Big Fun in a Small Package: Best Telescoping Rods Reviewed

Telescopic rods are lightweight and portable. These rods are a great choice for anyone who wants to transport their fishing gear easily. Although they are not as portable and easy to store, they are still very useful.

They are not very popular in the US but you will find them all over Europe, Asia and Oceania. While the standard collapsible, telescoping rod that is available in North America for anglers leaves much to be desired by many, there are still a few good options in the US.

These are great fun for anyone who wants to have a lot of fun with a small package.

Are they right? We want to help you make a decision. Below is a guide for telescoping rods.

Here is a quick look at the top telescopic fishing rods currently available:

S.NoRodLengthMaterialAction/PowerLure SizeLine WeightHandleGuide MaterialSegments
1Daiwa B.B.B. 6106TMLFS6’10” extended, 16.5″ collapsedCarbon fibermedium light/moderate fast1/16 oz. 1/16 oz.4-10#Split cork/spinningStainless with SiC Inserts8
2Quantum Telecast QXTELS666MExtended 6’6″IM6 graphiteMedium/fast1/8 oz. 1/2 oz.6-12#Split EVA foam/spinningN/A5

Review of the Best Telescoping Rod

Daiwa B.B.B. 6106TMLFS

DAIWA B.B.B 6106TMLFS

Length6’10” extended, 16.5″ collapsed
MaterialCarbon fiber
Power/actionmedium light/moderate fast
Size of the lure: 1/16 oz. 1/16 oz.
Line weight:4-10#
Handle:Split cork/spinning
Guide materialStainless with SiC Inserts
Segments:8

Daiwa is a well-known name in fishing. They supply high-end products to anglers. They are located in Japan and offer a variety of products. Unfortunately, they do not sell telescoping rods to the US.

Amazon stocks a few items from their Japanese line, including the B.B.B. The “Triple B” telescoping rod, also known as the “Triple B,” is a popular choice for anglers looking for a travel rod.

We recommend the 6106TMLFS as our Triple B. It measures 6’10” extended and its eight segments are made from premium carbon fibre blanks. This travel rod is more durable than a traditional challenger. It’s sensitive, strong, and durable. Although it is not as sensitive as a St. Croix or one-piece rod, I would fish the Triple B.

Seven stainless guides with SiC inserts are a delight for your line. Although the first guide is smaller than a standard rod, it casts well. It has a premium feel and is large enough to fight a serious fight.

This Triple B is a great all-arounder and general purpose rod. It has a moderate light action, sensitive tip, and is very well-prepared. This rod can tackle any challenge, from panfish to reds to trout to small blues.

Although it is expensive, a premium St. Croix rod is much more affordable than the standard St. Croix. You’ll be happy with your purchase if you embrace its collapsibility.

Pros

  • Amazing blanks
  • Very sensitive
  • Very strong
  • Excellent handle
  • These guides are very nice
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive

Quantum Telecast QXTELS666M

LengthExtended 6’6″
MaterialIM6 graphite
Power/actionMedium/fast
Size of the lure: 1/8 oz. 1/2 oz.
Line weight:6-12#
Handle:Split EVA foam/spinning
Guide materialN/A
Segments:5

Quantum, like Daiwa is a well-known fisherman’s name. Their parent company Zebco also owns them. You should know that they don’t make junk. This is an important fact to remember in a market where many of the products on offer are just that.

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Quantum is more well-known for its reels and rods than its reels. However, the Telecast is the only telescoping rod that is easily available.

We recommend the Telecast at 6’6″ extended. It features five sections of IM6 graphite. The Telecast’s sensitivity and strength will not be matched by other rods made from the same blank material. Although we don’t know the exact guide material, it is acceptable and will get the job done for a quick trip to a lake. Casting is possible, but it’s hampered somewhat by the large first guide and the general blank quality.

It is a competitor for high-end rods of the conventional type? It is not, of course! It is an extremely affordable travel rod that will not disappoint. You can expect a quality rod and not junk at this price, but don’t expect miracles.

This rod is ideal for all-round fishing as it has a medium action and a fast tip. This rod is ideal for fishing with medium-weight lures and lines.

Pros

  • Good blanks
  • Very sensitive
  • Very strong
  • Decent guides
  • Durable
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Its performance matches its price point

The Best Telescoping Rods A Basic Guide

Telescoping rods can be made from multiple blanks with decreasing diameters. They nest like Matryoshka dolls and collapse into the handle to make them great for hiking, travel, or other situations where you don’t have much space.

Telescoping is a term that has been used in the US to mean “toy” but it’s quickly disappearing.

Tenkara Rods

Tenkara is one example. These rods have been discussed in detail. Please refer to this article for a complete explanation.

These telescoping flyrods are extremely high-quality and ideal for fishing small mountain streams. They are free of guides and reels, so anglers can fish more directly.

Tenkara rods have a high-end look. If you are looking for a premium rod to travel with and you want to cast a fly with light lines, I recommend one!

Telescoping isn’t just about tenkara rods. There are many other options if you are careful and cautious about quality and know what to look out for.

Telescoping Spinning Reels

Telescoping spinning rods have been a popular choice in Europe for many years. They are often used to catch large fish such as pike and carp. They are also popular in Oceania where they can be found on saltwater. This should give you an idea of the capabilities of a high-end rod like this. Combine that with incredible portability and you have amazing tackle that is ready to go in a flash!

This rod has the typical “stacking” segments which collapse into the handle. But unlike tenkara you will also find guides and a reel-seat. However, most rods of this type offer only one guide per section.

Many telescoping rods with better quality features “floating” guides. These guides are not directly connected to segments but float around them and lock into place as the rod expands. This system can be more useful than segments if it is done right.

Telescoping rods that aren’t expensive aren’t great fishing tools. Also, unlike tenkara rods which are unmatched in quality, most telescoping spinning rods are made of modest materials and have a average fit and finish. This creates some issues and also causes basic design problems.

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Check out our suggestions for spinning reels

Durability

Telescoping rods use friction to extend, and rely on tight fitting where segments meet. This design has one problem: they must be able to collapse while still being moveable.

This precision will be challenged by dirt, sand, and small debris, as well as normal wear and tear. Only the most durable rods can withstand frequent use. You will find sections that stick or fall when they should.

Guides

Telescoping spinning rods have guides, unlike tenkara rods. The guides must be stacked neatly in order for the rod’s collapse. This means that there is only one guide per section.

It’s important to keep in mind that guides protect your line when it’s under loads. The more guides you have on a rod the less each one has to do. More guides offer greater protection, all things being equal. Telescoping models can be affected by this, depending on how long the rod is.

Even the most strong lines can be destroyed by friction.

A floating guide system, as we have already mentioned, can provide more line contact and better protection for your line during a fight. This option is only available on more expensive rods, so you will need to be willing to pay!

Strength

Complexity is a sign of fragility, as with most things. Telescoping rods are made up of multiple segments and require friction to work. Unfortunately, the blanks they use are often made from cheap materials.

This means that even the most expensive model won’t be able to withstand the same load or fight as a comparable conventional rod. Multi-piece surf casting rods can withstand a lot of abuse because they are made with top-quality materials, great blanks, and excellent ferrules that join the sections.

Here’s a clip of a thick, inexpensive telescoping rod breaking down under nine pounds of load.

The same guy pulls a car in contrast with the Ugly Stik that he has.

Although these are not scientifically based, they do make a point. Expect the rod’s performance to match its price. A $20 rod won’t hold up to decent-sized redfish and walleye, and any rod that is more than a few pounds will be put to the test.

A rod as expensive as the Daiwa B.B.B. is in contrast. You can take a beating!

Action and Power

You don’t have to pay a lot more for the same high-tech blanks as their competitors. A lot of conventional rods will perform better than the cheap rods that you’ll see most often.

However, the rods you choose will be a fishing tool and not a novelty.

We have reviewed products that we would actually use on the water.

Qualitative

Telescoping rods for the US market are still a novelty and can be purchased at a very low price. Amazon’s rods are, therefore, not very impressive, but they are still affordable.

Although low quality is not a guarantee, it can be very difficult to find rods that offer even an average level of performance. It is important to do your research, pay attention to details, and be clear about what you are looking for.

The rods that we reviewed are great fishing tools and won’t leave you disappointed or at a huge disadvantage to other options.

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How to Choose the Best Telescoping Rod

These rods are essentially the same as what is available for North American customers. Let’s now discuss the qualities we look for when choosing a good telescoping spinningrod.

Take Action

The rod’s action is the point along which its length will bend under load. Fast action rods bend near the tip and are stiff for most their length. Slow action rods, on the other hand, bend closer to their handle and reel seat, and curve over a greater portion of their length.

Descripting power and action

Power

The force required to bend a rod is called power. A rod’s power, along with its action, tells you a lot of about how it will perform.

A powerful power rod can withstand a lot of load. These rods are best for large, strong fish such as tarpon, tuna and shark. For big bruisers such as big redfish, most pike and big walleyes, a medium power rod is the best choice. For fish like specks and crappie, ultralight and light rods are best.

Power describes a rod’s strength. Action is what tells you where the rod wants to bend.

Length

The rod’s length will determine how far you can cast, but it will also affect how precise your casts. While shorter rods can be deadly precise, casting distance will be affected by them being less accurate.

Line and lure weight

Matching the rod’s power with lure weight and line is important. Heavier rods take heavier line, obviously.

Guides

Guides are one of the most critical components of any rod. Guides must be smooth and durable to protect your line from hard fighting. Fishing gear is tough and can break with every impact.

Although stainless steel is a good choice, without polished inserts such as ceramic or silicon carbide, abrasion could still be an issue.

Secure Lock-Up and Simple Take-Down

Telescoping rods of high quality will easily extend and stay in place. It will also collapse when necessary.

Remember not to “sling” your rod! This will lock in the last few segments.

Handle

The decision about which handle you choose is personal. What’s easy for me may not be right for you. There are generally two main handle materials: EVA foam and cork.

  • CorkIt is more appealing and warmer, but it is less forgiving of rough treatment.
  • EVA foamIt’s softer to the touch and more flexible than other materials.

Last Thoughts

A collapsible rod is the right choice if you are planning to hike to mountain streams or just want to spend time on the water.

If you are serious about fishing, we recommend that you consider tenkara rods, and then switch to flies. They are far more affordable than telescoping spinningrods for species like bluegill, crappie and trout.

A collapsible spinningrod is worth a shot if you are keen to use your spinning reel and want to cast longer distances using familiar techniques.

The Triple B is the best rod, but it does come with a high price. We don’t know of a better collapsible rod. The Telecast is a great option if you’re looking for a cheap rod for your next picnic, or trip to the beach.

No matter which way you choose, we want to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment below.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.