Best Telescoping Fishing Rods TechnoBuffalo 2020
A telescoping fishing rod brings all the best features to the boat: compact size and durable build, all while keeping your wallet full. Whether you're looking for your first rod (protip: you usually buy the rods separate from the reel), or you're about to take your kid fishing and have absolutely no idea where to start, this guide can inform your first steps. Your best overall choice is going to be the Bluefire Fishing Rod and Reel Combo. It highlights all the best things about a telescoping fishing rod, and comes with a ton of value in the included reel and tackle kit. We've included our favorite other options as well, to help you find your best fit.
- Best Overall: Bluefire Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- Best Value: PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod
- Best Top-Shelf Choice: Sougayilang Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod/Reel Combo
- Best First Rod: PLUSINNO Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod and Reel
- Best High-Performance: Rigged & Ready Smuggler 6
- Best For Kids: YONGZHI Kids Fishing Pole
Best Overall: Bluefire Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Our best overall choice for telescoping fishing rods, the Bluefire Rod and Reel Combo is a powerhouse of value. When purchasing fishing rods, suppliers often sell only the rod; this allows for an experienced fisher to customize and collect their favorite rod setup. However, Bluefire decided to include a solid reel in their rod selection for a very affordable price.
Having both the rod and the reel in a single purchase is awesome by itself, but Bluefire went the extra mile and included a basic tackle kit to go along with it. The carbon-fiber rod is surprisingly strong, lightweight, and high-quality. Flexible enough to feel strong in your hand, and sturdy enough to weather the rigors of collapsing and travelling. The guide rings are steel and ceramic (and frankly very pretty), which is a great choice for keeping your line healthy over hundreds of casts. The only drawback reported is that the included lure is suboptimal.
- Very durable
- High value
- Lightweight carbon-fiber
- Subpar lure
Quality craftsmanship, and offers a ton of built-in value. Bluefire goes the extra mile with this combo.
Best Value: PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod
Alright, so let's say this actually is your first rod. Ever. Not only do you know next-to-nothing about the hobby as a whole, you don't even know if you really like fishing. You need something cheap and easy to use for a hike, or a camping trip, or an impromptu visit to your in-laws. Whatever your reason, this Plussinno model will fit the bill.
It's carbon-fiber, anti-corrosion, extendable, and frankly pretty. Durable enough for your "short-notice fishing emergency" (trademark that), and even comes with an extended handle. It'll do well in either saltwater or freshwater.
The only downfall here is some users have reported that the extended handle is prone to falling apart when met with some particularly rough catches. So bottom line: big fish are problem for this rod (but you probably don't want to show-up your father-in-law anyway).
- Easy on the wallet
- Easy to understand
- Extended Handle option
- Extended handle doesn't like rough catches
- Larger fish may damage the rod
- Does not come with reel
Best bang for your buck
Perfect choice for a first rod, with plenty of value. Looks good, feels good, easy on the budget.
Best Top-Shelf Choice: Sougayilang Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod/Reel Combo
Sougayliang makes some really reliable and fantastic rods if you're looking for a place to begin. This option is a combo; you get a rod and reel for one price, which ends up saving you some cash in the long run. Its lightweight construction is mostly carbon-fiber and fiberglass, making it very durable and easy to manipulate. Plus, the combo can be used in both saltwater and freshwater. It even comes in several customizable sizes.
However, the quality of these rods seems to vary a bit. This isn't anything to really worry about when talking about telescoping rods, though. The structure of these kinds of rods can be incredibly delicate, and variability there is inevitable. As far as flaws go, some users have reported that the reel loosens after use and needs to be re-tightened occassionally.
- Carbon-fiber strength
- Reel included
- Lightweight and compact
- Saltwater and freshwater use
- More expensive than other options
- Reel may need re-tightening after use
Best Top-Shelf Choice
High quality, low stress
A rod and reel combo with high reliability, versatility, and appeal. Pricier than other combos, but worth it if you can swing it.
Best First Rod: PLUSINNO Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod and Reel
As with other rod and reel combos, Plusinno offers immense value at a relatively-affordable price with their Carbon Fiber Rod and Reel Combo. It covers all of the essentials for a telescoping fishing rod (ie. portability, durability, and usability), and even comes with some sweet features like instant anti-reverse and a stainless steel reel hood.
However, where this Plusinno model shines the brightest is accessibility for new fishers looking for a strong start in the hobby. This offering allows for full package customization: you choose the length of the rod and any accessories you want (including bag, fishing line, lures, hooks, etc). This allows for buyers who haven't dipped their toes in the pond yet to assure that they buy everything needed for their first of many forays in fishing. Furthermore, this model "goes up and comes down" with just a few simple steps. Deconstructing this model for travel, and then reassembling it at your preferred site, takes no more than a minute or two, and is fully confined in the carrying case when collapsed. Overall, this Plusinno model is the perfect fit for new fishers looking for a confident first step into the wide world of fishing.
- Portable, durable, easy to use
- Sweet features to make fishing stress-free
- Excellent starting point for new fishers
- A little pricey with all the options
- Choosing the correct options may seem daunting at first
Best First Rod
Strong first choice
Hits all the basics, and is low fuss some assembly and collapse. Full package offer.
Best High-Performance: Rigged & Ready Smuggler 6
If you're a seasoned fisherman, you already know that collapsible rods have a hard time going toe-to-toe with solid rods. Collapsible rods are cheaper on the whole, and simply can't match the power of the top-end soild rods on the market. However, that doesn't mean that all collapsible rods get left in the dust: Rigged & Ready's Smuggler 6 model is perfect for the fisherman looking for tons of power while staying portable.
Sporting a near-indestructible fiberglass tip and up to five sections of nanocarbon rod, the Smuggler 6 can take a beating. (Even its carrying case is extra durable.) When extended to its full length of over six-and-a-half feet, it can cast with the best of them, too. Rigged & Ready outfits their Smuggler 6 with EVA foam handles (a popular and comfortable option) as well a graphite reel seat, which keeps the rod light yet powerful.
- Tops the charts in power
- Nearly indestructible
- Extends to over 6.5 feet
- Expensive; no reel, just the rod
A powerhouse rod
Professional solid-rod performance coming out of a collapsible model. Indestrucible.
Best For Kids: YONGZHI Kids Fishing Pole
This is more of a tip for anybody trying to find a portable fishing rod for their kiddo (or for certain precocious readers of this article). Your kid isn't going to mull over the cost-benefit of collapsible vs. solid rods, nor care about carbon-fiber or stainless steel construction. But some details for the discerning parent: the whole rod-reel combo is pretty impressive for a kit marketed towards children. It's a bit lower in quality than you'd expect for the price point, but absolutely stellar for a beginner.
The setup comes with a ton of cool gear to help establish a collection for new fisherkids, and the whole thing even comes in three color options. It's ambidextrous (friendly for both right- and left-handers), and can be compacted down from 60 inches to only 14. However, the kit is still made for children, so the rod isn't rated for anything larger than a small fish.
- Easy to rig
- Adjustable for righties and lefties
- Everything you need to get your kid started
- Sleek and profession; not cheesy
- Small fish only
- Medium torque tends to bust the reel
Best For Kids
The perfect package for your tagalong on a fishign trip. Contains everything you need to get them casting.
Your best choice for most situations is Bluefire's Fishing Rod and Reel combo. Their rods are compact, durable, and well-crafted. They offer complimentary reel combinations, and are fairly customizable in length. They also offer a ton of value in extras and accessories. If you have some cash to spend, your best bet is Sougayilang or Rigged & Ready. If you want to shoot for something a little cheaper and almost as good, Plusinno should be your choice. While not as high-quality as their Bluefire or Sougayilang counterparts, they're absolutely worth every penny of their lower price tag.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Zach Velapoldi has been camping for longer than he can remember. He loves pairing sweet technology with his passion for the outdoors. He appreciates tips on how to find creepy forests, as well as ominous warnings about haunted mountain-top ruins.
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