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Best Pen Fishing Rod of 2022 Reviewed (Buyer’s Guide)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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Pen fishing rods are great in those situations where full-size fishing gear is a hassle to carry with you, like on a family hike.

With the best pen fishing rod, you can have a fishing setup in your pocket, ready to go just in case you stumble upon some water that looks too good to pass up. 

They are not a replacement for full-size gear by any means, but they are fun, portable options that are also great for kids, and at such a low price, every fisherman should own one. 

The Best Pen Fishing Rods From The Review 

Best Pen Rod For Trout Fishing

Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set

This combo comes with a spinning reel and is one of the few rod and reel combos where the reel is worth holding onto. It’s also great for trout fishing

Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set

The best pen fishing rods for trout fishing are the Lixada Pen Fishing Rods. The rod is durable, casts well, super portable and it even comes with a reel that works too.

It’s the perfect pen set-up for actually going fishing with instead of leaving on the mantle, and will handle a 2lb trout no problem. 

Best EDC Pen Fishing Rod

Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

This combo is ideal for anyone who wants a fishing rod pole to keep in their glove box or tackle bag for those random occasions where you need a fishing pole but haven’t packed it.

Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

The best EDC pen fishing rod is the Docooler.

The Docooler is just 8 inches when collapsed so you can keep it in your pocket at all times and whip it out whenever so see some waters worth fishing in.

It’s durable, casts well, and will handle any small panfish like bluegill or crappies

Best Pen Fly Fishing Rod

YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

The YOGAYET pen fishing set comes with a fly fishing reel and is a perfect gift for a young child who wants to learn fly fishing from the early age of 3 years old.

YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

The best pen fishing rods for fly fishing are the Yogayet pen rods.

These rods are good to cast with, tough enough for small trout and come with a fly reel.

They are the perfect setup for teaching young kids to fly fish, and the reel works well if you add some grease. 

Our Best Pen Fishing Rods 

Best EDC Pen Fishing Rod

Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

This combo is ideal for anyone who wants a fishing rod pole to keep in their glove box or tackle bag for those random occasions where you need a fishing pole but haven’t packed it.

Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

The Docooler 38 inch mini portable pen fishing rod is ideal for anyone who wants a fishing rod pole to keep in their glove box or tackle bag for those random occasions where you need a fishing pole but haven’t packed it. 

Length

With a closed length of just under 8 inches, this mini pen fishing rod fit’s pretty much everywhere, so you’ll never be without a fishing rod again. It’s perfect for catching small species like bluegill and crappie and a great fishing rod for young kids to learn with. 

This pen fishing rod has an extended length of 38 inches and is made of aluminum alloy and fiberglass making it both corrosion resistant and durable.

Extending it is easy, just pop off the pen lid and extend the telescopic fishing rod until it’s fully open. 

Packs a Punch

For its small size, it’s not bad to cast with and you could push 20 ft with the right rig. And, when you hook a fish it handles the fight quite well, but it might break if you end up fighting a 4lb bass. 

Rod Material

The pen fishing rod comes with an aluminum alloy reel that works pretty well for beginners but it’s not so durable and may need swapping out after a month or so of use. 

TIP

The aluminum alloy reel includes a line, but it tends to coil so make sure to put some new line on the spinning reel before you use it, or you’ll end up in tangles. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Aluminum alloy & fiberglass
  • Closed length: 7.87in
  • Open length: 38 in
  • Weight: 55 grams
  • Reel Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Gear Ratio: 5.1:1
  • Weight: 5.19oz
  • Line capacity: 5lb/180yrd or 0.5mm/190m

Pros

  • Comes with an aluminum alloy reel
  • Light and portable fishing setup
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great for beginners and kids
  • A well-made rod that lasts
  • Casts nicely for its small size

Cons

  • The included fishing line needs changing
  • Not for anything bigger than small panfish
  • The reel is not so durable and needs swapping out

G Ganen Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

This rod is made of aluminum and fiberglass and is perfect for stashing in your car so that you always have a fishing rod waiting to catch fish at a moment’s notice.

G Ganen Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

The G Ganen Pen Fishing Rod is also made of aluminum and fiberglass, and with a closed length of 11 inches, is perfect for stashing in your car so that you always have a fishing rod pole waiting to catch fish at a moment’s notice. 

Starting Out

It’s also the perfect rod for kids to play with and beginners to learn with, plus at the extremely low price, you won’t mind if the kids go wild and even snap it. 

It’s quite a durable rod for its size and price.

The aluminum helps against the corrosion while the fiberglass lets the rod bend a lot, making it strong enough to land small species like sunfish. 

Length

The pen fishing rod has an extended length of 38 inches and is easy to set up; you just pull it out like a normal telescopic fishing pole.

It doesn’t cast very well but is perfect for lowering off the dock or boat into shallow waters and doing some bottom fishing with. 

Reel Quality

The mini portable pocket pen fishing rod comes with a fishing reel.

The aluminum alloy reel includes forward and reverse ratchet stop and drag control, but it’s not a high-quality fishing reel. 

Reel Issues

The forward and reverse ratchet stop and drag control tend to fail within a few days, or not work on arrival, but considering the low price, this is to be expected. 

Your best bet is to swap the fishing reel out for a spinning reel that you trust so you can enjoy using the pen-sized fishing rod without any reel hassles. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Aluminum alloy & fiberglass
  • Closed length: 11 in
  • Open length: 38 in.
  • Weight: 11 grams
  • Reel Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Gear Ratio: Zero
  • Weight: NA
  • Line capacity: NA

Pros

  • Light and portable fishing rod and reel combo
  • Super affordable and fun for kids
  • Good for bottom fishing in shallow waters
  • Fun to fish with and a good gag gift
  • A strong rod that can handle small fish like bluegill
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Nice gift for fishing enthusiast or collectors

Cons

  • Doesn’t cast well
  • The reel has no drag
  • Rod can struggle to collapse for storage

Best Pen Rod For Trout Fishing

Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set

This combo comes with a spinning reel and is one of the few rod and reel combos where the reel is worth holding onto. It’s also great for trout fishing

Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set

The Lixada Pen Fishing Rod also comes with a spinning reel and is one of the few rod and reel combos in the review where the reel is worth holding onto.

If you’re looking for a pen-sized fishing rod, pole, and reel that you can rely on, pay attention to this review. 

Length

The pen fishing rod has a collapsed length of 8 inches and is small enough to put in your pocket and your glove box.

Never again will you have to go past a fishing spot and think ‘I wish I had a rod to cast in there’. 

Rod Material

The pen-sized fishing rod is made from high-quality aluminum alloy with glass steel fiber making it both durable and tough enough to fight small panfish under 2lbs, like crappies.

It’s surprisingly good to cast considering its small length and is simple to set up for kids and beginners

Reel Quality

The spinning reel this portable pen fishing rod comes with is actually quite good.

The aluminum alloy reel includes forward and reverse ratchet, plus drag control. You can fit quite a good amount of line on it too (1lb/120M, 2lb/60M) so if you do hook into a fish of 4lbs or so, you have a chance of landing it. 

The included reel comes with a line on it, which you should take off immediately before using the pen rod. The line will coil and tangle on your first cast, so it’s best to swap it out first. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Aluminum alloy & glass steel fiber
  • Closed length: 8 in.
  • Open length: 1 or 1.4 m
  • Weight: 2.8 oz
  • Reel Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Gear Ratio: 4.3: 1
  • Weight: 7 oz
  • Line capacity: 1lb/120M, 2lb/60M

Pros

  • Light, compact, and fits perfectly in a tackle bag
  • Rod is quite durable and strong for small fish like crappie
  • Great for kids, learners, and surprise fishing opportunities
  • A decent reel that works well with the rod
  • Super affordable for a fishing rod spinning reel combo
  • A fun gift for fishing enthusiast or collectors

Cons

  • The included fishing line needs changing
  • Not overly durable and may die eventually

HDE Pocket Size Pen Rod and Reel Combo Set

This aluminum and steel glass fiber pen fishing rod is a great portable option. that is strong enough to handle small fishes. Great for kids, beginners and casual fun!

HDE Pocket Size Pen Rod and Reel Combo Set

The HDE aluminum and steel glass fiber pen fishing rod is another portable option.

Length

This collapsible fishing rod has a closed length of 8 inches, so like the other pen fishing rods, it can be stored anywhere, even in your pocket. 

Your Potential Catch

This pen rod is pretty good for fishing with.

The rod is strong enough to handle small species under 1lb like brook trout and casts quite well for its size – 3.5 ft fully extended.

It’s a great rod for kids and beginners, or when you want to have some fun with a fishing rod mini. 

Common Issues

There are a couple of issues with this pen rod though.

It often gets stuck when open and you may struggle to collapse it back down again. And, it’s only made to fit the reel it comes with.

You’ll need to do some home DIY if you want to put a different reel on it, and you most likely will. 

Reel Quality

The reel the HDE pocket-size pen rod comes with is for spinning and it’s not high-quality at all. It will last a few fishing trips but in the end, it will fail.

You should also swap the included line on the reel before using it as it will tangle on your first cast. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Aluminum alloy & glass steel fiber
  • Closed length: 8 in.
  • Open length: 1 or 1.4 m
  • Weight: 2.8 oz
  • Reel Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Gear Ratio: 4.3: 1
  • Weight: 7 oz
  • Line capacity: 1lb/120M, 2lb/60M

Pros

  • Light, compact, and fits perfectly in a tackle bag
  • Rod is quite durable and strong for small fish like crappie
  • Great for kids, learners, and surprise fishing opportunities
  • A decent reel that works well with the rod
  • Super affordable for a fishing rod spinning reel combo
  • A fun gift for fishing enthusiast or collectors

Cons

  • The included fishing line needs changing
  • Not overly durable and may die eventually

Jatzde Mini Portable Pocket Pen Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

This fiberglass and aluminum rod fits well in a tackle bag or glove box. It’s a pretty durable pen fishing pole and can handle small species like crappies with ease.

Jatzde Mini Portable Pocket Pen Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

The Jatzde pen rod is a fiberglass and aluminum alloy fishing rod that extends from a closed length of 8 inches to 37.6 inches when fully opened.

Opening the pen rod is easy, just pop off the lid and slide out the sections and attach a reel.

Portability

At a stored size of 8 inches, you can carry this rod anywhere, anytime. It’ll fit in your tackle bag, work bag, glove box, and even your pocket. It’s a pretty durable pen fishing pole and can handle small species like crappies with ease. 

Good Range

For its size, the pen fishing pole isn’t bad to cast with and you can hit 20ft or so quite consistently.

This rod is a lot of fun to fish with, great for kids and beginners, and thanks to its portability, you’ll never miss a fishing opportunity again. 

Reel Quality

The included aluminum-alloy fishing reel is cute and great for collectors or angling enthusiasts but it’s not great on the water. The drag control and ratchet system seem to fail instantly so you’ll want to swap it out for a reel that works. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Fiberglass, aluminum alloy
  • Closed length: 8 in.
  • Open length: 37.8 in.
  • Weight: 117 grams
  • Reel Material: Aluminum
  • Gear Ratio: NA
  • Weight: NA
  • Line capacity: NA

Pros

  • Durable mini fishing pole
  • Mini pen fishing rod is tough enough for species like crappie
  • Ok to cast with up to 20 ft
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Light, portable, and fits in your fishing bag with ease
  • Fun to fish with
  • Great as a fun gift

Cons

  • The reel is quite terrible and needs replacing

Happy Outdoor Mini Pen Fishing Pole Reel Combo

This combo comes with a complete fishing set with a spool of line, lures, floats, and a reel. Great for kids, as it comes with everything they need to get fishing right away.

Happy Outdoor Mini Pen Fishing Pole Reel Combo

The Happy Outdoor pen rods come with a complete fishing set including a spool of line, lures, floats, and a reel. It’s a great set if you’re shopping for pen rods for kids, as it comes with everything they need to get fishing right away. 

Rod Material

The pen rod is made from plastic and aluminum and is actually quite tough considering the price and size. It’s not bad to cast with over short distances like 10-20ft and will handle a tussle with any species under 2lbs. 

Length

It has a closed length of 8 inches, so you can store it anywhere and keep it with you for those surprise fishing opportunities.

Fully open it has a length of 39 inches which is long enough to cast and fight small fish with, as mentioned above. 

The collapsible fishing rod does have some trouble breaking down and can often get stuck but with some light touches, you should be able to get it back inside the pen. 

Reel Quality

The reel that comes with the set is more of a showpiece that should sit in a cabinet as it doesn’t function well when used for fishing. There is zero drag and it will fail after a few adventures to the local fishing pond.

Luckily the fittings on the rod will hold a small spinning reel, so you can add a different reel to the rod. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Plastic and aluminum
  • Closed length: 8.1 in.
  • Open length: 39 in.
  • Weight: 6 oz
  • Reel Material: Plastic
  • G. Ratio: 1:1
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Line capacity: 2lb/26 m

Pros

  • Light, small, portable, and fits in your pocket
  • Comes with a reel, fishing line, and lures
  • Easy and simple to use
  • Ok to cast with over short distances
  • Mini pen fishing rod is strong enough for fish under 2 lbs
  • Simple to open and close

Cons

  • The reel needs replacing on arrival as it doesn’t work
  • The mini pocket fishing rod can get stuck and not collapse

Best Pen Fly Fishing Rod

YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod & Reel Combo

The YOGAYET pen fishing set comes with a fly fishing reel and is a perfect gift for a young child who wants to learn fly fishing from the early age of 3 years old.

YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod & Reel Combo

The YOGAYET pen fishing set comes with a fly fishing reel, making it a little different from the others in the review.

It’s the perfect gift for a young child who wants to learn fly fishing from the early age of 3 years old

Length

The fishing pole has a collapsed length of 8.27 inches, it’s so small you can keep it in your pocket.

Fully extended it’s 39 inches long which is more than enough for casting short distances of 10-20ft and catching small trout around 1lb. 

Rod Material

These pen fishing rods are made from aluminum and fiberglass, making them both durable and corrosion-resistant. The pen rods are quite tough and will last if looked after. 

Solid Reel

The included fly reel is made from aluminum and works quite well.

You should open it up and grease it before you use it so it runs smoothly. You can add a 2wt fly line to the reel for you to fly cast with the rod, but you’ll need to trim it down quite a bit by about 40-50 ft. 

Extras

The set also comes with some lures and mono-line, but these are poor quality and are best upgraded as soon as possible. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Aluminum & fiberglass
  • Closed length: 8.27 inch
  • Open length: 39 inch
  • Weight: 170 grams (total)
  • Reel Material: Aluminum alloy
  • G. Ratio: 1:1
  • Weight: 170 grams (total)
  • Line capacity: 2lb/20m

Pros

  • A super portable mini fishing rod that fits in your pocket
  • Comes with a fly reel for fly fishing
  • Includes lures, line, and a tackle box
  • Works with 2wt fly line when trimmed
  • Good for learning fly fishing
  • Fun for catching trout around 1lb and under
  • Ideal for kids to play with

Cons

  • Line and lures need upgrading
  • Add grease to the reel before using it

MultiOutools 38 inch Mini Portable Pen Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

This combo comes with a set of lures, a line, and a reel. Great for any kids who want to get into fishing or for a collector who likes the idea of a fishing rod in a pen.

MultiOutools 38 inch Mini Portable Pen Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

The MultiOutools pen rods also come with a set including line, lures, and a reel. They are a cool gift for any kids who want to get into fishing or for a collector who likes the idea of a fishing rod in a pen. 

Rod Length and Build

These pen fishing rods are made from aluminum and fiberglass and have a closed length of 7.87 inches, so you can take them anywhere.

Opening them is easy, just slide out and lock the sections.

Fully opened it has a length of 38 inches, more than enough for short casts of 10-20ft and landing small panfish like sunfish. 

Quick Fix

These pen rods are not so durable and have quite a lot of issues, so don’t expect them to last too long.

The sections get stuck making them hard to collapse and they can snap under pressure quite easily. 

Extras

The reel, line, and lures that come with the set are quite poor.

These sets are ok for kids to mess around with but might not last more than a week, so be prepared to upgrade them. 

Specs

  • Rod Material: Aluminum alloy & fiberglass
  • Closed length: 7.87 in.
  • Open length: 38 in.
  • Weight: 0.13 lbs
  • Reel Material: Plastic & aluminum
  • G. Ratio: 5.1:1
  • Weight: NA
  • Line capacity mm/m: 0.17/130,0.20/110,0.23/90

Pros

  • Comes with everything you need to start fishing
  • Labeled durable enough for saltwater use
  • Super light, portable mini fishing rod
  • Casts ok for the length and price
  • Can handle smaller fish under 2lbs
  • Simple and easy to assemble and use
  • Great for beginners, kids, and backpacking

Cons

  • Included reel and tackle is of poor quality and best upgraded
  • Not so durable and can fall apart with ease

What is a pen fishing rod? 

Pen fishing rods are telescopic rods that collapse down into a pen – like a pen you’d write with.

They are tiny when collapsed, usually about 8 inches, and can be stored anywhere from your pocket to your tackle bag. 

A mirror carp on a net next to a pen rod
A mirror carp caught with a pen rod (1) 

They are perfect for keeping handy for surprise fishing opportunities, for kids to use, to give as a gift to a collector or fishing enthusiast.

Are pen rods any good for fishing with? 

Fully extended, pen rods are around 38 inches long and are surprisingly effective little rods considering their small size and low cost.

Some people have gotten big catches with their pen rod!

BIGGEST Saltwater Catch Ever on a Pen Fishing Rod!!

You can happily target small species under 2lbs like sunfish, bluegill, crappie, or trout, and expect to catch them. They don’t cast particularly far but you can manage to push a line about 20ft with them. 

NOTE

They are by no means a replacement for full-sized gear, but they are a load of fun to use, great for portability, and ideal for young kids to learn with. 

Things to consider when buying a pen rod 

A child on a dock casts a wooden makeshift rod with some string attached
Your kid deserves more than just a stick and some string!

Types of Pen Rods and your Fishing Style 

All pen rods are pretty much the same and don’t differ to suit different fishing styles. They are just collapsible telescopic rods that fit in your pocket. 

You can, however, attach any reel you like to them, so long as it fits the tiny reel seat. This means you can use them with spinning, casting, or fly reels, depending on what you prefer.

Materials & Durability 

All pen rods are made from a combination of aluminum and fiberglass or glass steel fiber.

The aluminum ensures they handle rust well and the additional fiberglass or glass steel fiber ensures they’re super bendy. 

Being bendy means they can handle the pull of fish in a fight despite their small length and diameter.

They are all quite durable but you shouldn’t push their limits or larger fish of 4lbs and above as they will probably snap.

Are they worth the money? 

Considering that most pen rods cost less than $20 they are more than worth it for the fun you or your kids will get out of them. For this small price, you’ll often get a semi-functioning reel with it, so you can fish right away. 

… most pen rods cost less than $20 …

But, with a low price does come lower quality.

The rods are usually pretty durable as mentioned above but you might find the reels that come with them will need replacing pretty quickly. 

Penning Away 

Thanks for reading my article about the top pen fishing rods. They are cool little rods that are great fun to fish with and an awesome gift for any fishing enthusiast, child, or adult.

If you’re looking for kid-friendly options. You might want to consider checking out this best kids fishing pole review or this best fishing pole for beginners article.

Here’s a refresher of the top performers from this article:

If you haven’t quite decided which of the rods to go for, here are the two I’d pick and for different reasons. 

Fly Fishing Pen

For a pen fly fishing setup, the Yogayet combo is the one to go for. The rod is durable and tough enough to handle trout of up to 1-2lbs, and it comes with a reliable fly reel you can add some fly line too, so anyone can learn to fly-cast with it. 

Spinning Pen Setup

If you’re looking for a spinning pen setup, the Lixada is the one to go for. The rod and reel are of good quality, are easy to use, and will last longer than all the others.

You can happily catch any species up to 2 lbs with the setup, just be sure to put a new line on it before you use it to avoid any tangles. 

(1) Quest for a world record on the Pen Rod Extreme by Anthony Di Pippo licensed through Creative Commons 2.0

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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