Carp Rod Reviews

Carp ‘n’ Bait – Discover Carp Tackle Secrets

You’ll find comprehensive reviews designed to help you make the best decision when buying carp tackle.

Fish on!


Choosing A Carp Rod



Top 3 Carp Rods

These are our picks from the carp rods reviewed so far….




Why not take a look at our Buyer’s Guide by visiting our Carp Rod Comparison Chart below.

You can compare features, test curve options and the available lengths…..


Compare Carp Rods



Submit Your Carp Photo



Here’s a few examples of what you can expect from our carp rod reviews….


Grey’s Prodigy GT4

The Grey’s Prodigy GT4 is actually the 4th generation class carp rod from this series.

It’s blank design has been much improved on, which has increased the all round performance.



Features and Technical Details

  • 3k-UD high modulus woven carbon fibre blank
  • Classic Prodigy progressive action
  • Carbon Armour™ blank finish
  • Full Japanese shrink wrap handle
  • Fuji DPS-18 reel seat
  • G-Lite™ guides (black edition)

Test Curve Options: 3lb, 3.25lb and 3.5lb (3 options)

Rod Length: 12ft and 13ft (2 lengths)



Don’t forget to choose a quality carp rod pod that’s sturdy, safe and robust!


Read More | Buy Now | Visit Grey’s


Daiwa Phantom

A really great carp rod for beginners, the Daiwa Phantom gives the angler superb performance vs value!

It’s modelled on the more expensive “Black Widow”  – so you’ll  certainly be getting some good angling from the Phantom.


Daiwa Phantom Review

Rod Features

  • Ideal for Beginners – 2-rod setup for under £100
  • Breaks down into 2 Sections
  • Strong Backbone but Great Flexibility
  • 5 Double Leg Titanium Oxide Guides
  • Lightweight & Slim line
  • Black Matte Finish
  • Made from Carbon Fibre


Test Curve Options: 3lb

Rod Length: 12ft only



Read More | Buy Now


Fox Warrior S

If your budget allows, we would recommend these as a great starter setup.

They are built to last, and the performance is fanstastic!




  • Fox Slik guides (40mm butt to 14mm tip)
  • DPS-style 18mm reel seat with reinforced steel collar
  • Matt black, understated finish
  • Line-friendly CAD-engineered line clip
  • Laser engraved gun smoke butt cap


Test Curve Options: From 2.75lb, right up to 3.5lb + a 5.5lb Spod Rod option.

Rod Length: 10, 12 and 13ft.



Read More | Buy Now






What Other Carp Tackle Do We Review?

You can take a look at some of our other carp tackle reviews below!

If you would like a specific item of tackle reviewed, please visit our contact page and we’ll see what we can do!



Sonik XTi 2 Man BivvyBivvy Reviews

Latest bivvies from Fox, Trakker, Nash + other reputable brands

 Delkim EV Plus Review Bite Alarm Reviews

Is a wireless receiver really worth the money?

Fox Stalker Plus in actionRod Pod Reviews

A good quality rod pod will last a lifetime!

GR-Tech Wireless Bait BoatBait Boats

How much are you willing to pay for for perfect rig placement?

Nash H-Gun Rod HoldallCarp Holdalls

Choose quality for a longer lasting, hard wearing tackle bag.



Carp Fishing Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to carp angling, we would like to welcome you to this fantastic hobby!

Getting to grip with all the tackle can be overwhelming at first….

So, please take a look at some of our guides to the basic concepts of carp fishing below….

….or take a look at our other articles dotted around the website.



1. Tieing Knots


Making sure you know how to tie 2 or 3 good strong knots to begin with.

As in the video below, the Palomar Knot and 5 Turn Grinner are great beginner knots you can try.

We can assure you that losing a carp to a poorly tied knot will leave you feeling frustrated!



2. Setting up your tackle correctly


When you start to buy the main bits of tackle you need like rods, reels and terminal tackle -you need to know how to operate, store and maintain it all!

Not only will your tackle last longer – but it will save you a great deal of money in the future.


You can find some great guides on the internet, such as:

7 Things You Should Know About Hook Sharpening

How to Clean & Maintain your Rod & Reels?

Carp Fishing Techniques


3. Researching


We can’t stress enough how valuable it can be to prepare for a session than carrying out a little research beforehand!

Small things like keeping an eye on the weather, checking the lake rules and any local knowledge you can get your hands on could really boost your chances of catching….



4. Casting


Learning to cast accurately is very important.

It will probably take you a while to buid up casting confidence, but, practice makes perfect as they say!





5. Know Your Tackle


Tackle Craft – as we like to call it, is learning what each bit of tackle is actually for!


You can keep this simple by:

Learning to match hook size with bait sizes

Choosing the lead type and sizes….

Basic Carp Rigs

Spodding – The Bait Deliverance Service



6. Bait



But, there is no one bait for all in carp fishing.

We suggest experimenting with how much to bait an area with…..

Maybe mix shapes and sizes too?

..boilies are a hugely popular bait!


Carp Bait Companies

7. Patience

( a key ingredient to carp anging is time…..we’ve all blanked, and it’s these sessions where we’ve learnt the most!)


Some Final Thoughts….


If you’re not too bored – you can carry on reading this page where we discuss some of the things mentioned above, along with other issues like choosing the right test curve on your carp rod, or how to stalk carp in the margins – and of course ,we share some more carp fishing tips and tricks!

Oh, I almost forgot!

You can also check out other useful resources for improving yourself as an angler by watching videos on YouTube, or checking out websites such as  Carpology or Korda TV .


Choosing a Carp Rod…


Before we answer this question, we must first establish the type of water you intend to fish and the style of fishing you want to do.

This is because rod length and test curve really do matter!

We suggest that your ‘main carp rod setup’ should contain a rod of 12ft, with a test curve of 2.75lb.

This is generally considered to be of a sufficient enough length – more than capable of landing any size carp !

One such carp rod would be the Fox Tribal Velocity –  it’s mid-budget, and demonstrates superb performance using some of the slimmest blanks available today!


Carp Rod Reviews



Short Carp Rods


You could opt for a specialist carp rod for stalking, where a shorter length of 9 or 10 foot is perfect for fishing in between tree lines or hard to reach areas or even just as a lighter carp tackle setup.

Alternatively, if you require more power for long distance casting or a rod capable of covering larger parts of the lake then a 13 footer mixed with a test curve of 3lb + would be better suited.

Using this more meaty setup is important because you won’t be able to cast very far with a lighter rod, especially if you use PVA bags & heavy leads.


PVA bag carp setup


Spod/Marker Rods…


Other more specialist methods of fishing, such as spodding or marker work,  may call for a rod with a test curve of around 3.5lb to give you that mix of power and accuracy that’s required.

With spodding, you can lower the chances of your spod rocket or spomb ‘cracking off’ and will enable you to cast these out much more accurately and quickly than the main rod.

If you would like to know more about spodding, How To Spod courtesy of the Angler’s Mail is a great read.

Spod Tools

Some of the tools used for spodding that we highly recommend!



How Do I Choose The Right Rod Length?


The length of your rod should match the type of situation you’re faced with.


12ft Carp Rods

12ft carp rods are suitbale for almost all types of carp fishing.

There are shorter and longer carp rod – and  we’ll explain below why you may need these.


Shorter Carp Rods


Those that are shorter (usually 9 or 10ft) are mostly suited  for stalking.

This is because they are easy to pack away or retrieve and perfect for reaching in between trees or bushes.

‘Stalker rods’ are ultra compact, and the Nash Dwarf Rod, for example, is capable of retracting to around 30 inches – on top of a tested casting range of up to 170 yards.

If you’re an angler who appreciates the battle, a short carp rod allows you to really ‘feel’ the action during close quarter carp fishing.


Stalking for carp

13ft Carp Rods – For The Power


You may have seen rod manufacturer’s offering 13-foot versions, and this extra foot of rod is useful for gernerating  more power and casting at distance is made easier (due to the power).


They are suited to larger lakes such as those in France!!!


How many Carp Rods should I buy?


When I started carp fishing, I had one rod!

These days, you can buy a 2-rod setup for less than £100.

This is more than enough to get started with, esepcially if you’re new to the sport.

Later on, you may decide to either upgrade to better quality rods that will perform better and last longer.


Quality Carp Rods


You  may want to add more rods:


It might also be beneficial to own a back-up rod that perhaps you can double up for spodding or marker work.


Test Curves Explained

Surprisingly, a lot of anglers are unaware exactly what the ‘test curve’ of a rod means.

Let’s explain this for you.


The test curve of a rod is the strength applied to the rod tip to create a 90-degree angle.

If you bought a Sonik SKS ‘3lb’ carp rod and attached a 3lb led weight, the angle created would be 90 degrees.

When you’ve hooked into a fish, this means your rod tip can handle 3lb of pressure.


Test Curves on Carp Rods


This does not mean your rod will snap if more pressure is applied.



broken carp rod


Your rod will quite easily bend much more than 90 degrees, but the pressure will transfer down the rod to the butt.

Depending on where this transfer begins in the length determines the rods action.

Some rods may feature a ‘fast, action tip’ which would tell you that just the tip can reach the 90-degree mark.


Carp rod test curves


Choosing your Test Curve


Again, this all depends on the type of lake and the style you want to fish.


Let’s give you a scenario….


Say your swim is weed and snag free, and the far bank is about 100yds away – a carp rod with a test curve of 2.75lb to 3lb would easily be able to cope with most situations.

There is certainly need to bring a 13ft, 3.5lb monster to the bank – you want to enjoy the pleasure of fighting the carp and feeling around the lake…..!!!



On  the other hand, if your swim is caked in weed or very snaggy – you’d want to contemplate a heavier, more powerful set-up.

The same can be said when fishing a huge lake where you really need to cast as far as you can! (heavy end tackle – like PVA bags, would require more power!)



Carp Fishing Methods, Rigs & Tactics


Carp fishing is a sport enjoyed by many, either competitively or just for leisure as a hobby.

Once you’ve got the hang of the basics and bought the right tackle, many anglers go on to adopt their own approach.

It really is an art – and carp anglers with over 20 years experience are still learning new methods, baits, rigs, and ideas.


Preparation and approach are key.


By analysing a carp lake, studying weather patterns and locating carp can increase your chances of catching tenfold.

You can improve your feature finding using a marker float which helps you accurately bait up the intended area.  Using the right tackle correctly coupled with an efficient rig and bait presentation will give you the edge over others fishing the same lake as you.


Remember – carp can be caught anywhere on the lake, at any time.

Off the bottom, in the margins, on the surface – adapting your style to suit these conditions can really pay off.

For these reasons, carp angling can be challenging at times, but breaking your personal best or landing a lake record can be so rewarding.



Check out some awesome carp fishing tactics that we highly recommend.



Stalking Carp

Let’s talk about stalking – one of my favourite methods.


I’d stick my neck on the line and say not enough of you stalk for carp.

OK, lake rules could prevent you from fishing in between swims but I see so many anglers pitch up with their bivvy, find a couple of spots to fish and then chuck a few kilo of bait in and then….wait….wait…..wait.

That’s fine, but if you’re pro-active, you can really nick a fish here and there and creeping through a bush stealthily has kind of a ‘hunter gatherer’ feel about it don’t you think?

Stalking for carp can be so much fun, and for short sessions, you’re making good use of your time – as you should be!

OK, I’ve convinced you so how do you go about stalking properly?

During you walk around the lake, keep your eyes peeled for any carp patrolling or even better, feeding close to margins.

Lily pads and weedy areas are keen locations carp like to visit frequently due to natural food sources.


stalking for carp


Once you’ve located a spot or two, introduce some bait little and often over the course of a few hours or so.

What you’re doing is ‘priming the area’ and tricking the carp to feed confidently on your bait of choice.

After that, you’re ready to begin stalking.


It’s all about ‘going in’ slowly and with very light tackle as not to scare any resident carp away.

If necessary, use a smaller rod that can easily be manoeuvred through dense areas and one that won’t cast a shadow over marginal areas.

Keep your end tackle minimal, because ideally, you’re looking to drop your rig onto the spot without making too much commotion.

A light lead (say 2 to 2.5oz) is sufficient enough.

Try to match your hook bait with the free bait offerings you previously introduced earlier.

Now you’re all set and it should just be a case of waiting for your rod to bend (hopefully not for long!)

Some other tips to offer you here would be to wear clothing that matches your surroundings (green or brown) and place your rig maybe slightly off of your spot if you see carp feeding there on your approach to the stalking area.


Stalking for Carp


There is no doubt carp fishing is challenging, and there is nothing worse than drawing a blank in wet and windy conditions.

We discuss some carp fishing tips and tricks that you can add to your fishing, and improve your bite rate for those horrible, bad weather days.


Swim Choice


There’s no doubt swim choice can make or break a session.


Carp can change their location in an instant so you should constantly keep an eye on the lake and watch out for carp rolling, or bubbles indicating a feed.

They can also be very fussy about particular baits

Try to experiment with bait types, shapes, sizes and flavours – and once you hit upon a bite, you should stick to these changes.

Keep mobile, and if you spot carp elsewhere on the lake, you should probably move.

This change can pay off BIG TIME!


Hook length


Another little change to confuse even the trickiest carp is altering the hook length.


Downgrading from 6 inches to just 3 inches can really trip up a carp who aren’t used to dealing with shorter hook lengths.

After each cast, you should check your entire rig for any damage too.




Achieving good accuracy is earned through practice.


If you need to re-cast 20 times to land exactly on a productive spot, then so be it.

If your rig is presented too far away from your baited area – you’re sure to blank.

Take into consideration the weather conditions, and if your recasting during the night, be sure to mark out your lines using marker sticks.




Check out this video from Wychwood for some great casting tips.



From the very beginning of your session, you should take notes on areas where you’ve spotted carp and the time of day this happened.

This is because carp like to patrol and they’ll frequently re-visit these spots.


Where Carp Patrol


We really hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our carp rod reviews – and all the many other carpy articles!