Telescopic Fishing Rod on a Boat Featured Image

Top 7 Best Telescopic Fishing Rods in 2020 (Detailed Review)

When I was 13 years old everyone in my hometown called me “the fishing nomad.” I’d walk or bum a ride to tons of ponds, lakes and beaches —there was no place I wouldn’t roam. 

After considering all the options our top picks were…

The freedom was awesome, but lugging my rod and reel all over creation was a pain. I got smart and asked for a telescopic rod for my birthday. 

Those types of fishing rods are retractable and can collapse to be much shorter —usually about 1 – 2 feet. This makes it more portable so it’s ideal for traveling and camping trips.

If you’ve been thinking about snagging one but are on the fence, keep reading. I’m diving into everything you need to know, and reviewing the best telescopic fishing rods on the market.

Our Top Picks…

Best All-Rounder

PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

This collapsible duo is saltwater/freshwater friendly and gives anglers a nice range of lengths ideal for largemouth and shoreline species. Comes with hooks, fishing line and lures plus a tote bag.

PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Everything you need to go fishing is included — a full kit with hooks, line, lures and even a carrier bag. 

It’s ideal for novice and savvy fishermen alike, packing 13 ball bearings and steel hooded reel seats. 

Built for 10-pound test fishing line, this tandem is best suited for freshwater bass and shoreline fishing. 

Best on a Budget

Eagle Claw PK56TS Pack-It Spin Combo Telescopic Rod

It’s the best telescopic combo on a budget because it’s affordable for pretty much everyone and it performs quite well.

Eagle Claw PK56TS Pack-It Spin Combo Telescopic Rod

This duo is destined for freshwater use, so if you’re looking to catch bass, panfish and trout then it’s your huckleberry. 

The rod is paired with a lightweight HN800 spinning reel, with a 5.1:1 gear ratio. It’s good enough to catch fish but far from high-end. 

It packs just 1 ball bearing, which scares some anglers off —but it casts surprisingly well. The rod is fiberglass and the reel handle folds up well so it’s strong and extremely portable.

Editor’s Choice

KastKing BlackHawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

This retractable rod comes in baitcasting plus spinning options, and it’s extremely well-built. KastKing also offers a nice range of rod lengths and backbone.

KastKing BlackHawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

The BlackHawk II has models that work with baitcasting and spinning reels, plus they offer different rod powers and actions. They range from 7 – 8 feet and can handle largies and inshore saltwater species. 

24-ton carbon matrix blanks with glass rod tips give the BlackHawk II a nice balance of strength and sensitivity. The poles come with steel floating guides that help you cast further and tighten weak spots along the rod blank. 

Now that I’ve rattled off some of the the pros and cons of telescopic rods I like, it’s time to dive into the nitty gritty — 

What is a Telescopic Fishing Rod?

It’s a rod made for travel that collapses from the tip towards the base by pushing on it, section by section. But what makes a fishing rod telescopic? When it can go from being 6 or 7 feet long, to about 1 foot in length –that’s when

a rod made for travel that collapses from the tip towards the base by pushing on it…

Telescopic rods are designed that way because it makes them more portable and easier to carry on fishing trips. They’re typically made of sections or “pieces” of rod blank that retract into each other.

Are Telescopic Fishing Rods Any Good?

There are quality telescopic rods on the market, made of all the same types of material as regular rods. Some anglers are scared of them because they have collapsible segments rather than a 1-piece blank. 

I can’t vouch for every telescopic rod out there, but the ones on my list will all catch fish. They come in especially handy for backpackers fishing on camping trips and easily fit into carry-on luggage. 

Child Fishing at a Lake
Child Fishing at a Lake

Are Telescopic Fishing Rods Good for Beginners?

They are fine for novice fishermen because they are easy to operate and there’s no learning curve. The only thing to consider is the type of reel you pair it with. 

NOTE

Keep in mind that spinning reels are better for beginners because they’re easier to cast. Telescopic baitcaster rods and reels take time to master and are better suited for experienced anglers. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Telescopic Fishing Rod

Better Portability

Like I said, these pocket fishing rod options shrink down to about 1 or 2 feet in length —depending on how long the rod is. Most will easily fit in your backpack or under your car seat. They also tend to be lighter than other fishing rods which makes them easy to carry.

Affordable Fishing Rods

You may wonder if telescopic rods are fundamentally cheaper or more expensive than a regular rod. Most telescoping fishing rod blanks are moderately priced and you can also find telescopic combos for a good price.

the cost depends on the rod and reel material plus the features…

Like other setups, the cost depends on the rod and reel material plus the features. But no, they are not cheaper or more expensive just because they’re retractable. 

What to Look for in a Telescoping Rod

The Right Rod Length

The same things that apply to regular rods apply to telescopic fishing rods as well. If you’re going after freshwater species then 6 – 7 feet is plenty.

If you’re hitting the ocean or shoreline fishing then you may want to look at some longer rods — 7 1/2 – 10 feet. They’re suited to catch bigger fish and cast further from the dock. 

An Appropriate Rod Power

Power is basically the rod’s resistance to bending when weight is placed on the line. So the higher the power, the more weight it takes to make it bend.

Rod blanks can range from ultralight to heavy power. Most of the options on my list of best telescopic rods are medium to medium-heavy, which is good for a range of catches. 

NOTE

Keep in mind that longer retractable rods have more segments. Some anglers see that as a vulnerability because there are more connection points. 

Fishing Rod Guides
Fishing Rod Guides

How Crucial Are Guides?

Guides are especially important for telescopic spinning rods because they endure the weight of the fishing line.

especially important for telescopic spinning rods because they endure the weight of the fishing line…

The highest quality guides are made of silicon carbide or titanium due to their ability to combat friction. Stainless steel guides are stronger and more durable but put a little more wear on the line. 

Okay now that you see what makes a solid telescope rod, I think it’s a good idea to reveal 4 more of the best on the market —

Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod

An affordable fishing rod you can carry anywhere. Tailor-made for bass, trout and surf fishing.

Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod

Here’s another affordable fishing rod you can carry anywhere. This one is tailor-made for bass, trout and surf fishing. There are multiple rod sizes ranging from 6 – 11 feet so you can pick the smartest one for your angling needs.

tailor-made for bass, trout and surf fishing…

Like several others on my list, it’s made of 24-ton carbon fiber. That makes it a little too stiff for some anglers and this particular rod is said to be a tad stiff.

Anglers suspect that the E-Glass (fiberglass) may not be dispersed as well —but make no mistake, it’s very strong and durable.

Rod Action

The tip is medium-fast action and the rod power ranges from medium to heavy —depending on the length you choose. It also sports and EVA handle which is ideal for all-day fishing. 

Guides

The guides give anglers the best of both worlds —they’re stainless steel with ceramic inserts to help dissipate line friction. The rod also comes packing a corrosion-resistant hooded reel seat to firmly bolster it to the saltwater fishing rod.

Carry it anywhere and see first-hand how well the Magreel Rod works.

Specs

  • Open lengths: 5.9 – 10.8 feet
  • Closed length: 6.3 – 19.8 inches
  • Rod Weight: 5.29 – 10.58 ounces
  • Action: Medium – Fast/Fast
  • Power – Medium to Heavy

Pros

  • Wide range of rod lengths
  • Strong and durable rod blanks
  • Stainless guides with ceramic insert
  • Hooded reel seat
  • EVA handle
  • Ideal for Surf Fishing

Cons

  • Some anglers say it’s too stiff
  • Not a telescopic fishing rod combo

Goture Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel

This tandem is perfect for packing in your carry-on while flying to an exotic fishing destination.

Goture Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel

Braiding X Carbon Technology

Right off the bat this combo has something pretty cool called Braiding X Carbon Technology that prevents the blank from twisting, which means longer casting and better accuracy.

The blanks are 98% carbon fiber —that’s how it remains so light while being so strong…

The blanks are 98% carbon fiber —that’s how it remains so light while being so strong. The rods are medium-heavy to heavy power, so there’s quite a bit of backbone in these fishing poles. It also has an extended rod handle for extra leverage and casting distance. 

NOTE

Keep in mind that carbon fiber blanks tend to have less elasticity, and some anglers think they’re more likely to break when placed under sudden duress.

That being said, the carbon is well-distributed throughout the pole and there’s just enough fiberglass in there to give it some bend. 

Rod Guides

The guides are steel and have SIC inserts. Many anglers consider them to be the best type of insert because of their high thermal conductivity —basically they evacuate heat and prevent swelling.

It also has a “double insurance” reel seat to make sure it stays on nice and snug.

Ball Bearings

The reel is no slouch either —it boasts 6 ball bearings and a max drag of up to 16 pounds with anti-reverse. But if you’re looking for an ultralight telescopic combo, then you may want to journey onward —this reel weighs about 10 ounces which is pretty heavy. 

One thing about the reel that can be both good and bad is its anti-reverse feature. It helps when a lunker is thrashing, but it can take some time to master.

it’s packing a CNC machined aluminum spool designed to reduce abrasion and ensure smooth casts…

On the upside, it’s packing a CNC machined aluminum spool designed to reduce abrasion and ensure smooth casts and retrieves. The gear ratio is also pretty decent, at 5.2:1. In my opinion, this tandem is perfect for packing in your carry-on while flying to an exotic fishing destination.

Grab this telescoping rod combo today and use it on your next backwoods fishing adventure.

Specs

  • Open lengths: 6.9 – 11.9 feet
  • Closed length: 19.29 – 26.77 inches
  • Rod Weight: 6.14 – 11.53 ounces
  • Action: medium – fast/fast
  • Power: Medium to Medium – Heavy
  • Reel type – Spinning
  • Reel Weight – 10 ounces
  • Ball Bearings – 6
  • Gear Ratio – 5:2:1

Pros

  • Braiding X Carbon Technology for better casting
  • SIC inserts for guides
  • 98% carbon blank pole with strong backbone
  • Reel has high max drag for lunkers
  • Anti-abrasion reel spool design
  • Extended rod handle size

Cons

  • Reel is heavy
  • A few complaints of rod fracture
  • Anti-reverse can be tricky

TROUTBOY Black Warrior Fishing Rod

One of the best telescopic combos out there. Besides the mediocre retrieve rate, everything else is looking good with the ZM3000 – ZM5000 model reels on this combo.

TROUTBOY Black Warrior Fishing Rod

Yes, the name is pretty awesome but besides that it really is one of the best telescopic combos out there. One of the key differences here is that TROUTBOY offers a longer fishing rod that’s about 12 feet.

one of the best telescopic combos out there…

Freshwater fishermen won’t need it, but if you’re a saltwater angler the extra length is good for longer casts against the wind. It also gives you a better chance of landing bigger fish like tuna or grouper.

Rod Power

The poles range from medium to medium-heavy power, and are made of high density carbon fiber spliced with fiberglass —so it’s strong and durable.

But remember, carbon fiber tends to be a little stiffer than graphite and some anglers think it’s too stout for its own good. 

The spinning reel paired with this pole is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater…

The spinning reel paired with this pole is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater. It boasts 14 double-shielded steel bearings —which is the highest on the list.

Its T6 double-anodized aluminum spool also keeps things light and efficient, and comes braid-ready.

Reel Build

It also has a rigid insert molded (IM-C6) carbon body to protect gears, plus a C6 carbon rotor that’s durable and lightweight. The gear ratios range from 4.7:1 – 5.0:1 which is nothing to write home about.

But besides the mediocre retrieve rate, everything else is looking good with the ZM3000 – ZM5000 model reels on this combo.

Take the TROUTBOY out for a test-drive and see how it handles bass and surf fishing.  

Specs

  • Open lengths: 5 feet 10 inches – 11 feet 10 inches
  • Closed length: 18.8 inches – 26.3 inches
  • Rod Weight: 5.1 – 10.9 ounces
  • Action: medium – fast/fast
  • Power: Medium to Medium-Heavy
  • Reel type – Spinning
  • Reel Weight – 9.8 ounces
  • Ball Bearings: 14
  • Gear Ratio: 4.7:1 – 5.0:1

Pros

  • Offers extra-long carbon fiber rod for saltwater fishing
  • 14 double-shielded ball bearings
  • T6 double-anodized spool
  • Comes braid-ready
  • Insert molded (IM-C6) protection
  • Good for landing big fish like tuna or grouper

Cons

  • Subpar to mediocre gear ratios
  • Some fishermen think the rod is too rigid

Best All-Rounder

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

This collapsible duo is saltwater/freshwater friendly and gives anglers a nice range of lengths ideal for largemouth and shoreline species. Comes with hooks, fishing line and lures plus a tote bag.

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Like I said, this collapsible duo is saltwater/freshwater friendly and gives anglers a nice range of lengths ideal for largemouth and shoreline species. The pole also spans several rod actions that offer different levels of rod tip sensitivity.

telescope bundle is that it has everything an angler needs for camping and fishing…

The coolest thing about this telescope bundle is that it has everything an angler needs for camping and fishing. Well, it doesn’t have pork n’ beans or bug spray, but it does come with hooks, fishing line and lures plus a tote bag.

Rod Build 

This is one of many telescopic poles that are made of high-density carbon fiber and fiberglass, so it’s strong and somewhat flexible. But to be fair, a few disgruntled anglers have claimed the rod sections rotate too easily on the Plussino.

Welded stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts run the length of the rod —this type of insert is quite possibly the best for big bass. If you want a pole with durable guides —here you go.

Beginner Friendly

If you’re a novice angler you’re in luck —this is a spinning reel setup so it’s easy to cast and good for fishing with live bait.

It also has some features that seasoned fishermen will appreciate —namely 13 ball bearings, a deep aluminum spool and stainless steel hooded reel seats.

it’s easy to cast and good for fishing with live bait…

But like I griped about earlier, you can’t really go after huge fish with the pre-matched reel —tuna and trophy stripers are off the menu.

That’s because the HA 3000 works best with for 10 – 15 pound test fishing line. For that reason it’s also best for freshwater bass and shoreline fishing.

Gear Ratio

On a brighter note it has a pretty decent gear ratio of 5.2:1. That’s fast enough to do some surf fishing and run some crankbaits in a deep lake.

Give this tandem a try and easily carry it with you all over creation.

Specs

  • Open lengths: 5 feet 9 inches – 8.86 feet 10 inches
  • Closed lengths: 16.7 inches – 17.5 inches
  • Rod Weight: 6.3 —9.1 ounces
  • Action: medium-fast/fast
  • Power: medium to medium-heavy
  • Reel type: Spinning
  • Reel weight: 9.42 ounces
  • Ball Bearings: 13
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1

Pros

  • Built for largemouth and shoreline fishing
  • An array of rod-tip responsiveness
  • Comes with fishing kit
  • Decent gear ratio: 5.2:1
  • Good traveling combo for novice anglers
  • Steel guide material with aluminum oxide inserts
  • 13 steel ball bearings for smooth casting
  • Handles up to 15-pound test for freshwater lunkers

Cons

  • The reel can’t handle big fish like tuna or giant stripers
  • Rod sections tend to rotate too easily

Best on a Budget

Eagle Claw PK56TS Pack-It Telescopic Spin Combo

It’s the best telescopic combo on a budget because it’s affordable for pretty much everyone and it performs quite well.

Eagle Claw PK56TS Pack-It Telescopic Spin Combo

affordable for pretty much everyone and it performs quite well…

I nicknamed this one the bumblebee because of its yellow and black color scheme —plus it just sounds cool. It’s the best telescopic combo on a budget because it’s affordable for pretty much everyone and it performs quite well.

Fiberglass Build

The fiberglass rod brings plenty of strength and flexibility to the table. It’s also medium power with a fast action which helps it detect the slightest vibrations.

Since this is a very honest review, I’ll be the first to admit that the reel isn’t the smoothest.

The lightweight HN800 spincasting reel is kind of like a ham sandwich —it will do its job and fill you up but it’s not the greatest meal you’ve ever had.

Ball Bearing

This spinning reel packs a single Eagle Claw ball bearing, that’s why I said casting isn’t as smooth as a high-end reel. But to be fair, anglers say it casts pretty well using 1/8 – 1/2 ounce lures on 4 – 10 pound test fishing line, and it’s 5.1:1 reel ratio is actually higher than some of the competition.

This is one of the lightest telescopic rod combos on the market…

This is one of the lightest telescopic rod combos on the market and it can tuck away under truck seats or even in glove-boxes. Its collapsible reel handle makes it even smaller and easier to carry on fishing trips and family vacations.

One thing that falls a little flat is that it only comes in one rod size. The pole has 5 sections and extends to a length of 5 1/2 feet —so yeah, it’s freshwater fishing all the way.

Rod Guides

Another thing to consider is that the guides are ceramic. That’s fine as long as you’re targeting medium size fish, but it’s not an ideal material to handle a 20-pound trout.

But for the price, this is a combo that will get you on the water fishing without denting your pockets too much.

Snag this pocket-friendly collapsable setup and give a spin the next time you hit the water.

Specs

  • Open length: 5 1/2 feet
  • Closed length: 13.8 inches
  • Rod Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Action: Fast
  • Power: Medium
  • Reel type – Spinning
  • Reel weight – 7.6 ounces
  • Ball Bearings: 1
  • Gear Ratio – 5.1:1

Pros

  • Very affordable telescoping setup
  • Preloaded with fishing line
  • One of the most portable rods and reels
  • Minimal rod sections for more solid feel
  • Convenient rod length for kayak fishing
  • Can handle largemouth and medium size trout
  • Reel packs a decent gear ratio

Cons

  • Reel has 1 ball bearing and subpar smoothness
  • Not built for huge species
  • Not saltwater compatible

Editor’s Choice

KastKing BlackHawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

This retractable rod comes in baitcasting plus spinning options, and it’s extremely well-built. KastKing also offers a nice range of rod lengths and backbone

KastKing BlackHawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

This retractable rod comes in baitcasting plus spinning options, and it’s extremely well-built. KastKing also offers a nice range of rod lengths and backbone —models span 7 – 8 feet and have medium to heavy power. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t come as a combo, but the rod itself is pretty awesome.

it’s high quality and portable…

There’s a nice combination of fixed and floating guides. They eliminate dead spots and create balanced weight distribution along the rod so it can handle lunkers better.

Lots of bass anglers use this as their back-up rod because it’s high quality and portable, but it can be used as a primary as well.

Rod Build

As mentioned, these Soloscopic Performance Technology blanks boast 24-ton carbon fiber matrix construction with glass tips for heightened responsiveness. The BlackHawk II also has tight-fitting ferrules that anglers really like —many say it casts and catches fish no different than a 1 piece rod.

boast 24-ton carbon fiber matrix construction with glass tips for heightened responsiveness…

The graphite reel seats are loved by some and hated by others. While a lot of fishermen prefer aluminum others see the value in graphite. While it may not be as solid, it does stand up to saltwater corrosion quite well.

Last but not least there’s an upgraded EVA handle that is good for all-day fishing trips. Overall it has everything an angler needs in a telescopic rod.

Pros

  • Fixed floating rods for smoother, on-point casting
  • Tight-fitting ferrules to eliminate twist
  • Soloscopic Technology carbon fiber rod blanks
  • Good for trophy bass
  • Well-balanced rod
  • Heightened responsiveness in rod-tip

Cons

  • Not a combo
  • Graphite reel seats
  • Limited rod lengths

There, now I’ve unveiled my entire list of favorite telescoping rods —some paired with reels.

But just in case you want one last super-quick snapshot of my top 3 choices, here you go —

Best All-Rounder 

Everything you need to go fishing is included — a full kit with hooks, line, lures and even a carrier bag. 

It’s ideal for novice and savvy fishermen alike, packing 13 ball bearings and steel hooded reel seats. 

Built for 10-pound test fishing line, this tandem is best suited for freshwater bass and shoreline fishing. 

Best on a Budget 

This duo is destined for freshwater use, so if you’re looking to catch bass, panfish and trout then it’s your huckleberry. 

The rod is paired with a lightweight HN800 spinning reel, with a 5.1:1 gear ratio. It’s good enough to catch fish but far from high-end. 

It packs just 1 ball bearing, which scares some anglers off —but it casts surprisingly well. The rod is fiberglass and the reel handle folds up well so it’s strong and extremely portable.

Editor’s Choice 

The BlackHawk II has models that work with baitcasting and spinning reels, plus they offer different rod powers and actions. They range from 7 – 8 feet and can handle largies and inshore saltwater species. 

24-ton carbon matrix blanks with glass rod tips give the BlackHawk II a nice balance of strength and sensitivity. The poles come with steel floating guides that help you cast further and tighten weak spots along the rod blank. 

Wrapping Things Up

Well, it’s been quite an adventure. The main reason I wrote this expert review on the best telescopic fishing rods is because they give you the freedom to be a roaming angler. Whether it’s a 2-hour car drive or a 4-hour plane flight, telescopic fishing rods make it easy to fish all over the state, country and planet. 

I hope all the information I provided will help you find the best retractable fishing combo so you can catch some fish on your travels. Will it be a pond? Lake? River? Maybe an ocean or bay? 

Wherever you roam, there’s a tandem on my list that will catch you fish. If you happen to roll with one of my best telescopic fishing poles then take a pic of your catch —I’ll post it to my site and make you internet famous.

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on print

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print