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.
|#2||Eagle Claw PK555SP||4|
|#4||Shakespeare Travel Mate||3.6|
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.
Even more, if you are out camping near lakes, telescopic rod will be a handy little gadget to have near you when you want to take some time off, enjoy the nature around you and catch some fish as well.
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 (such as Berkley’s Lightning rod or even Shakespeare Ugly Stik) 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:
- Eyelets (Guides)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
|#2||Eagle Claw PK555SP||4|
|#4||Shakespeare Travel Mate||3.6|
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.
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.
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.
- Several length available
- Saltwater applicable
- Little twist
- Pretty awesome power
- Very secure reel seat
- Not very accurate
- A little heavy
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”.
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.
- Very lightweight
- Super compact
- Decent casting
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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