The Backbone of Carp Fishing - The Carp Fishing Rod
Ask most any angler in the U.K. and Europe as to what their favorite fish is, and chances are the humble carp is at the top. It makes good sense why – the fish can grow to mammoth proportions, fights hard when hooked and makes a very wary quarry to chase. After all, carp do not grow to mammoth sizes without being wise and cautious.
Carp fishing success starts with the proper equipment. The bait is quite important, if not most important, but the angler must get the bait to the carp. Since many carp anglers are relegated to the bank and do not as a rule go onto the water for their carp, presenting the bait to the fish means needing to reach far and wide into the water. This can only be accomplished with a rod of significant length.
What is the best carp rod available? That is a loaded question. The best carp rod is the one that has bait in the water. However, there is more to it than that for certain. We are going to look at the top 15 carp rods available for 2021 in this article.
Before we get to the rods, there is an important term we want to share – test curve. Test curve is a measurement, normally in pounds. It represents the amount of weight necessary to bend a carp rod to a 90 degree angle. Of course, the heavier the test curve, the stronger the backbone of the rod. Some, not all, of our reviews do mention test curve. Standard test curve is approximately three pounds – more than enough to land even the largest of carp.
Best carp rods under £50
1. Wychwood Riot Carp Rods
The Wychwood company is a leader in the carp angling industry. The company offers a full line of carp products from rods to luggage. It is a virtual one stop shop for the carp angler with the only things missing are bait, water and carp. The company also offers some reasonably priced carp rods with their Riot line.
The Wychwood Riot is a great option for the carp angler who is not interested in breaking the bank or upsetting the spouse with a rod purchase. For a rod under £50, the Riot series offers the best choice by far.
The longer Riots rise above the £50 price, but the angler on a budget can make do with a shorter rod and a bit of modification to their fishing.
The Riot Carp Rod specifications:
- A full range of rod lengths – a 9 ft (2.75 m) to 12 ft (3.7 m) lengths with different styles
- The 12 ft model has 50mm ringing and casting actions
- Matte black carbon fiber blank
- Meets all of the needs of the carp angler
2. Sougayilang Carp Fishing Rod
Sougayilang is a Chinese company and relative newcomer in all things fishing. The carp has deep meaning to many Asian cultures, so it makes good sense the Chinese would have a quality carp rod available at a reasonable cost.
The Sougayilang Carp Fishing Rod specifications:
- Lightweight – This carp rod is built on an ultralight design, but do not fool yourself. This rod will land large carp with ease with little chance of breaking.BLACKROCK – 9ft 2 Piece 3lb Test Curve SPEEDFIGHT Carp Fishing Rod
- Quality guides – Ceramic guides allow lines to flow smoothly on the cast, retrieve and fight. The guides are also exceptionally sensitive for the light nibbles.
- Comfortable – A full ergonomic handle – non-slip and resists sweating makes for a much more pleasant fishing experience.
- Fully portable – The Sougayilang rod is a four piece rod system that will fit in to a car trunk, bag or backpack. This makes travel easy to favorite carp waters close and far.
- Excellent customer service – The Sougayilang company takes its products very seriously and proudly stands behind them. The customer service department is fluent in a variety of languages, so do not worry about barriers when speaking.
Best carp rods under £100
“You get what you pay for.” This is a saying we have used frequently with purchasing any gear for any angling purpose. It is always best to spend a bit of extra on non-consumables: rods, reels and tackle storage. You will be much happier in the long run saving a bit longer and purchasing better gear. In fact, a strong suggestion: Never be cheap on rods or reels for carp fishing. You will be much more satisfied with quality equipment over time.
3. Wychwood Carp Fishing NEW Extricator MLT Rods
Once again, we lead with Wychwood for a carp rod. The prices range under £100 to close to £100. The prices depend heavily on the length, with longer rods raising the price. Most carp anglers appreciate length when it comes to carp, so take that under consideration when selecting a rod and rod length.
The Wychwood Carp Fishing NEW Extricator MLT Rods specifications:
- Variety of lengths – from 6 ft (2 m) to 10 ft (3 m)
- Authentic cork handle – for more of a traditional approach
- Guides – designed specifically for braided lines
4. Wychwood NEW Extremis FC (Full Cork) 12ft Carp Rods
This particular model is on the high end of the £100 rod range, but for an all around perfect carp angling rod, this is on that cannot be bested for the majority of those who would catch carp.
Wychwood NEW Extremis FC (Full Cork) 12ft Carp Rod specifications:
- 12 ft (3.7 m) – A standard length for carp anglers across the U.K. and Europe
- Weight – Three different weights to choose from ranging from three to three and a half
- Full cork handle – Wychwood believes in the purist approach
5. Sonik Xtractor Cork Handle Carp Fishing Rods
Sonik is 100 percent U.K. founded and owned. The carp angler can be certain the Sonik gear is designed to catch carp and little else.
Sonik Xtractor Cork Handle Carp Fishing Rods specifications:
- Variety of lengths from 6 ft (2 m) to 12 ft (3.7 m)
- Two-piece construction means easier fight and feel
- Cork handle for the purist
- Five star rating on Amazon U.K.
6. BLACKROCK - 9ft 2 Piece 3lb Test Curve SPEEDFIGHT Carp Fishing Rod
Blackrock rods are unique in the carp world because of their specific design. The rods incorporate both a telescopic portion and four segmented rod lengths. This means a rod of sizes from 6 ft (2 m) to 10 ft (3 m) design.
BLACKROCK – 9ft 2 Piece 3lb Test Curve SPEEDFIGHT Carp Fishing Rod specifications:
- Variable rod lengths – Go from 6 ft (2 m) to 10 ft (3 m) without loss of fighting performance
- Part telescopic – Butt section extends for easy break down, travel and carrying
- 100 percent carbon fiber – Standard in the rod industry today
- Good for all carp – Mirrors, commons, Leathers and Grass
7. Daiwa Crosscast Telescopic Carp Fishing Rod
Daiwa makes some of the better fishing gear in the world. The company has an impressive pro-staff who routinely score highly in the world of competitive fishing – including tournament carp. It would make sense that Daiwa would have a full line of products spanning the entirety of the angling experience up to and including carp rods.
Their rods feature some of the best materials made with a carbon fiber blank.
Daiwa Crosscast Telescopic Carp Fishing Rod specifications:
- Telescopic – Rod collapses down to approximately 37 in (1 m) and expands to 10ft (3 m)
- Six guides allow line to pass without issue; accepts braid with ease
- Carbon fiber blank
- Titanium oxide guides
8. Daiwa Black Widow Carp Rod
The Black Widow spider is so named because after mating it is common for the female to kill and eat the male. Why not? Quick and easy source of protein for a growing family, and the male really does not have a purpose after this anyway.
It makes good sense why Daiwa chose the name for this carp rod. Black, powerful and deceptively friendly in that the rod is sensitive enough to pick up even the smallest of nibbles yet land even the most fierce fighting of carp.
Black Widow Carp Rod specifications:
- 74 inches (188 cm) length – Easy to pack up and carry
- Two part construction – Six guides standard
- Lightweight – ¾ lb (340 g)
- Reasonably priced – Will not break the bank like more expensive rods
9. SHAKESPEARE Cypry Carp Rod
When we hear Shakespeare, we immediately think of the Bard of Avon. This is true. However, Shakespeare is also one of the most established fishing companies in the world with products ranging from simple panfish to large pelagic fish. With a company name like Shakespeare, it would make sense the company would have a line of carp angling products.
Shakespeare Cypry Carp Rod specifications:
- Reasonable priced for the quality of the rod
- 12 ft (3.7 m) to 13 ft (3.8 m) lengths
- Slim carbon fiber construction
- Black finish
Best carp rods under £200
Most carp anglers are on a budget, but there are some for whom carp fishing costs have no boundaries. There some rods that command a king’s ransom. Do these particular rods catch more carp than the less expensive ones? That is not something we can answer. Here is a tongue in cheek consideration – Do these rods catch more carp anglers than the rods catch carp?
10. Fox Horizon X3 12 ft (3.7 m)
The Fox company is to rods what Korda is to the tackle box industry. Fox has some of the highest quality rods available on the market. The Horizon line represents some of their better products and rod line. If you are looking for quality rods that will last, you cannot go wrong with a Fox.
Fox Horizon X3 specifications:
- Value – The price may be a bit off putting, but the value makes up for the price
- For the budget – Geared to the budget angler looking for Fox quality
- Anti-tangle guides – Keeps line from wrapping around the rod
- Cork handle – Slim and comfortable on the hand
- Black – Seating, wrapping and rod itself
11. BAIYAN Fishing Rods
Another recent entrant from China, Baiyan offers some of the best rods available. The hearty construction of their rods means fish fighting capabilities that will land carp across the board. Anglers who select Baiyan rods will find the quality and manufacturing at the highest levels.
Baiyan fishing rods specifications:
- Strong – The Chinese carbon fiber industry is a leader. Their products stand up to the test of fish and time
- Ergonomic handle – Non-slip rubber handle has a grip that conforms to the hand, bringing comfort in hard fights
- Guides – Triangular fixed rings are firm and stable for superb line flow
- Variety of uses – Carp is high on the list, but anglers can take on salmon, saltwater prey and more
12. Caihuashopping Carbon Crucian Carp Rod
Another company coming from the Far East, caihuashopping offers some high end rods of quality. The Carbon Crucian Carp Rod has a unique look. Do not think because the rod looks different from others that the Crucian Carp Rod is ineffective – quite the contrary.
Carbon Crucian Carp Rod specifications:
- Solid carbon construction – High quality technology for ancient fishing techniques
- Size options – Five different lengths to choose from for specific needs
- Unique look – The shape and design of the handle is much different from most
Most expensive carp rods
There are a handful of carp anglers across the world for whom money is no object when it comes to the carp. They travel extensively across the world targeting carp of all species. This also means when it comes to their rod choices the ones available to just anyone will simply not meet their needs. These anglers instead look to bespoke rods, custom rods built by hand by masters of the rod building arts. Many times a custom rod will start at over £200 and rise in price significantly from that point.
The sticker shock of a custom rod may be more than most can take, but the beauty of a bespoke, custom rod means the rod can become a family heirloom and passed down to carp angler of many generations.
Some of the better custom rod companies in the U.K. include:
There are probably some commercially available carp rods that may be as expensive as these carp rods, but the quality, performance and durability will never be matched or bested.
Best budget carp rod
We have covered the top 12 carp rods available from Amazon U.K. for carp fishing, and if you are looking for the best budget carp rod, any of the selections of rods under £100 would certainly qualify as a budget rod.
A quality budget rod can certainly work and work well. Exercise caution and restraint when shopping for the best budget carp rods. Find one that will meet your specific needs first and foremost.
Cheap carp rods
For the serious carp angler or those who just enjoy the weekend at the water’s edge, a cheap carp rod is something that should remain out of the question. Cheap means just that – cheap. A cheap carp rod may save you money initially, but the chances of a cheap rod failing on a large carp are high. Do yourself a favor, and spend quality money for quality rods. You do not have to completely break the bank when carp rod shopping. Just be sure to get a rod that you can be proud to have, and use on the water.
12 ft carp rods
Most carp anglers will be in uniform agreement on one topic above all others, and that is the best length for a carp rod. Most all agree a 12 ft rod is ideal for most carp fishing.
The longer rods are born out of necessity, since most carp waters are restricted to no boating. This means getting the bait to where carp are requires a long rod that can reach a fair distance. 12 ft rods are the ideal for that specific purpose.
Carp fishing rods 10 ft
After the 12 ft models, the 10 ft carp rod is a strong choice. The difference of the two feet is minimal in the hands of an experience carp angler with distance cast being minimal. The other positive of a 10 ft carp rod is often they are slightly less expensive than the 12 ft models of the same brand.
Shimano carp rods
It was somewhat surprising that Shimano carp rods did not appear anywhere on the list of available carp rods. Shimano is a Japanese company that spans a great many products, and their fishing equipment is some of the best in the world. There are pro anglers of any and all species who are sponsored by and use Shimano rods, reels and lures almost exclusively.
If you are fortunate enough to find a Shimano rod within your budget, you are well advised to pick it up. Shimano may look fancy, but their products are designed to be used. The workhorse construction means years of successful use.
Questions and answers
What is the best carp rod?
There is not really a ‘best carp rod.’ The better question, and one you need to consider when shopping for a carp rod, is ‘What is the best carp rod for me and my budget?’ Remember what we have said previously about the carp: The carp does not care what kind of rod you are using.
What is the best size carp rod?
The 12 ft (3.7 m) carp rod seems to be the standard for most in the carp fishing world. The rods are long enough to reach a substantial distance into the water, fight even the most hearty fish and still will not require a bank loan to afford.
What is the best budget carp rod?
The best budget carp rod is the carp rod that is in your specific budget. It is always best to spend on the upper end of a personal budget when it comes to the rod and reel for carp. It is these two pieces of equipment that will make the biggest difference when at the water.
What makes a good carp rod?
A good carp rod will have the following characteristics at minimum:
- Carbon fiber design – Carbon fiber is lightweight, strong and perfect for carp rods
- Ceramic eyes and eyelets – Ceramic allows line to flow quickly and easily. Line is also much less likely to snag on ceramic guides as well.
- Extended handle – The long handle is great for a two hand cast and for resting on a rod holder while waiting on the bite.
- Solid reel seat – The reel should fit snuggly onto the rod. More than one piece used to tighten down the seat is also ideal and preferred.
- Sensitive feel but solid backbone – Carbon fiber is great for both of these. You should be able to feel the nibble of a carp of 0.5 kg or 15 kg and land both with relative ease.
Best of luck to you and your carp angling. Perhaps we shall see you on the water!
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