How to Unstick a Telescopic Pole (Actionable Tips)

Telescopic poles are convenient and versatile tools for various purposes, I use them exceptionally on my fishing trips, but they can also be used for hiking, camping, photography, and more. They can be smoothly adjusted to different lengths and collapsed for convenient transportation and storage.

A somewhat frequent problem of telescopic poles is that they tend to get stuck, and their extension or retraction is restrained. It can be very frustrating, especially when you have to use your pole or pack it away.

I will share some practical ways to unstick a telescopic pole without damaging it or hurting yourself.

Larry Stark

Professional fisherman, who loves to review new fishing gadgets.

Table of Contents

Understanding Your Telescopic Pole:

Before we begin, let’s understand a bit about your fishing pole. A telescopic pole is made up of several sections that collapse into one another for easy storage and transport. Sometimes, due to dirt, sand, or even moisture, these sections can get stuck, making it challenging to extend or collapse your fishing pole. But don’t fret; we’ve got you covered with these helpful tips:

Tip #1: Use Tape

Lack of grip on the smooth and round sections of the telescopic pole is one of the main reasons it gets stuck. Improving your grip on the pole increases your chances of pushing it together or pulling it apart.

One of the best ways to improve your grip is using duct or packing tape. Simply tear off two tape strips and fold them into loops with the sticky side out. Stick one loop to the palm of each hand or to the pole itself near the joint.

Now you can twist, pull, or push the sections with more force and less slippage. It’s one of the most practical ways to unstick a telescopic rod quickly.

Tip #2: Use Your Knees

If you don’t have any tape handy, using your knees is another proven way to unstick a telescopic pole. The method takes advantage of the leverage and strength of your legs. Legs are much stronger than your arms and can exert much more force.

Hold the pole horizontally behind your knees. Ensure your hands are close to the joint, and press them against your legs for stability. Then use your legs to push against your arms while twisting, pulling, or pushing the sections apart. The added force of the legs will help unstick the telescopic rod easily.

Tip #3: Cool the Joint

One common reason telescopic poles get stuck is the metal’s expansion due to temperature changes. In such a situation, cooling down the joint can help.

Use chilled water or ice to shrink a tight or swollen joint slightly. The metal will contract due to temperature reduction, making it easier to slide the joint out. However, be careful not to expose the pole to extreme temperatures for long, as this can damage or trigger rusting.

Tip #4: Use a Rubber Pad or Rubber Gloves

A rubber pad or rubber gloves can also help unstick a telescopic pole. They do the magic by adding extra friction and tension to the stuck joint.

First, wear rubber gloves or place the non-slip rubber pads on pole sections close to the stuck joint. Apply pressure, twist, and pull or push the sections apart. The rubber will provide the resistance needed to help unstuck the joint.

Tip #5: Use a Hammer

If none of the above methods work, you can use a hammer to tap on the joint gently from different angles to break it free. However, using a hammer should be the last resort, as it involves the risk of damaging the telescopic rod permanently.

One should exercise extreme caution while tapping the stuck joint with a hammer because some carelessness can permanently damage or dent the pole. You can try placing a plastic lid or a piece of wood between the hammer and the pole to protect it from direct impact.

What Not To Do When Getting a Fishing Rod Unstuck

While there are many effective ways to get a telescopic pole unstuck, you should also avoid some methods.

  • Avoid bending the pole because it can permanently cause undue stress and damage to the joints and sections. Bending makes the joints weaker or more prone to breaking. Always keep the pole straight when trying to unstick it. This is extremely important when using telescopic rod while sea fishing.
  • Don’t apply too much power when trying to unstick a telescopic pole. Applying untamed force can permanently damage or break the pole. Be gentle and apply steady pressure when trying to unstick a pole.
  • Using too much oil or lubricants is of no use, although a bit of greasing can help. Oil makes the joint more slippery and harder to grip. Oil also attracts more dirt and dust making the joint prone to clogging. Keeping the pole and the joints clean and dry would help when trying to unstick it.

4 Tips to Prevent a Fishing Rod From Getting Stuck

A little care can improve the functionality and extend the life of your telescopic rod. I’m able to avoid getting a stuck joint and keeping my telescopic pole in good condition by following the below tips.

  • Clean and air-dry your pole after each use. Dirt, dust, sand, salt, and moisture are real culprits that build up inside the joints and sections of your telescopic pole and increase the chances of a stuck pole. Wiping your pole will help remove dirt and moisture and reduce the risk of any problems.
  • Occasional use of lubricants like silicone spray, graphite powder, or wax can also help prevent a telescopic fishing rod from getting stuck. Oils or grease, when used sparingly and periodically, ensures the smooth functionality of your pole.
  • Storing correctly ensures the smooth functioning of your pole. Store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or moisture. Anglers often use protective cases or bags and store their poles in racks. Careful storage prevents scratches or dents, thus reducing the risk of having a stuck rod.
  • Read instructions. It is best to use your pole according to its manufacturer’s specifications and limitations. Using your pole for purposes other than what it is designed for can damage or break it permanently. Always use your telescopic pole with compatible accessories.


Telescopic poles are tools that enhance your fishing experience and make it more enjoyable. However, they can also get stuck and cause you trouble and frustration. Following my tips, you can unstick your telescopic pole efficiently and prevent it from getting stuck.