3 Telescopic Rod and Reel Combos for Kayak Fishing

Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today we are going to take a look at an option that I had not really considered myself in the past with my 3 best telescopic rod and reel combos for kayak fishing in 2021. This has all come about from a conversation I had with a guy in a beach recently who was using one in the surf.

He was talking about how he used it for fishing as he was traveling around the country and it was the only thing he could use that would fit in his small van. Of course that got me thinking – what better place to use one of these than somewhere where space is always at a premium – a kayak.

So, if you are traveling with your kayak or you have issues with storage and portability then you are in luck as you can maybe invest in a telescopic (or collapsible) rod and reel combo. Now, grab yourself a nice cold beverage and a snack and let’s see if we can get you a good combo to meet your kayaking needs…

My 3 recommended telescopic rod and reel combos for kayak fishing

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:

 Rod and Reel ComboPriceGet it
telescopic kayak rod and and reel combos - option 1QudraKast Fishing Rod and Reel Combo$CURRENT PRICE
telescopic kayak rod and and reel combos - option 2PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo$$CURRENT PRICE
telescopic kayak rod and and reel combos - option 3Daiwa Ninja X Tele, Telescopic Allround Fishing Rod$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are telescopic fishing rods?

Telescopic fishing rods are the type that fold down into themselves much like a telescope (hence the name). They don’t break down into pieces like general multi-piece fishing rods rather stay as one short entity until they are extended back out for use.

When fully extended, the better models look just like a single piece fishing rod and in theory, they should work just the same with the ability to add any reel as you see fit.

Why do they exist?

Quite simply, portability. As collapsible rods will draw down into the faction of their original size, they are a great option for travelers or those who have limited space or want to travel light such as with a kayak. Once compacted, they can easily be put into the kayak storage compartment, a fishing backpack, suitcase or the boot of a car.

The other advantage of them is that once they are collapsed, unlike multi piece rods, they remain in one piece.

How do they work?

So, just like a telescope, when you are ready to use your collapsible rod, you basically do the following:

  1. Unclip the locking hook – this is the hook that stops the ends flying out when not in use.
  2. Hold the handle end of the rod and gently pull each section out from within – do not ‘whip’ the rod out as this can cause it to break.
  3. Lock each section in place – some do this with a little twist and some simply ‘click’ into place.
  4. Attach your reel – if not already.
  5. Rig your rod, add some bait and off you go.

At the end of the day, construction is similar to a multi piece surf rod where instead of attaching each piece, you simply extend the pieces from within the main section.

10% off on all Piscifun Fishing Gear,use code:EST10

What should you be looking for?

Now, when it comes to fishing, everyone has an opinion – especially when it comes to collapsible rods. Admittedly, I have not had a lot to do with these myself but I do know two things about them:

  1. Those that love them, love them and those that do not, will spit venom whenever they are mentioned.
  2. Cheap options do not seem to be the way to go here. Most people I know who have gone this route have found inferior quality with malfunction in a short amount of time. This is one area that unlike traditional rods, it does not appear that you can often get a good one for under $20. That said, I have found some options below in the $50 – $70 range.

In general, when dealing with rod and reel combos for a kayak, the aspects of a telescopic rod should be no different to a normal fishing pole however I will run through it all below in terms of both the rod and the reel so we know what to look for. However, in most cases, the matching of rod to reel is usually done for you as part of the combo package. Anyway, let’s check it all out below…

Location

Some location considerations include:

  • Holes: If there are any holes that you like to fish into then that will reduce casting requirements.
  • Rocks and other obstacles: Will you want to cast into them our over them?
  • Current: Is there a strong tidal current running? If so, larger tackle may be needed.
  • Wind: Windy waters are harder to cast in for obvious reasons.
  • Mangroves etc.: Casting here will require accuracy.

There is more to this but from a general point of view, being in a kayak tends to reduce casting length by default. However, if this a requirement then you may need a larger rod and a reel with a line capacity to accommodate a heavier sinker. That said, I personally like a lighter setup in a kayak so I would be only looking at larger rod and reel specifications if absolutely necessary. If not, then a middle of the range setup (as per my recommendations) may work best here to account for most environmental factors.

Rods

First we will look at the rod side of things – To keep this post from getting out of hand length wise I have tried to keep things brief here. However if you are after more information you can check out my post covering kayak fishing rods for closed waters.

Composition

Telescopic fishing rods are manufactured from the same materials as their traditional straight piece counterparts (unless you buy a cheapie plastic model – yep, they exist). These three materials are Fiberglass, Graphite and Carbon Fibre with qualities as follows:

  • Fiberglass – Very strong and durable with very little maintenance required (rinse off after fishing is generally all that is needed).
  • Graphite – Graphite rods are generally more rigid with higher power ratings (see below) however tend to have greater sensitivity than their fiberglass cousins.
  • Glass Tip – Glass Tips orHybrid’ rods are made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass. These are designed to give the best of both worlds with extra strength of the graphite rod added to the sensitivity of the glass tip.
  • Carbon Fibre – This is a newer compound in fishing rods being more rigid than the fiberglass/ composite rods but also lighter. These types are becoming more and more popular for all levels of experience due to their toughness and versatility.

In the past, most tended to go for a fiberglass rod due to their durability, low maintenance requirements and favourable prices however the cost of a good carbon fibre rod has definitely reduced in recent times as well. In fact, most decent telescopic rods that I have seen these days are made from carbon fibre due to its strong, lightweight qualities.

Length

When it comes to a kayak fishing rod, it is definitely not a case of the longer the better. Long rods can be used on a kayak for sure – in fact some prefer them if in the ocean or if they want to ‘jig’ a lure – however I always find them cumbersome and they can make it difficult to get a fish off the hook once you catch one. Shorter rods also provide for greater accuracy which can be helpful if you are fishing amongst trees, mangroves or other hazards.

So, depending on your location and casting requirements, I recommend that you can choose from the following lengths:

  • 5 – 6 foot – Use when dropping directly below the kayak or precision of casting is needed. Not great for longer casting but can generally handle heavier sinker weights etc.
  • 6 – 7 foot – These are a good middle of the road rod – especially if you only take the one or want to use it on a river bank as well. These allow for longer casting whilst maintaining some accuracy.
  • 7 – 8 foot – You are getting to the absolute end of length suitability here but these can work well if you are going to be drifting or trolling with a lure or need that extra casting distance. My tip here… make sure it is a ‘whippy’ one (see Power section below). You could also look at this length if you wanted to use it for surf fishing as well.
telescopic-kayak-rod-and-and-reel-combos-rod-in-use

Power

There are plenty of technical terms for the power settings of a fishing rod but in simple language, I have always known the power rating as a measure of how ‘bendy’ it is. Light power rods bend with little force and heavy need a lot of pressure to bend. So, in short:

  • Light – very bendy – even whippy – will bend a lot with even the smallest fish. I like these in the kayak however for beginners it is easy to get the bottom confused with bites.
  • Medium – needs a bit more pressure to bend – In general, this is a good measure for a kayak fishing rod and my suggestion for all round use.
  • Heavy – takes a lot to make it bend – I would only recommend these for a kayak in areas where the current is quite strong or you want to use particularly heavy sinkers etc.

There is also a measurement that some rods have in regards to what they call Action or Speed. This is determined by where the rod bends. Fast action bends from the top third whereas slow rods bend down towards the reel. For general use, I would go moderate or medium, unless to have a need to cast a long way, then maybe edge towards a faster rod as they allow for heavier rigs.

Note: One issue I have been finding when looking at telescopic rods is that power ratings are not usually mentioned in any of the sales outlines. In this case, look for quality of rod as most appear to be set around medium levels which, in the shorter kayak rod varieties is good for most uses unless you like a particularly sensitive rod to fish with.

Handle/Grip

This has nothing to do with the art of catching fish rather than the comfort of it. Some common options include:

  • Hard foam – sort of like a very hard version of a pool noodle.
  • EVA – Soft Rubbery stuff.
  • Cork.
  • Rubber Shrink Tube – soft and extremely durable.

I like the Rubber shrink tube or EVA handles myself as they are comfortable and will last well in saltwater conditions. Cork is great if you want a light rod and common in telescopic varieties as well.

Reels

And now for the reels. Again, I have included a lot more information in my post on kayak fishing reels for beginners so here are the basics to consider for your combo…

Free shipping on Piscifun

Types

There are two main types to look at here – mainly as they are the main two that come in combo form on a kayak (and we are not looking at surf or boat reels here either):

  • Spinning Reel – Also known as ‘open face’ reels or ‘eggbeaters’, these reel types wind the line onto a front spool which is held on by a ‘bail’. Line is wound in via a handle on the side which is ratioed to bring the line in faster than the handle is turned.
  • Baitcaster – Often referred to as a spincast reel as well, these are upside down models where the reel sits on top of the rod. Functionality can vary from the simple beginner models where the cover or closed face keeps all of the essential parts of the reel protected to the more complicated ones where casting speed etc. can be adjusted dependent upon the environment. Harder to use but popular with friends of mine who find they can cast a bit more accurately with these.

As I mentioned in my other post, in terms of a good kayak fishing combo that will work in a good number of environments, you could do a lot worse than the simple spinner reel. They are easy to use without a lot of maintenance and can be purchased over a good number of line strength specification ranges as well.

telescopic-kayak-rod-and-and-reel-combos-reel-in-use

Composition

In general, spinning reels suitable for a kayak are made from a corrosion-resistant metal, carbon fiber and/or aluminum body with variations of the following:

  • Bearings – As with a car wheel, the spinning mechanisms inside a spinning fishing reel generally incorporate ball bearings for smoother operation. From my experience, most come with between 3 and 10 and I was always told that the more you can get for the price, the better.
  • Rotation – One advantage of a spinning fishing reel is the winding rotation. This is usually set anywhere for 3:1 up to 6 or 7:1 (often listed as 6.0:1 etc.) This simply means that for every time the user turns the handle a full rotation, the spool holding the line has actually turned 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 times meaning less winding for faster line retrieval.
  • Drag – The drag of a fishing reel is its ability to release a little bit of line when a fish strikes or is being pulled in. This is in place to reduce the chances of a bigger fish snapping the line as it fights. As with anything, the more you pay for a reel, the better the drag system should be however regardless, if the reel you are looking at doesn’t have a drag system on it – put it down.
  • Casing: This is the part of the reel that contains the springs, levers, gear cogs etc. that make much of the stuff above work. For a basic combo, avoid any reel that doesn’t have this all housed in a sealed, waterproof casing. These are low maintenance and the components will not rust.

Line capacity

In this section, we will actually discuss two elements: spool size and line capacity. This is because the size of the spool generally determines the strength of the line that you can load into it. The problem we face here is that manufacturers don’t use a common specification when it comes to their reel capacities.

There is however a simple way to work this all out which via the first number. You see a fishing reel may be rated as a ’20’ or a ‘2000’. If this is the case, the ‘2’ is the common denominator and what you match the line to (this is not an exact science but it works for me). So, then all you need to do is match the line kilogram/pound strength to the spool.

To make this easier, I have whipped up a little table below (I have not included all sizes here but you can see that generally, the lower suggested mono line weight matches the first number of the reel size):

Reel SizeSuggested MonoSuggested BraidSuggested Rod Length*
10 or 10001- 2 kg/2 – 4 lb4 – 8 lb6-7 ft (line rating 1-4kg)
20 or 20002- 3 kg/4 – 6 lb5 – 10 lb6-7 ft (line rating 2-5kg)
25 or 25002.5- 4 kg/5 – 8 lb5 – 12 lb6-7 ft (line rating 2-5kg)
40 or 40004- 6 kg/8 – 12 lb8 – 12 lb8-10 ft (line rating 3-10kg)
60 or 60006- 8 kg/12 – 16 lb12 – 30 lb8-10 ft (line rating 4-10kg)

At the end of the day, if there is a possibility of a big fish attaching itself to the end of your line, or the need to add a heavier sinker if the current is strong, I would recommend anything that starts with a 5 or 6. That said, I tend to think that on a kayak, a 3000 – 4000 reel and light line will work very well too.

Other Influences

There are some other areas to consider as well when looking at a kayak fishing reel. These don’t effect the outcomes as much as the above however they are worth considering:

  • Handle – Most are plastic but make sure it fits comfortably in your hand – some come with large handles which is definitely a matter of personal preference too.
  • Weight – Trust me, if you are fishing in a kayak, then the lighter the reel, the better.
  • Anti reverse switch – These are usually found in the underbelly of the reel and simply put, will stop the reel going backwards. Some like to reel in reverse to let line out slowly but don’t want this to happen with the rod is in a holder on the kayak.
  • Line holder – This is the little tab on the side of the reel housing that holds the end of the fishing line if it is not rigged up. These are not often thought of when a reel is purchased but something that is really missed if it is not there.
  • Interchangeable winder – There are not many that don’t do this these days however this is the ability to swap the winder handle around to allow for left or right-handed use.

What Did I use?

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I have not had a lot of experience with telescopic rods myself and in fact this whole series of posts has come from a discussion I had on a beach with a guy using one. What I did manage to do however was find a telescopic rod belonging to a friend of mine with the following specs

Rod

  • Length: 5.5 ft
  • Collapsed length: Not sure
  • Composition: Carbon fibre (it was so light)
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Light/Medium (I think)
  • Action: Moderate
  • Handle: EVA

I used my own reel as follows:

Reel

  • Size: 3000
  • Bearings: 5 + 1
  • Ratio: 5.1:1
  • Composition: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle

You know what, it worked fine. At first, I thought I could feel the connectors but I think I was just looking for it. After a while however, I was just fishing as I would with any normal rod and even though I didn’t catch anything large on it, I did get a few that were just under legal size and I was able to get them in without any problems.

We were out on a calm day and I did notice being able to feel bites as I would normally as well. My opinion after this day (granted it was only that one use) is that if you can get a good one, then you should be able to get amongst them without too much trouble at all.

My three recommendations broken down

As usual, I have chosen my three recommended options below based on the information above, and my experience in the kayak. I did note however that when it comes to telescopic rod and reel combos that there are a lot of options in the very high price range ($200 +). However, many of these had similar specs to below and were lacking in reviews hence I have gone with the following telescopic combos for general kayak fishing use:


1. QudraKast Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

For this first option I have taken the cost effective path (which goes close to being against my comments at the top of this post) however I was convinced to add this one based on the fact that is the best I have seen for the budget minded beginner or casual fisher. There are different length options for the rod and the reel is good for those who want to fish a few locations without having to change equipment. It is a graphite rod meaning it is light and strong with a decent reel to match.

It also has some solid reviews as well meaning I am confident that for the casual traveling kayak fisherman who wants to use in a number of locations, this one might just do the trick. Its specifications are as follows:

Rod

  • Length: 5.9 – 8.86 ft (go the 5 – 6 ft options if planning for use exclusively in a kayak)
  • Collapsed length: 16.3 – 18.8 inches
  • Composition: High-strength, ergonomic graphite
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Not stated
  • Action: As per power
  • Handle: EVA with cork tip

Reel

  • Size: 3000
  • Bearings: not stated but they are there
  • Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Composition: Carbon, Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle
  • Drag: Yes, on front of spool
  • Anti-reverse switch – yes
  • Line holder: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Includes various fishing line, lures, baits + fishing hooks (Based on some of the reviews I would suggest replacing the line however)
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Fluorescent tip
  • Protective cover in guide rings

Why have I chosen it?

As mentioned above, this is a good little all round use telescopic kayak rod and reel combo for a good price. I would have liked some more information here in regards to ball bearings and rod power however based on its other details and the reviews, I am confident that this one will be a good option for the casual traveling kayak fisherman who wants to use it on a bank etc. as well. Stick to the shortest length (5.9ft) if just using in a kayak or the 6.8 ft option of wanting to use in other locations as well.


2. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

My second option here is a little more expensive (not much though really) and is good for those who will be doing a little more fishing or will be chasing slightly larger fish. As with the first options above, there are different length options for the rod with the reel more than capable of matching it with most conditions where a kayak would be used.

Another selling point for this one is the fact that it comes in a nice carrier bag with some hooks, lures, line and swivels as well. It is also promoted as being good for boats for those who wish to use it in a number of vessel types although a couple of reviews do allude to it being stiff which may mean a higher power rating. Its specifications are as follows:

Rod

  • Length: 5.91or 6.89 ft (go shorter model for kayak)
  • Collapsed length: around 17inches depending on length purchased
  • Composition: High density Carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Not stated however based on reviews I am guessing medium – medium/heavy
  • Action: As per power
  • Handle: EVA

Reel

  • Size: 3000
  • Bearings: 12 + 1
  • Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Composition: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle
  • Drag: )n front of spool
  • Anti-reverse switch – yes
  • Line holder: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Lightweight rod and reel (15oz combined)
  • Stainless Steel Guides w/- Aluminum oxide guide inserts
  • Carry bag and some tackle included
  • Deep spool for greater line capacity

Why have I chosen it?

This is another good little all round use kayak suitable rod and reel combo for a good price. The reel is a great size with extra line capacity allowing for use on larger species due to longer drag capabilities. I have a slight concern about its power rating however the lightweight composition and solid reel should not only account for this but also provide enhanced options for those using in currents or in an ocean kayak as well.


3. Daiwa Ninja X Tele, Telescopic Allround Fishing Rod

Ok, so I know this post is about rod and reel combos, but my last option here is for those who want a telescopic rod, but already have their favourite reel to attach to it. Diawa is a well-known and popular brand and great for those who are looking for quality over price. It is made from solid, lightweight carbon fibre available in 4 sizes with a solid reel seat. The largest options still weigh in at only 8.6oz in total and would work amazingly in a kayak, boat or even the surf if a longer model is chosen. Specifications are as follows:

Rod

  • Length: 5.9 – 11.8 ft (go the 5 – 6 ft options if planning for use in a kayak)
  • Collapsed length: Not stated
  • Composition: Carbon fiber blanks and tread-wrapped guides
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Fast
  • Handle: Cork

Reel

  • Not included

Other advantages include:

  • Super light weight
  • Stainless Steel Guides w/- Aluminum oxide guide inserts

Why have I chosen it?

As mentioned above, I have added this one for those who want a great telescopic rod to match to their own reel. I like the rod specifications and it would handle most conditions and tackle weights that a kayak fisherman would encounter. Make sure for the kayak you choose the 5 to 6 ft models.

Conclusion

And there it is – my best telescopic rod and reel combos for kayak fishing in 2021. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This may include sales made via Amazon, Piscifun or FishBooker.com.

3 best telescopic rod and reel combos for kayak fishing

Leave a Comment

Before You Go!Check Out My YouTube Channel For More Stuff

Beach and fishing - us at the beach

Click below for more information, instructional guides, recommendations and anything else I can come up with in my fishing exploits.