For anglers who love to fish on the go, a telescopic fishing rod is an indispensable tool. Telescopic rods provide excellent portability and performance, allowing you to easily pack up your gear and cast your line whenever the urge to fish strikes.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about telescopic fishing rods, from design features to picking the right rod for your needs.
What is a Telescopic Fishing Rod?
A telescopic fishing rod is designed to collapse down into a short, portable size for ease of transport and storage. The rods are made up of multiple hollow rod sections that slide into each other, contracting down like the sections of a telescope. This collapsible design makes telescopic rods ideal for fishing on the move, backpacking, and traveling.
When extended to full length and rigged up, telescopic rods function just like any other fishing rod, giving you the length and leverage needed to make long casts and fight fish.
Models range in length from around 5 feet up to 15 feet when fully extended. The compact nature of telescopic rods makes them a versatile choice for anglers who fish in different locations and want the convenience of a rod that packs down small.
Benefits of Telescopic Fishing Rods
There are many advantages that telescopic fishing rods offer over traditional one-piece rods:
- Portability – The best thing about telescopic rods is their packability. They collapse down to a fraction of their full size, some as short as 20 inches when collapsed. This makes them ideal for hiking, camping, kayak fishing, and travel. Just stash your rod in your pack and you’re ready to fish wherever you go.
- Convenience – The portable design means you can keep a telescopic rod ready to go at all times. Store one in your car, closet, RV, or boat, so you’re always prepared to take advantage of spontaneous fishing opportunities.
- Protection – When collapsed, the rod sections are safely stored inside each other. This protects the rod blanks during transport and storage. One-piece rods are more vulnerable to accidental breaks.
- Versatility – A telescopic rod can serve as an all-purpose rod for ponds, streams, tight quarters, and open water. You can use it as your sole rod or as a convenient backup.
- Affordability – While higher-end telescopic models are available, many quality options are very reasonably priced, making them budget-friendly.
- Storage – Taking up minimal space, telescopic rods are easy to tuck away out of the way in a corner, closet, or car trunk.
Things to Look for in a Telescopic Fishing Rod
With a wide variety of telescopic rods available, it’s important to know what features to look for when choosing one:
The blank material and number of sections impact performance and packability. Graphite, fiberglass, and carbon fiber composites are common materials used.
Look for sensitive, lightweight, and durable blanks engineered specifically for telescopic design. Models with 4-10 sections offer a good balance of portability and casting performance.
Consider the species you’ll be targeting most often and choose an appropriate power and fully-extended length accordingly.
Ultralight to medium power rods in the 7-10 foot range offer versatility for many freshwater species like bass, trout, panfish, and catfish. Longer rods 12+ feet work well for surf fishing.
Quality guide rings with stainless steel frames or corrosion-resistant ceramic construction allow your line to flow smoothly and prevent premature wear. Models with a tip-top guide and reinforced rod end further enhance durability.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Since telescopic rods don’t break down into separate pieces, you can’t swap out handles. Look for non-slip cork or EVA foam handles shaped for comfort during lengthy fishing outings. Lightweight reel seats that securely hold your reel in place also enhance comfort.
Make sure the rod is properly balanced and has smooth casting. Sections should lock tightly in place when extended. High-quality rods with precision engineering provide impressive casting distance without feeling stiff or unwieldy.
Reliability and Sensitivity
All parts from the reel seat to the guide rings should feel rigid and securely fastened when locked in place, without wobble or looseness. Responsiveness is also important – you want to feel connected to your lure and any subtle bites or bottom structure.
Like other fishing rods, telescopic models range widely in price from around $20 for basic rods to $200+ for highly engineered carbon fiber rods. New anglers can find quality gear for less than $50, while seasoned enthusiasts can invest in ultra-lightweight rods with unparalleled performance.
Choosing the Right Telescopic Rod
Your fishing style, target fish, and budget will determine the best telescopic rod for you.
Sensitive ultralight rods in the 1-5 lb class are ideal for catching smaller species like trout, panfish, and smallmouth bass with light lines and lures. They excel at delivering accurate, delicate presentations. Collapsing down to around 20 inches, they’re extremely packable.
Light & Medium Power Rods
Offering versatility for larger fish but with enough finesse for smaller catches, light and medium power telescopic rods in the 6-15 lb range allow you to handle a variety of species including largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, salmon, carp, and more. They balance portability with fish-fighting strength.
Large Fish & Surf Rods
For powerful fish like salmon, sturgeon, stripers, and large catfish, beefed-up medium-heavy and heavy telescopic rods give you the extra backbone to battle big fish. Surf rods 12+ feet long allow long, effortless casting to reach distant surf lines. The trade-off is that these rods collapse slightly larger.
If you want just one collapsible rod for all your fresh and saltwater fishing needs, a medium power 7-8 foot rod can serve as a jack-of-all-trades set-up. With a versatile rod, you’ll just need to match your reel, line, and tackle the species you’re targeting.
Setting Up Your Telescopic Rod
One of the great advantages of a telescopic rod is its quick, tool-free set-up. Just extend it to full length, lock the sections in place, and attach your reel and line. Here are a few set-up tips:
- Give the guides and reel seat a quick inspection to make sure all parts are secure with no looseness or sticking.
- Extend the rod smoothly and evenly – don’t jerk sections into place. Listen for each section locking securely.
- For improved sensitivity, stealth, and casting distance, pair your rod with a lightweight open-face or spinning reel.
- Attach your reel seat securely, ensuring it’s centered and aligned.
- Run your line through the guides, securing it to the reel. Follow recommended line weights.
- Consider adding a lure retriever and a rod leash for security if fishing from a boat or in the surf.
Transporting and Storing Telescopic Rods
The convenience of telescopic rods lies in their portability. Here are some tips for safe, compact transport and storage:
- Completely collapse the rod, retract the guides and remove any attached reel for transport. This prevents damage.
- Store rods in a protective carry case or sleeve. Many feature shoulder straps or backpack-style carry options. Hard tubes with end caps offer maximum protection.
- Avoid hazards like bending, compressing, or crushing rods during transport. Don’t pack them in heavy gear.
- For airplane travel, check rod policies. Carry-on sizes that fit in overhead bins are available. Detach reels and tools.
- Keep rods away from excess moisture and heat. Avoid storing gear in a hot car trunk.
- Clean and lubricate joints before collapsing for storage to prevent sticking and excessive wear.
Maintenance and Care
With their multi-section design and moving parts, telescopic rods require some periodic maintenance:
- Rinse rods with freshwater after saltwater are used to prevent corrosion and lubricate joints.
- Occasionally apply lubricants like silicone or rod wax to the ferrules to prevent seizing and ensure smooth extension.
- Inspect guide rings for cracking or loosening. Re-secure any loose components with adhesive.
- Watch for signs of wear like frayed lines, cracks, or dents. Gradually developing issues can be addressed before causing rod failure.
- Replace defective parts like loose or damaged guides. Components are affordable and easy to swap.
- When storing rods long-term, avoid collapsing them fully, which can weaken the blank over time. Leave a section extended.
- Protect the blank from dings and scratches which can compromise strength and sensitivity. Use a sleeve case.
Telescopic rods are highly versatile performing well with a variety of techniques:
- Casting – Their fast action and sensitivity make them ideal for casting crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater lures, soft plastics, and other artificial lures requiring a responsive rod to detect light bites.
- Spinning – The open-face design of most telescopic reels is perfect for tossing small spinners, spoons, and jigs with a finesse presentation.
- Bait Fishing – Live bait rigs allow you to fish passively with worms, minnows, or cut bait. Telescopic rods easily adapt to bottom fishing.
- Fly Fishing – Collapsible fly rods provide tremendous versatility to stalk trout in tight streams, take on saltwater species, and even fish like bass and pike on the fly.
- Surf Fishing – Long 12+ foot telescopic rods specialized for surf fishing allow anglers to heave heavy rigs and bait large distances from the beach.
- Ice Fishing – Compact ice fishing rods provide a highly portable way to drop lines down through holes in frozen lakes. Just extend, drop in a jig, and catch panfish.
Top Telescopic Rods on the Market
With an abundance of choices on the market, here are some of the top-rated telescopic rods offering quality at different price points:
- Guides: Reinforced Anti-Detachment with 5MM diameter top ring
- Body: High-Elasticity Long Casting, Multi-Layer Carbon Fiber Wrapping
- Reel Seat: Aluminum Alloy Hollow, resistant to seawater corrosion
- Handle: Extended Telescopic with EVA grip
- Reel: Universal Long Casting Spinning Reel, NX3000 model
- Line Cup: Metal with Large Capacity
- Drag: Adjustable Large-Diameter, CNC-machined arm
- Reel Foot: Reinforced with Stable Locking, 5.2:1 gear ratio, 5+1 bearings
- Price: $47.99 – $49.99
- Overview: A robust and versatile telescopic fishing rod, offering enhanced durability, smooth casting, and precise control. Its lightweight design and advanced features make it suitable for various fishing scenarios, ensuring a stable and enjoyable fishing experience.
- Power: Medium
- Length: Full 7.2ft (2.1m)
- Price: Under $50
- Overview: A lightweight, balanced, and easy-to-use rod and reel under $50. Great value for beginners.
- Sougayilang Portable Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod
- Power: Medium Light
- Length: 7ft collapse to 19in
- Price: Under $30
- Overview: Super portable and packable at an unbeatable budget-friendly price. Smooth casting performance.
- Power: Light and Ultra Light models
- Length: 6.89ft up to 11.5ft for a surf rod
- Price: $50-$100
- Overview: Quality construction with carbon fiber blank and aluminum oxide guides. Sensitive with excellent casting distance.
- Hurricane Class 3 Graphite Telescopic Rod
- Power: Medium Heavy
- Length: 7ft collapse 17in
- Price: $70-$200
- Overview: Strong graphite blank suited to battling larger fish but with a lightweight feel. Made in the USA.
- Power: Medium and Medium Heavy
- Length: 7.5ft packs to 27in
- Price: $150-$250
- Overview: Flagship Piscifun rod with top-notch materials and smooth E-glass reinforced design. Extremely sensitive and durable.
With their packable design, telescopic fishing rods provide impressive portability and protection for fishing on the go. Just extend, rig up, and start fishing.
- Choose rod power, length, and action based on the species you target most frequently and your fishing environment.
- Look for quality features like lightweight blanks, smooth joints, reinforced line guides, ergonomic handles, and secure reel seats.
- Telescopic rods excel at techniques like casting, spinning, bait fishing, fly fishing, surf fishing, and ice fishing.
- Maintenance involves rinsing after use, lubricating joints, and replacing any defective components like guides.
- Options range from budget-friendly introductory rods under $50 to high-performance carbon fiber models over $200.
- Top-rated rods from PLUSINNO, Sougayilang, TROUTBOY, Hurricane, and Piscifun deliver lasting quality and fishing fun.
- Whether you’re hiking into remote streams, tackling massive tuna from shore, or packing for a weekend road trip, a telescopic fishing rod enables you to pursue the sport you love whenever the urge strikes.
- Compact yet powerful, telescopic rods open up a world of fishing flexibility.
With their outstanding portability and performance, telescopic rods are an essential item for every passionate angler’s gear arsenal.