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We all love to go fishing, but it sometimes can be very cumbersome to lug around a long fishing pole and all the accessories.
If you want to head out for a fishing trip deep in the backwoods – or you want to be prepared to fish at a moment’s notice – you need a more convenient option.
We love things that come in small packages, and fishing poles are no exception.
Pen fishing rods are small rods that are easier to carry around than their larger-than-life counterparts.
The best mini pen rods are both attractive and easy to use, making them ideal options when you’re looking for more low-maintenance fishing gear.
Consider my ranking of the top
5 Best Pen Fishing Rods 2023
Last update on 2023-09-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 5 Micro Fishing Rods Reviewed
While the best pen rod for you will vary depending on your fishing preferences, style, and budget, these are the best products I have found.
This list includes an overview of the best options on the market in order to give any angler an idea of the features and benefits of these products.
1. Lixada Pen Rod & Reel Combo (Top Choice)
This micro rod and reel combo is so tiny and budget-friendly, you can buy one for every day of the week!
Since it comes in a variety of colors, including blue, green, silver, purple, red, gold, black, and more, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
A prepared rod and reel combo, it consists of a glass steel fiber rod that’s strong enough to fight with large fish yet small enough to fit into your pocket.
It also has an aluminum alloy shell making it both lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
The reel is miniature, pre-spooled with line, and containing a 4.3:1 gear ratio. It also has 2+1 BB with copper axis for smooth operation out there on the water.
A super durable unit, it collapses to only eight inches to fit in your pocket or tackle box. It can be used in both saltwater and freshwater alike.
- Made out of durable, lightweight materials
- Collapses to only eight inches
- Smooth casting ability
- Guides have trouble staying in position
2. Docooler Mini Aluminum Pocket Pen Fishing Rod
This micro fishing rod and reel is ideal for situations in which carrying along typical fishing tackle and equipment is impractical or simply inconvenient.
It comes with a lightweight aluminum alloy reel, which has both forward and reverse ratchet stop and drag control.
The reel attaches to the rod between two grooves in the body of the pen, making it easy to assemble in a pinch.
One of my favorite features of this product was that the reel came pre-spooled with line (51 lb, 180 yard).
Although it’s not necessarily a line I would use in all situations, it’s a nice bonus feature of this already affordable rod.
- Comes pre-spooled with line
- It has excellent drag control, making it ideal for a newer angler
- Assembles quickly and easily
- Available in six different colors
- Needs to have a little extra weight added (such as one split shot) to be effective
- Reel seat needs occasional retightening
3. Rongbo Portable Pen Rod and Reel Combo for Kids
If you have kids that like to fish, look no further than the Rongbo Portable Pen Fishing Rod.
This tiny micro rod is perfect for young anglers as well as expert and mature fishermen and women.
It comes with a forward and reverse ratchet stop along with drag control.
It is fully extendable, allowing you to fish wherever and whenever you’d like – you just need to stash the pen rod and reel combo in your glove box!
It’s easy to assemble and is perfect for taking hiking with you.
- Portable design makes it great for traveling
- Collapses and extends easily
- Includes impact-resistant design
- Not the best for larger fish
4. HDE Pocket Size Pen Fishing Rod
This rod and reel combo comes in a variety of colors, including blue, red, black, yellow, and silver.
Offered at a low price, this rod is a great option for men, women, and children alike. It’s ideal for fishing small fish in freshwater ponds, handling them easily.
You can carry this rod around in your pocket, making it easy to transport for a bit of fishing no matter where you might be.
The rod is made out of sturdy aluminum alloy, and the plastic reel housing encases a solid brass casting reel for long-lasting results.
- Plastic reel housing helps keep out moisture and prevent damage
- Comes with fishing line
- Weighs less than eight ounces
- Only extends to about three feet while packing down to eight inches
5. G Ganen 38 inch Mini Portable Rod
This rod is one of the most inexpensive options available, and it comes with a reel to boot. It is offered in several colors, including black, red, silver, blue, purple, and gold.
Extending to just over three feet in length, it is ideal for any angler wanting to catch small fish.
This rod fits in a pocket and while it wouldn’t be my top choice for everyday angling, it’s a great option for when weight is a major factor in comfort and usability.
- Affordable option
- Available in multiple colors
- Fits easily in your pocket
- Aluminum alloy reel includes drag control
- No anti-reverse feature
- Does not come with line
What is a Pen Rod?
While there’s no substitute for a full-sized rod when angling in most scenarios, a pen rod was invented to be a portable rod that allows you to fish without hassle at a moment’s notice.
As the name implies, these rods are roughly the same size as ordinary writing pens when collapsed down into their carrying cases.
They then telescope out to several feet in length, allowing you all the normal function of a regular small rod – but with added portability.
Are Pen Fishing Rods Any Good?
These rods are lightweight and compact, allowing you to transport them easily in a pocket or backpack. They also make great gifts, especially for backpackers.
While your typical angler friend will likely have multiple rods to suit every need, a miniature rod is a cute gift that can be packaged easily.
You can use light tackle on these rods, allowing you to pull in small fish with ease.
What Should I Look for in a Pocket Fishing Rod?
Shopping for a pen pocket rod should not be a frustrating or stressful experience. A pen rod produces a great alternative to heavy, full-sized rods.
However, if you purchase the wrong one or one made with lower quality materials, you will likely break it after just one or two uses.
Therefore, knowing what to look for when purchasing a pen rod is key.
First, examine the material the rod is made out of. Most pen rod combos are constructed of heavy-duty fiberglass or aluminum.
These materials tend to be more lightweight while also not allowing your rod to be easily broken.
They are great for beginners, allowing you to inflict some wear and tear on your rod without having to replace it after a single-use.
Keep in mind that while you want your rod to be lightweight, you don’t want it to be so weightless that it easily flies out of your hand.
The rod needs to be able to support the weight of the reel, and it needs to have supportive eyelets that will allow your line to slip through easily while casting.
Think about the length of the rod, too. Most pen rods are less than four feet in length, while standard rods are at least six feet.
As a result, a pen rod will usually be much lighter and more compact.
However, depending on your preferences and angling needs, you can get pen fishing rods as small as just a couple of feet, or ones that telescope out to more than five feet in length.
Some pen rods come with their own reels. These combos can be convenient and effective, allowing you to get more bang for your buck in your purchase.
Check which kind of reel is included with the product you choose to buy.
If the reel is small, it will likely detach easily, allowing you to use it wherever you go. Most of these poles also come with caps.
Be mindful of the material and size of the cap, as some are manufactured so tightly that it can be difficult to remove the cap or case without breaking the rod into multiple pieces.
If your pen rod doesn’t come with a reel, don’t despair. Most pen rods can be easily matched with a small fly, baitcasting, spincasting, and spinning options.
Most can also cast about as far as a regular rod (between four to six feet in length) can, but the quality of your cast will ultimately depend on the type of line and other tackle you use.
Also Read: Best Starter Fishing Rod Poles
What’s the Best Way to Use a Pen Fishing Rod?
When you use a pen rod combo, you will need to use a line and spool that match the lightweight nature of your mini fishing rod.
Usually, you want to use a line that is about 75 feet with a breaking strength of 5 lbs. It should have a diameter of roughly 0.165 mm.
This will allow you to catch decent size fish without having to worry about the line breaking. The more your line can stretch, the stronger your line will be.
You can use your mini rod anywhere you would use a regular rod – for a better idea, you can check out this example of how to use a pen rod below.
You likely won’t be able to cast as far with this kind of equipment – nor would you want to take it out on a deep-sea excursion! – but you can reliably use it on bodies of fresh water like streams, lakes, or rivers.
Pen rods can catch just about any kind of fish for freshwater fishing.
They can also catch some smaller species of saltwater fish, but if you head out on the open sea just make sure the brand you select is capable of repelling water so you don’t have to worry about rust or pole wear and tear.
Again, make sure your ultralight pen rod is hooked up with the appropriate line, lures, and hooks for catching the desired species – this will be the ultimate determinant in the types of fish you can catch.
Verdict: What is The Best Pen Fishing Rod?
Of the micro rods we have reviewed, the Lixada Rod is by far our best pen rod.
Because it is such an inexpensive option, it is an excellent choice for beginning anglers or for those who are just beginning to experiment with the idea of pen rods.
Just like any new addition to your tackle equipment, pen rods can bring a major rush of adrenaline to your fishing experience.
While you likely won’t want to fish with one of these rods on a daily basis, they are definitely fun to have with you.