TOP 10 Best Telescopic Fishing Rods of 2020 (Buying Guide & FAQs)


There was a time I would have scoffed at the idea of using a telescopic fishing rod, and I’m pretty sure you’re the same.

But they’ve come a long way in recent years, and they can certainly hold their own against some fixed or two/three-piece versions.

With that in mind, I decided to do some investigating, and put together this review of the best telescopic fishing rods of 2020.

And if you’re in any doubt, a buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow to help with your decision.

Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.

TOP 10 Best Telescopic Fishing Rods of 2020

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

KastKing are no strangers to manufacturing popular, affordable, and quality fishing gear, and their Blackhawk II telescopic fishing rod is a prime example.

Offering probably the most complete range of telescopic rods out there, with an extensive choice of lengths and actions to suit how and where you like to fish.

Made with their KastFlex Toray 24-on carbon matrix blanks, and solid fiberglass tip, they offer single-piece rod quality in a telescopic design.

With reinforced reel seats, an EVA handle, built-in hook keeper, and a consistent, smooth taper through the shafts, this is easily one of the best telescopic fishing rods out there.

Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Name to trust.
  • Tough and durable.
  • Great range to choose from.
  • Very highly rated.

Cons

  • Eyelets have a tendency to rotate – but that’s par for the course.

Takeaway

For the price and the choice, the Blackhawk II is a real winner. But don’t just take my word for it – click the link and check out more reviews on this outstanding telescopic rod from Kastking.

Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Easily one of the most popular telescopic rods out there, this is an affordable rod and reel combo from Plusinno that will get you onto the water, fast.

Made with high-density carbon mixed with fiberglass, it’s a tough and durable design that is built to last and stand up to the rigors of most types of fishing.

The stainless steel hooded reel seat has been treated for anti-corrosion, and it’s available in a choice of sizes for tailoring to your angling needs.

A full kit with a handy carry case is available as an option, too.

Pros

  • Great price.
  • EVA grip for comfort.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Excellent reel for the money.

Cons

  • Not the most sensitive rod.
  • First eyelet a little far from the reel.

Takeaway

Altogether one of the best telescopic fishing rod and reel combos on the market. This is in no small part down to the surprising quality of the reel itself – usually the weak point in such kits – so this is well worth keeping in the trunk of your car.

Wakeman Ultra Series Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo

Easily one of the best budget-friendly telescopic fishing poles out there, this effort from Wakeman Outdoors makes an ideal gift for a younger angler.

With a stylish black and chrome finish, it comes with a size 20 spinning reel pre-spooled with 175 yards of six pound monofilament line.

Made with a durable fiberglass, carbon-fiber and steel combo, this is a great lightweight rod that you can take anyway for some easy fishing, given how compact it is.

And the convenient carry-bag with foam insert keeps everything handy and protected.

Pros

  • Outstanding price for what you get.
  • Tip lock included.
  • Choice of styles – including cork handle.

Cons

  • Certainly not the strongest rod out there.
  • The line and reel aren’t the best.

Takeaway

You get what you pay for, and if you want a fun little rod that’s easy to transport, will have you fishing in no time and all at an attractive price point, then you could do a lot worse than this offering from Wakeman.

Just don’t expect too much of it and you’ll be fine.

Daiwa Megaforce Tele Spin Fishing Rod

This range of telescopic rods from Japanese fishing company Daiwa have been upgraded with an improved design, and are perfect for all kinds of fishing scenarios.

Built to be a practical all-rounder, the Megaforce rod is offered in a choice of lengths and casting weights, and the smaller poles are compact enough to fit into one of these awesome fishing backpacks so you can fish anywhere when you’re on the go.

The lightweight, carbon-fiber blanks are well-balanced, and the high-quality cork handle provides a durable grip and hydrophobic control.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Nice action at the tip.
  • Super lightweight.
  • Tough and durable.

Cons

  • More line guides would have been nice.

Takeaway

From one of the leading brands in the fishing world, this range of telescopic rods have been designed and built with Japanese precision and technology, and can rival many single or one-piece poles with ease.

Eagle Claw Pack-It Telescopic Spinning Rod

Founded (and still based) in Denver back in 1925, Eagle Claw have over 90 years of American-made fishing history under their experienced belts, and they’ve used some of that to come up with this telescopic spinning rod. 5.6-inches in length, it’s a super-compact rod that’s lightweight and easy to use.

An ideal beginner or youth option, it’s made with a fiberglass construction, with a comfortable, EVA foam handle, ceramic line guides, and can be collapsed down to just 17-inches in length.

Easily one of the most portable telescopic fishing rods out there, check out this article for more of the best travel-friendly rods available on the market.

Pros

  • Amazing price.
  • Name to trust in fishing.
  • Highly rated.
  • Very compact closed length.

Cons

  • Not the strongest rod.
  • A little on the stiff side.
  • Collapsing the rod can be tricky.

Takeaway

For a user-friendly, highly-compact, affordable, portable fishing rod, the Eagle Claw is a sure-fire winner. Just don’t go after those alligator gars and you should be alright.

Daiwa Ballistic X Tele Spin Rod

Next up we have another Daiwa offering with this Ballistic X telescopic spin rod.

Just over six feet in length, it’s made from HVF carbon-fiber technology, with Fuji guides and Fuji DPS reel seat.

Capable of a smooth action and perfectly balanced, each individual blank has been constructed to be durable and robust, and the angler will be impressed with the accuracy of the cast.

A stiff backbone running through the rod allows a solid level of power and peace-of-mind when setting a hook to land a heavier catch in more challenging conditions.

Pros

  • Premium materials.
  • Name to trust.
  • EVA comfort grip.

Cons

  • A slightly longer transport length than other models.
  • On the more expensive side.

Takeaway

Another quality offering from the Japanese fishing stalwarts, Daiwa chalks up a premium telescopic fishing rod with the Ballistic X. And read this review to find some highly-portable fishing chairs to go with a highly-portable fishing rod.

Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Next up, we have this telescopic fishing rod from Magreel – a tried and trusted name when it comes to some quality budget-friendly fishing gear and equipment.

This kit contains everything you need to get started, and is well worth picking up for what you get. Made with T24 carbon-fiber with a stainless steel reel seat, the rod is durable and corrosion-resistant, with ceramic line guides, and EVA foam soft-grip handle.

The anodized aluminum reel has a foldable handle, anti-reverse clutch, and thick bail line, and offers a smooth performance that is perfect for game fish.

Pros

  • Great price.
  • Tackle and lures included.
  • Carry bag.
  • Protective cap.
  • Choice of lengths.

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger fish.

Takeaway

For a complete fishing package and a telescopic rod – this set offers a lot of bang for your buck. Probably one of the best telescopic fishing rods for beginners on the market.

Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod

Made with a combination of high-density carbon-fiber and E-glass, Sougayilang’s telescopic fishing rod is ultra-lightweight in its construction, all but eliminating fatigue for those long hours spent by or on the water.

The highly-portable design is well-balanced, available in a choice of lengths depending on your personal preference, and comes with a CNC machined aluminum reel seat for corrosion-resistance and durability.

Spinning guides are made for tangle-free operation, and designed for use with all kinds of line for smooth casting and retrieving.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • High conductivity guide rings.
  • Very light.

Cons

  • Might be too light for some.

Takeaway

One of the lightest telescopic rods out there, this is a super-portable, versatile option that’s ideal for backpack fishing, with well-designed fishing guides. Remember to pick up a pair of these excellent fishing pliers that can handle all kinds of line, too.

Troutboy Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

The Troutboy telescopic fishing rod and reel combo is a popular choice and ideal for all kinds of fishing when you’re out and about traveling.

Made with triple-layer carbon fiber, it’s lightweight and portable, with a unique construction that provides great sensitivity when fishing with artificial lures.

Stainless steel reel seat guides are designed to keep your reel secure and are resistant to corrosion, and the EVA foam grip is comfortable to hold, keeps its shape, and will help prevent your hands from getting cold in chilly conditions.

And try a pair of these quality fishing gloves to give your mitts extra protection when battling fish and the elements.

Pros

  • Affordable price range.
  • Choice of sizes available.
  • Ceramic guide rings.
  • Smooth action.

Cons

  • The handle is still on the long side.

Takeaway

A decent telescopic rod for the money with a great choice of length and power options so you can select the right product for your fishing needs.

NetAngler Kids Telescopic Fishing Rod

I’ve included this fishing set as it’s a brilliant option for younger children or total beginners, as it comes with everything you need to get going – all in a highly portable, solid carry case.

A spincast reel with pre-loaded line is included, a nice selection of hooks and lures, a handy line cutter, and a practical tackle box for storage.

The rod is flexible, specially designed for children, and comes with an EVA handle for comfort, and high-strength line guides for reliability.

No assembly is required, and you can get your kids fishing in no time with this all-inclusive telescopic rod set.

Pros

  • Great starter kit.
  • Affordable price.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Excellent portability.

Cons

  • Really only suitable for kids.
  • Won’t handle more than panfish at best.

Takeaway

For younger budding anglers – this is a terrific kit that makes a great gift for children who are keen to get into the sport. Start them young – and they’ll enjoy fishing for a lifetime.

How to Choose the Best Telescopic Fishing Rod

There are a few things to consider when you’re selecting the best telescopic rod for your needs, and I’ve outlined some pointers below to help you find what you’re looking for.

angler fishing on the autumn river

Why Use a Telescopic Fishing Rod?

Telescopic fishing rods might have had a bad press in the past, as they do have several downsides compared to standard poles.

However, they’ve made vast improvements in quality in recent years, and are well worth considering as a viable fishing option.

Their most obvious advantage is the fact that they’re highly portable. You simply won’t get a more travel-friendly rod, which means it’s a great choice for backpacking, camping, or anywhere you’re on the go.

They certainly rival even the best collapsible fishing rods for portability.

And if you’re interested in kayak fishing, then I would strongly suggest using a telescopic rod as a compact, highly maneuverable option.

Additionally, storage is a breeze, as you can fit one of these things into a (large) desk drawer if you so choose.

Power and Action

A very important part of choosing any fishing rod is in selecting the right power and action. Bear in mind that there is no industry standard for both – even rods in the same class will feel different depending on the manufacturer.

The power of a fishing rod can be light, medium, medium-heavy, or heavy. The heavier a lure, the heavier the action a rod needs to have, and you should use rods with more power if you’re fishing around vegetation or for heavier, larger fish.

Fishing rod action can be slow, moderate, fast, or extra fast. This is to do with how much the rod tip bends when pressure is applied (you get a bite), and the speed in which it will return to its original state.

The power and action your rod has will depend on what you’re fishing for and how you’re fishing for it.

As this is quite a complex subject, and rather than go into this at great length, check out the awesome video below which explains it in a nutshell.

Length/Sections

Like a traditional rod, each section of a telescopic rod is called a ‘blank,’ and the overall length of the rod is determined by how many blanks or sections there are.

The longer the rod, the further you’ll be able to cast, however, shorter rods usually allow a more accurate cast, and they’re also more suitable if you’re short on space as they’re much more maneuverable.

If you want to cast further and get into deeper water, then choosing a longer rod is the way to go. Alternatively, you could stick with a shorter option and wear a pair of these awesome fishing waders to get out further.

Choose a rod length that suits your needs and the environment in which you’ll be fishing.

Material

Generally, fishing rods are made from two types of material – fiberglass or graphite (carbon). More often than not, they are a combination of both.

Graphite rods are stiffer than fiberglass rods, and as such a lot more sensitive. Use a graphite rod when you’re looking for more sensitivity in your fishing pole, such as when using live bait or fishing jigs.

Fiberglass rods are better for crank bait, downrigger fishing, or any time you simply want to be landing bigger fish.

Grip

Look for a fishing rod with a comfortable grip that offers good control and manageability in wet conditions. Grips most commonly come in two types.

  • EVA foam grips are the most popular, typically lighter than a cork handle, quick-drying, and able to retain its shape over time. They’re cheap to produce and offer comfort and warmth to your hands.
  • Cork grips are more traditional, with their main advantage being they do not absorb any liquids. It also has elasticated qualities, and will conform to your grip with time and pressure.

With telescopic rods, EVA is by far the most common, but cork grips are available. The type you choose is really just down to personal preference.

Reels/Rod Combo

Some telescopic fishing poles come as part of a rod and reel combo set – and most experienced anglers will tell you that the reel is going to be useless unless you’re spending the big bucks.

However, there are some exceptions, and I’ve included a few options in the review above where the rod isn’t let down by the reel it comes with.

Having said that, a good-quality reel is imperative to successful fishing, so there is a strong chance you’ll want to switch it out for something better eventually.

Try these quality carp fishing rods and reels for inspiration.

Cost

One of the biggest advantages telescopic rods have over any other kind – is that by and large they are much cheaper than two or one-piece equivalents.

This is perhaps why they’re often preferred as the choice for young anglers, or anyone who is just starting out. Of course, that’s not to say they still don’t have a place in the trunk of a pro.

You can get a good telescopic fishing rod for well under $100, and it’ll make a great back-up option for when you’re on the go.

There is a caveat here though – don’t go too cheap. Anything less than $25 is pushing it for quality and effectiveness.

man casting fishing rod with spinning reel on river

FAQs

Are telescopic fishing rods any good?

While not as good as a single-piece fishing rod, telescopic rods do have their place in the angling world, and they’ve made considerable improvements over the years.

For the portability, convenience and price – I would say they make an excellent addition to an angler’s arsenal.

On a weekend business trip, you’re not going to be able to take your main rod for a spot of cheeky fishing in between meetings – so this is how you do it.

They also make ideal rods for kayak fishing – or anywhere you’re short on space.

What is the best telescoping fishing rod?

Just like more traditional rods, there isn’t one that is the clear winner over all others. There are just so many fishing pole options out there – it would be near impossible to choose a definitive winner.

All the rods in the review above could be classed as the best – if they work for you.

How do you put fishing line on a telescopic rod?

It really isn’t that much different from how you feed line through a normal rod. Simply extend the rod to its full length and proceed as normal.

Check out the video below for advice on how to set up a fishing rod if you’re a first timer – or even if you want some refresher tips.

Telescopic fishing rod vs 2 piece – which is better?

That’s a great question – and given the fact that they’re both highly portable but totally different rods, the answer might not be as straightforward as you think.

Check out this great video below for a side-by-side comparison and you be the judge.

How long should a fishing rod be?

Typically, a fishing rod will be anywhere from 6-12 feet in length, and as a rule of thumb, the length you choose depends on how far you want to cast.

Rod length also affects accuracy and hook set leverage.

However, there are other logistics to consider, such as space and portability.

For a beginner, it is recommended you choose a rod between six and seven feet in length as a general, all-purpose starter.

Are telescopic rods bad?

As previously mentioned, they’re not going to be as durable as single or two piece rods in the same class, but that doesn’t mean they’re “bad.”

Don’t be discouraged if you’ve heard negative reviews, bad press, or word-of-mouth hating on telescopic rods. They’re a very useful addition to a fishing family, and if it’s a choice between having one and not fishing – I know where my money is going.

What is the strongest fishing pole?

There are a number of products out there that claim to be the strongest, most unbreakable fishing rods in the world – but the only thing I can tell you, is that whatever it is – it won’t be telescopic.

Perhaps we’ll explore this interesting question in another article, but there’s just so many options out there it would be difficult to answer.

How reliable are telescopic fishing rods?

So long as you’re not going super-bargain basement cheap, telescopic fishing rods are surprisingly reliable, and their technology and construction has come a long way.

Just remember they are designed as a means to an end, and best used for casual, fun angling for smaller pan and game fish. They won’t last forever, but if you suit the tool to the job you won’t go far wrong.

How do you collapse a telescopic fishing rod?

There is a simple technique for extending and collapsing a telescopic fishing rod – and if you want your pole to last, then you must follow it.

Even the best collapsible fishing rods have a technique you need to follow.

For extending, you start with the tip, and pull out each blank in turn working your way to the base.

For collapsing, start at the base, and work your way up the blanks until you reach the tip.

Sure, it might not be rocket science, but the amount of poles that have been broken or damaged because these simple instructions have not been adhered to is…a lot.

Especially if, as a kid, you ever tried to flick it out and pretend that it’s a lightsaber.

Dad wasn’t impressed…

Summary

The best telescopic fishing rods available in 2020 manage to offer surprisingly durable and capable angling options, given that they get something of a bad beat from certain corners of the community.

They’re not to be overlooked, and I hope this guide has gone some way into helping you find the product that’s right for you.

Let me know which one you’ve gone for and why – and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more angling advice and reviews.

Tight lines everyone. Peace out.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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