The Best Carp Rod Holdalls - (5 Carp Rod Bags Fully Reviewed)
Getting your gear to the swim is not often the most enjoyable part of your days fishing. Depending on your venue, it can be a fair hike to the swim, and often the best spots are not directly opposite the car park!
Carp anglers are famous for their ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach. But until they come up with a way to make a rod fit in a tackle box, it’s dimensions mean that it must be carried separately.
Whilst a bait box or rod holder may take a fair bit of ‘knocking about’, a long, thin, delicate piece of beloved carbon-fibre deserves extra protection.
So what is the solution? Let’s talk rod holdalls. This article will examine what to look for in a holdall based on our experience and extensive testing. I'll offer some advice on how you can choose the best Carp Rod Holdall based on your specific needs.
Strapped For Time?
To cut to the chase, we have tested a number of carp rod holdalls over the years and yet unanimously always revert back to our number one choice. Our pick for the best carp rod holdall is the Solar Tackle Undercover Camouflage Rod Holdall.
This Rod Holdall really is top notch and a clear winner amongst many holdalls tried and tested. I know that it's only a rod holdall at the end of the day but if protection, space and quality is what you're after then this holdall is for you.
Read on to find out more on what to look for in the best carp rod holdall as well as a more detailed look at our top choice as well as some alternatives.
A bit about Rod Holdalls
Before we begin it is important to understand what we mean by the term ‘holdall’. A rod holdall is not the cloth bag that it came in when you bought the rod. The clue is in the name, ‘hold-all’.
The best Carp Rod Holdalls provide a safe space to store and carry, not just your rod, but other accessories. This can include rod holders, reels, umbrellas and landing net poles. The aim of a rod holdall has two general purposes.
Firstly a rod holdall must protect your rods. Those among you who have sat down to tackle up for a long, hard session, only to discover your rod has shrunk by 6 inches during its journey will no doubt already be aware of this.
Secondly it must be easy to carry. A fully loaded Carp Rod Holdall can be heavy. Ideally you want to arrive for your session on the swim feeling calm, relaxed and able to focus on what matters.
Not spending the first twenty minutes of your session hot and flustered, trying to work the feeling back into your fingers because the strap of your holdall cut off your blood supply at the shoulder.
Carp Rod Holdalls basically carry your tackle inside their structure. Some even have a dedicated ‘belly’ section to allow your reels to be fitted to the rods, your rods can be fully tackled up!
But beware, this can mean they can very quickly become bulky. You’ll find the best Carp rod holdalls will utilise space effectively meaning this bulk is reduced.
Why the right Carp Rod Holdall is important
Look at a Carp rod holdall, not as a bag, but as an investment. If you were going on a journey, and wanted to take something precious, you wouldn't use a carrier bag, right? It makes sense to apply the same logic to your tackle.
For the serious carp fisherman the rod, and often the reel, are expensive. It pay dividends to ensure that they have the longest lifespan possible.
It’s all relative however. It depends on what kind of fisherman you are. For the more casual angler, the best Carp rod holdall will probably need to be on the lower end of the budget.
It is no use spending a fortune on a multi-rod, multi pocketed, lightweight holdall, only for it to sit on the garage floor for most of the year.
Conversely for the real enthusiasts, who undoubtedly have premium high-end rods and tackle, you want to make sure that you protect your most prized possessions.
Especially if they are going to be taken on regular outings, cross country. For these anglers the best Carp rod holdall may be something that is located at the upper end of the scale.
Factors affecting your Carp Rod Holdall Choice
To choose the best Carp rod holdall, you should consider several factors and balance them against each other before making your choice:-
Size is an obvious factor for lots of reasons. If you only have one rod then a five rod holdall is probably not for you. Further to this you need to consider the length of your rods. If you have rod tips sticking out of the top, it simply isn’t doing its job.
Storage and transport requires thought. If it won’t fit in the car, then it's not going to the venue. Finally consider what kind of fishing you do. If you don’t mind setting up on the bank then you probably won't need a bag that has room to leave your reels attached.
But for those of you who want to arrive fully prepped and ready, or have multiple rods, it is worth looking at holdalls with room to accommodate your needs.
Similarly to a Carp fishing rucksack, weight is important. Think how far you normally walk to get to your spot? If you are more mobile, and like to fish away from the crowd, the best Carp rod holdall for you might be something on the lighter side.
The value of what you are protecting is key. Thick padding leads to fewer breakages. But if you are spending more on the holdall than you are on what's inside it, then it may be money better spent on other things.
How often and when do you fish? Material choice can be important. The best Carp rod holdalls use much more advanced material, offering a greater degree of weather proofing and perhaps more importantly, durability.
If you are a fair weather fisherman it may be more cost effective to pick a lighter, less durable bag. Conversely if you are going out regularly in all weathers it is prudent to buy something once, that will last longer.
Whilst we are talking about weather, it is worth mentioning that if you do intend to fish in inclement weather, by all means consider a holdall that has room for your umbrella or brolly system.
Bearing all these features in mind, let's take a look at the best Carp rod holdalls, taking into account some of the features we've talked about.
The Best Carp Rod Holdalls
Solar Tackle Undercover Camouflage Rod Holdall
Overall Best Carp Holdall
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this rod holdall by solar tackle is our number one choice as the best Carp rod holdall out there and has been for many years. I do keep getting told "It is just a rod holdall" which I get, but this holdall ticks all the boxes I want it to.
Firstly, it carries everything I need it to. There is enough room to house 3 rods readily made-up alongside 3 spares. The reel pouch is large enough for even the biggest of 'big pit reels' and allows for a snug, well protected, fit.
The rod protection features on this holdall are all 'on the money' as well. The velcro straps hold both thin and thicker rods comfortably and there is just the right amount of padding.
I find the padding is an important feature of a decent rod holdall as, of course we want to protect our rods, but equally we don't want to feel like the Michelin Man whilst walking down the bank!
The amount of holdalls I've tested where the 'beefed up' padding has just meant that it constantly gets caught in the zip when closing the rod holdall, is countless. This holdall just doesn't do this and as such im saving a fortune on the swear box! Not having too much padding also ensures it doesn't take up too much space on you carp barrow.
Moving onto the material of the holdall. The PVC backed fabric ensures that any water stays out of the bag, and ensures durability and longevity meaning this is a holdall that will last. The bag has a striking camouflage pattern, for those anglers who want to go that tiny bit further to maximize their chances and avoid spooking fish.
In terms of storage, I've already mentioned how your rods and reels will fit perfectly into the holdall. In addition to this there is also a deceptively spacious front storage compartment which comfortably fits my brolly system, landing net and bank sticks in without having to force anything.
Finally, the padded shoulder strap is adjustable and ensures you can balance the total weight of the loaded holdall across your body if you choose to carry your gear to the swim.
You get what you pay for with this offering from Solar Tackle, and this holdall will keep your rods in pristine condition. Try it out, you won't be disappointed!
Daiwa Black Widow 3 Rod Holdall
Daiwa has built a reputation for making quality fishing products over the years, and this bag is no exception. Accommodating up to three fully made-up 12ft rods means that you can have two set up for bottom fishing and one in standby ready for stalking in the margins.
This holdall offers both comfort in carrying your gear, and ensuring that it reaches the swim in one piece, as they have been particularly generous with the padding. You can also fit three spare rods in at the same time.
2 Rod Holdall Bag by NGT
Two rod holdalls occupy a safe middle ground. Even if you only have one rod right now, you have the scope to advance your ‘collection’ at later date, without having to buy another holdall.
Furthermore with one or two rods you have plenty of space to make your rods up, before you get to the venue.
The two rod holdall bag by NGT, has capacity for two 12ft rods, this holdall has several features that make it an investment. It is lightweight, giving you the freedom to ‘wander’.
With extra padding, your reels will stay in one piece, as will your shoulders, as the strap is heavily padded too! And it even has extra clips for attaching accessories or other luggage.
3 Rod Carp Holdall Bag by NGT
Best Budget Carp Rod Holdall
Cheap and good quality? If bang for your buck is what you are after, and you want the best Carp rod holdall at the lowest possible price, be sure to give this a look.
Whilst the name suggest three rod capacity, you can actually fit six rods in this quality nylon holdall. Up to three can be made up, with additional room for another three without reels.
With the option to carry up to six rods in total, you have plenty of options as to how to utilise the space. A front pocket and a huge reel pocket provides room for any other bits and pieces.
This holdall is nowhere near as good as our number one choice but if you are on a budget, then this is a worthy option.
Korda Compac Rod Holdall
Best Lightweight Compact Carp Rod Holdall for Stalking
Sometimes carp fishing is about sitting in your bivvy, and letting the fish come to you. But if you are a more active angler and want to wander the bank to find the fish, this is the best Carp Rod Holdall for stalking. It only fits two rods, but if you are mobile, why would you want more?
This holdall can easily carry two made up rods, and has a clip for any ‘extras’ you might want to bring. The padded reel pouch section means the only thing you’ll be finding is the fish, not broken reels!
The best Carp rod holdall is more than just a rod bag. It is a multi-purpose piece of ‘fishing luggage’, that is designed to make life easier. With all of our recommendations you can get your rods set up before you go anywhere near the water.
The best Carp Rod Holdall for you is the one that suits your style of fishing, but also ensures that your rods leave the bag in exactly the same condition as they went in.
If either of these two conditions are lacking in your current holdall, then it could be a good time to upgrade, Tight Lines!
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