There are many different types of fishing line materials on the market today, and understanding how each one works will help you have a more [...]
Are Telescopic Fishing Rods Any Good? We Find Out!
Published: July 15, 2021
Telescopic fishing rods are very easy to transport because they can collapse down to a shorter length and open to a long rod. For instance, a 20- or 30-foot telescopic fishing rod can collapse to as little as 1 ½ ft. (45 cm). This makes them very easy to carry on buses, in remote areas, compact cars, and even subways.
This type of rod is made of carbon, graphite, and sometimes, fiberglass, similar to conventional multi-piece rods. Telescopic rods are designed to slip into each other so they can be opened and closed. They are popular among surf fishermen because carrying other types of rods is cumbersome.
Like any other fishing rod, telescopic fishing rods have their advantages and disadvantages. They are pleasant to use because they are transportable, can be broken down into sections, which can prevent them from snapping, and are built more rigidly than traditional fishing rods. Read along to find out more!
Telescopic fishing rods can be made of different materials that are used for other types of rods, including fiberglass, graphite, and different composites.
Fishing rods made of fiberglass are heavy and flexible. They are a great choice for beginners because they are very durable and affordable. However, they provide limited feedback and have a pliable nature, which makes it a lot harder to detect lighter bites.
Fishing rods made of graphite are stronger, lighter, and smaller in diameter. Although they are priced higher and prone to damages, they are very sensitive, which makes casting and handling a very easy task.
- Composite Rods
These include materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, and others. These materials are combined so that they get all the properties from each, which makes a composite fishing rod very versatile. However, the price can go from quite affordable to very expensive.
A fishing rod handle is typically made with cork or EVA foam, which provides comfort. The length of the handle can significantly impact its performance.
- Longer handles are best for longer casts.
- Shorter handles may help you cast more accurately at a shorter distance.
- Split grip handles are beneficial for catching bass.
- Pistol grip handles are great if you want to keep your rod weight low.
How they work
Telescopic fishing rods and reels work in the same way as other types of rods.
- Handle your fishing rod with care by knowing how to open and close it properly. To open a telescopic fishing rod, you first have to put the base of the rod on a flat surface.
- Extend the sections of the rod by pulling them out until they lock into place.
- Make sure the line guides are aligned.
- Never extend the rod in a “whipping” manner as it will damage its joints. It may look fine the first time you do this, but over time, you are going to notice the fractures.
- To collapse the rod to a shorter length, rotate each section carefully until it becomes loose and comes apart. If it is stuck, do not force it in. Instead, be patient when doing this step to avoid damaging it.
- When opening or closing, avoid applying any side pressure as it can damage the rod.
If the rod is not properly extended, the worst thing that can happen is that it collapses or rotates during use. This results in difficult casting and almost impossible reeling.
This may seem as the rod is fragile and should be taken care of immensely, but it is really not that hard. Well-manufactured rods are going to be very easy to handle.
Each fishing rod has unique features that work in a distinctive manner. They are also used for different fishing techniques. Here, we list some of the factors that make telescopic fishing rods good for both professionals and amateur anglers.
Since telescopic fishing rods are designed to collapse down to a shorter length and open to a long rod, they can be very convenient to fishermen. Carrying telescopic rods to remote areas is easier and storing them is trouble-free. When packed, a telescopic rod is around one to two feet long, and when expanded, can be up to 20 feet (6.1m) long.
Telescopic rods offer optimal flexibility. Since they can be broken down into sections, they provide flexibility that prevents the pole from breaking.
- Long-distance Casting
The rod’s ability to cast far is ideal for fishermen. A telescopic rod supports an adequate storage line, bait group, and weight. It is also easy to cast away far from the shore, which increases the possibility of catching fish since most fish are located far from the shore.
Telescopic rods can be used anywhere and anytime. Plus, you can catch all kinds of fish with them. This versatility makes them a good choice for beginners and experienced anglers who like to take a fishing rod on vacation.
Telescopic rods are not very expensive. Although, you have to make sure to purchase one from a reputable manufacturer. Even high-quality telescopic rods are not too expensive compared to other types of fishing rods. The price is important for beginners who do not actually know what kind of fishing rod they need as they are still learning.
There are very few disadvantages to using telescopic fishing rods, although it is important to mention them as well.
- Operator Errors
Opening and closing these types of rods can easily cause damages, if not done the right way.
If you aggressively open them, you have to close them forcefully. If you tightly open them, they might rotate and move while catching a fish; all of which can add to more wear and tear, causing them to have a shorter lifespan. Some telescopic fishing rods are not compact, so the sections can wiggle inside, causing damages to the guidelines.
- Use and Action Are Limited
While it is true that these rods are versatile and that you can catch many different fish species, they are not going to be very useful for catching the majority of popular fish species, such as a huge carp or a wels catfish. The same goes for other large saltwater fish species, for which you will have to use a much stronger fishing rod.
Another disadvantage of using telescopic rods is that there is no good fast action option.
- Multiple Section
While multiple sections are great for having a large, extended rod that can be collapsed into a smaller one, having many sections may increase the chances of one of them failing. One of its sections can become weaker than the others due to damages or dirt stuck inside. If that happens, the rod’s overall strength and its action will be affected, which is very annoying and almost impossible to repair.
What are telescopic fishing rods used for?
Telescopic rods are usually available in the form of baitcasting or spinning rods but can also occasionally be found in the form of surf, sea, and trolling rods. They are commonly used for freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- Freshwater Fishing
Telescopic rods can be used in streams or rivers. Depending on your setup of bait, tackle, and rod size, you can catch the following fish species:
- Small to medium-sized salmon
- Small to medium-sized trout
- Small to medium carp
- Perch, panfish, bluegill, crappie
- Saltwater Fishing
Telescopic sea fishing rods can also catch many different saltwater fish species, the most commonly caught being the:
- Common pandora
- European bass
- Black scorpionfish
- Atlantic mackerel
- Gilt-head bream
There are a lot more species you can catch using a telescopic rod, and it mostly depends on your location.
A telescopic rod will not be particularly adapted if your goal is to catch record-breaking carp species. However, telescopic carp fishing rods are still quite useful as they can be as long as 12 feet and sometimes even longer. Some telescoping fishing rods are also specifically made for carp fishing, so you do not have to worry about how they handle.
Furthermore, if you are interested in fly fishing, which is frequently done in remote areas, there are also telescopic fly rods available, although they usually are a bit thicker at the base than standard fly rods, which is why it might be a bit uncomfortable.
Features to look for
As previously mentioned, telescopic rods are very affordable and can catch many different fish species. However, not all telescopic rods are created equals. Thus, it is important to know what features you have to consider to get the best out of your money.
You need to make sure that your choice of telescopic rod is crafted from materials that can provide strength and durability, while also being flexible enough not to break under pressure.
Telescopic rods are usually crafted from graphite, fiberglass, or a blend of the two.
With graphite telescopic rods, you will not get the same high-modulus graphite that is found in fly rods, but that is okay because these are collapsible rods that are not really fly fishing specific.
Telescopic rods are generally pretty lightweight. If they were not, it would defeat the whole purpose of being transportable and easy to carry.
The rod’s weight will depend on the materials used to make it, as well as its length.
Aside from its weight, the rod should also be well-balanced since it can greatly impact its casting and ability to handle pressure.
When considering a telescopic rod’s length, you should keep in mind these terms: full length and compact or closed length.
A compact length will let you know if the rod is compatible with your hiking or travel situation. The full length, on the other hand, will give you an idea of what you are going to be working with.
The length is usually tied in with the following aspects:
- Casting distance
- Amount of sections that can affect its performance
- Amount of eyelets that the rod’s length can accommodate
- Eyelets or Guide
The eyelets are the rings that will guide your fishing line along the length of the pole and when out in the water. These guides can bear a lot of pressure and weight, especially when you have caught or are still fighting a fish. The more eyelets the fishing pole has, the better because it will distribute the weight and tension along the pole’s length better, which makes it much easier to handle and land a fish successfully.
As the number of eyelets increases, so does the number of sections and the length of the rod. This results in more weak points and the reduction of its overall strength. Five eyelets generally give a good balance to a telescopic rod used for general fishing purposes.
We must also understand how well the rod’s sections and guides stay aligned when in use. A common problem with telescopic rods is that the sections sometimes twist or get out of line, especially when landing large fish species. Although the best telescopic rods can take a lot of pressure without twisting, it is still important to be aware of this feature. Regardless, you should also periodically check and make sure everything is in line as it can greatly impact the fishing rod’s ability to cast and handle fish.
This refers to the specific section where the rod flexes when casting or when pressure is applied while fighting a fish. The action of a fishing rod is labeled by speed, such as “fast” where only the tip can flex, “medium” where the middle section and the tip flexes, and “slow” where the entire rod has the ability to flex.
Fiberglass and low modulus graphite telescopic rods will mostly be in the medium to slow action range, which often means that its casting distance is limited to a shorter range.
One of the major downsides of telescopic rods is their numerous sections or rod pieces, which make it difficult to determine the action and are often inconsistent.
To give you an idea, we’ve listed down the three kinds of action and what they are beneficial for:
- Fast Action (Heavy)
They bend at the uppermost part, below the tip
- Fast Action (Heavy)
- Sensitive to the lightest bites
- Will send vibrations straight to your hand
- Snap back very quickly
- Work well with single hooks, worms, and large jigs
- Have a strong backbone and fast-moving tips
- Medium Action
Bend in the top half of the fishing pole
- Medium Action
- Allow for good hook setting capabilities and feedback
- Allow you to cast relatively far
- Move a bit slower than fast-action fishing rods
- Good for multiple hook setups
- Allow fish more time to bite
- Added versatility to catch big and small fish in varied waters
- Slow Action (Light)
Bendable all the way to the fishing rods’ butts
- Slow Action (Light)
- Make battling even the smallest critter a piece of cake
- Good for fishing panfish or trout
- Provide very impressive casts. However, you have to match your lure size to the rod
- Need more time to lodge the hook inside a fish’s mouth
- Not really easy to set the hook with
- If a fish bites, it will require you to pull back farther
The power refers to how much pressure is needed to make the fishing rod flex.
The composition of telescopic rods puts them in a range of medium to medium-heavy power. Although it is a range for an all-around strong fishing rod, its sensitivity will be limited.
Some telescopic fishing rods have a lighter power rating. And while these rods can’t handle larger fish or cast some heavy lures, they are still much more sensitive.
To better understand a fishing rod’s power, we have listed the different types of power below:
If you usually prefer catching small fish, a 7-foot rod with light power and moderate/slow action is a perfect setup for trout, small bass, and any panfish.
If you prefer longer distances when fishing off-shore, a 10-foot rod and moderate action will suffice. It is a great setup for catfish and can handle multitudes of baits and lures.
If you like challenges and prefer catching bigger fish, then an 8-foot rod with fast action is best. It is good for larger lures on a regular basis.
Telescopic rods are good and offer a lot of benefits, as mentioned above. These types of fishing rods are best for amateur and professional anglers who like to backpack, hike, or travel. However, they can also be a good option for survivalists or minimalists who want to live off the grid.