9 Best Carp Rods In 2022 - (Full Carp Fishing Rod Guide)

Carp fishing can get quite… technical. And everyone is trying to get that ‘edge’ to catch more often.

A carp rod is a fundamental piece of equipment in achieving that advantage. It can quite simply be the difference between you catching or not.

As to which carp rod to choose?.. well, that all depends on what you are trying to do with them.

The best carp rods are those made of 'quality' materials at the optimum length and correct test curve for a specific fishing situation.

Carp fishing rods are not created equal, and some shine in certain specific areas.

the best carp fishing rods

In this article we will take a look at the best carp rods for a whole host of different carp fishing applications. We will advise you on what features to look for when choosing the best carp rod and provide some suggestions based on years of experience and extensive research. 

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Quick Answer On What Are The Best Carp Rods

This article is a 15 minute read and details everything you need to know to help you choose the best carp rods.


In our suggestions we will also highlight the key features of the products, why we like them and any particular pros and cons.


For those in a hurry the rods featured are as follows:


The Best Carp Rods:

  1. Daiwa Basia AGS carp rod
  2. Daiwa infinity DF X45
  3. Wychwood Dispatch S1
  4. Shimano Tribal TX-A marker
  5. Fox Horizon X3
  6. Sonik vader XR-S
  7. NGT carp stalker
  8. Daiwa Black Widow G50
  9. Shimano Tribal TX
ImageProductFeaturesQuick Link
Best Overall Distance Rod
Daiwa Basia AGS
Daiwa Basia AGS
More Info
Daiwa Infinity DF X45 Daiwa Infinity DF X45
More Info
Great Value Spod Rod
Wychwood Dispatch S1 Spod Rod
Wychwood Dispatch S1 Spod Rod
More Info
Best Marker Rod
Shimano Tribal TX-A Marker 12ft
Shimano Tribal TX-A Marker 12ft
More Info
Best Surface Fishing Rod
Fox Horizon X3 12ft Floater Rod
Fox Horizon X3 12ft Floater Rod
More Info
Great For Beginners
Sonik Vader X RS Carp Rod
Sonik Vader X RS Carp Rod
More Info
Best Carp Rod For Kids
NGT Carp Stalker 2-Piece Fishing Rod
NGT Carp Stalker 2-Piece Fishing Rod
More Info
Best Budget Carp Rod
Daiwa Black Widow G50
Daiwa Black Widow G50
More Info
Best All Round Carp Rod
Shimano Tribal TX
Shimano Tribal TX
More Info

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What are the Different Types of Carp Fishing Rod and How Do They Differ?

If you take a trip down to your local tackle shop, you will undoubtedly be faced with a whole host of different types of carp rods at varying lengths and thicknesses.

So where do you start?

Well, let's start by explaining some of the different types of carp fishing rods you will find...

Distance Fishing Rods

Distance fishing rods, as the name suggests, are designed to propel your bait a long way. When we say a long way, we mean around the 150 yards mark! The key to success with a distance fishing rod depends on two things:

The rod action, and the strength of the blank.

You’ll generally find that distance fishing rods have a ‘through’ action. This is where the entirety of the rod bends and flexes to apply the maximum amount of force needed to propel a heavy lead (and bait) a long way.

However, a through action with a soft blank wouldn’t be strong enough to throw a large weight a considerable distance, so twinned with this ‘through’ action is a stronger and stiffer blank.

You’ll find that the best carp rods for distance are relatively long too. This length causes greater inertia, throwing your weight further.

Keep a close eye on the butt rings too. Because you’ll generate high energy during casts, you don’t want stop knots and shock leaders catching the rod's eyes. Larger rings prevent this from happening and reduce distance loss through friction.

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Spod Rods

Spod Rods share some similar traits with distance rods. A fully loaded spod can weigh anything up to 8 ounces!

If you aren’t familiar with spodding, it is the practice of loading a ‘rocket’ with bait. This is propelled at range before shedding its contents underneath its landing spot.

Here’s carp legend Danny Fairbrass showing off a handmade Spod Rod!

You’ll notice a few things, namely that, just like a distance casting carp rod, the spod rod is pretty stiff.

Secondly, the best carp rods for spodding tend to have really big rings. The reason for this is that the less contact the carp fishing line makes with the rod’s eyes, the further your spod rig will travel!

Stalking Rods

The best carp rods for stalking are a much more gentle affair.

When you are stalking, you’ll likely be able to see the fish, so the need to propel a 5oz bomb into oblivion isn’t necessary. Thinking about the pursuit of stalking carp, you’ll need a few things in a rod.

First, you will want it to be able to cast super accurately, perfect for bringing bait to rest right in the path of a hungry carp! For this reason, you’ll find that most stalking rods tend to have a fast action blank.

This is normally more flexible towards the tip, allowing you to cast a light float or controller without too much weight on the line.

You will frequently see that stalking rods are a little shorter too. You may be navigating an area with overhanging trees or moving the rod between beds of reeds, so it will have to be manageable.

Just because it is more refined doesn’t mean that you won’t catch big fish, so you still need a stalking rod to have a decent test curve!

Floater (Surface Fishing) Rods

Fishing on top is one of the most exciting ways to fish. There’s nothing more exciting than watching a big old grazing carp suck down a dog biscuit or floating marshmallow (I’ve given away one of my top-secret baits there).

This isn’t the kind of fishing that relies on stiff rods and heavy weights. You should go as delicate as you can.

The best carp rods for surface fishing tend to have a progressive action and a relatively light test curve, certainly no greater than 2.5lb. As with carp stalking rods, most of the action will be towards the tip.

You’ll also find a few extra features not seen elsewhere. Look out for things like hook keeper rings on the side of the rod. This allows you to quickly move around with your rig safely hooked down towards the butt end of the rod.

Other features are low friction guide rings. You aren’t going to be casting miles at the end of the day, and with using light setups, you won’t want that distance to be cut further with a line sticking in the rings.

You’ll often find floater rods have a matte finish. With the fish being on the surface, it is easy to spook them with flashes of sunlight glinting off your rod. A matte finish prevents this.

Most of the best floater rods are around 12ft in length. This gives casting distance without compromising on pulling power.

carp rod for surface fishing

Small Carp feeding on the surface

General All Round Rods

Is it possible to get the best of all worlds? In a fashion, yes… provided you don’t ask too much of your rod.

Let’s be honest, some types of carp rods are specialised. It is unlikely that you will find a spod rod that doubles up as an excellent float fishing rod for carp.

But you should be able to get something that ticks a few boxes at once if you agree to compromise.

Some feeder rods are strong enough to allow you to ledger with a reasonable amount of weight but have the necessary bend and action to do a pretty great job at float fishing too.

When choosing the best carp rods for all fishing types, the aim is to look at the features required for your chosen discipline.

An 11 or 12-foot rod is compact enough to use for stalking but will still have the necessary grunt to throw out a 3oz lead. 

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How to Choose the Best Carp Fishing Rods?

Now that we have discussed some of the principles with each rod, let’s look at features found in the best carp rods.

Carp Rod Material

As a general rule, you will find strong modulus carbon style blanks in the vast majority of carp rods. Occasionally, you’ll also see fibreglass. Both are strong enough to withstand a fair amount of pressure.

Depending on what style of fishing you intend to do, check the finish too. For visual and surface-based carp fishing, try and choose something matte. When fishing at range, this doesn’t matter quite so much. 

Rod Handles

Back in the day, you had one choice. Cork!

Nowadays, there are a whole host of options for the best carp rod handles. EVA foam is a popular choice as it stays grippy when wet and doesn’t tend to corrode when exposed to moisture.

For rods that aren’t going to be held for long periods (such as distance fishing rods), you’ll often find ‘shrink wrapped’ handles. There is a short grip at the butt, a large section of ‘bare’ blank and then another small grip towards the reel seat.

Aside from looking super cool, shrink wrap handles keep the weight down.

Reel Seats for Carp Rods

Want a piece of advice? Make sure your reel seat is of the locking screw type. Friction based reel seats are very much a thing of the past. There’s no worse feeling than a ‘splash’ while you are fighting the fish of a lifetime and seeing your reel sink into the depths.

And there’s more…

Remember, with some of the best carp rods, you will be generating a lot of force with heavy weights. If that reel moves even an inch, it can give you a nasty cut on your finger when casting. I know from personal experience!

Rod Action

The rod action is variable depending on type of fishing. For big fish and big weights, ideally, you will want a through-action fishing rod. As you move to lighter weights and shorter distances, it might make sense to look for a rod with a progressive action towards the rod tip.

best action for carp rods

3 different types of rod action

Check out the following table that details what carp rod action is best for what circumstance...

Table To Show The Different Carp Rod Actions

Carp Rod Action The Rod will Feel Best For
Tip Soft Casting short distances. Great for float fishing and some lighter surface fishing and stalking in areas with little or no snags. Also a great action for a marker rod at close range.
Tip to Middle Slightly Flexible A good all-round action that can be used for most fishing applications, with the exception of real 'heavy duty' work.
Through Stiffer with little flex For casting long distances with heavy weights. Used for big carp and fishing in weedy or snaggy waters. All decent spod rods will have a through action.

Number of Eyes

Eyes aren’t just there to look good. They provide a purpose. Each eye spreads the weight of the line over the rod blank. Fewer eyes can mean more strain placed on the line and the rod.

The flip side is friction. You’ll find that distance rods have fewer eyes, spread further apart. The combined friction of many eyes can seriously curtail your casting distance.

Eye Liner When Carp Fishing?

Makeup jokes aside, the best carp rods that can get more distance on the cast and a smoother experience are those with lined eyes.

You’ll see several kinds of lining material, including ceramic, PTFE, and just plain old glass. Anything that reduces friction through the eyes is a good thing.

Rod Weight

Rod weight is twinned with several factors. The blank, the handles and your reel will all come into play.  Our advice is this...

If you are fishing in a style that requires you to hold the rod, such as floater fishing or stalking carp, the best carp rods to choose are those that are as light as possible.

Rod Power

Rod power is important in two ways.

When you are casting, you need enough backbone to shoot that bait (and maybe a lead) out to the correct distance accurately.

If you’ve cast to the right place and the fishing gods are on your side, you’ll also need the strength to pull the fish (and the weight of your rig) back in as quickly as possible.

The reason we fish for carp is that they are bigger and they fight hard. That certainly means you are going to need a rod that has a decent amount of power.

A 2lb test curve should be about the lowest you’ll want to go for mid-sized carp.

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What are the Best Carp Rods to Buy?

So now you know everything you need to about the best carp rods, it’s time to consider your options. You’ll no doubt have an idea of where you are going to fish, how you will fish, and how big you want to catch.

From here, it’s just a case of choosing the rod that matches the criteria.

If you are stuck for ideas, we’ve applied everything that we just talked about and found some really worthwhile suggestions. Why not take a look at our list below. There’s a rod for every occasion!

Best Carp Rods For Distance Fishing

Best Overall Distance Rod
carp fishing rod for distance

Daiwa Basia AGS - 3.25lb Test Curve

Who's it ideal for: 

This is one for serious carp anglers. It is one beautiful piece of kit!


Key Features:

  • Furnished with ultra light AGS (Air Guide System) guides that offer reduced weight and better tip recovery on long casts.
  • Reduced diameter blanks
  • Ultra high grade carbon core 
  • Beautiful Silk matt low glare finish
  • Fuji DPS reel seat
  • Profiled, NS shrink tube handle
  • Custom build finish throughout

Ok, so you want the very best? Well, here it is. Daiwa excels in making the gold standard in carp fishing gear.

If you were looking for the ultimate carp rod & reel combo, pair this up with a Basia reel, and you’ve got your ‘forever’ setup. It’s that good.

The Daiwa Basia is lightweight yet extremely strong, featuring all of the good stuff we talked about above. With a shrink grip handle and a DPS style reel seat, it looks the part.

Paired up with premium features, such as lightweight ceramic rings and a large 50mm butt cap, you’ll find it is a joy to use.

You’ll find the ideal rod for all different kinds of work: the 3.25lb, 12ft version offering both excellent casting distance and real stopping power.

In summary, this rod is absolutely one of the best carp rods both on the market today and one of the best of all time.

Check out the following video showcasing some of the features of the Basia AGS:

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • The blank is ultra-light and thin
  • Really fast tip recovery
  • The whole build allows you to cast what seems like miles
  • A beautiful looking rod

Cons

  • Not the cheapest however it's worth every penny.

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distance rod for carp fishing

Daiwa Infinity DF X45 - 3.25lb Test Curve

Who's it ideal for: 

Anglers that need to cast long distances & can't justify the cost of the Basia AGS


Key Features:

  • X45 Bias Carbon Technology
  • HVF - High Volume Fibre
  • Magnum Taper Profile
  • ALPS ARD Reel Seat
  • SeaGuide TDG Rings
  • Japanese Shrink Grip Handle

If the Basia is too steep for your taste, then Daiwa can still offer you a premium carp rod at a lower price.

The rod has been designed with Danny Fairbrass and shares many of the Basia features, including a 50mm butt guide, massive power delivery in the through blank, and excellent pulling power.

For the money, you’ll find plenty to love. A fuji graphite reel seat keeps the weight of the rod down, and it looks like something special with the NS shrink tube handle. We particularly like the low glare silk matte finish.

It looks like one of the best carp rods on the market and performs like one as well.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • A really light, well-balanced rod
  • V joint technology adds to the quality of the rod
  • We really like the reel seats that keep the reel rock solid
  • Sleek low glare finish

Cons

  • High price point
  • Just falls slightly short in performance compared to the Basia AGS
Alternative Long distance carp Rods:
£277.39
in stock
2 new from £277.39
as of 18 May 2022 05:56
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 18 May 2022 05:56

The Best Carp Spod Rod

Great Value Spod Rod

Wychwood Dispatch S1 Spod Rod

Who's it ideal for: 

A carper who needs a decent spod rod without breaking the bank!


Key Features:

  • Multi-layer technology
  • Custom-spaced rings for optimum casting
  • Full Japanese abbreviated handle
  • Gunmetal reel seat

Now we could be really predictable and suggest the Basia X45 spod rod is one of the best carp rods for spodding.

To an extent that is true as is what we state in our dedicated article to the best spod rods. However, we have already highlighted how good the Basia range of rods is.

If money was no object then, yes, go with the Basia X45 however this great offering from Wychwood is superb value for money and does the job required of it with ease.

At 12 foot, it is plenty long enough to launch a spod rocket into orbit. The rod features a through (and ever so slightly progressive action). 

The blank is really strong and powerful, constructed from multi layer technology. It’s capable of throwing weights of 6oz well over 100 yards.

Speaking of casting distance, Wychwood has fine-tuned the rod with custom spaced rings giving excellent support during the cast.

The gunmetal reel seat is strong and corrosion-resistant, so your reel will stay put. This is paired up with a full Japanese abbreviated handle, making it a pleasure to hold.

Essentially this rod performs like something worth 5 times the price.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • Amazing value for money
  • Chucks a spomb out easily and accurately
  • Can be used for some marker work if needed
  • Perfectly spaced rings for achieving optimum distance

Cons

  • Not as picturesque as some of our other choices
Alternative Carp Spod Rods:
£119.41
£144.99
out of stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

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The Best Carp Marker Rod

Best Marker Rod
best carp marker rod

Shimano Tribal TX-A Marker 12ft 3lb

Who's it ideal for: 

An angler looking to get the edge with a rod that can feel every water bed undulation


Key Features:

  • XT 40 carbon fibre blank
  • Seaguide stainless SiC guides (50mm starter guide)
  • Shimano DPS reel seat
  • Slim shrink handle with EVA front grip

When you are in the market for one of the best carp rods to use as a marker rod, you want to achieve two things: accuracy and distance. The good news is that with this rod, you will effortlessly be able to achieve both.

With a 3lb test curve, you’ll have all the action you need to throw out a substantial lead and marker float. At 12 feet long, it is well within the correct bracket for rods of its class.

Just because it’s powerful doesn’t mean that it is bulky. The slim carbon blank has been redesigned to give the rod a really low profile and as such really helps when marking out your swim.

With large guide rings and an aluminium reel seat, you’ve got a powerful setup that is great on a budget.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • Superb quality (as you would expect from Shimano)
  • Has a nice slim, low profile
  • Strong yet subtle which is perfect for mapping out large swims requiring distance
  • Good price

Cons

  • Ever so slightly heavier than some of the other rods featured weighing in at 507g. 
Alternative Carp Marker Rods:
£242.68
in stock
as of 18 May 2022 05:56
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 18 May 2022 05:56
£143.99
£174.99
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

The Best Carp Surface Fishing Rod

Best Rod For Surface Fishing

Fox Horizon X3 12ft 2.25lb T.C Floater Rod

Who's it ideal for: 

An angler looking to surface fish short to medium distances with a super lightweight rod


Key Features:

  • High modulus, lightweight carbon blank construction
  • Anti-tangle guides with a 18mm DPS-style reel seat
  • Black fittings and whippings
  • 40mm butt ring
  • Slim cork handle

We love it when we can get kitted out for carp fishing at a discount. The Fox horizon is worth every penny.

Remember how we said that floater fishing needs a lightweight rod? This is it! The high modulus, lightweight blank means you can hold it all day without discomfort. 

The large butt ring will increase casting distance, and the multi-directional carbon blank will aid in your cast accuracy. The slim cork handle has a nice, traditional look and feel. 

When combined with low profile graphics and black whippings & fittings, you’ve got a package that looks and performs like one of the best carp rods on the market. At the same time you can have one while still keeping you well below budget. 

Check out the following video that demonstrates the Horizon X3 in action...

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • Nice tip to middle action that is perfect for floater fishing
  • We really like the traditional cork handle on this rod
  • Really lightweight
  • Picks up line super quick on the strike

Cons

  • Not a great fan of the black fittings against the cork handle but this is down to personal choice
Alternative Carp Surface Fishing Rods:
£99.95
in stock
as of 18 May 2022 05:56
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 18 May 2022 05:56

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Best Carp Rod For Beginners

Best Carp Rod For Beginners

Sonik Vader X RS Carp Rod

Who's it ideal for: 

Beginners looking for a great value, all round carp rod


Key Features:

  • Slim, lightweight sleek black armoured carbon blank
  • Progressive casting action with superfast tip recovery
  • Super-light M-SERIES DL black guides
  • Hard wearing Anti-frap ceramic tip ring
  • 17mm black DPS reel seat to house all big pit reels
  • Line friendly custom contoured Sonik clip
  • Slim Japanese shrink wrap butt grip

When you are starting out in carp fishing and 'testing the water' you will no doubt be after the best carp fishing rods that can get you started, does what they are meant to do, and not cost the earth.

The Sonik Vader X, ticks all those boxes.

Sleek and sophisticated. The Sonik Vader X series of carp rods are fantastic all-rounders.

Besides the fact that they are available in a range of lengths and options, you’ll find plenty that makes each excellent for several different carp styles.

The casting action is sublime, offering a progressive action and quick recovery. This is enough to cast both floats or lighter baits or medium to heavy sized weights.

The 17mm DPS reel seat is substantial enough to accommodate a big pit reel too, so if you want to create a ‘beefy’ setup, you’ll have the tools to do it.

The rings are lightweight, spacious, and they are also lined, giving a good mix of support and casting distance. You’ll also find a few nice extras like a line clip and a Japanese shrink wrap grip.

This rod’s low price point makes it ideal for beginners to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Overall, this is a solid performer in looks, performance, and price.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • Great all round round
  • Easy, progressive casting action
  • Fast line pick up
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Would need something more substantial for ultra long range fishing
Alternative Beginner Carp Rods:
£48.98
£55.00
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk
Last updated on 18 May 2022 05:56

Best Carp Rod For kids

Best Carp Rod For Kids

NGT Carp Stalker 2-Piece Fishing Rod

Who's it ideal for: 

Kids or Teens looking to start up carp fishing


Key Features:

  • 8 foot length
  • Black fibreglass blank
  • 2lb Test Curve
  • Comes supplied with cloth bag

When I took my kids carp fishing for the first time, I quickly realised that the right size, weight, and test curve was really important for them to achieve the best experience.

A rod too long was just too heavy and cumbersome for them whereas a rod too short was too difficult for them to cast and play fish.

This rod I found to be perfect for children to learn and enjoy carp fishing with.

At 8 feet, it is by far the shortest rod on our list. It would be ideally suited for small, still waters. This is further demonstrated by the relatively light 2lb test curve, which will ensure you have sufficient ‘flex’ to cast lighter baits a considerable distance.

Rod behaviour aside, this rod is one of the best carp rods suitable for children. The 8-foot two-piece rod is much easier to manage, and the low price means it isn’t quite as eye-watering when it inevitably gets dropped (…or pulled in).

This fibreglass rod should work for small to medium-sized fish and is light enough to make it really portable, perfect for smaller arms that might get tired with a full day of fishing.

When they’ve had enough, it’s easy to pack out of the way in your carp rod holdall.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • Short & lightweight making it great for small hands
  • Light test curve making it a great rod to really 'feel' the fight
  • Amazing value for money

Cons

  • Not really suitable for fishing for large carp
Alternative Carp Rods For Kids:
£47.99
in stock
1 used from £32.86
as of 18 May 2022 05:56
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 18 May 2022 05:56

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Best Budget Carp Rod

Best Budget Carp Rod
distance budget carp rod

Daiwa Black Widow G50

Who's it ideal for: 

Those looking for a decent quality carp rod for a low price


Key Features:

  • Lightweight carbon blanks
  • DPS style reel seat
  • Slim profile full shrink grip handle
  • Stainless steel frame guides
  • Lightweight LS ceramic rings

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get Daiwa quality. Again you’ll find things that make this really worthwhile.

The lightweight blank takes the casting load across its entire length, with quick recovery, giving excellent casting distance. It’s also ideal when playing big fish at a distance.

The longer rods are the big hitters, with the 12 foot 3.25lb test being the pick of the bunch.

Surprisingly, considering the price, this also features lightweight and wide ceramic rings and a slim profile shrink grip handle that are features often seen in the best carp rods.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • A very light weight blank
  • Despite the price, still features wide ceramic rings and slim shrink grip handle
  • Fantastic value for money

Cons

  • Obviously lacks the quality of some of the more expensive rods but is still a great option nonetheless.
Alternative Budget Carp Rods:
£36.99
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk
£59.99
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

Best All Round Carp Rod

Best All Round Carp Rod
carp fishing rod for all round use

Shimano Tribal TX-4 – 2.75lb Test Curve

Who's it ideal for: 

Carp anglers looking for a rod that can be fished with different methods and situations.


Key Features:

  • Grip: EVA &Shrink Tube
  • Blank Material: HPC100 &Biofibre
  • Reel Seat: Shimano Woven Tube
  • Comes in a cloth bag
  • Shimano Stainless Steel SiC Guides

If you fish different waters and vary your carp fishing tactics somewhat, then the best carp rods for you will probably be all-round carp rods. The Shimano Tribal TX-4 ticks this box perfectly.

Shimano are specialists in producing rods that perform. This is a mid-priced rod that does exactly that. In fact, it behaves far over its price point.

The thing that makes it special is the action. It is strong throughout the blank but has just a slightly softer tip, perfect for playing big fish, prone to making sudden runs.

At 2.75lbs, you might think it is going to be ‘too soft.’

You’d be wrong.

This thing is a beast when it comes to casting power, with reports of it reaching up to 120 yards!

Aside from power, it has looks too. HPC 100 biofire carbon has been combined with an EVA shrink grip.

When paired with a Shimano woven reel seat, it looks like every inch the carp rod.

Here is what we like and dislike about the rod based on our own experiences...

Pros

  • Great balance to cover a multitude of situations
  • Soft tip yet really strong blank
  • A really nice finish to the rod

Cons

  • At 2.75lb Test Curve it is lacking slightly in real power for extra long distances.
Alternative All Round Carp Rods:
£61.63
£125.00
out of stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk
£114.99
£130.00
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

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Carp Fishing Rod FAQs

Still not sure on what the best carp rods are for you?

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we have found from anglers looking to purchase the perfect carp fishing rod.

What is the Best Action for a Carp Fishing Rod?

So you’ll have seen us talk about ‘through’ action, not to mention ‘tip’ and ‘progressive’ action. But what does it all mean? In the simplest terms possible, ‘rod action’ means ‘how and where the rod bends’. Simple, right?

As we’ve said, the action required in the best carp rods depends very much on how they will be used. Here’s a really quick rundown of actions and the carp rods you’ll find they are best suited to: -

Tip Action rods

Tip action rods are where the majority of movement happens at the very end. They are good for picking the line up quickly and casting very lightweight setups like floats.

While they can handle bigger fish, they are ideally suited to medium to smaller sized carp.

Tip to Middle Action

Tip to middle action carp rods are typical of the best carp rods that are great all-rounders. They have some tip action, but this spreads down towards the central section of the rod. You can fish a variety of styles with a tip to middle action. 

Through Action

Through-action carp rods tend to be a little more heavy-duty. They bend under load along the entirety of the rod.

You’ll tend to see these used in long-distance rods and anything designed to handle bigger weights (both fish and rigs)

What is the Best Test Curve for a Carp Fishing Rod?

The test curve is the ultimate deciding factor in how big and heavy a rod can go. Consider the test curve a measure of the rod’s ‘power’. The higher the number, the greater the power. It is worth noting that the test curve is often independent of the rod action.

The following table details the most common carp rod test curves and when best to use each one...

Table to show the different carp rod test curves and when to use them

Test Curve Typical Water Size Best For
2lb – 2.25lb Small Ideally suited for lighter applications like stalking, surface fishing or fishing close in. These test curves are more suited to smaller still waters where huge casts aren’t necessary. Mostly suitable for small to medium sized carp.
2.5lb – 2.75lb Small to Medium A great all-round test curve suitable for most type of carp fishing applications with the exception of real heavy duty, long distance casting.
3lb Medium To Large Ideal for mid-sized waters or for ‘going heavy’ on somewhere smaller, you’d have enough strength to cast a decent sized weight and have the power to manage most sizes of fish.
3.5lb Large This test curve tends to work best on larger waters, holding big fish and requiring long casts with heavy weights or method feeders. For small still waters, it is probably a little too heavy-duty.
4lb+ Medium To Large Only suitable as a spod rod.

How Long Should My Carp Fishing Rod Be?

The length of the best carp rods to use boils down to a couple of things. One of which is a personal preference.

As a good middle ground, 11-12ft is the place to aim for. For casting longer, a big rod increases distance (hence the reason sea fishing rods go up to 18 feet).

A 12ft carp rod, or thereabouts, will cover you for 90% of the fishing you will do. If you are looking for something to stalk fish with or are restricted on space, you can go down to 9 or 10ft. Some stalking rods even go down to 8 feet! 

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What is the Best Reel for a Carp Fishing Rod?

When carp fishing it's important to ensure you have the correct rod & reel combo. The most important factor in this choice is always balance and synergy.

For light work and floater fishing, a standard 3-4000 sized reel will cover you when paired with an all-round carp fishing rod.

When we start talking about strong test curves and casting big weights, you might need something a little more specialised. 

Big pit reels are often paired with heavy setups. They have huge spools that allow the angler to wind the bait (and the fish) in much quicker. Because of the large spools, they also give a really even line lay. As a result, it comes off the spool easier when casting, increasing distance.

When fishing at a distance, it can be hard to see when you’ve got a bite. Another great solution is the use of a baitrunner reel. This allows the spool to pay out line freely when a fish takes the bait and 'runs', giving you time to emerge from your bivvy and strike!

As to which reel type is ‘best’ is very much open for debate. You can read about Big Pit Vs Bait Runners just here.

Alternatively check out our full guide on the best carp reels that will take you through all you need to know.

Final thoughts

The best carp rods are those that allow you to fish efficiently at the right distance with the right tactic. They are also of sufficient quality with a suitable length, action and test curve to land a carp with relative ease.

There’s scope in this list of the best carp rods for you to fish anywhere in any way you please.

Choosing the best carp rods isn’t always easy, but hopefully, you now feel well equipped to make a decision, and then you’ll be well equipped to catch.

Thanks for reading.

Tight Lines!

All of the fishing tackle featured in this article can be found at one of the following online shops...

Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Northeasttackle.co.uk

Ebay.co.uk

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