These innovative pieces of fishing gear are designed to be collapsible so that they are easy to transport to your favorite freshwater and saltwater fishing venues. At the same time, telescoping fishing poles are usually built with durability in mind, as well as many of the newest features that make it easier than ever to land “the big one.”
Of course, you could just buy any old telescoping fishing rod and get a mixed result when it comes time to hit the water. But why not take some advice from me, a seasoned angler who has experience with hundreds of new and vintage fishing rods?
My reviews of the top telescoping fishing rods on today’s market won’t steer you wrong, nor will my guides to picking out the telescoping fishing rod that is right for you.
What is a Telescopic Fishing Rod?
Let’s start off simple to discuss what a telescoping fishing rod is and how it operates. When extended, these rods look and perform like a regular pole. But the secret is in the construction of these poles. As you’ll quickly see, these poles are constructed from concentric, hollow metal or fiberglass tubes that can collapse and interlock together. Even the eyelets on these rods fit nicely together.
Because of their collapsible form factor, these telescoping rods are ideal for taking into the backcountry attached to a backpack. These kinds of rods can also be suitable for use on a smaller boat, where storage space for fishing tackle may be at a premium.
Choosing Quality Telescopic Fishing Rods
Rod Material, Durability, and Environment
Though it goes without saying, you should always choose the most durable telescoping fishing rod you can afford. Nothing is worse than having the biggest bite of the day bend your pole out of shape or, worse, break it completely. I recommend looking for a model that is made from a reinforced graphite or carbon fiber material, though some modern lightweight metal models can also do the trick.
Along these lines, be sure to carefully consider what environments you’ll most likely be fishing in. Not all rods are built from material that can hold up the wear and tear of saltwater, for example. As such, you’ll want to pick up a model with a higher durability rating and corrosion resistance (like fiberglass) if you intend to fish at seas regularly. Otherwise, most aluminum models across the telescoping market can take on freshwater without breaking down in the short term.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “isn’t the whole point of a collapsible fishing rod that I won’t have to worry about length?” Well, in relative terms, yes. But you still need to pick out a rod that, when extended, is the appropriate length compared to your body size. Many popular telescoping models now come in both large and small sizes, so that you and a young person in your life can enjoy some backcountry fishing together without needing to carry an unwieldy fishing pole the whole way.
Twist, Action & Power
As any experienced angler knows, a fishing rod’s twist, power, and action all make up the heart and soul of their most important piece of equipment. These can range from ultra-light to heavy, depending on the strength of the fish you intend to seek out most often. Though most telescoping poles tend to lean towards the light end of this spectrum, anglers who want to reel in some sizable catches can also find some medium-heavy models that will do the trick.
All telescoping fishing rods are fully portable to an enhanced degree. But if you really value portability above all else, be sure to compare how many blanks each of your prospective models have. More blanks is a great indicator of how compactly a rod collapses down to, which in turn makes it a great indicator of how portable it will be in your tackle box or backpack. Be sure to factor in that rods handle size, though, or you might find your chosen model larger than expected.
Also known as guides, you’ll notice that there are more eyelets than usual on a telescoping fishing rod. That's because these poles often need a little extra stability and control to compensate for their overall construction. Usually, these eyelets are designed to fit together when collapsed, though, so you don’t need to worry about them interfering with your new rod’s portability.
Price & Warranty
Finally, always be on the lookout for a good deal on a telescoping fishing rod. The best way to do this is to shop around on your favorite online retailers to ensure that you’re getting the best deal after factoring in shipping costs. Be sure to take the value of a lasting warranty into account, too, as that alone can save you a lot of money down the line if your new fishing equipment suddenly falls apart or breaks.
6 Best Telescopic Fishing Rods Reviewed
1. KastKing Blackhawk II
Our Top Pick
Great rod for traveling. Works great and is one of my favorites in my arsenal. – Adam Briozo (5-Star Review)
There's no better place to start than the best telescopic fishing rod around – the KastKing Blackhawk II. This pole has become the most reliable collapsible unit in my arsenal because its 7-foot length and 14.4 oz weight give it a solid balance that any of my pals or family members can use. Its Carbon Matrix blank is also surprisingly sensitive while still remaining as durable (if not more so) than the rest of the reinforced graphite body.
I’ve also come to love the KastKing Blackhawk II because it casts just like my favorite 1-piece rods. I believe this is a direct result of its Snug-Fit ferrules and floating guides, both of which are essentially unmatched by other models in its class. As the best telescopic fishing rod for saltwater, I can also be sure that this model’s graphite body won’t corrode even a bit if I take it out on the open water.
I’ll admit, I’m still a little disappointed that this model lacks any kind of warranty. But all things considered, I’ve never even needed that kind of reassurance because this rod has far outlasted other models like it that I have tried. For its price, you’re not going to beat the performance provided by the KastKing Blackhawk II.
Best Telescopic Fishing Rod & Reel Combo
5.91 feet to 8.8 feet
5.29 oz. to 8.4 oz.
I first ordered this rod off of Amazon and loved it. Got really good use out of it. – Nick Viole (4-Star Review)
Personally, I like to get my rod and reel separately so that I know I am getting precisely what I need from both. But for most folks, the best telescopic fishing rod and reel combo will do just fine.
That's why I like to recommend this PLUSINNO set to folks who want to get out and try their new telescopic fishing rod as soon as possible. I doubly recommend it to folks who regularly fish out at sea because its stainless steel hooded reel seat is entirely able to resist corrosion caused by saltwater.
EVA grips on older telescopic fishing rods used to be pretty low quality, I'll admit. But the EVA foregrip on this PLUSINNO set has really given me hope for the future of this type of fishing rod. I was able to hold it comfortably in hand for over an hour without any aches at all. Most folks who have used this model over the long-term also agree that this same grip is not prone to degrading, which is a major plus as well.
I have to mention this set’s S-curve oscillation as well because it is unlike anything that I’ve ever seen in a telescoping fishing rod before. In essence, this spooling method allows for smoother line winding, both while casting and reeling.
3. Eagle Claw PK555SP
Best Telescoping Fishing Rod for Backpacking
6 feet, 6 inches
Yes, 1 year
At first, I couldn’t believe that the best telescoping fishing rod for backpacking was also one of the best bargains on today’s market. But lo and behold, the Eagle Claw PK555SP manages to take both titles by providing a super lightweight collapsible fishing rod that costs less than $20. This rod has a medium taper, action, and length, too, so it can be used by just about everyone on your camping crew (including some young users).
Now, if you’re anything like me, then you always take a second look at affordably priced fishing gear to ensure that it is worth its salt. I can assure you, though, that the Eagle Claw PK555SP is not cheaply made in any way. This quality-tested unit’s fiberglass body is surprisingly strong, as are its ceramic guides. This construction also allows this rod to resist corrosion from saltwater and freshwater alike.
But if you're still not impressed by the Eagle Claw PK555SP, then look to its 1-year warranty for an assurance that it is a worthwhile buy. It's still surprisingly rare for a telescoping fishing rod to offer a worthwhile warranty, so this definitely represents a plus for buying this pole on a budget. But do know that it doesn’t come with a reel, which might be a negative for folks looking to get an all-in-one.
4. Sougayilang 24
Best Light Telescopic Fishing Rod
Stainless steel, carbon fiber
When it comes to the best light telescopic fishing rod, you’re going to have a hard time beating the Sougayilang 24. While this isn't the absolute lightest model in this collection, its 10 oz overall weight is still about as small as can be when it comes to a fishing rod.
This pole’s overall strength also makes it among the best telescoping fishing rods for the money. With both stainless steel and carbon fiber in the main pole, you can be certain that this pole won’t snap – even under 10 lbs. of straight pressure.
The sturdiness doesn’t end there for the Sougayilang 24, though. This model’s machined aluminum reel seat is ultra-light in its composition, but also exceptionally durable when put under repeated pressure from use. Even this model’s three-point-welded stainless steel guides are built such that they won’t bend, even if they take a little more pressure than usual while in your pack on the way to the campsite.
All of this sturdiness has a downside, though. Specifically, the Sougayilang 24 is a little challenging to collapse without some extra effort. But if you can get past that, you'll have an affordable and lightweight telescopic fishing rod that will serve you well.
Best Telescopic Fishing Rod for Freshwater
11 feet, 10 inches
Carbon fiber, fiberglass
Yes, 6 months
I always love a memorable product name, which is why the TROUTBOY telescopic fishing rod has a special place in this angler's heart. But from a more practical perspective, this model is also the best telescopic fishing rod for freshwater. While the TROUTBOY's carbon and fiberglass construction is more than sturdy enough to stand up to even the demands of saltwater, I believe it performs best in freshwater due to its outstanding reel system.
That excellent reel system is based around the “Rocket” line management system, which seamlessly prevents tangles and ensures that every inch of your line is ready to cast at a moment’s notice. When that moment strikes, you’ll get to feel one of the smoothest casts you’ve ever experienced on a portable fishing rod. That’s because this model utilizes 13+1 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings that never seize up at all.
When fully extended, the TROUTBOY is slightly longer than most others in its class. As such, I can only wholeheartedly recommend this model for adults who have a lot of overhead room to cast or those looking to fly fish with their telescopic rod. Don't forget; this model also has a 6-month warranty that will provide you with plenty of time to test it out at your favorite fishing hole.
6. Daiwa Megaforce
Best Telescopic Surf Fishing Rod
I've had this reel for over six months and caught lots of fish. The Twitchin’ Bar has caused me to catch some awesome fish. I use braid and it is great for jigs and finesse baits - Sam
Finally, let’s have a look at the best telescopic surf fishing rod – the Daiwa Megaforce. I know that this brand is not as well known among anglers. But believe me, they’ve made a great product here, and I believe more folks will really like its proprietary features once they try it out. One of those is its "Twitchin' Bar," which is a conveniently placed button that makes it easy to draw it line slack without needing to jerk your rod.
The Daiwa Megaforce is also really well-balanced, which isn’t something I ever expected to say of a telescopic fishing pole. But indeed, after trying it out at a local pond, I was surprised to learn its Magforce-Z cast control allows for an ideal amount of balance across its nearly 6-foot length. Speaking of length, this model's reduced size means that even your younger fishing companions will be able to confidently utilize the Daiwa Megaforce.
This telescopic rod's handle also deserves mention here. First off, its swept shape makes for a unique grip that you won't find in other models. It's also composed of high-quality cork, which makes it soft in the hand and buoyant in the water (if you accidentally drop it, that is).
Why Invest in a Collapsible Rod?
Simply put, there’s no other piece of primary fishing equipment that offers as much portability and versatility as a telescoping fishing rod. You can take these rods wherever you go…and I mean anywhere. I’ve taken my own collapsible rod on a plan before because I was compact enough to pack into my checked baggage.
Also, I recognize that some seasoned fishermen might not want to invest in this kind of pole for fear that they are too flimsy. I’ll admit, collapsible fishing poles of yesteryear were a bit more brittle and only really appropriate for use by kids. But many of the most popular fishing equipment brands have redoubled their efforts to make durable telescoping rods that are still as affordable as ever.
How to Use a Telescopic Fishing Rod
When it comes to using an extended telescoping fishing rod, anyone with even a few hours of experience with a rod in their hand will feel at home. But when it comes to properly extending that very same rod…well, that's a different story.
Suffice to say; you should never try to "whip" out your telescopic rod or yank it to full extension with a jolt. Always line the eyelets up before slowly and purposefully extending out your telescopic rod.
This video can give you a quick visual on this proper extension process.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How long do telescopic fishing rods last?
The lifespan of your telescopic rod is primarily based upon what it is made out of and how you treat it. Generally, fiberglass and carbon fiber rods last longer than their aluminum counterparts. But at the same time, any telescoping fishing rod can last a decade or more if you remember to extend it correctly and never use it to catch fish that exceed its stated weight limitations.
What is “rod power and action”?
A rod’s power and action generally refers to how much weight it is certified to hold at any given time. Ultra-light models can hold far less than heavy models, for example. But in practice, this specification also denotes where a rod is designed to flex when under pressure. “Fast” action rods flex closer to the tip, while “slow” action rods flex closer to the base.
How does a telescopic rod become so compact?
As their name suggests, telescopic fishing rods are built such that each section towards the tip is slightly thinner than the section below it. This allows each section to collapse together under the proper circumstances. The eyelets on most telescopic rods are also designed to fit together nicely, thus allowing the whole unit to be relatively compact.
Is a telescopic rod better than a 2-piece?
When it comes to convenience, both of these types of fishing rods can get the job done. That being said, some anglers prefer 2-piece rods because they preserve some of the desirable qualities of a 1-piece rod. However, modern collapsible models more than make up for those losses and are still a worthwhile investment for most fishers.
Where is the best place to buy these telescopic rods and other fishing equipment?
While I’ll never pass up a chance to visit my local fishing shop, I must say that I’ve been impressed with Amazon’s telescopic fishing pole selection over the years. In fact, telescopic fishing poles on Amazon are usually some of the most affordable due to that website’s ultra-cheap shipping rates.
So, I believe I’ve made my case for telescopic fishing rods clear. If you value convenience and portability when it comes time to hike or travel to your favorite fishing spot, you'll love one of these collapsible fishing poles. Almost all of the top 6 models I reviewed are entirely affordable, too, so you can add one to your collection without breaking your budget.
But before you head out to pick up a telescopic rod of your own, I want to give one last shout out to the KastKing Blackhawk II. This model is super affordable and comes in spinning, casting, and inshore models that are each better than the last. It’s also incredibly durable, thanks in large part to its carbon matrix blank and solid glass tip.