How to Choose the Best Telescopic Fishing Rod

Best Telescopic Fishing Rod

We are always surprised by how many anglers have never used or are even unaware of telescopic fishing rods. Whether you are in the know or not, in this article we will take a look at what the best telescopic fishing rod is all about.

Just in case you fall into the category of not knowing, a telescopic rod is a fishing rod where the blanks, starting from the top, collapse down into the preceding blank, which collapses down into the blank below it. Think of the old sea faring telescopes. What this provides is a very compact fishing rod that is incredibly easy to transport.

In this article, we will take a look at some features of telescopic rods that you should keep in mind when shopping and we will also list and discuss five of our favorite telescopic rods that are available for purchase and the features that landed them on this list.


Why Use Telescopic Fishing Rods?

Why Use Telescopic Fishing Rods

We don’t try to pull the wool over your eyes. These rods are nowhere near the level of performance of traditionally crafted fishing rods.

That doesn’t mean they can’t catch fish though, quite the opposite actually.

What these rods are designed for is to be compact and able to be maneuvered between compact and fish ready at a moment’s notice.

If you’re going on extending camping or hiking trips or maybe a business trip in areas with some great fishing holes, a telescopic rod is the perfect travel companion that will not take up room and is easy to access and fish when the time arrives.

They are also perfect for these situations because they are lightweight, a key feature to accessory equipment when traveling or hiking over rough terrain where you are already loaded down with lots of gear.

When you compare the price tag of telescopic rods to traditional tackle you will also quickly see that telescopic rods are also very affordable.

And, like we said, they can and will catch fish. Would we recommend them for deep see fishing or steelheading? No, but for general fresh water applications or as a means to provide some fresh food when on the hike, yeah, they will get the job done and then be out of your way until you need them again.

They are great rods for using live bait or some lure fishing, but they are not going to compare to traditional spinning or casting rods in terms of casting ability and retrieval techniques.


How to Choose the Best Telescopic Fishing Rod

Like any fishing rod, there are some components and features of these specific fishing rods that you should be aware of when shopping around. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

What you should pay attention to:

Material

Like any fishing rod, your telescopic rod needs to be crafted from materials that provide strength and durability, while also being flexible enough that is will not break under pressure.

For a telescopic rod, you will mostly find them crafted from fiberglass material, graphite, or often a mixture of the two.

As for graphite, you’re not going to get the high-modulus graphite you would find in fly rods, but that’s okay. Remember what we are using these rods for.

Do not limit yourself with any other material on your telescopic rod besides the two mentioned here.


Weight

Telescopic rods are generally pretty lightweight or it would defeat the whole purpose of being easy to transport and carry.

The weight is going to depend on the materials used as well as the length of the rod.

More important than the weight is that the rod is well balanced which greatly impacts its casting and ability to handle pressure put on the rod by fish.


Length

When talking about length with telescopic rods, there are two numbers that will be important to you: full length and compact or closed length.

The compact length is important for knowing if the rod will be compatible with your travel or hiking situations. The full length gives you an idea of what you’re going to be working with.

The length is usually tied in with:

  • the distance you are going to be able to cast;
  • the amount of sections which can effect performance;
  • and the amount of eyelets that can be placed on the rod length.

Eyelets (Guides)

The eyelets are the rings that guide your line along the length of the pole and out into the water. They also bear a lot of the pressure and weight when you have a fish on the end of your line.

The more eyelets that are placed along the length of the rod the better distributed the weight and tension of the fish is along the poles length. This makes it much easier to handle and land a fish effectively.

As the number of eyelets increases, so does the number of blanks and the length of the pole.

This results in a rod that has more weak points and you lose quite a bit of overall strength so there is a fine balance.

Generally five eyelets is a good medium for a telescopic rod used for general fishing purposes.


Twist

When we discuss telescopic rods it is important to understand how well the rod blanks, and guides, stay aligned when fishing. A common problem with telescopic rods is that the blanks sometimes will twist or get out of line when landing larger fish.

The best telescopic rods can take a lot of pressure without twisting and it is important to be aware of this feature.

Regardless, you should periodically make sure everything is in line as it can greatly impact the rods ability to cast and handle fish.


Action

Action refers to the specific section where the rod will flex when casting or when pressure is applied by a fish.

Action is normally labeled by a speed such as fast where only the tip flexes, medium action where the mid section and tip flexes, and slow action where the entire rod flexes.

Because of the characteristics of fiberglass and low modulus graphite often used with telescopic rods, most will be in the medium to slow action range. This often means that the casting distance is limited to shorter ranges.

One of the major problems of telescopic rods is that because of the numerous blanks or rod pieces, the action is difficult to determine and is often not consistent.


Power

The power of a rod refers to how much pressure is needed to make the rod flex.

Given the composition of telescopic rods, they are normally in the medium to medium heavy power range. This is a good power range for an all around strong fishing rod, but they will have limited sensitivity.

There are telescopic rods at lighter power ratings and while these rods won’t be able to handle larger fish or cast heavy lures, they are much more sensitive.


Best Telescopic Fishing Rods

Plusinno Telescopic

This telescopic rod is a hybrid of high-density carbon fiber and fiberglass material that produces a durable and strong rod.

We love the pearl finish of the reel seat and rod blanks that really make this rod stand out in a crowd.

Power

This is a medium power rod that is able to handle small saltwater species along with most freshwater fish barring large running salmon and steelhead.

plussino

We really like the power in the lower sections that gives you decent casting potential and a lot of lifting power on fish. As for the action we would place it in the slow to slow-medium action territory.

Reel seat and handle

We are also fans of the aluminum oxide eyelets and stainless steel reel seat that make this an excellent telescopic rod for saltwater surf fishing. It’s not just limited to the salt, it makes a fantastic freshwater fishing rod as well.

Going along with the handle region the reel is locked in via two locking rings above and below the reel seat for a secure and snug fit.

This rod also features an extended grip for working bigger fish and uses an EVA foam handle that provides excellent grip in any weather situation.

Sensitivity and casting ability

The sections lock into place well and the eyelets remain aligned which helps with this rods casting ability.

We caution using this rod for larger fish because too much pressure will generate some twist and misalignment in the rods eyelets.

We think the best feature of this rod is that it is still fairly sensitive, a feature not seen in most telescopic rods. While not nearly as sensitive as traditionally made fishing rods, you can detect more subtle hits.

This rod is available in several models with closed lengths ranging between 15.17” and 17.72” and open lengths of 5.9’ and 9.84’ so you are able to choose a rod that better suits your more common fishing scenarios. The number of sections range from six to nine.

Pros

Cons

  • Several length available
  • Saltwater applicable
  • Little twist
  • Pretty awesome power
  • Very secure reel seat
  • Not very accurate
  • A little heavy

KastKing BlackHawk Telescopic

The KastKing BlackHawk telescopic fishing rod offers unmatched power and durability.

It has a stealthy and powerful look to it with its black matte finish with gold trim that screams fish catching.

Models and power

This rod comes in several models with varying open lengths and power settings.

kastking blackhawk

The open lengths range between 5.9’ to 11.8” with eyelets ranging between 4 and 7. All models have a closed length of 23.6” making them very easy to travel with.

The power on the two shortest models is labeled as medium power while the four longer models are labeled as medium-heavy power. All models are moderate action.

Reel seat and handle

The reel seat on the Black Hawk is made from machined high-grade aluminum and uses a single downlocking tightening mechanism above the reel hood.

The foregrip is made from EVA foam which provides incredible handling ability even when covered in water and slime.

The Black Hawk uses stainless steel guides that have ceramic inserts for a corrosion resistant and stable base that handles and distributes the weight and pressure extremely well.

Sensitivity and capabilities

With the number of models available, you can have a BlackHawk that is suited for catching trout to redfish. The sections stay aligned incredibly well even under heavy duress.

The eyelet alignment as well as the blend of materials make this one of the better casting telescopic rods on out list. The sensitivity is great and makes this an excellent spinning rod capable of a lot of lure retrieval techniques that most telescopic rods lack.

Pros

Cons

  • Lots of power
  • Durable
  • Several models
  • Fantastic reel seat and grips
  • Decent sensitivity for a telescopic rod
  • Good casting performance
  • Little twist
  • Watch out for knockoffs

Eagle Claw Pack-It Telescopic

If you want an extremely lightweight and portable telescopic rod for long hikes into the back country then you should give serious consideration to Eagle Claw’s Pack-It telescopic rod.

Materials and look

This rod has a highly visible yellow blank finish with silver trim that is great for having in the backwoods or on a trail where you might need to find the rod if dropped.

This is a very compact reel with a closed length of only 18’ and an open length of 5’6”.

Eagle Claw Pack-It Telescopic

The Pack-It rod blanks are constructed from fiberglass and the Pack-It is rated as a medium power with a slow to slow-medium action.

We really like the dual EVA foam grip above and below the reel which is very comfortable and makes casting a bit easier, though this reel is not designed and built to land large fish that would require such a handle.

Sensitivity and capabilities

This rod is rated to use between 4 and 10lb test line and is great for fishing for trout and panfish, but we wouldn’t recommend fish larger than this.

The blanks and four eyelets align well and allow decent casting for a medium action, fiberglass rod.

The sensitivity on this rod is lacking for finesse fishing but for the price and compactness of this rod, it is perfect for taking out into the wilderness and general fishing application.

Pros

Cons

  • Very lightweight
  • Super compact
  • Decent casting
  • Rugged
  • Poor sensitivity
  • Any decent size fish throws off alignment

Goture Sword Telescopic

The Goture Sword telescopic rod is another excellent choice for a powerful salt and freshwater application fishing rod.

The rod is available in five different models with varying power settings and lengths.

The five models range in closed lengths from 1.6’ to 2.2” and open lengths of 7’ to 11.6’. The number of guides range from 5 to 7 and all are made from corrosion resistant stainless steel.

The shortest model is a medium powered rod while the other four models are medium heavy.

Goture Sword Telescopic

Materials

The reel is seat is machined aircraft grade aluminum and used two locking mechanism to lock the reel into place.

It also uses an extended EVA handle that holds up well in any weather condition and is also extremely easy to keep clean.

All rod models are made from a blend of high-density carbon composite and fiberglass. What this blend gives you is a rod that is still sensitive, while still maintaining an excellent amount of power. While we say sensitive, its relative to other telescopic rods.

Casting

While this is a durable rod with relatively decent sensitivity it’s a poor casting rod in terms of accuracy.

If you put some power into it and use the correct size lures for the model you can get plenty of distance, but if you need accurate casting you are going to have issues with this particular rod.

Pros

Cons

  • Various models for several applications
  • Good reel seat and grips
  • Decent sensitivity
  • Good lifting power
  • Can be difficult to close and open
  • Poor casting

Shakespeare Travel Mate Telescopic Rod

If you plan on hiking miles into the backcountry with small spring creeks or mountain streams stocked with small fish, this telescopic rod by Shakespeare is the perfect setup for your trip.

We love the powder blue blank finish with black wrappings, trim, and guides.

Shakespeare Travel Mate Telescopic Rod

This reel collapses down to a length of only 13.5” and when fully opened is only 4’6” in length and has 4 stainless steel guides.

Materials and build

This is an ultra light power rod with a slow action, perfect for fishing in tight areas. It is constructed completely from fiberglass along with a low composite graphite reel seat.

It uses two EVA foam handles above and below the reel seat for a comfortable grip.

To attach your spinning reel to this rod, it uses a twist off locking mechanism. Simply remove the front half of the rod, slide in your reel, and twist the front in back on for a secure fit.

Casting

This rod is not going to cast very far and you are limited to low weight lures, but when used in the correct situations, this might be the best telescopic rod on the list.

We really like the sensitivity in this reel. When used for the proper fish, you are not going to have to worry about the rod becoming unaligned.

Pros

Cons

  • Durable design
  • Very light and compact
  • Excellent for ultra light fishing in small streams
  • Accurate casting at close range
  • Excellent eyelet and blank alignment
  • Limited in its use
  • Poor casting distance

Wrap up

So, before we say our good byes, we wanted to pick our top model from the five previous listed and discussed.

For an all around telescopic rod that is able to cover a wide range of fish species and be used in different fishing environments we have to give the edge to the KastKing BlackHawk.

Regarding fishing performance, the Black Hawk is a more accurate caster than any other telescopic rod that we are aware of and it’s accuracy exceeds expectations.

All models can be closed down to a compact size and the Black Hawk is light enough for easy and effortless transport. Overall, this is a telescopic rod that can cover most fishing scenarios you find yourself in and makes a fantastic rod to carry with you wherever you go.

Telescopic rods offer a lot of benefits to anglers, and even if you have a full outfit of fishing rods, a telescopic rod offers what others cannot. They are extremely compact and portable, and are excellent rods to have on you at all times just in case the perfect stream, pond, or lake presents itself.

Adam
 

I'm Adam and I run Cast For Fish to share my passion for fishing as well as give some advice so you could enjoy this great hobby in the best possible way.