice and experienced anglers have a more productive and enjoyable time on the water. Cody also has a background in aerospace engineering and neuroscience but really only takes pride in being good at one thing and that is fishing!