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I recently went on a fishing trip with my friends. The location was off the grid. Therefore, I choose to bring my Blackhawk II with me. My companions found it funny that I chose a telescopic fishing rod instead of a two or three-piece rod. You see. They think that telescopic rods are not reliable.
But I prove them wrong. I was the first casting and the first landing fish too. Yes, it is true. A telescopic fishing rod is not the answer to all situations. However, they are a suitable solution in some scenarios.
Today, we will explore the pros and cons of telescopic fishing rods. Hopefully, this will help you to decide whether or not to get one!
Are Telescopic Rods Any Good?
Telescopic rods are good. I’ve been using them for several years now. There are several reasons why! So, let’s start talking about the cons and make our way to the cons.
Telescopic Rods: The King of Portability
Portability is the selling point of telescopic fishing rods. It is his strongest suit and the reason why I gave them a try.
You see. It is quite a challenge to hike with a 7-feet long fishing pole on your back. The case will get tangled in branches and other obstacles. It is worse if you carry it by hand.
I gave 2-piece rods a try back in the day. However, this only helps to a degree. I still found myself untangling the case during my off-grid fishing trips.
Now, the story is different with telescopic rods. You only need to collapse them and stash them inside your backpack! It is that simple. They also take up a lot less space in your house. That’s why they are often the best and only solution for people that live in tiny houses or apartments.
But a small footprint is only one side of the coin. They are also remarkably light!
Start Fishing Faster
One of my favorite things about telescopic fishing rods is that I can start fishing faster. Imagine that you are walking to your favorite spot. You arrive and start unpacking your rod and rigging it. It takes some time, right?
You can shorten this time significantly using a telescopic rod. You just need to extend it and cast it! This is assuming that you have pre-rigged your rod, of course.
Similarly, you can pack and go away quickly as well! In short, it gets you in and out in an instant. This is particularly attractive for anglers on the go. For example, I used to keep a telescopic fishing rod beneath the backseat of my car. This allowed me to do a little fishing on Friday evenings after getting out from work.
Pack to Rods At the Same Time
One of the best recent innovations in telescopic design is the ability to swap tips. It is in the early stages. But it will become more and more popular as time passes.
In a nutshell, you can swap the tip of your telescopic rod. This way, you can try different actions and casting weight combinations. It is like packing two rods in the same frame.
The price is the only problem with this feature. These rods retail for more than a hundred bucks, which beats one of the purposes of telescopic fishing rods: Their affordability.
More Affordable than Regular Rods
Another advantage of telescopic fishing rods is that they are more affordable than regular rods. In the worst case, they are equally expensive.
If you are on a tight budget, a telescopic fishing rod might be the best bet. Some models even come with a reel already! Take the PLUSINNO telescopic combo, for example. It is a carbon fiber telescopic rod that comes with a decent spinning reel. Quality might not be of the very best. But it is more than enough for those starting.
What is the Catch?
Telescopic rods also have their drawbacks. Not everything is perfect, naturally. So, let’s dedicate some time to review the bad things that come with owning a telescopic rod.
Durable but Delicate
Telescopic fishing rods are durable. There is no question about it. However, this is only true if each section is extended and the lines are aligned.
The chances of breaking the rod increase if a single section is loose. That’s why you should take your time extending the rod. Inspect each branch, and make sure that the line guides are aligned. I usually use the reel seat as a reference.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of using the line guides to pull the sections out! I’ve seen too many anglers tearing them, rendering the rod useless.
Limited Weight and Action Combinations
You will notice that you have fewer action and weight combinations to choose from. This is the biggest drawback for me. There are some situations where a telescopic rod won’t cut it. For example, to take huge gamefish out of the water.
For starters, I wouldn’t use a telescopic rod to land big catfish. Even if I’m deep in the wild, miles away from civilization. The same goes if you are after saltwater gamefish. A telescopic fishing rod might be convenient in a small boat. However, it won’t have enough backbone to pull big fish.
Sensitivity is an Issue
It might be the materials or its construction. But telescopic fishing rods are not as sensible as regular models. I often found myself wondering whether fish were biting or not.
The gap is closing, though. But they still lack the responsiveness of full fetch rods.
Maintenance is Key
Full rods require little care. A damp cloth and apply a rust inhibitor to the guides if you plan to store the rod away. But things are different with telescopic rods.
You must clean the rod thoroughly. Debris must be cleared out, and the joints inspected. This is the only way to prevent abrasion on the moving parts.
Are Telescopic Rods Worth It?
If we pay attention to how we close and extend the rod, and diligently clean it after fishing, we will strike two of the previous cons. The other two are just the limitations of being collapsible and portable.
So yes. Telescopic fishing rods are worth it. Backpackers and anglers on the go will benefit from them the most. But you can also bring it if you lack space in your boat or car.
I use my Blackhawk II when I’m out on camping trips. But I’ve used it as a replacement for my regular rod when I have a sudden urge to go fishing, mainly because I always keep it in my car.
Interested in getting one? Make sure to check my hands-on review of some of the best telescopic fishing rods available.