A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: July 18, 2021
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In this article, we’re looking at telescopic fishing rods, the benefits of choosing this type of model, as well as how to find the best telescoping fishing rod for your particular needs. These types of rods are great for their portability and can be taken on long trips without taking up a great deal of space. On top of this, their structural integrity and build quality seem to have improved a lot in recent years.
It is important to understand the features of telescopic rods when you are choosing the best one for you. We’ve reviewed all of their most important characteristic including what they are made out of, the power they can give you, and their sizes both when collapsed and in their fully extended position. We’ve also looked at the line weight they can take. Having considered all of the features, the KastKing Blackhawk II was the top option we reviewed. For more information on why, keep reading. This is one of the best options for portability and power.
To make the choices of which are the most worthy of being on this list, our team spent weeks doing their research. Ultimately, there are many different choices, and some might be more suited to your needs. We’ve looked at consumer reviews and brand information and presented the information as a simple overview table, individual reviews and a buying guide to help you to understand the features in more depth.
The KastKing flex is a really impressive option. It features a 24-ton carbon matrix blank and has an exceptional amount of durability, while still being flexible enough to perform. We’ve named it our editor’s choice.
It comes in six pieces but the brand claim it performs like a full-length one piece rod. It has 14 lengths to choose from and you will be able to set it up perfectly no matter what type of fishing you are doing. It works in freshwater and saltwater with no real risk of rusting or breaking before it has seen a lot of use.
Being exceptionally hard-wearing and easy to set up to your own specifications, this is definitely one of the best telescopic fishing rods out there. This rod is available in a range of power, namely medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy, meaning that you can catch fish up to a reasonable size and weight with no issues whatsoever. We have no hesitation in recommending this for both beginners and pros.
What are our favorite features?
Very flexible and easy to adjust to the length you need, with 14 different possible setups
Hard-wearing and very well design
Folds up to a very small size, great for travel
Available in different power settings if you require
What could be better?
The eyelet assignment is very difficult to get right and this could do with some sort of guide
Whether you’re new to fishing or you’ve got a lot of experience, it is always convenient when you can get things bundled together – this can be a great way to make sure that you don’t forget anything you need to get your rod set up and ready to use. The PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is one of our top options and is actually the best rod and reel combo we came across during our research.
It comes with pretty much everything you need including a reel, lures, and hooks, and even has its own compact carrier bag which is great for putting in your airplane luggage, for instance.
This model has a line weight of 11-13 lbs, and it is exceptionally easy to fold out to the length you require. Having the reel already in place is a big plus point and the reel itself is actually a fantastic quality model with 12 bearings for smooth casting. Considering you get everything included in this bundle, the price is very good, too. It would be easy to pay a lot more buying things separately.
Why did it make our list?
Easy to put together and start fishing in no time at all
Comes with its own carrying bag perfect for taking on long journeys
Excellent reel and accessories included
What is not ideal about it?
You need to detach the reel to fit in the carrying case
Some of the accessories are a little on the basic side, which is to be expected at the price point
This is a great quality rod and reel combo which is at a very good price point. There is a bit of sacrifice on line weight when compared to some of the other options, but for a very affordable combo which is convenient and easy to take out and about with you, the Eagle Claw PK56TS Pack-It Spin Combo Telescopic Rod is worth considering.
The EVA handle is one of the positives of this, and makes for a comfortable and easy fishing experience.
It comes in five sections which pull out, which is less than some of the others. The bearing reel which comes with it is reversible, and even has line ready and installed within so you can get started straight away. For this reason, it is a perfect option for beginners who don’t want to invest a huge amount of time and money getting something set up.
This is easy enough to store in the trunk of your car, for instance, ready for spontaneous fishing trips. The Eagle Claw may not be a truly elite product on the list, but you will really struggle to find a reliable rod and reel combo at this price which has anywhere near this level of features and functionality.
What do we love it for?
Pre-loaded and ready to fish
Easy to adjust and set up
What were we disappointed with?
Won’t last as long as some of the other options
Not very powerful and can struggle with larger fish
We’ve named the Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod our top option for backpacking. As well as having a decent level of features and an impressive length once it has been extended, it can condense down to a size small enough to go in a backpack.
The build quality is great, made out of 24 Ton Carbon Fiber combined with E-Glass. You can even rest assured, as you’re protected by a one-year warranty on this rod should anything go wrong. The screw fixing on this makes it very sturdy even once you have folded out to a full length.
The guides make it very easy to install your fishing line, and the brand have thought of a lot of different features when it comes to function and usability. On top of this, the weight of this rod is hard to believe. This is another reason why it is so easy to put in a backpack and take out and about with you: it won’t weigh down your backpack, which may already have loads within.
Why did it make our list?
Very lightweight and made of high-quality composite e-glass material
Folds to a size small enough to go in backpacks
Comfortable and durable EVA handle installed as standard
The TROUTBOY Black Warrior Fishing Rod is a warrior by name and a warrior by nature. It is exceptionally durable and has some surprisingly heavy functionality for such a lightweight, flexible and portable telescopic rod. It has an EVA forearm grip, which is great for those long fishing sessions, and it has a hugely adjustable length when extended.
The material this is made from is carbon fiber e-glass, similar to many of the other options on the list, but this is so ruggedly made, it can deadlift 10 lbs and is perfect for tussles with heavier fish. Combined with a reel with a good amount of drag, this can provide you with a brilliantly heavy fishing setup that is totally portable.
Like some of the other choices, this has a one-year warranty protecting your purchase.
Though it is easy to chuck in your own backpack or bag, it also comes with its own specific carrying case, so you can use the TROUTBOY any time you want! Just throw it in your trunk and be ready to go whenever the desire to fish hits you.
This is available in different lengths, so you should choose which is the most suitable for your own fishing needs. The more affordable, shorter lengths are actually excellent value for money, too.
What makes it special?
Rugged, durable and suitable for larger fish
Comes with a one-year warranty to protect your purchase
What cons did we find?
Takes more effort than some of the other options to collapse at the end of the fishing session
When we’re making a list of the top products in a specific category, we always like to provide a budget pick. In this case, the budget pick is the reliable, but no-frills rod, the Hurricane Mako Telescopic Rod.
In terms of the durability and ruggedness, this is hard to argue with and definite competition for the other options, but it is also a great option in terms of having a medium to heavy action, perfect for people who want something for fishing for heavy fish.
The problem is that it is a bit heavier than some of the others, and this mainly comes from the fact it is not made from the e-glass materials and composites that have become popular among the super lightweight fishing rods on the market.
The foam handle isn’t as high quality as some of the competitors, but again, this is a case of altering expectations based on cost. If you want something that folds up to a tiny size, this is also not going to be the rod for you.
However, for a rugged and good value rod, the Hurricane Mako Telescopic Rod is worth considering.
What makes it stand out?
Very rugged and built to last, great for saltwater and freshwater fishing
Excellent value-for-money, the cheapest rod on the list
Heavy action, can help you to fish for some larger fish
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Not as lightweight as some other options
Doesn’t pack down as small as the other rods on this list
No access point along the butt which some rods have allowing you to clean
Things to Consider
When you’re looking to buy a telescopic fishing rod, whether you are an experienced angler or you’re new to the hobby, it is important that you fully understand what you are buying. There is a lot of equipment on the market and it tends to be aimed at all sorts of different people fishing in different spaces. Some of the rods on our list of the best telescopic fishing rod reviews may be suitable for you, others may be inappropriate due to their size and design features.
This is why we have presented a full buying guide to help you to make the right choice for your own fishing. You shouldn’t have to guess, and in the modern age of information, reading a buying guide such as this can equip you perfectly to make your purchase.
Advantages of having a telescopic fishing rod
A telescopic rod is one that expands and contracts. Often, in its smaller, folded size, it is very small and can fit in a backpack or in the trunk of you car with ease. This portability makes this a very popular choice among people who want to travel and still be able to fish. There can be a lot of equipment to take out and about with you and a one-piece rod is not ideal for this as they are big and bulky. With that in mind, the key benefits of a telescopic rod are:
You can compress your fishing rod down to a size that goes in your backpack and then expand it when needed.
Many telescopic rods allow you to choose between multiple lengths in order to get the most appropriate for your fishing needs.
Telescopic rods take up less space in your home if you are storing it in between trips.
Features to consider when choosing a telescopic fishing rod
The following features are those which we found the most important when choosing a telescopic rod. We’ve considered all of these when it comes to our list of top rods, and though some of these features will undoubtedly be more important than others for you, it is good to have an understanding of all of them. We’ve certainly taken all of these features into account when ranking the top telescopic rods.
Strength and durability: what material(s) is it made from?
The materials of yesterday’s science fiction are actually a part of what we use to produce rods today! Carbon fiber, graphite and e-glass composites can be used, and the benefit of these materials and the clever composites made out of them are the fact that they have a good level of strength and durability but are still lightweight. Some of the options on the list still use more traditional materials such as aluminum, but these don’t tend to have the same benefits.
The power of a rod can also be called the rod weight or power value. It is basically an indication of how large the fish the rod is capable of catching are. An ultra-heavy rod can catch huge fish, whereas an ultra-light will mean you have to stick to tiddlers. Most of the rods on this list are around the medium mark, but we’ve recommended the TROUTBOY Black Warrior Fishing Rod
as one of the best if you are looking for pure power. This is on the heavier side of medium, which is great if you are looking for the power to reel in big fish.
Number of sections
The way a telescopic rod works is that each section is encased within the previous, larger section. A little bit like Russian dolls, but attached to one another. The smaller sections extend from the previous, larger sections. The number of sections is an important factor to consider.
If your rod has a lot of sections it can be more difficult to extend it and leaves a bit more chance of something breaking in one of the sections (though this is not a high risk). If you have more sections, the chances are that the rod can reach much further out – for some people, a long rod might be exactly what you are looking for in order to catch fish way out at sea.
When buying the line for your rod, you will notice that they come in different weights. Some of these weights will be suitable for your rod, while others will not. The line weights usually have a range. For instance, your rod might say it can take 4-6 weight line. This means you can purchase line within these weight settings and be safe to fish. The line weight is usually displayed on the butt, but will also be listed in the product description. It’s just a case of matching up.
As with the line, there is also a range of weights that are suitable for lures. This is another thing you will need to match up. If you already have lures, you need to separate the ones that are appropriate. It is said by many that there is a sweet spot for lures, and this is about two thirds of the way up the range.
If you don’t want the hassle of choosing lures and line, you can skip this process by buying a product that already has accessories included.
The PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is one example of a rod that comes with a huge amount of accessories, so you can get started without having to go to your local fishing shop and ask the person behind the counter what’s what.
Extended and collapsed lengths
The lengths are a vitally important thing to consider, but it isn’t just a case of wanting the rod to be small! Naturally, when you collapse the rod, the smaller the better in terms of storage. It is such a huge benefit if your rod can fit into a backpack. If not, it can be tricky to store and limits the number of uses for you rod. The whole point of buying a telescopic rod is to get a portable, all-in-one option.
Likewise, it isn’t all about getting it as compact as possible. Actually, you will want a rod that can fold out to a good size. Certain fishing applications require a long rod to ensure you can get to the fish, as not all come in close to the shore or bank.
Where will you be fishing?
No matter which type of rod you are buying it is important to think about where you will be fishing. This will have an impact on which type of fish you will be trying to catch, and this means that you may have to think about how heavy the rod is. On top of this, you may need more length for some applications such as sea fishing.
Freshwater vs. saltwater fishing is one of the things to consider. Many rods are made out of materials that aren’t suitable for fishing in saltwater, and this can mean rust and decay of the rod way before you would expect it, so we advise to consider a saltwater fishing rod for such consitions. Think about where you’ll be fishing.
Caring for a rod is a relatively simple process. Keep it in a safe space away from outdoor conditions while it is being stored. Also, make sure you clean it regularly and get rid of any dirt which may have built up within. To prevent rusting and damage ahead of time, make sure you use the rod in environments that it can handle, and avoid using a regular rod for a saltwater fishing, if it is not built to cope in these conditions.
This is the subject of some debate. 10 or 20 years ago, the answer would definitely have been yes. However, in the modern age, rods have come a long way, and the materials that are used are far more high tech. This makes modern telescopic rods pretty durable. The only real added risk is the extra joins where each piece of the rod attaches to the previous.
A telescopic rod can be a very good solution for beginners as they are so flexible and portable. You just need to get used to the way they extend and compress down to size. Many of the rods that come with accessories are designed for beginners.
We’ve rated the KastKing Blackhawk II the best of the fishing rods on our list. It has a huge amount of flexibility with 14 different lengths and is a wonderfully constructed rod that can last for many years. It has been rated 9.8 out of 10.
The PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is the second highest rated product on the list with a 9.6 rating. It has such an amazing number of accessories and comes with the reel, we recommend this for anyone who wants a complete setup and doesn’t want to have to buy the rest of their fishing gear separately. Almost everything you need comes in the package, earning it 9.6 out of 10.