Best Rod For Floater Fishing

The Best Rod For Floater Fishing (6 Top Surface Rods Reviewed)

Floater or surface fishing for carp requires skill, composure, and decent, well-balanced tackle.

A key part of a balanced floater fishing setup is the rod. The rod needs to be subtle enough to not force the surface bait off the hook on the cast, yet strong enough to deal with potentially large fish.

The best rod for floater fishing should be 10 to 12 feet in length and have a test curve of between 1.75 and 2.25lb.

In this article, I will detail 6 of the best rods for floater fishing based on my own experiences as well as positive reviews from other anglers.

I’ll also answer some of the frequently asked questions about choosing the best rod for floater fishing.

What To Look For In The Best Rod For Floater Fishing

As stated above, the best rods for surface fishing need to be subtle with a lower test curve compared to other carp rods.

This is simply because you generally don’t have to cast as far or indeed use heavy terminal tackle.

Quite often carp anglers will either freeline a surface bait or use a small controller float.

The better rods for floater fishing tend to have a tip action or a tip to middle action. If this is something you would like to learn more about you can check out our complete guide on carp rods here.

I prefer to use a 12-foot rod when floater fishing with a maximum test curve of 2.25lb. This type of rod provides me just enough power to flick a surface bait 20 – 30 yards but also has enough power to play decent-sized fish.

I would add however if you are fishing near snags, you would have to beef your tackle up a bit to be able to steer a surface caught fish away from danger.

One final point is that choosing a well-balanced floater rod and reel combo alongside picking the best floater fishing line you can get your hands on will help your surface fishing no-end.

The 6 Best Floater Fishing Rods

So now you know what to look for in the best surface fishing rods it’s now time to look at 6 of the best on the market today.

These 6 rods all tick the required boxes to be great floater fishing rods. I have provided options to suit different anglers’ circumstances and budgets.

#1. Daiwa Longbow X45 12′ 2.25lb Test Curve

Best Rod For Floater Fishing

Daiwa has always had a fantastic reputation for producing quality fishing rods. The Longbow X45 is no exception to this with the 2.25lb test curve version being perfect for floater fishing.

Everything about this surface rod exudes quality.

The tip to middle action allows for a nice and smooth flick of a cast. I have always found that when fishing bread crust as a surface bait, this rod never seems to force the bait off the hook.

The Fuji DPS reel seat allows your carp reel to stay rock-solid which is always something this type of rod has an advantage over its competitors.

Best surface fishing rods
The Fuji Reel Seat

The rod feels really lightweight in your hand thanks to the high-grade, ultra-slim blank. It’s finished with a silk matt, low glare finish which is simple, yet has a classy feel to it.

Best rods for surface fishing
Simple, yet sleek finish

The eyes on this Daiwa floater rod look amazing. They are slim, smooth, and virtually frictionless on the cast.

great surface fishing rod
Solid, smooth eyes

In summary, the Daiwa Longbow X45 floater rod performs amazingly well and is absolutely up there with one of the best rods for floater fishing ever made.

Check out the following 60-second video that showcases the features of the Longbow X45:

Features and Specifications

  • High grade, ultra-slim blanks
  • Silk matt low glare finish
  • Medium profile, high diameter butt configuration
  • Fuji DPS reel seat
  • Profiled, NS shrink tube handle
  • Metal butt cap and trim rings
  • Custom-built finish throughout
  • Length: 12ft
  • Weight: 7.8oz
  • Test Curve: 2.25lb

#2 Fox Horizon X3 Floater Rod

Best Floater Fishing Rod

This is a really popular floater fishing rod and one I have had great success with.

Fox are experts at producing quality fishing tackle and is one of the more reputable brands amongst carp anglers across the UK.

The Horizon X3 compliments this reputation and is just a perfect rod for surface fishing.

It is lightweight in nature thanks to its slim carbon blank construction which is synonymous with the Fox X3 range.

The strong, low-friction eyes are secured with beautiful black whippings that are evenly spread out. This supports the rod’s anti-tangle properties and makes casting a breeze.

Best surface fishing rod
The eyes on the Horizon X3 Floater Rod

The reel seat on the Horizon floater rod is a DPS-style seat and at 18mm will house your reel easily and securely even when fighting the most aggressive of fish.

One thing I love about this floater rod is the beautiful cork handle. It really gives the rod a premium look and feel that perhaps should pitch it at a much higher price point than it actually is.

In fact, the price of the Horizon 3 floater is another key benefit to this floater rod. You really do get a premium, quality rod at a price that you would honestly not flinch at if it was double what it actually is.

The rod has a lovely, sleek finish to it, and just holding this rod for a few seconds will tell you why it’s one of the best floater fishing rods on the market today.

Best floater fishing rod
A beautifully sleek finish to the rod

Check out the following video that demonstrates this great rod in action:

In summary, the Fox Horizon X3 floater is one of the best out there and well worth your consideration if you are looking at taking your surface fishing to the next level.

Features and Specifications

  • High grade, ultra-slim blanks
  • High modulus, lightweight carbon blank construction
  • Multi-directional carbon construction
  • Anti-tangle guides with an 18mm DPS-style reel seat
  • Black fittings and whippings
  • Understated graphics
  • 40mm butt ring
  • Slim cork handle

#3 Shimano TX-2 Carp Floater Rod

The Shimano Tribal is a range of rods that includes this 2lb test curve floater rod.

One of the first things I noticed on this rod is the soft tip that delivers an extremely fast action. This makes it perfect for fishing with a controller float. The line pick-up on the strike is exceptional and really gives you an advantage when surface fishing.

A feature that sets this rod above its competition is its breakdown length. The rod is 12 feet in length but can be taken apart into sections that take it down to 187cm.

This makes the rod ideal as a travel rod or indeed if you are fishing tight swims and need to set up in a confined space.

The 2lb test curve is sufficient for surface fishing for carp and I found that the bottom section of this floater rod provides a good degree of power which obviously helps when playing hard fighting fish.

The eyes on the TX-2 floater rod are beautiful with six SiC guides that again help to play larger fish. The eyes really help this rod with its casting ability. I was able to cast up to 80 yards with this rod with a fairly heavy controller.

The eyes on the Shimano TX-2 floater rod

A simple yet nice touch to this rod is the plastic line clip which is a convenient addition that helps to keep your line in place.

The handle is simple yet extremely comfortable and to compliment the beautiful finish to this rod, Shimano has included a stainless steel end cap to protect and finish it off nicely.

Check out the following video that shows some of the features of the Shimano TX-2 range of rods:

In summary, the Shimano TX-2 floater is a fantastic rod that really follows Shimano’s reputation for quality.

Features and Specifications

  • High grade, ultra-slim blanks
  • HPC High-Pressure Carbon
  • Biofibre
  • Shimano Stainless Steel Hardlite Guides
  • Blank material: HPC100 & Biofibre
  • Reel seat: DPS-type
  • Guide type: Shimano stainless steel hardlite
  • Grip: Cork

#4 Kodex SX-i Floater Rod

surface fishing rod

Apparently, the SX-i is Kodexs best selling rod and I can absolutely see why.

It’s a simple floater fishing rod but in a way, its simplicity is its best feature. You can tell the main focus has been on the build of this rod and not necessarily what it looks like.

And the build is really solid. It’s a 2-piece rod with minimal lightweight guides. The action on the rod really is a dream and is perfect for surface fishing for carp.

The test curves range between 1.75lb and 2.25lb each of which would suffice as a decent test curve for floater fishing.

The rod boasts a slimline gun-metal reel seat, a full cork handle, and a hook retainer.

The rod doesn’t break the bank either making it a great option for carp anglers on a budget.

Check out the following video that shows the Kodex Sx-i floater rod from a users perspective:

In summary, the Kodex SX-i is a well-balanced, and affordable rod that is well worth its place as one of the best rods for floater fishing.

Features and Specifications

  • Minimal lightweight guides
  • Hook retainer
  • Full-metal reel seat
  • Test curve between 1.75lb and 2.25lb
  • Full cork handle

#5 Korum Opportunist Floater Rod

Best Rod For Floater Fishing

There are two floater fishing rods to choose from in the Opportunist range from Korum. Firstly there is an 8-foot version with a 2lb test curve.

This rod is great for tight swims and/or situations where you are roaming a lot and need an ultra-lightweight surface fishing rod.

Secondly, there is the 10-foot 2.25lb test curve version. This is my personal favourite and one I have used a lot of times when surface fishing.

The Opportunist rods combine high-modulus carbon blanks with minima-style guides. This build really helps to keep the weight down on this rod.

The cork handle is conventional yet great to hold and is finished off nicely with a classy stainless steel butt cap which is just as quality as the rod itself.

Best rod for surface fishing
The beautiful handle and butt cap on the Korum Opportunist floater rod

Check out the following video that shows the Korum Opportunist floater rod in action:

Features and Specifications

  • Lightweight
  • Hook retainer
  • Minima-style guides
  • Available in 8 foot and 10-foot versions
  • Full cork handle
  • Steel butt cap

#6 Wychwood FLTR Floater Rod

Besst Budget Floater Fishing Rod

This Wychwood floater rod has been picked as my favourite budget surface fishing rod.

It ticks a lot of the boxes I look for in a decent surface rod and as such, I can proudly say it’s one of the best rods for floater fishing on the market.

Firstly it has a 2.25lb test curve which is a great test curve to have to handle the majority of situations you will face when surface fishing.

The rod is also available in both 10-foot and 12-foot versions depending on your preference.

The blank on the Wychwood FLTR floater rod is extremely lightweight and well balanced making it easy to cast and a joy to play fish with.

The rod offers a medium-fast through action which provides enough strength to battle with the big boys but enough subtlety to flick a couple of dog biscuits along the margins.

All in all, this is a great rod, at a fantastic price point that is well worthy of your consideration.

Features and Specifications

  • Balanced, lightweight blank
  • Through action
  • Custom-spaced braid friendly guides
  • Full cork handle
  • Hook keeper ring


So far I have taken you through what to look for in the best rod for floater fishing and shown 6 fantastic options to think about.

But, you may still have some other questions on floater rods.

Check out the following most commonly asked questions I get on rods for floater fishing:

What Type Of Rod Is Best For Floater Fishing?

The best type of rod for floater fishing is one that is lightweight and well-balanced. The rod ideally needs to have a tip action or a tip to middle action on it to handle the delicate setups that surface fishing uses.

What Is The Best Length Rod For Floater Fishing?

The best length rod for floater fishing is between 10 and 12 feet with a 12-foot rod being the optimum length to balance casting ability and power versus larger fish.

What Test Curve Is Best For A Surface Fishing Rod?

The best test curve for a surface fishing rod is between 1.75lb and 2.25lb. The optimum test curve is 2.25lb which has the ability to cast further whilst providing the power required to effectively play hard-fighting fish.

Final Thoughts

The best rod for floater fishing is one that provides enough subtlety to cast a light surface bait effectively but at the same time provides enough power to play hard-fighting fish efficiently.

The features and the options provided in this article provide all the rod requirements you will need to be successful with this exhilarating method.

Many thanks for reading.

Tight lines!

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

Total Fishing Tackle