You have probably heard of pen fishing rods as they are becoming increasingly popular globally for their portability and convenience.
Not to be confused with PENN the fishing manufacturer, these pocket fishing poles are tiny telescopic rods that collapse down to the size of a pen you write with and even look like one too!
Now, you might think of pen fishing rods as a gimmick but they do work and you can catch small fish with them, and it is a ton of fun on such light fishing gear.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best pen fishing rods on the market so you can try catching fish with some of the smallest but funniest fishing rods on the planet.
5 Best Pen Fishing Rods
- Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo – My Best Overall Pen Rod Pick!
- Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set – My Best Quality Pick!
- YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – My Best Fly Fishing Pen Rod Pick!
- MultiOutools 38-inch Mini Portable Pen Fishing Reel and Rod Combo – My Best Ornamental Pen Rod Pick!
- Happy Outdoor Mini Pen Fishing Pole Reel Combo – My Best Pen Rod For Kids Pick!
Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo – My Best Overall Pen Rod Pick!
The Docooler Mini Aluminum Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo is one of the best pen fishing rods around and it comes with a reel too, so it’s pretty much the most portable fishing kit you can own.
You can literally keep this pen fishing combo in your glove box or in your work bag so you can have a cast on any bit of water you happen to wander by.
When closed, the pen fishing rod is just 8 inches in length so you can pretty much keep it in your pocket. To open it up, simply take the lid off and open the telescopic rod to its full length of 38 inches.
The rod is durably built from fiberglass and aluminum alloy which means it is both corrosion resistant and it can handle being bent by fish too. It is surprisingly good to cast with and you can easily make casts of around 15-20 feet with it, more than enough to catch a fish or two.
This is the perfect pen rod to enjoy catching small fish like crappies, small trout, and bluegill plus it is super easy to use and the perfect size for kids too. It will handle a fight pretty well but you will be outgunned if you were to hook a large bass or trout.
Included with this pen fishing rod is an aluminum alloy reel which does work but it is not very durable so don’t be surprised if it needs replacing at some point. You will also find a line on the reel but you should remove it and replace it with a new one on or you will be untangling the line instead of fishing.
- Good for casting, despite being tiny
- Rod is well-made and will last
- Awesome for kids and beginners
- Way too much for pros
- Super easy to use and simple to set up
- Super lightweight and portable fishing combo
- Includes an aluminum alloy reel with fishing line
- Holds a good amount of line
- The reel isn’t very durable
- The line needs changing as it coils
- Won’t handle big fish over 2 lbs
Material: Aluminum alloy & fiberglass
Closed length: 7.87in
Open length: 38 in
Weight: 55 grams
Material: Aluminum alloy
Gear Ratio: 5.1:1
Line capacity: 5lb/180 yd or 0.5mm/190m
Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set – My Best Quality Pick!
The Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set is the best quality pen fishing rod and reel combos around and if you genuinely want to catch fish with a pen fishing rod setup, this is the one to buy.
When stored away the pen fishing rod has a small length of 8 inches so you can keep it in your pocket, laptop bag, glove box – pretty much anywhere. This means that you will never walk past a fishy bit of water again and think, “I wish I had my rod” as this one will be with you.
The pen fishing rod comes in a range of lengths from 1 meter to 2.4 meters so you can pick the rod length that suits you best. Built from glass steel fiber and a high-quality aluminum alloy, the rod is pretty tough and it comes to play.
You can make some long casts with it and cover more than enough distance to catch small species like trout, bluegill, and crappies. It is the perfect setup for kids, beginners, and anyone looking for a cool portable pole option.
This pen fishing rod also comes with a good spinning reel. Built from aluminum it is both durable and light plus it even comes with drag and anti-reverse. The line capacity is pretty great with up to 60 meters of 2lb line so if you hook a bigger fish, you might be able to land it on the pen rod.
The one problem with this pen fishing combo is the line that comes on the reel, it is not to the standard of the rod/reel combo and is full of memory. Be sure to remove it and add some new mono so you don’t end up in tangles.
If you plan to go ice fishing with a pen fishing rod, the Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set is the best option. It can handle small fish such as bass up to 5lbs if you are careful and take your time to play and land the fish slowly.
- Comes in a range of different sizes
- A great gift for anglers
- Perfect for off-the-cuff fishing opportunities
- Very affordable for the quality
- Comes with a spinning reel that works well
- Kids and beginners will love using this
- A fun gift for fishing enthusiasts or collectors
- A durable rod that is fun for catching small species
- Small, lightweight, and super portable
- Change out the line that comes with it
Material: Aluminum alloy & glass steel fiber
Closed length: 8 in.
Open length: 1 – 2.4 m
Weight: 2.8 oz
Material: Aluminum alloy
Gear Ratio: 4.3: 1
Weight: 7 oz
Line capacity: 1lb/120M, 2lb/60M
YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – My Best Fly Fishing Pen Rod Pick!
The YOGAYET Mini Pocket Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is a different style of pen fishing rod combo compared to the others as this combo comes with a fly reel instead of a spinning reel.
This pen fishing rod, like the others, is made from durable fiberglass and aluminum so you can use it in saltwater and freshwater. They are pretty durable tough little rods too and can handle catching trout around 1 lb and other species of a similar size.
When stored, the pen fishing rod is 8.27 inches and is therefore highly portable and can be taken anywhere you go. When pulled out it hits around 39 inches in length so you can make short casts with it easily.
The fly reel that comes with the rod is made from aluminum and works well but you will need to grease it first before you use it. To get the most out of the reel buy a 2-weight fly line and trim it down to a length that works with the reel.
When set up, this little pen rod and reel are a ton of fun to catch small fish with and it is great for a kid to learn fly fishing with. Check out my article on learning how to fly fish here!
You will find that the set includes some mono fishing line and lures but these are very cheap and not very good quality. I suggest replacing them when you get a chance to give you more chances to catch fish.
- Comes with a fly reel for fly fishing
- Can also be used with a spinning reel
- Super portable
- Quite good to cast with
- Works for fly fishing with a trimmed 2 wt fly line
- Great for kids to learn fly fishing with
- Fun for catching small trout with
- Comes with line, lures, and a tackle box
- Line and lures are not so good
- The reel needs lubricating before use
Material: Aluminum & fiberglass
Closed length: 8.27 inch
Open length: 39 inch
Weight: 170 grams (total)
Material: Aluminum alloy
G. Ratio: 1:1
Weight: 170 grams (total)
Line capacity: 2lb/20m
MultiOutools 38-inch Mini Portable Pen Fishing Reel and Rod Combo – My Best Ornamental Pen Rod Pick!
The MultiOutools 38-inch Mini Portable Pen Fishing Reel and Rod Combo isn’t the most functional option featured in the article but it is a great gift for a collector who likes the idea of a pen fishing rod.
That being said, you can still fish with it but don’t expect it to be as durable as the others.
This pen fishing rod is made from aluminum and fiberglass like the others and is super light and portable being just 7.87 inches long. Fully opened it is around 38 inches long which is long enough to make casts of around 20 feet in order to catch some small fish.
Opening it up is easy as you simply extend the telescopic sections and lock them in place. Closing it is a little more tricky as the sections can tend to stick making it a little bit frustrating at times.
This pen fishing rod combo comes with a reel, line, and lures, everything you need to start fishing. It would make a good gift for a child who wants to try fishing as it is super affordable and if they do like it, you can upgrade the tackle.
Be warned though, the lures, line, and reel are not the best and I would suggest replacing them as soon as possible since they will only create headaches on the water.
- Advertised as ready for saltwater
- Ideal for kids, beginners, and quick casts
- Labeled durable enough for saltwater use
- Simple and easy to use
- Good for small fish around 1 lb in size
- You can cast pretty well with it
- Lightweight and super portable
- Includes tackle, line, and reel
- Best used as an ornament
- You will want to replace the reel and terminal tackle
- Delicate and needs extra care when fishing
Material: Aluminum alloy & fiberglass
Closed length: 7.87 in.
Open length: 38 in.
Weight: 0.13 lbs
Material: Plastic & aluminum
G. Ratio: 5.1:1
Line capacity mm/m: 0.17/130,0.20/110,0.23/90
Happy Outdoor Mini Pen Fishing Pole Reel Combo – My Best Pen Rod For Kids Pick!
The Happy Outdoor Mini Pen Fishing Pole Reel Combo is another of the pen fishing rods out there that suits the first rod for a kid to “test the waters” so to speak, or as an ornament for a collector.
The pen fishing rod combo includes everything from a reel to the line, lures, and floats too but the reel doesn’t actually work so you will want to buy a separate one if you intend to use this for fishing.
The pen fishing rod is built from aluminum and plastic which creates a surprisingly durable combination and it will catch small fish under 1 lb with ease. Closed, this pen rod is 8 inches and fully extended, it is 39 inches.
You can make good enough casts with it of around 25 feet and therefore can catch small species that like to come near the shoreline.
Opening the rod out is simple but closing it can be a problem as the sections tend not to retract smoothly, meaning it might be a little difficult to get it back to the 8-inch pen sizes every time.
The reel that comes with the rod is made to sit on the mantle as it is quite pretty but not very functional as it has no drag and will eventually not last very long. You are best off adding your own spinning reel if you want to use this pocket fishing rod.
- Rod can handle small fish around 1lb
- Works well for kids
- Good for casting short distances
- Compact, light, and portable
- Easy to open and use
- Excellent for use as an ornament/collector’s item
- Includes line, lures, and a reel
- The reel quality is poor
- The sections of the rod can get stuck
- Not that great for fishing with
Material: Plastic and aluminum
Closed length: 8.1 in.
Open length: 39 in.
Weight: 6 oz
G. Ratio: 1:1
Weight: 8 oz
Line capacity: 2lb/26 m
Pen Fishing Rods – Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Line For A Pen Rod?
The best line for use with a pen rod is monofilament. Mono is more stretchy than braid or fluoro fishing line, which helps reduce pressure on the rod during striking and landing fish.
What Size Line Should I Use On A Pen Rod & Reel?
Pen rods are short and are not very strong. Always use a minimum 2lb to a maximum 4lb test (breaking strain) line. If you use a strong line then the pen fishing rod is likely to snap!
What Drag Should I Set On A Pen Reel?
It’s always best to keep a very loose drag while you are fishing with pen fishing rods. Once you have a fish on the line adjust and tighten the drag accordingly whilst landing the fish.
Can I Lift A Fish With A Pen Rod?
It is best not to lift a fish larger than 4oz in weight with a pen rod. These tiny rods are not strong enough to lift a larger fish without breaking. For larger fish than 4oz, it is best always to use a landing net, to ensure you land the fish and for its welfare.
Thanks very much for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and found the right pen fishing rod for you. They really are a super cool concept and being so affordable, it is worth owning one.
Just be sure to choose the right pen fishing rod for your purpose, for example, some of the pen rods featured are better on the mantelpiece while others will actually catch fish.
If you are interested in reading more on rods for portable fishing rods, check out my article on travel fishing rods here! Which covers travel rods for saltwater, coarse, fly, and carp fishing.
- How To Know The Age Of A Fish? Using The Science Of Calcified Structures - February 8, 2023
- How Do Seasons Affect Freshwater Fishing In Lakes And Rivers - February 7, 2023
- Tides And Seasons – How Do They Affect Saltwater Fishing? - February 3, 2023