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Telescoping pole
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Telescoping pole on 01/30/2014 20:01:14 MST Print View

My wife and I were out for a hike Sunday and as we passed by a pond, I mentioned wanting to do more fishing this hiking season. I found this Shakespeare telescoping pole and reel in a thrift store for a $6. The pole is a mere 2.4 ounces and extends to 54"; the reel adds 6.4 ounces. Fly fishing has it's joys, but I've always enjoyed flipping a spinning lure out there or just using a bobber and bait on a lazy summer afternoon. I think I can handle a 9oz kit :) I'm looking forward to this!

Shakespeare SP46 pole with SP20 reel:
Shakespeare SP46 pole with SP20 reel

Shakespeare SP46 pole with SP20 reel

Shakespeare SP46 pole with SP20 reel

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
reel on 01/30/2014 22:28:02 MST Print View

knowing you and your hunting skills
u could hunt down a reely light reel thatd make that ol 9oz thang a fatso.
u could find a new one <30 bux that might be far more reliable and half the wt

nice score.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: reel on 01/30/2014 23:12:32 MST Print View

I probably have one. I just need to find that box in the basement.

I did find my old Eagle Claw Trailmaster pack rod!

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Telescoping pole on 02/02/2014 12:25:15 MST Print View

Good deal for $6.00! I have two fishing options that I use depending on the trips I take. The lightest is a hand fishing line I found for $1.00 at my local St. Vinnie's. Weight is a burly 2.5 ounces in a zip loc bag with some tackle and lures. The second is an UL pen fishing rod I bought from

Rod Specifications:

* Weight: 2.0 oz (55 grams)
* Size: 8" x 3/4" x 3/4" (Closed) / 36" x 3/4" x 3/4" (extended)

Spin Casting Reel Specifications:

* Weight: 5.2 oz ( 147g)
* Size: 4"x4"x3" (collapsed)
* Line Capacity Examples Stren Magnathin(.007) 4lb 130yds pr Trilene XL(.008) 4lb 105 yds


Edited by bigfoot2 on 02/02/2014 12:28:18 MST.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Telescoping pole on 02/02/2014 13:26:46 MST Print View

Dale, that is exactly the spin rod I got for backpacking last spring, though I think I paid about twice what you did on amazon (& without the reel). Good find. This is about the minimum length for me that feels like nearly a "real" rod, and not an over-sized pocket fisherman. It was nice to find some gear perfect for UL already without costing an arm and a leg. If fishing rods were part of the "UL big four" you know they would be selling it for $200.

One warning note, be careful of extending it (by accident of on purpose) like Luke Skywalker's light saber - by flicking it - the ends jamb very easily. Also by no means make a light saber noise while extending it. While I don't have extensive data I believe this can increase the probability of jamming. If you always do it carefully by hand I found that that issue never cropped u[ again.

Edited by millonas on 02/02/2014 13:29:29 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Telescoping pole on 02/02/2014 13:32:08 MST Print View

I saw those pen poles online. Definitely UL gear. There's no end to fishing gear: you have to catch the fisherman before he catches the fish :)

I got a good deal on a Zebco 11MTS closed face reel. I'll have to see how the weight compares when it gets here. I like closed face reels for the lessened fiddle factor.

Zebco 11MTS

This is fun stuff: light, compact, inexpensive. Throw a few lures in a plastic box and it all fits in your pack with no problem. if you get lucky, it can make a nice supplement to a dehydrated dinner.

I like lakes as hiking destinations. Getting to the top of a big hill can make for nice views, but there isn't much to do. After a rest break and a few photos, it's back down the hill.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Telescoping pole on 02/02/2014 17:24:42 MST Print View

Thanks Mark

A little silicone lube on the ferrules may help with jamming as well as the careful handling you advise.

I'm not a high performance fisherman by any means and I don't have big expectations for gear like this. I do gave a Popiel Pocket Fisherman; this simple little pole is step up all the way around.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Re: Telescoping pole on 02/02/2014 21:15:15 MST Print View

The pole pictured is exactly what our son has fished the High Sierra with for the last three seasons, albeit with a slightly lighter reel that came off a similar complete I purchased and swapped for a Pflueger. The Shakespeare rod has been hard to find lately around us...last two years, to be precise. Were there more, I'd buy them for my Scouts, because it's an excellent rod for the weight and money. Heck, I have a 3-piece that cost more but packs down longer and sticks out the top of my backpack. I'd keep the first new one for me!

We polished the guides and touched the sleeves with some dry silicone spray... very nice action and a great rod kit.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Telescoping pole on 02/02/2014 21:46:33 MST Print View

I've only ever fished Tenkara. What size fish would a pen rod linked to above be able to handle?

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: Re: Telescoping pole on 02/05/2014 22:05:17 MST Print View

I've got a couple zebco's that look similar to the one you ordered but are a model ul4 classic they weight 5oz on the nose I don't use much anymore but they worked good and there is less fiddling. Fresh line is a little more important to keep them casting nice and since there is a small hole that the line comes out so close to the spool it cuts casting distance a bit but nothing a couple split shots won't cure

Edited by mtmnmark on 02/05/2014 22:09:23 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Zebco on 02/05/2014 22:29:24 MST Print View

I got the Zebco today. It's a sweet little reel and I like the trigger feature-- never tried one. It is compact and nicely finished, but no lighter than the Shakespeare reel I got with the pole. I can certainly live with it until I find a "reely" light one.

Thanks for the tips!

Bryant Burton
(moabrocks) - F
Telescoping Fly Pole on 02/08/2014 21:35:07 MST Print View

On the topic of telescoping poles ... I don't post much and I'm not sure if this would go better here or on the make your own gear area but here I go. I've always wanted a telescoping fly pole. I usually fish streams where the banks are pretty tight and taking a 8+ ft. fly pole through the brush and trees often times gets pretty difficult. Taking a part the pole to just go 30 feet down river was also kind of lame so I looked around for a telescoping fly pole and didn't find much and what I did find was kind of pricy. I did find a cheap one on Amazon but it was so stiff and heavy I sent it back. So in looking at Ten Kara poles I wondered if those would be a good blank for a fly pole. I had never made a pole so this was my first try. I purchased a cheep pole from Japan on Amazon ... I think it was about $8. I wasn't sure how the segments would work with the guides so I purchase about a 9 ft pole. I purchased the guides from Cabela's and they had a set on sale for $11 along with a foam handle and real seat. I youtubed how to attach those and went to work. I had to cut the top most piece off a bit to get it to fit into the top guide. I actually wasn't sure how sturdy the whole thing would be as the Ten Kara pole was pretty light. I also wasn't sure how the segments would work with the guides and how it would cast but overall it turned out pretty good. The pole weighs about 3.8 oz and the whole rig is about 7.95 ... give or take. It's about 23" long collapsed and almost 9' extended. If I had to give it a weight I would say 3/4 ... its pretty flexible. I broke it in on Rock Creek here in Utah. It casted pretty well and handled the little bows and browns I caught. The biggest was 17" and the pole was bending pretty good. I took it on a week long in the Wind Rivers area in WY. and tested it out on a couple bigger fish. The biggest was a 23" bow and it bent it pretty well but didn't break it. So overall a success. I need to build another now that I know what I'm doing a little ... maybe take a class or something to get my thread work to look decent.

Here are some pics.

 photo 7BD55885-7890-4B46-98BA-0C7A40DA4F27_zpsxgukzqae.jpg

 photo 99eb34fd-5f32-4d54-9158-b0b6e4ca7bf2_zps4ac72e74.jpg

 photo 14b08e4b-5962-43e9-b2f1-8d1b92dd88ed_zps038d9470.jpg

Edited by moabrocks on 02/08/2014 21:43:28 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Telescoping Fly Pole on 02/08/2014 21:45:15 MST Print View

Impressive mashup!

Even more impressive that it, and you, are handling some pretty big fish.

Could you take a picture of just the guides, like straight down? I'd like to see how they stack together.

Have you had any surprises with the rod "auto-collapsing" under load?


Edited by greg23 on 02/08/2014 21:52:04 MST.

Bryant Burton
(moabrocks) - F
Telescoping Fly Pole on 02/08/2014 21:56:48 MST Print View

Its been a fun little project. Here is a little better picture of the guides ... for those who actually make fly poles get ready to cry because my thread work is ugly. I used single foot guides to try and decrease the overall length and I worried that the single foot wouldn't be strong enough but it seems like it has done ok. I'd like to try one with snake guides. I think that reinforcing the top of each section might make it a little more durable.

So far the pole hasn't broken due to any fish pulling to hard. I did break off the tip while it was collapsed but was able to do a field repair with some superglue. I need to make a better rod protector while collapsed.

 photo d58fc185-ddfc-4c8b-b7f0-d6e9202e6e6b_zpsc3cc23da.jpg

Edited by moabrocks on 02/08/2014 22:04:48 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Telescoping Fly Pole on 02/08/2014 22:03:16 MST Print View


Never let Perfect get in the way of Good Enough.

While the rod-builders are still inside, you're hauling in fish!

And that's what is really all about.


eric schultz
(schultz104) - F

Locale: phoenix
Telescoping pole on 02/11/2014 14:47:56 MST Print View

How did the :

work out for you? I guess what I am getting at, is it worth buying and carrying?

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
its the size guys on 02/11/2014 16:50:06 MST Print View


that pen rod is about the length of your arm. cute, but too short 2b versatile.
for fishing JMT trout streams, a rod from 5.5 to 6.5 is what u need.
the extra reach it affords will go along way, esp when "steering" a lure thru the ever-changing pockets, pools, riffles n runs.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Pen fishing rods on 02/16/2014 08:28:49 MST Print View

I have a collapsible Shakespear I like to spin cast with, but I've really been tempted to get a pen rod. If I ever do, it will be the official pen fishing rod that has caught world records. Plenty of you tubes on them. The one John over at IntenseAngler uses.