There are times when the fisher wants to put together his/her gear like an artist. These four rods, and these three reels, these six types of line, and mix and match them in all sorts of ways for different situations. We can create amazingly individualized gear for our sport. But that is likely not why you are here looking for the best collapsible fishing rod.
There are other times when we just want to grab our gear and go. Let somebody else decide which rod and reel and line go together. Not to mention, maybe let them make a case to put it in, possibly even with room for some tackle. We want something we can keep under the seat of our car, or in our backpack, and just grab and know that it’s ready to use on the fly (so to speak).
So we have looked up some of the highest quality and most popular collapsible fishing rod and reel combinations.
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This rod was designed by passionate fishermen, for passionate fishermen. It was created with rough terrain and remote locations at the front of the mind, and it has a range of features that show this. I can honestly say that this is one of the best performing telescopic rods on the market which is why we have named in the best collapsible fishing rod
Paired with an Abu Garcia Pro Max reel, this combo is designed to perform in even the toughest conditions. Abu Garcia products are famous for their durability and longevity, making this the perfect reel to pair with the High Altitude rod.
The combo also comes with a very hand High Altitude Brands carry case which is designed to store and protect your gear in tough conditions. Featuring things like a rigid rod tube (designed for the High Altitude telescopic rod of course), a padded reel pouch, and a removable tackle bag, I really like the design of this carry bag. Specially designed backpack mount points are an excellent finishing touch that let you clip the case onto your backpack for long hikes and treks.
With this in mind, let’s have a closer look at the features of each of the three components.
The High Altitude Telescopic Rod
I know I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again – I love the design of the High Altitude telescopic fishing rod. It has a range of unique features that are perfect for fishing backcountry streams and remote lakes, and most importantly, it’s built tough.
Some of the best features that really make this rod stand out to me include:
A cleverly designed hook holder attached just above the reel mount. If you’re a regular fisherman, you probably know how frustrating it is to try and control your hooks when you’ve finished fishing for the day. They have a habit of coming free and then swinging around and getting caught on everything. The hook holder will stop this happening.
Tough binding reel nuts that are designed to make sure that your reel is safely secured to your rod. Their strong metallic composition means that they will last without any risk of cracking or excessive wear. I’ve found that cheap plastic reel nuts are one of the major failure points on telescopic rods, so this is a relief.
A removable cleaning cap that lets you clean the inside of your rod fast and efficiently. This is another fairly unique, but essential feature if you’re ever using telescopic rods in saltwater or sandy areas. Sand and salt will always find their way inside the rod, where they can cause problems if not removed. The cleaning cap on the High Altitude rod lets you quickly rinse the inside of your rod, preventing premature wear and prolonging the life of your gear.
A tough carbon fibre and graphite design, which makes the rod both lightweight and durable. Coming in 5.5, 6, and 6.5 foot sizes, it really is perfect for hiking or backpacking. It has five telescopic sections, but folds up to a very compact 18 inches. It weighs just 6 ounces, which means you will hardly notice the extra weight in your backpack.
As you can probably tell, I quickly fell in love with this rod. Luckily, the reel doesn’t let the combo down:
The Abu Garcia Pro Max Spinning Reel
I really think the designers got it right here. There’s no point having a tough, top of the range telescopic rod if you’re just going to pair it with a dodgy old reel. Luckily, the Abu Garcia Pro matches the High Altitude rod on all levels.
A closer look makes it seem like this reel was made for backpacking and hiking. It also features a lightweight design, with a graphite body and rotor and a machined aluminum spool. I found it to be extremely tough and well made. Unlike many of the cheaper reels that are on the market today, this reel is durable and will last you for years if you treat it right.
It performs pretty nicely as well. The 7 bearing design gives the it a very smooth feel. The 5.1:1 gear ratio provides a nice fast retrieval rate, allowing you to work lures and soft plastics at whatever speed you want. To top it all off, the performance doesn’t decrease when pressure is applied – hopefully in the form of a big fish!
I think we’ve got a winner here!
The High Altitude Carry Case
The final piece of the combo is the custom designed backpacking carry case. This case was created with hikers and backpackers in mind, and I think that the designers got it right. First, it features six individual backpack mounts, allowing you to securely attach it to your pack in a way that suits you.
It has separate spaces for your rod, reel, and tackle, and it has a tough, durable design to match the High Altitude telescopic rod and Abu Garcia reel. Your rod will slide nicely into the hard tube, where it will be protected from any damage. The reel pouch is cleverly attached to the rod tube, meaning that you don’t have to take your reel off for storage. Finally, the removable tackle bag has enough space for your favorite lures, hooks, and any other tackle you might need on your journey.
You can’t go past the High Altitude telescopic rod and Abu Garcia Pro reel if you’re looking for a new telescopic fishing rod and reel combo to add to your collection. They are tough, extremely well made, and designed for backpacking and hiking. The cleverly made carry case is just another great feature on top.
In my opinion, this combo is the best collapsible fishing rod and perfect for all sorts of freshwater fishing. If you don’t have one, you need to consider getting one!
The compact tackle setup comes in at under $45 and is a great value. It has its own hard case with built-in tackle compartments, which is perfect for stowing in backpacks, using in a kayak, or keeping under a car seat.
There have been 283 reviews on this product, showing that it is very popular with sports fishers. Of those, 147 were 5 out of 5 stars, 72 were 4 stars, and only 64 reviews were 1, 2, or 3 stars. The main complaint of the low-star reviews was the size of the combo, or that parts were broken. Based on all the good reviews, we tend to believe much of the problem is due to not using it at its proper size and weight.
Included is an Ultralight MS-S500T reel with smooth, ball bearing drive, multi-disc drag, 5.1-to-1 retrieve, GyroSpin balancing, and Twist Buster line twist reduction. Then there is the matching 4.5-foot, five-piece ultralight rod for two-to-six-pound test lines and 0.0625-to-0.25-ounce lures. The foam handle provides for a secure grip for wet or dry hands.
One customer says he uses the pole and reel about 150-200 days a year, and has had it for six years – and it continues to function like the day he purchased it! The pole assembles in a matter of seconds and feels both sturdy and sensitive at the same time. This pole and reel kit is perfect for kids. It is so lightweight, and lets them really work the fish as opposed to heavier rods.
People have mentioned the fact that the reel comes with no line on the spool. So make sure to get it ready before you take it out – it’s not something you can just open for the first time and be ready to go. The other thing people have mentioned is that it can be hard to get back in the case once the line is on.
But as the overall excellent reviews suggest, this is a nice little, affordable, collapsible rod and reel combination.
This package, priced at just under $130, is excellent for the beginning or experienced fisher. It’s a bit of an investment, but based on the reviews, it’s worth it. Out of twenty-nine reviews, there were twenty-two with 5 out of 5 stars, six with 4 stars, and the only negative review was the one 1-star review. That review only stated that the user didn’t like the line that came with the package.
Customers love this 9’, 5 wt, 4-piece, medium fast, smooth progressive action, graphite fly rod with its precision cast aluminum HO2 5/6 wt fly reel. They appreciate the hard rod case with the attached reel holder, and the fact that it is ready to use straight out of the box. All the guides are firmly attached, each section fits easily into its mate, and the reel is solidly built and has leader, WF5F floating fly line, and backing all spooled and ready to go.
The rod is flexible and the reel has a high quality drag feature. One customer pointed out that most collapsible rod and reel combos at this price have plastic reels, but this outfit comes with a high-quality metal reel. The case is a hit, as it keeps the rod protected in the car, backpack, or boat. There are attached D-rings so if you want to put on a strap and throw it over your shoulder, you can do so with ease.
If you’re able to invest this much in your collapsible fishing rod and reel combo, we’ve found that this one can’t be beat.
This combo model features a lightweight aluminum reel with a quick folding handle that is already spooled with line. It’s ready to go as is – just add water! It also comes with a 1-year warranty. The foam handle is easy to grip, and it is rated as medium power. The line weight is 4-10, and the lure weight is 1/8 to 1/2. And it’s a steal at under $30!
Out of the total 114 reviews, 38% (43) were critical. But the majority of reviews, 71, were positive and glowing, so we have included this popular brand with our results. About half of the negative reviews stated that the tip broke off on one of the first times using the combo. So that is apparently something to watch for.
At the same time, there are dozens of positive reviews from people who have been using this collapsible rod and reel combo for years, catching fish season after season, happily satisfied. One of the favorite things people have reported was how compact this set was. Just throw it in your backpack or under your car seat, and have it handy whenever the need arises.
It is known for its smooth, light action, properly functioning bale, and easy collapsing and locking action. The pieces don’t generally come loose, and the after the first few casts, it gets even smoother. One customer reports catching a yearling bass while being able to adjust the drag while the fish was on the line. A number of people said they liked using it in their kayak, because of its compact size and easy but reliable extension.
For its price, and for its purpose as a light weight, easy-to-carry, reliable performance, this is definitely a collapsible rod and reel combo you want in your collection.