How to choose a Carp Rod and Reel

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Choosing a carp rod to fulfil your needs can seem confusing and difficult, but if you follow my advice you should be able to find the rod to suit your requirements.


12’ to 13’ are the standard length of most carp fishing rods, but as with all your equipment you should choose what feels most comfortable. As a guide you will need to be fairly tall and strong with a polished technique to get the best out of a 13’ rod, and remember in certain situations where you have things like overhanging trees etc, they can be a hindrance. Generally a 12’ rod will suit most carp anglers, this gives sufficient length for good casting, excellent fish controlling properties and will also fit in your car easier.


On most waters a 2.75lb test curve rod is all you need. It will allow you to cast over 100 yards as well as being forgiving enough so that you don’t pull hooks when fish are fighting hard under the rod tip, these rods will also make the whole experience of playing fish more pleasurable. Rods with test curves over 3lb are highly specialised and are designed for anglers trying to cast large leads, PVA bags etc to extreme ranges of 120 yards and more.


An important thing to consider is the action of the rod. Carp rods are generally designed with two different actions.


These make the perfect all rounder, beautiful to play fish on and easy to cast.


Generally designed for long distance casting, these rods are stiffer and will require practice to fully utilise their superior casting potential.


Spod rods have a powerful, progressive action and are capable of casting spods full of bait (these can weigh upto 8oz) accurately and to great distances. Spod rods can be indispensable on some waters where it is necessary to accurately create beds of bait to attract carp to your hook baits.


Essential to discover what is on the bottom of your lake, these rods are stiff and when coupled with a braided mainline and marker float will soon tell you all you need to know about the hotspots and feeding areas on your water. If you want to be a consistent catcher these rods are a must.


There are several different models to choose from and it is important that you get your selection right, by this I mean having a reel that will balance your rod, a reel that holds enough line of sufficient breaking strain to handle the fish you are targeting.


Basically there are two main types of carp reel, to choose from when targeting large carp:


These reels feature a lever that allows a carp to take line with very little resistance, perfect when you get a take. Resistance can be adjusted, from anything to totally free running when fishing open water, to very tight when fishing in weedy or snaggy swims. The Free spool facility is disengaged by turning the reel handle, you are then switched over to your pre set clutch (that you set before casting), you are then ready to commence the fight. These reels are the perfect choice for general carp angling, they hold sufficient line, they are easy to use and are the correct weight to balance the majority of carp rods.


These reels are out and out casting tools particularly useful when you need to gain extra yards when angling for fish at extreme range. The other attribute these reels have is that they have very fast retrieves and powerful cranking power. This can be a massive advantage when trying to control a large fish kiting at long range or when trying to extract hard fighting carp from weed and snags.

4 thoughts on “How to choose a Carp Rod and Reel

  1. No one says enough about all through rods for close in fishing.Need less drag if any ,less pull through if any.What is strain/muscular pull for what size fish then can know pound strain of line to use with rod.e.g can 10lb fish exert 12lb force on line using muscle;not weight.
    Does allthrough make a smaller fish feel like a bigger fish compared to usual 2.5-3.5 test curve in tip.

  2. Some good answers to regular frequently asked questions when it comes to fishing rods and gear. I’ve always been a fan of the free spool reels.

  3. Pingback: Dave Lane New Years Carp Fishing Video Diary

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