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10 Best Pen Fishing Rods: A Buyer’s Guide

Pen rods are compact rods that you can take with you anywhere. These collapsible rods can fold to the size of a pen (thus the name). Most of the time, people keep one with them when they are traveling as a backup rod to fish just in case they can’t rent gear.

It’s essential to understand the benefits and limitations of these rods. In this guide, we’ll cover which ones we think you should consider and go into further details.

Here are some of the best pen fishing rods that can give you hours of enjoyment out on the water:

Top Pen Fishing Rods

sample-table__imageBest Pen RodsLixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo
  • High-Quality
  • Spinning Reel
  • Durable
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sample-table__imageBest for KidsPortable Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo For Kids
  • Light-Weight
  • Spinning Reel
  • Good for Kids
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sample-table__imageZswell Mini Portable Pocket Fish Rod Pen
  • Clean Design
  • Conventional Reel
  • Durable
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sample-table__imageMultiOutools Pen Fishing Pole
  • Spinning Reel
  • Fishing Kit
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sample-table__imageDocooler Fishing Rod Mini Fishing Pole
  • Pen-Sized Rod
  • Aluminum Alloy Reel
  • Spinning Reel
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sample-table__imageElemart ActionEliters Portable Fishing Rod Pole and Reel
  • Tiny Rod and Reel
  • Conventional Reel
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sample-table__imageG Ganen 38 inch Mini Portable
  • Conventional Reel
  • Business Look
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sample-table__imageHDE Pocket Size Pen Shaped Collapsible Fishing Rod
  • Aluminum Rod
  • Collapsible
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sample-table__imageFreehawk Portable Telescopic Mini Pen Fishing Rod
  • Great Gift
  • Multiple Colors
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sample-table__imageAlternate Telescopic RodSougayilang Fishing Rod Combo
  • Full Telescopic Rod
  • Fishing Kit
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10 Best Pen Fishing Rods for 2020 Reviewed

1. Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo

Best Pen Fishing Rod

Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set Premium Mini Pocket Collapsible Fishing Pole Kit Telescopic Fishing Rod + Spinning Reel Combo Kit 1M / 1.4M
  • Reel & Rod Combos: Enjoy fishing soon with this prepared...
  • Fishing Rod: Glass steel fiber rod, solid and strong to...
  • Fishing Reel: Mini spinning reel with fishing line, 4.3:1...

This tiny but mighty pen fishing rod is made of glass steel fiber and is strong enough to tackle aggressive and stubborn fish without breaking. A mere 9.8 oz in weight, the Lixada rod and reel can be transported easily and can collapse to fit the length of any pocket. Plus, it works well in both salt and freshwater making it ideal for fishing hobbyists. It has a 4.3:1 gear ratio and is resistant to corrosion. 

This pen fishing rod has been known to bend under strain, so we cannot say the materials it is made from are the best you can expect. 

It’s one of the best cheap fishing rods you can get for beginners who have never held a rod in their life. It’s also perfect if you want to teach your kids how to fish. 

2. Portable Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo For Kids

Best Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo for Kids

Portable Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo for Kids,39 Inch Mini Travel Pocket Fishing Rod Set,Telescopic Aluminum Alloy Fishing Pole Fishing Line and Fishing Lures (Silver)
  • Lightweight and Portable,easy to handle. Great for fishing...
  • Aluminum alloy reel includes forward and reverse ratchet...
  • You can enjoy your fishing time anywhere anytime,with this...

Kids can get intimidated by big fishing rods. The Portable Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo is perfect for tiny hands and jittery nerves. Made from aluminum alloy, this easy to use fishing rod can be used from a dam, a boat, on ice and onshore. The telescoping fishing pole is made from a flexible material and is available in a range of colors. 

Since it is made specifically for kids, the fishing reel and rod are not strong enough to have a significant impact, so don’t tell your kids they can catch a big fish with it.

On the other hand, this lightweight rod has everything that they will encounter when they graduate to the big rod and reel. Think of it as a training fishing rod and reel they can experiment with. 

3. Zswell Mini Portable Pocket Fish Rod Pen

Best Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod

zswell Mini Portable Pocket Fish Rod Pen Aluminum Alloy Fishing Rod Pole Reel Combos (Silver)
  • Durable Aluminium alloy material, long performanceing...
  • Reel attaches between 2 grooves in the pen body.
  • Ideal gift for fishing enthusiast or collectors.

Made from durable yet lightweight aluminum alloy and fiberglass, the Zswell Mini pen rod can fit easily in a glove box and backpack without sticking out. The reel of this pen rod attaches between 2 grooves in the body, and it contains durable tackle. Take it with you hiking, camping, or fishing with the kids and see their eyes light up with joy as they cast alongside you.

Like most kid-friendly pen rods, this one is also quite fragile and can break easily if it is used irresponsibly. Chances are you will have to buy new ones after every trip.

What we really liked about this fishing rod was the lanyard, so your kids won’t lose it quickly during play. It can also be hung on backpacks, which makes it ideal for hiking trips. 

4. MultiOutools Pen Fishing Pole

Best Pen Ice Fishing Rod

MultiOutools Pen Fishing Pole 38 Inch Mini Pocket Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Travel Fishing Rod Set for Ice Fly Fishing Sea Saltwater Freshwater, Gift for Festivals (Black)
  • Pen-sized fishing set,it is very mini, lightweight and...
  • Suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing: From a boat,...
  • Come with a delicate box, perfect presents for families and...

Perfect as a Christmas and birthday gift for kids, this mini fishing pen rod comes in an attractive, delicate box and is a mere 7.87 inches in length. Made from fiber aluminum alloy and just 60 grams in weight, this compact fishing rod and reel can fit in a glove box easy. It is so lightweight that even a toddler can use it without keeling over! 

However, don’t expect that you can reel in big fish with this. Like most pen rods, it is not sturdy enough to reel in a big catch even if you do manage to hook one. 

Even though it is available in several colors, the black one stood out to us because of its sheen and how cool it looked. 

5. Docooler Fishing Rod Mini Fishing Pole

Docooler Mini Aluminum Saltwater Fishing Tackle Pocket Pen Fishing Rod Pole + Reel
  • Pen-sized fishing rod for situations where full-size fishing...
  • Aluminum alloy reel includes forward and reverse ratchet...
  • Compact, lightweight body fits in pocket, glove box,...

The Docooler fishing rod and reel combo make the perfect gift and the ideal tool when a giant fishing rod proves to be a hindrance rather than a help. The reel is made from aluminum alloy, and it includes both reverse and a forward ratchet stop as well as drag control. This mini rod and reel combo are just 55 grams in weight with a close-length of 23cm and an extended length of 96.2 cm.

Unlike full size and professional fishing rods, the Docoolwer mini pen rod cannot be used to catch a wild or large fish, and large lures will only bend it out of proportion. You WILL disappoint your kids if you tell them otherwise, no matter how enthusiastic they are about the gift.

However, what we liked about the Docooler that it was perfect for baitcasting and provided a sturdy grip for tiny hands. 

6. Elemart ActionEliters Portable Fishing Rod Pole and Reel

ActionEliters Portable Mini Pocket Pen Fishing Rod Pole Reel With Two Baits Two Fishhooks Two Fishing-buoys and 20 Meters Fish Wire+ Survival Magnesium Firestarter Compass Whistle Orange (Black)
  • Fishing anytime anywhere with this world smallest fishing...
  • Barbecue anytime anywhere with the firestarter ignore the...
  • Pocket size, Great Gift! Portable, easy to handle. Great for...

If you have adventurous kids who love to explore during fishing trips, they need the Elemart ActionEliters Portable Fishing Rod Pole and Reel. As the ideal birthday gift, this pen rod can be used to practice fishing anytime and anywhere. A modest 38 inches in length, it comes complete with two fishing buoys, two baits, two hooks and 20 meters of fish wire for an entire fishing packing. Made from aluminum alloy, the reel includes both reverse and forward ratchet stop as well as drag control, making it the perfect fishing rod for novices. 

We didn’t like that the pen rod didn’t have a line guide the line onto the reel. We had to guide the line with our fingers to prevent it from spooling up in one spot.

What we loved about this pen rod was the fact that it comes with an inbuilt compass and a whistle. This makes it perfect for adventurous kids who like to explore fishing holes on their own so parents can breathe a sigh of relief. 

7. G Ganen 38 inch Mini Portable Pocket Aluminum Alloy Fishing Rod Pen

G Ganen 38inch Mini Portable Pocket Aluminum Alloy Fishing Rod Pen Great Gift (Black)
  • Fishing anytime anywhere with this world smallest fishing...
  • Pocket size, Great Gift! Portable, easy to handle. Great for...
  • Aluminum alloy reel includes forward and reverse ratchet...

Pen fishing rods were designed not only to be portable but also functional enough to give novice anglers a chance to improve their skills. The G Ganene mini rod and reel combo do this splendidly well and its features have a lot to do with its effectiveness. This pocket-sized pen rod is a joy for collectors because of its attractive appearance and is made from durable aluminum alloy for long-lasting performance. 

The mini fishing rod does not cast as well as it should though, so you will just have to allow the water to take the bait along instead.

However, it reels in quite smoothly as long as you equip a fishing line that doesn’t weigh as much. 

8. HDE Pocket Size Pen Shaped Collapsible Fishing Rod

This aluminum alloy reel and rod is fun-size and perfect for beginners who want to familiarize themselves with fishing basics without splurging on expensive gear. It is also ideal for expert anglers who do not have space for bulky equipment during a trip. The telescoping fishing pen rod extends from 8 inches to 3.5 feet in length when it is pulled out, which gives it sufficient flexibility and comes with fundamental standards of the standard fishing rod.

The pen fishing rod and pole weigh a pound barely at most because it is made of aluminum, but that doesn’t it any favors in terms of durability. 

We loved how sturdy this rod and spinning reel combo was despite its small size. This is owed to solid brass casting reel and sturdy plastic reel housing. It’s quite easy to figure out as well and available in gorgeous black. 

9. Freehawk Portable Telescopic Mini Pen Fishing Rod

Freehawk Portable Telescopic Mini Pen Fishing Rod Mini Aluminum Pocket Pen Carbon Fiber Fishing Pole Travel Fishing Rod Pocket Sea Rods ISO Fishing Rods + 2000 Spinning Fishing Reel (Black)
  • Perfect Fishing Rod - Ideal gift for fishing from a boat, a...
  • Color - Silver, Blue, Red, black and gold; Closed length of...
  • Easy Operation - It is very convenient to use by drawing off...

The perfect gift for family members who would love to fish but have never held a fishing rod in their life, the Freehawk mini pen fishing rod, and reel, is a mere 65 grams in weight. The portable pen design is compact enough to fit into a backpack, a pocket, and even the glove box in a car without sticking out. The closed length of the spinning reel and rod is a mere 8.27 inches, and the extended period is an impressive 1 meter! It has a 5.1:1 gear ratio and a line spooling capacity of over 90 m. 

However, the fact that it is quite lightweight makes the rod susceptible to damage, and some users have claimed that it breaks easily. This includes the body of the reel, which is quite weak. 

We liked the ceramic eyelets on this beautiful pen rod. These are made of imported steel ceramic pigtail coil that protects the fishing line. 

10. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combo

Best Telescopic Rod Kit

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with Telescopic Fishing Pole Spinning Reels Fishing Carrier Bag for Travel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing-1.8M/5.91FT
  • Fishing Rod Reel Combos with Carrier Bag and Nessary...
  • THE ROD:High Density Carbon Fiber Mixed with Fiberglass Make...
  • THE REEL:This Reel Has 13 + 1 Corrosion Resistant Smooth...

Last, but not the least, the Sougayiland Fishing Rod and reel combo are one of the best pen fishing rods beginners can use to perfect their skills. Ideal for catching freshwater bass, trout, and salmon, it is made of carbon fiber that is mixed with fiberglass to make it strong and durable. The aluminum spool boasts a hollow frame design and is lightweight to ensure lasting performance. The spinning reel perfect mesh drive gear and a precision machined pinion gear handle powerful fish with ease. 

The eyelets of this pen fishing rod could have been stronger in our estimate, but they feel kind of weak.

But we fell in love with the beautiful black leather case this combo came in. That is what makes it the perfect Father’s Day gift for sure! It’s ideal for a wide range of anglers, and it is quite sensitive. 

What is a Pen Fishing Rod?

A pen fishing rod is a compact rod that is encased in a pen case, and it is typically used by beginners and for pan fishing. Considered to be the world’s smallest fishing rods, these can extend to just a couple of feet at most, are super light in terms of weight, and can fit into a pocket easily.

These mini fishing rods are a great way to take advantage of unexpected fishing opportunities. Because of the range of colors, they are available in (such as black and silver), these fishing rods are often collected as novelty items. However, you cannot fish using just this rod.

First, you need to extend the rod and attach the reel before sliding it into the tabs and positioning it in place. Good pen rods are made from carbon fiber but aren’t on the cheaper side. If you are a beginner, you should go with ones that come with an aluminum alloy reel that is easy to use and is not heavy on the pocket. 

How to Pick the Best Pen Fishing Rod

Best pen fishing rods
You can catch a wide variety of fish on a small pen rod. Source: JW

There are numerously accessible to use pen fishing rods in the market, but which one should you choose? The product you end up buying should fulfill specific requirements. 

Picking the Best Rod

Most pen fishing rods are made from fiberglass and do not break easily if they are maintained regularly. However, the length and weight will determine how durable it remains with regular use. A basic product should be at least 4 feet in length. Any more than that, and its weight will increase. Heavier, carbon fiber rods, on the other hand, can last longer and withstand more abuse in comparison. 

Picking the Best Reel

The fishing reel of pen fishing rods is designed to accommodate the fishing line on a spool, just like in standard rods. The reel may or may not be included with the rod you buy, and if it isn’t, make sure you get a size that suits the product. If the reel is too small, it can detach easily, and if it is too big, it won’t fit right. 

There are four types of reels you can get for a pen rod:

  1. Baitcasting reel – This style of reel is popular for bass fishing and for anglers who are planning to make a lot of casts throughout the day.
  2. Fly reel – You can use this reel if you buy a micro fly rod. This setup will be a challenge as a shorter rod makes it harder to cast.
  3. Spinning reel – This style of reel reduces the chance of tangling your line as anglers often do with baitcasting reels.
  4. Spin-cast reel – This fishing reel is ideal for beginners because it comes with a button that releases the line. 

Proper Fishing Line

The fishing line for these compact rods comes with a spool that can be of different lengths. Usually, these can withstand a 4-pound test. A 75-foot line can handle over 5lbs in weight so you can catch medium-sized fish easily. A good rule of thumb is to remember that the more elastic the line is, the stronger it is. 

How to Properly Maintain a Telescoping Fishing Rod

Whether your fishing rod has an aluminum alloy reel or is a simple one, you need to maintain it properly, so it doesn’t fail you when you are fishing. A grungy rod can compromise drag control, which will put a damper on your day.

You are running water over it after every use is not enough. Clean off the residue using soapy water, a cloth, and a sponge and give the rod a good rub down. This is especially important for telescoping rods, which can get a buildup of fish scales and algae over time. Plus, make sure you also pay attention to the guides when you are cleaning. Use Q-tips soaked in soapy water to clean those inside and out. 

Once a year, give your fishing rod a deep clean by taking it apart so you can clean out the nooks and crannies. This is the best and easy way to ensure that it doesn’t get stuck ever. Don’t place your rod on the ground when you are fishing so that you don’t have to clean it for a while deep at least. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are collapsible fishing rods any good?

A: Collapsible fishing rods such as the ones mentioned in the list are suitable for beginners rather than veteran anglers. That’s because the compact rods are made from fragile materials that can break under pressure, but they have basic features that a novice can use for easy practice. However, there are some that experienced anglers can find useful in a pinch. The product you get will depend on your skill level and needs in the long run. 

Q: What are good brands of fishing rods?

A: The answer is subjective because the fishing rod or product you choose should suit your needs. However, some prominent brands for pen rods include Docooler, Freehawk, and Lixada.  

Q: What is the best fishing rod for beginners?

A: The easy to use and compact pen fishing rod is the best one that beginners can use to learn the basic features of a standard rod. It also helps that the former is way more affordable than the latter. Plus, mini rods come in a range of colors from black and silver to vibrant ones such as red and orange. 

Q: What does the gear ratio do?

A: The gear ratio determines how fast the reel picks up the line. 

Insider Advice

Proper maintenance of a pen rod is more comfortable than that of a standard rod. All you need to do is collapse and pop it in its case after you are done cleaning it. 

However, if the weather is hot and humid, don’t keep it in your car. The heat can make the rod expand and contract, which can lead to cracks. Keep it in the garage instead. It is cool enough to prevent the material from warping. 

A silver one may need more maintenance, especially if you want to maintain its sheen indefinitely. However, you will find more vibrant colors than silver when you are looking for a pen rod for your needs. 

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Jon Stenstrom

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