3 Best Telescopic Rod And Reel Combos For Surf Fishing

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today, for those who wish to hit the open road with a bit of surf fishing on the side I have had a look around and come up with my 3 best telescopic rod and reel combos for surf fishing in 2021. Surf fishing is a lot of fun especially if you are someone who likes to travel a lot and hit different beaches whilst you are there. The only issue with that is that generally, surf fishing rods are quite long meaning they won’t always fit into your car or caravan.

So, if that is the case for you, or you don’t travel but still 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. So, grab yourself a nice cold beverage and a snack and let’s see if we can get you a good combo to meet your needs…

My 3 recommended telescopic rod and reel combos for surf 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 fishing rod - option 1Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo$CURRENT PRICE
telescopic fishing rod - option 2PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo$$CURRENT PRICE
telescopic fishing rod - option 3Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo$$$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 hikers, travelers or those who have limited space or want to travel light. Once compacted, they can easily be put into a fishing backpack, suitcase, boot of a car or even in the pannier of a motorcycle.

The other advantage of them is that once they are collapsed, they remain in one piece, unlike multi piece rods that need to be tied together or stored in a hard travel case. Multi piece rods can also snap a lot easier if put into suitcases on planes etc. too.

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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.

telescopic fishing rod - man collapsed rod

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 – $50 range.

However, as with any general surf fishing rod and reel combo, the reel aspects tend to be on par so as long as you check my highlights below, you should be ok as long as the rod is a good one.

In general, 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

I am starting with the location as it can definitely have an effect on the type of rod and reel combos that you could choose and will determine your answers to many of the variants I have listed below. If you are going to be fishing at a particular beach more often than others (such as a local beach) then take a quick run down and check out the geography.

Look for:

  • Gutters: if there are gutters running close to the shore then your casting length will be reduced.
  • Holes: same as gutters – if there are any holes on the waters edge then that will also reduce casting requirements.
  • Flat surf: some beaches are just flat with no noticeable holes of gutters – this may require you to cast a bit further to get out past the waves to where the fish are.
  • Rocks and other obstacles: will you want to cast into them our over them?
  • Current: is there a strong current running sideways or out to sea?

There is more to this but from a basic point of view, longer casting requirements will generally mean a longer rod is required. I like to use a stiffer rod in stronger currents as well. Now, keeping this information in mind, or if you are going to be visiting many different beaches (lucky you), let’s break down the components of both a rod and reel to look for…

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 on surf fishing rods for beginners.

Composition

Telescopic fishing rods are generally manufactured from the same one of three main materials as general rods – 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. Keep in mind also that one of the main reasons to purchase a telescopic rod is for travel so obviously the lighter you can get, the better.

Length

When it comes to a surf fishing rod, size can definitely matter. Depending on your location and cast length requirements, you can choose from the following lengths:

  • 7 – 9 foot – use in gutters or holes to catch small to medium size fish. A very manageable for a beginner or child or if you want to use off of a river or lake bank as well.
  • 9 – 12 foot – if gutters are not always evident, or you are chasing some larger species, this length is easy to manage whilst offering a little more ‘grunt’ for those bigger catches.
  • 12 – 15 foot – for long casting where the fish are outside of the surf break. Also good if the waves are high and you want to keep your line above the break. That said, I have not seen a lot of telescopic rods at this length meaning a multi piece rod may be more suitable here.
telescopic surf 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.
  • Medium – needs a bit more pressure to bend – this is a good measure for a surf rod and my suggestion for all round use.
  • Heavy – takes a lot to make it bend – these are a bit harder to cast with (at least that is what I find) but I use a heavy surf rod when there is a strong side current on the beach.

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 on your beach, then maybe edge towards a fast rod as they allow for heavier rigs.

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 handles myself as they are comfortable and will last well in ‘beachy’ conditions. Many telescopic rods utilise cork as it is great if you want a light rod (which is sort of a given if you are looking for something to travel with).

Reels

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

Types

Although there are a few options when it comes to surf fishing reels however in terms of combos for telescopic rods, there are really only two types that you will find. These are:

  • Spinning Reel – Also known as ‘open face’ reels or ‘eggbeaters’, these 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 to like to cast further in the surf.

In terms of a good surf fishing combo that will work in a good number of environments, you could do a lot worse than the simple spinner reel. They are simple to use without a lot of maintenance and can be purchased over a good number of line strength specification ranges.

Composition

In general, spinning reels for the surf 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.
telescopic surf rod and and reel combos - dusk fishing

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 have had some real fun catching medium size fish on a 3000 reel and light line too.

Other Influences

There are some other areas to consider as well when looking at a beach 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 (more expensive models are carbon fiber).
  • Weight – Again we are looking at travel options so 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.
  • 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 or has been collapsed for travel. 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 do 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. He was traveling around the country with his girlfriend and only had room in his van for one of these options.

He (his name was Peter) told me how he is an avid fisherman and was able to give me all the details of what he uses. He did also say that this is his second rod as the first one was a cheapie and didn’t last too long at all.

Here are the specifications of the one he used (and told me he would recommend). It does fit in with my expectations outlined above as well so here are the specifications as he gave them to me:

Rod

  • Length: 8 ft
  • Collapsed length: Not sure
  • Composition: Fiberglass (he said it was nice and light)
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Light/Medium
  • Action: Moderate
  • Handle: Cork – that was his only concern as there was no lacquer or anything on it as it was starting to get chunks out of it from the demands of travel

Reel

  • Size: 5000
  • Bearings: 6 + 1
  • Ratio: 6.1:1
  • Composition: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle
  • Drag: front of spool
  • Anti-reverse switch – yes
  • Line holder: Did not ask

Peter purchased this as a combo for around $80 and says it is easy to use and that he has caught some good fish with it. The rod looks good when extended and he says it feels just like a normal one in use, is easily maintained (rinsed after use) and fits neatly into the side of the seat in their van.

His only issue with it was the cork handle as we have discussed and it was maybe not as sensitive as some of his other rods. He did comment that he would prefer a slightly smaller reel – in size, not necessarily specs.

My three recommendations broken down

As usual, I have chosen my three recommended options below based on the information above, and my discussions with Peter. 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 surf fishing use:

1. Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Ok, so this first option is a little on the budget friendly side so it 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 carbon fibre meaning it is light and strong with a decent sized reel with specs to match.

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

Rod

  • Length: 5.9 – 8.86 ft (go the 7 – 8 ft options if planning for use in surf)
  • Collapsed length: around 17inches depending on length purchased
  • Composition: 24T Carbon Fiber mixed with fiberglass
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Not stated but an educated guess would put it at Light/Medium
  • Action: As per power
  • Handle: EVA with cork tip

Reel

  • Size: 3000
  • Bearings: not stated
  • Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Composition: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle
  • Drag: Yes, on front of spool – 17.6 lb/8 kg
  • Anti-reverse switch – yes
  • Line holder: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Lightweight rod and reel
  • Stainless Steel Guides w/- ceramic O-Rings
  • 360° guide ring for more balances and avoidance of winding issues
  • Protective cap on end

Why have I chosen it?

As mentioned above, this is a good little all round use telescopic surf rod and reel combo for a good price. I would generally like to see a slightly larger reel size but to be honest, the specifications on this one make it hard to pass up – especially for the price. It will take a good range of line strength and should be able to handle both light and heavy sinker weight if the conditions require it.


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 general surf conditions.

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 again comes with some solid reviews although there are a couple of comments in regards to the rod locking out (i.e. can’t be collapsed back in) so care might be needed when expanding. Its specifications are as follows:

Rod

  • Length: 5.9 – 8.86 ft (go the 7 – 8 ft options if planning for use in surf)
  • Collapsed length: around 17inches depending on length purchased
  • Composition: Carbon Fibre
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Not stated but again I am confident would it be Light/Medium
  • Action: As per power
  • Handle: Cork with EVA

Reel

  • Size: 3000
  • Bearings: 12 + 1
  • Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Composition: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle
  • Drag: 7 disk ceramic drag on front of spool
  • Anti-reverse switch – yes
  • Line holder: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Lightweight rod and reel (15oz combined)
  • Stainless Steel Guides w/- ceramic O-Rings – 8+1
  • Carry bag and some tackle included

Why have I chosen it?

This is another good little all round use telescopic surf rod and reel combo for a good price. The reel again is maybe a size smaller than I would like however with its lightweight build and quality drag systems etc. I have no doubt, based on some reels I have, that unless you are catching great white sharks it will handle anything you can throw at it in the surf.


3. Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

My last option here provides options for a longer rod (up to 9ft) and larger reel (4000) for those looking to chase bigger species or would like some longer casting power. It is again made of solid, lightweight carbon fibre available in 4 sizes with reel specs rising accordingly with the length of the rod. The largest options still weigh in at only 15.9oz in total and it also comes with a carry bag and some accessories too. Specifications are as follows:

Rod

  • Length: 9 – 9 ft (go the 8 – 9 ft options if planning for use in surf)
  • Collapsed length: around 18.8 – 23.6 inches depending on length purchased
  • Composition: High density Carbon fiber
  • Connectors: Clip in as the rod is extended
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Medium
  • Handle: EVA

Reel

  • Size: 2000 – 4000 (4000 on 9ft model)
  • Bearings: 12 + 1
  • Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Composition: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and plastic handle
  • Drag: Carbon Matrix Drag System drag on front of spool
  • Anti-reverse switch – yes
  • Line holder: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Lightweight rod and reel
  • Stainless Steel Guides w/- ceramic O-Rings – 8+1
  • Collapsible reel handle for more effective travel
  • Carry bag and some tackle included

Why have I chosen it?

I have chosen this one due to its increased length options for the surf however it is another good, durable rod and reel for a decent price. I like the rod specifications and as a combo it would handle most beach conditions. My only concern here (as with the option above) is around some of the reviews around the rod getting stuck when extended (this does seem to be an issue with telescopic rods in general). Make sure for the surf you choose the 8 to 10 ft models.

 

Conclusion

And there it is – my best telescopic rod and reel combos for surf 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

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3 telescopic rod and reel combos for surf fishing - Pinterest
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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing hobbyists who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to fishing.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome fishing gear that will give you the best chance of catching a fish for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul

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