Every serious angler should have at least one, if not multiple telescopic fishing rods in their arsenal. While you may be wondering why on earth you would need not just one, but potentially multiple telescopic rods, I’m about to fill you in on a little secret.
In the past, telescopic rods got a bad rap due to outdated technology and materials that rendered them as nothing more than an afterthought to fishing enthusiasts. However, in the past decade or so, there has been a resurgence in telescopic rod technology that is only just now catching on.
If you’re looking for the top 10 best telescopic fishing rods, unfortunately for this market, there has simply not been enough demand for manufacturers to fully embrace this style of fishing rod. Which means that there aren’t quite 10 rods that we could recommend to you. While that is a damn shame, there are still high-quality telescopic rods on the market that may cause you to completely forget about your old spinning rod.
What is a Telescopic Fishing Rod?
The primary purpose of a telescopic rod is portability. A telescopic rod works like a telescope, which when collapsed is small and easy to carry around but provides the necessary length when extended.
With a telescoping rod, you never need to re-rig, your rod is always strung up and ready to go when you are. With a typical multi-piece rod, you may be spending upwards of 15 minutes putting everything together. Don’t forget that when you’re all done fishing, you must repeat that process by de-rigging everything, which could mean as much as a half hour of time spent when you could have been fishing. With a telescopic rod, you simply whip out that rod like a magic wand and poof, you’re back in the game.
Most anglers use telescopics as travel rods to put in their backpacks on a hike, or in suitcases on the way to vacation, but there are endless possibilities when you have a trustworthy telescopic rod at your disposal. Have you ever played a round of golf and the water kept calling your name? Maybe the course is busy that day, or maybe your friends are off hunting for lost balls. This is a perfect time to stealthily pull your lightweight, telescopic rod out of your golf bag and grab a couple of quick casts into the water.
While the golfing angler is just one example, you never know when you’ll find yourself near some quality fishing water and feel the urge to toss in a line. With a telescopic rod on hand, you can quickly and easily take a break from life and get some extra fishing time to add to your day.
Best Telescopic Fishing Rods and Reels
So, what are the best telescopic fishing rods? Well, in order to find the best telescopic fishing rods combos of rods and reels, you need to first understand how telescopic rods work, and what to look for when buying a new one.
The best telescopic rods are going to effectively imitate standard one-piece rods, while maintaining the ultimate portability. There are a few different areas of the rod that you’ll want to pay attention to when making a purchase: the type and material of the guides that are used to “guide” your line, the type and material of blanks used on the rod, and the length of the rod.
The best telescopic rods will have floating guides. If the rod you’re about to hit purchase on does not have floating guides, take that bad boy out of your shopping cart.
For years every telescopic rod followed the same formula of one guide per section of rod. With a four-section rod, this would result in four guides, which simply is not enough. The problem with fewer guides is that as your rod bends, the line doesn’t bend with it, as the line wants to stay straight and connect to the next guide. This lowers performance and decreases the lifespan of both your line, and the rod materials.
The solution that most quality manufacturers have adopted is floating guides. This means that the guides can freely move up and down the rod, giving you multiple guides per section and allowing even distribution of power along the line.
The next main aspect of telescopic rods that manufactures solved was blank technology. Previous telescopic models used fiberglass blanks, which were strong, but they were not especially lightweight. Carbon is the most desired material due to its ultra-light weight, but with less weight comes more brittle tendencies.
When you think about how a telescopic rod works, each section of the rod causes pressure on the next one where they connect. While this was easily achievable with fiberglass, it was harder to pull off with a thinner-walled material such as carbon. Every time you pull the rod out, you could be risking pulling one section straight off. Manufacturers needed to figure out how to keep each part of the rod working together properly using carbon in order to achieve a telescopic rod that could compete with standard spinning or baitcasting rods.
Thanks to modern technology and the fine folks at these companies, they figured out how to make telescopic rods with carbon fibers, and the results are worth seeing for yourself. When looking for a new telescopic rod, look for carbon and try to steer clear of fiberglass unless on a strict budget.
With a telescopic rod you will want to pay attention to both the extended length of the rod, as well as the collapsed length. The extended length will of course determine the type of fish you’ll be able to catch, but the collapsed length will be important depending on how you plan to travel with the rod. For example, if you plan to carry the rod in your backpack, you’ll have to ensure that the collapsed length is small enough to fit.
1. The Best Telescopic Rods on the Market
If you’ve been fishing for a while, or reading any reviews on new equipment, you are undoubtedly familiar with Daiwa. As premium fishing equipment manufacturers, Daiwa is continually pushing forward advancements in fishing gear technology, and luckily, they have recently been putting additional focus into their telescopic rods.
The best telescopic Daiwa rod on the market today is the B.B.B. You can rig this up with a baitcasting reel, or a spinning reel, and honestly you will not be able to tell the difference between this rod, and a standard multi-piece rod once you’re on the water and bringing in fish. The floating guides are all high-quality Fuji brand stainless steel, and tip is both sensitive and durable.
The “Triple B” from Daiwa is imported from Japan and comes in a variety of sizes that are available at Amazon. The 6106TMLFS is a 6’10” medium action rod that should be the most versatile for your everyday uses.
2. Best Telescopic Rod for the Money
KastKing makes some of the best rods and reels for the money across the fishing industry, and while they never quite match the big players for their high-end equipment, telescopic rigs are a perfect sweet spot for KastKing to excel in.
KastKing Blackhawk II
The first thing the KastKing Blackhawk II gets right are the line guides. Using a combination of both fixed and floating guides on unbreakable aluminum tubes, the Blackhawk II maintains a smooth feel with more power than the competition. The combination of guides keeps the rod clear of flat spots in the blank and improves casting performance.
Incredibly, KastKing has fitted this rod out with 10 guides, which sets the standard for telescopic guides in this price range. The rod is made from Toray 24-ton carbon matrix, with a solid glass tip, both of which should last for years to come.
One final note on the Blackhawk II is that it comes in 14 available sizes, ranging from 6’6” up to 8’0” and can be purchased as a casting rod or a spinning rod. KastKing has done everything in their power to deliver a high-quality telescopic rod that can fit into any situation.
3. Best Telescopic Rod for Carp
If you’re looking to specifically target carp, Daiwa has you covered with the Black Widow Telescopic Carp fishing rod. As you would expect for a carp rod, the Black Widow has some heft to it and comes in two length sizes: 12 feet and 13 feet. The Black Widow doesn’t have quite as many guides as we’re used to seeing on the high-end telescopic rods with just six guides for seven sections. However, as a longer rod with less bend, a high number of guides aren’t as necessary to keep the line in place.
At just over 3.5 feet when collapsed, the Daiwa Black Widow is still remarkably portable for such an extended length.
4. Best Telescopic Surf Fishing Rods
A company I had previously been unaware of, Akataka, makes a telescopic rod that looks like it would make for a perfect budget surf fishing rod. In general, you’ll be best off using the Daiwa B.B.B. for surf fishing if you can afford to pay for it. If you can’t spend $150+ on a rod though, for under $50 it’s hard to beat the Akataka Journey Special Telescopic Fishing Rod.
The Journey Special features 30-ton carbon fiber which is stronger and more lightweight that most competing telescopic rods, especially in this price range. What’s truly impressive about this rod though, is that at its largest size with an extended length of 7’1” it has an incredibly small collapsed length of just 2’4”. The 6’8” version collapses to just 2’2”.
The Akataka features floating guides, which is a must, and eight guides total. While one or two more guides would have been nice, for under $50 we can’t be quite as choosy. Made from stainless steel, the guides are ready to handle a salt water bath.
The manufacturer suggests that this rod will fit best with a 3000 or 4000 sized spinning reel, but above 2000 at the bare minimum.
5. Best Budget Telescopic Fishing Rods
Depending on what your budget is for a new telescopic rod, there are still smart values that will get the job done. Understand that you will be making sacrifices though, most notably in the materials used. This will lower the overall lifespan of your rod, but while its in use you’ll be still be satisfied with its performance.
If you can make the $50 splurge, the KastKing Blackhawk II is the clear winner for budget telescoping rods. However, if you’re still looking to spend a little less, another respected fishing manufacturer Sougayliang has you covered.
If you just want to get started with a new telescopic rod to see if a more expensive one is right for you, the Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod is a solid entry point for under $25. While it may not feature floating guides, it’s made from the same high-density 24-ton carbon fiber that the KastKing Blackhawk II is. It also features a corrosion resistant CNC machined aluminum reel seat, as well as stainless steel guides, and it comes in a wide variety of lengths to fit your various needs.