Best Telescopic Fishing Rod – Portable Fishing Rods
Telescopic fishing rods are up and coming in the fishing world. For the obvious reason of their collapsible size! These beauties can fit into a backpack, kayak storage compartment, carry-on luggage, you get the idea. Previously, these rods were cheaply made and typically designed for children but have come a long way in quality for both fresh and saltwater applications. In this telescopic rod guide I’ll outline what this rod is, its advantages and provide my top rod recommendations.
What is a Telescopic Fishing Rod?!
“Telescopic”, “portable“, “foldable”, there seem to be too many names for these fishing rods. Name aside, these are fishing rods that collapse down to a fraction of their extended length (like a collapsing telescope). Consider a long 12 foot beach rod that collapses down to 1.5-2 feet.
How does it it shrink down so small?
The rod is made of a handle and collection of “blanks” which are small extensions of the rod. These blanks each have different diameters that taper downward so that they can expand out and collapse in. The first blank extends off the handle of the rod, it has the largest diameter. As the blanks continue (stretch out) their diameters gradually get smaller and smaller. Most of the blanks will contain one rod guide (not always the case but for the most part).
What is the Rod Power and Action?
The power rating of a rod is determined by the strength of the backbone section which is just above the handle (and reel). Because of the telescopic rod structure most of these rods power ratings are medium-light. Typically, the larger the diameter of the handle and first blank will mean a stronger (heavier) power.
Power Ratings: Heavy, Medium & Light (there are additional ratings that are hybrids of these ratings).
Action is determined by how easily and how far from the tip a rod will bend. Again with the structure of these telescopic rods the bend does occur far from the tip giving an action rating of moderate to slow.
Action Ratings: Fast, Moderate & Slow (there are additional actions that are hybrids of these ratings).
Benefits of a Collapsible Fishing Rod
The main benefit of these telescopic rods is portability. A collapsible rod makes for easy transportation, be it remote forested areas, traveling on a plane/bus/compact car, etc. Getting a 2-piece 12 foot beach rod around is not always easy!
Storage! When you’re not using them you don’t need a large protected space to store these rods. They can easily be tossed in a tackle box, bin or any small space amongst your tackle.
Cons of a Collapsible Fishing Rod
Small range of rod selection. There are not a lot of manufacturers making these rods, so you often won’t find a rod by your favorite manufacturer. I think because the price point is so low on these rods that larger manufacturers aren’t bothering trying to compete. That said, Shimano has created a handful of these rods but they’re 3 or 4 times more money than many of these other manufacturers who specialize in only telescopic rods (and also the reason why they’re not on my recommendation list).
As noted in the action rating section above, telescopic rod are limited to moderate & slow actions. It’s not likely to find a rod rated for fast. That means you’ll have a lot more bend in these rods and they’re not designed to handle larger fish.
Lastly, be careful when collapsing the rod after use as the blanks can get stuck in the extended position. Whether damaged or jammed (e.g. by sand) the blanks will no longer collapse.
What makes a great Telescopic Rod
The more blanks (pieces) and guides the better! More blanks means a smaller collapsible sized rod. Additionally, with more blanks it allows there to be more guides (or eyelets). A higher guide count strengths the rods ability to handle the fish and takes less pressure off the fishing line/reel. It also provides better casting.
Ensure the materials used for the rod are graphite, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. You don’t want too much aluminum or heavier corrosive metals. Cheaper components will often jam the blanks so you can’t properly collapse the rod. The guides should be from high quality materials (typically ceramic). The guides often face the most wear and tear so you don’t want to cheap out on these.
I would advise against buy a telescopic rod/reel combo. Often times these combos include a garbage reel, so you may get a good rod but terrible reel. I would recommend buying the rod separately and then getting another reel separately.
For most of my fishing trips my go-to rod is not a telescopic one as I’m often fishing rivers and current. However, because of the portability and low cost of these rods they make an amazing backup! I’ve had rods break on me miles away from my car and that ended my day. If I’m putting on a lot of mileage in a day tossing one of these into the backpack is an excellent idea/backup.
Do you fish with these rods? Any rods you would recommend? I always like hearing and learning about new tackle. Please leave a comment and let me know. Tight Lines! Jesse
About the Author
My name is Jesse, I’ve been obsessed about fishing since I was a toddler trying to catch fish with my minnow net in any type of water. Today I have a passion to promote fishing in an educational, fun and respectful format.