best carp fishing setup for beginners

Best Carp Fishing Setup for Beginners - (Full Guide On The Tackle Required To Start Carp Fishing)

We think you’ll agree that every time a person learns a new skill they can feel overwhelmed with decisions.

By the time you have finished this article, you will have a better understanding about what to think about when choosing the best carp fishing setup for beginners.

We are going to run through some considerations about tackle and then give some suggestions about where to start.

“It's just a rod and reel, what is there to think about”? you may say.  Well. Lots actually. As the popular adage goes it is important not to ‘run before you can walk’. 

If you are in a rush and would like to just see the tackle suggested as a starter carp fishing setup, you can skip to this here.

Best Carp Fishing Setup for beginners

What Do We Mean By Carp Fishing Setup?

The best carp fishing setup for beginners is the one that gives them the highest odds of catching the most fish possible. There, we have said it… but what does that mean?

Well, we want a few things. We want a carp fishing setup that will be reliable, cast well, present the bait well, and have the ability to pull in whatever we catch without any difficulty. It really is that simple, anything outside of these requirements is mere ‘luxury’.

You have to pick the best carp fishing setup for the type of fishing you are intending to do. If you want to float fish you won’t need a rod capable of launching a boilie to the moon and a reel the size of a truck.

Conversely, if you like the idea of ledgering, a light rod with a quick action and a cotton bobbin for a spool isn’t going to cut it. Getting the best Carp rod and reel combo for your objective is really important.

One small side note, we believe that it's important to give the fish we catch the love and respect that we all give to the sport of angling.

As such, when starting out carp fishing, remember to invest in a carp care kit that will help heal any small wounds the fish may have after capture.

If you want some more tips on choosing the best carp fishing setup for beginners, this video may offer some useful tips...

How To Choose The Best Carp Fishing Setup

There are several factors that affect a beginner’s choices. As you may be new, we have kept it super simple, we like to call this the “three C’s”…


Some people have the money to spend, some don’t. But splashing cash and the number of fish caught is not directly a linear relationship. Therefore, our advice is this, if you are new, go for something that you can afford and is well within your budget. That way if you find you are successful, you can always upgrade at a later date. And if you are not successful, your foray into a new sport has cost you but a fraction of the price (fear not, you will be successful).


Advanced features can sometimes be of benefit. But if you haven’t mastered the basics, then why add something extra to think about? In relation to our first point, advanced features also tend to cost more.

Choose your style

You have to pick the best carp fishing setup for the type of fishing you are intending to do. If you want to float fish you won’t need a rod capable of launching a boilie to the moon and a reel the size of a truck. Conversely, if you like the idea of chucking a lead out to the horizon, a light rod with a light test curve is just no good.

Best Carp Fishing Setup For Beginners

The following fishing tackle is ideal for beginners. This is because it does the job it needs to do simply and effectively. The tackle we have featured also doesn't break the bank so you can get started easily, and at a reasonable price.

Carp Rod

Daiwa Black Widow Carp Fishing Rod

With this beast of a rod you are going to get a mix of good value for money, and a piece of kit that performs well in a variety of roles.

The rod is available in different test curves, but our personal recommendation is 2.75lb. It has a strong enough blank to cast out moderately sized weights (up to a 2oz) with ease but has a quick enough action that it will also flick out a float with precision and finesse.

Daiwa is a solid brand and has been around for years, so they offer good quality and trustworthy products.

To learn more about the best carp rods in more detail, check out this article.

Carp Reel

fox eos

Fox EOS 10000

The Fox EOS range of tackle has proven a very popular choice for beginners and experienced anglers alike and this reel makes no exception.

What makes this good-looking reel perfect for the beginner is that its price point will not break the bank whereas its quality isn't compromised.

The smooth bait-runner facility means that you will not be losing your gear early in your carp fishing ventures.

The reel's smooth gear ratio and 5 ball bearings make this a well-balanced, quality reel perfect for anyone just taking up the sport.

To learn more about the best carp reels in more detail, check out this article.

Fishing Line 

Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon Clear Line

Obviously, you want to catch fish. Fluorocarbon line offers several advantages for a beginner and is a great carp fishing line.

Firstly when it is submerged it has a low refractive index, meaning it is practically invisible, if the fish can’t see the line, you have more chance to catch them.

Secondly, because it is invisible in the water, you can afford to go for a higher breaking strain, meaning more fish landed. We recommend using a 15lb line as a good allrounder.

Fluorocarbon is also a little stiffer than other materials reducing the chance of wind knots and tangles, which would only frustrate a new angler.

As an alternative, and if you prefer a monofilament line, then we highly recommend the Daiwa Hyper Sensor. This line is of great quality and great value for money at the same time.

If you need any help in spooling line onto a reel the proper way, check out the following video that shows you how to do this...

Carp Rig Components

Vicloon 272 Pcs Carp Fishing Tackle Box

Carp fishing rigs are a science all of their own, and we wouldn’t presume to try and say which is the ultimate ‘best rig ever’.

What we will say, however, is that for not a lot of money, you can have the means to try out any and all rigs until you find the one that works.

This set by Vicloon will allow you to construct pretty much anything you can think of, from simple hair rigs to pulleys, helicopter rigs, and floating carp fishing rigs.

It features a range of swivels, hooks, beads, sleeves, and a whole host of other rig paraphernalia to get you started.

Readymade Carp Rigs

best carp fishing setup for beginners - readymade rig

Korda Dark Matter Readymade Rig

When starting out in carp fishing, one of the hardest things to master is the accurate tying of carp rigs.

There are so many different types of rigs in the carp fishing scene that, for a beginner, it can be a minefield.

We recommend keeping it simple when starting carp fishing and sticking to a standard bottom rig.

What makes it even easier is if they are already tied for you.

Korda is one of the key players in Carp terminal tackle and, as such, they make great readymade rigs.

The Dark matter readymade rig is one of their best offerings and one we thoroughly recommend to use when just taking up the sport.


Best carp fishing setup for beginners - bait


When you ask a carp angler the question on what is the most popular bait in carp fishing, the majority will no doubt say boilies.

Boilies come in a whole host of flavours, sizes, and colours and the carp tend to love them.

As a beginner, you need a bait that is proven and easy to use as well as one that will just stay attached to your hook without flying off on the cast.

We recommend starting with a 15mm boilie as this would catch the majority of carp in any water and will also keep nuisance fish at bay.

One proven flavour, we have had many successes with other the years is Robin Red. This bait flavour and indeed colour has caught many a carp all over the globe.

It works in the summer and winter months so we highly recommend giving this great carp bait a go if boilies are allowed on your chosen fishery.

Rod Pod

Conx2 Adjustable Triple Rod Pod

The Conx2 triple rod pod is an excellent piece of kit at a really decent price point. Three detachable rod rests mean it will grow with your carp rod collection as you improve.

You will save money on a bite alarm as well, the set comes with three different bite detecting ‘swingers’ as part of the package.

When starting out, space in tackle boxes may be at a premium, but the set comes with its own handy to carry bag too.

As you’ll be trying a lot of different venues the terrain might be different in each, the adjustable legs on this rod pod should be able to cope with a variety of terrain.

In summary, this is a bargain and ideal if just starting out.

Bite Alarms

Best Bite alarms for beginners

Fox Mini Micron

Now bite alarms are not an essential piece of a carp fishing setup but they absolutely help no end.

Unless you are fishing a prolific, runs water, when carp fishing you are going to experience a large amount of downtime.

Watching your rod tip, bobbin, or swinger for hours on end can be quite mind-numbing and certainly does strain the eyes.

A bite alarm can take the monotony away of staring at a static object by simply sounding when there is line movement.

The Mini Microns are perfect bite alarms for beginners. They are easy to use, quality in nature, and are great value for money. 

We thoroughly recommend these alarms as your first set and guarantee you won't be disappointed with them.

Landing Net

Best budget carp fishing landing net

NGT 42 Inch Landing Net

A landing net is an essential piece of equipment needed for carp fishing at any level.

Under no circumstances should fishing take place without one. When starting out in carp fishing you really don't need the best all singing, all dancing landing net.

We recommend a 42-inch net as this is pretty standard for carp fishing and obviously it needs to have a solid handle as well.

This simple, yet effective offering from NGT, covers all the requirements of a landing net when starting up carp fishing.

It even comes with its own stink bag for good measure.

Unhooking Mat

NGT Beanie Mat

NGT Beanie Unhooking Mat

Similar to a landing net, you should never fish for specimen fish without a hooking mat or cradle.

Heavier fish can really damage themselves when crashing around on hard surfaces once caught so offering protection is paramount.

Again, you don't need any bells and whistles on a hooking mat, especially when first taking up the sport.

This simple, yet effective offering by NGT is easy to carry, easy to clean, and most importantly will protect our prize catch if they decide to get a bit feisty in the bank.

The Best Ready Made Carp Fishing Setups for Beginners

Knowing that some people, 'just want to try something out' and do not necessarily want to spend hard earnt money on individual carp fishing items, then maybe a ready-made Carp Fishing Setup could be for you. 

We won't lie to you, the quality of these 'all in' carp fishing setups aren't as good as if you were to pick out the best individual items, however, they are a great way for beginners to try the sport out without breaking the bank.

The following Ready-made carp fishing setups are the best selling  ones on Amazon, all with good reviews:


Choosing the right gear to get you going isn’t easy. This is certainly true when you are trying to decide which is the best carp fishing setup for beginners. You have to balance cost with ease of use and also assess how versatile the tackle will be for a range of scenarios until a you find your ‘groove’.

Whilst it is unwise to go for the cheapest possible gear, sometimes cost-effectiveness outweighs ‘style’ and as we said earlier, the fish don’t care which rod you are using, and all you should be bothered about is how it performs, not what it says on the side. Regardless of what carp fishing setup you choose, we wish you the best of luck!

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

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