Carp fishing is among the most popular forms of fishing, with many thousands of participating anglers taking to their favourite spots on riverbanks and lakes whenever possible. Challenging, relaxing ad requiring skill, fishing is a great sport, and even better when you have the right gear.
The truth is that to get good gear for fishing, you don’t need to break the bank. We would always advise that you set your budget and look for the best you can afford, but you can still find very impressive rods, for example, for not that great an outlay.
To help you get an idea of what is available, we took a look at the best carp fishing rods you can buy for less than £200, so let’s have a closer look at them.
1: Daiwa Emcast Carp Rod
Our first selection is this rod from Daiwa, who are one of the leading names in the world of quality, affordable fishing gear, and who you will read more about during these reviews as we feature a few of their products. This one is actually a little bit above the £200 mark, but we thought we’d include it as you may be able to find it within budget if you shop around. It’s a nice rod and comes with the reassurance of being from a name brand.
This one is 12-foot carp rod, which is pretty much in the range for one of these, and it is 3.25lb rated. It comes with all the usual attributes you would find with a Daiwa rod, such as a well-designed grip and easy assembly, and is readily available to buy and get going. There’s really not much to add as the brand speaks for itself, but suffice to say this one is worth checking out.
Key Features – Daiwa quality, 12-foot, 3.25lbs
2: Shimano Tribal XS1
Another brand that is highly regarded in angling circles is Shimano, and once again this rod may just be a little bit beyond the £200 limit. Nevertheless we think it worth looking at because it offers excellent quality and performance at a sensible price, and we think you might be able to stretch to it if, again, you shop around. This is a brand with an eye on quality that is never wrong, so you can rest assured you are getting a very nice rod.
This is another 12-foot rod, and it breaks down easily into 6-foot sections for ease of transport. It’s light, too, as it weighs a little more than 12oz, and it has a test curve rating of 2.75lb. It comes ready equipped with two guides, and is easy to set up and go. At the price we think this is worth looking at as a quality option from a top brand, so we recommend you add it to your shortlist.
Key Features – Shimano brand, 12 foot, 6 foot parts, 2.75lb
3: Daiwa Shogun XR
As mentioned above, we make no excuses for including more than one rod from Daiwa in our selections, as this is one of the leading suppliers of quality affordable fishing gear. This model, the Shogun XR, is a typical carp rod that you won’t need to spend £200 on, and one that is very usable and also very popular with a wide variety of anglers. It’s another 12-foot model, which is about the norm for a carp rod, and also comes with a quality carry bag.
This model breaks down into two 6-foot section so can be carried around easily, has a test curve of 3.00lbs, and is equipped with 6 guides so is ready to go. It’s also very light indeed at a little more than 10oz. The use of carbon helps with this and also gives it very neat tip action. All in all, a very nice rod that you will find serves the purpose for many years to come, and at a sensible price.
Key Features – Daiwa brand, 12 foot, 3.0lbs, carbon
4: Nash Pursuit Carp/Coarse
It’s important we explain that while we are reviewing carp rods, that’s not to say they can only be used for such a pursuit. This model, from Nash – a brand with a wide range of quality angling products and accessories – is also intended for use from a boat, and as with most carp rods is a combined carp and coarse fishing rod. It’s also a very nicely made example at an excellent price, with a choice of lengths across the range.
The use of advanced carbon construction is welcome and adds to the lightness and performance, and you can chose from a variety of handles to your preference. It’s available in 12 or 13foot versions, and with a rating of either 3.25lb or 3.5lb, so you have that variety, too. This is a very nice rod and as you have various choices to make the price varies, yet it is never close to our upper limit so you can rest assured it’s a good buy.
Key Features – 12 or 13ft, choice of test curve, carbon, cork handle option
5: Daiwa Cast’izm Stalker Carp
Back to Daiwa for this rod, which is a sensibly priced example from their quite comprehensive and very impressive range of fishing gear. This one comes with a very nice holdall for transportation, which is an additional cost saver. It’s an 11-foot rod, and breaks down into two hand 5 and a half foot sections for easer of transport, and is very light thanks to carbon construction at just 9oz.
This rod has a test curve rating of 2.5lbs, which although not the highest is perfectly adequate for carp fishing, and offers excellent performance and feel thanks to the Daiwa expertise. It’s nicely made and also easy to handle, and comes complete with 6 guides. If you want a Daiwa rod at a great price, and 11foot will do the job, there’s no reason why you should not give this sensibly priced fishing road from a leading brand a second look.
Key Features – 11ft, Daiwa brand, very light, 2.5lb test curve
6: Grays Prodigy Apex Carp Rod
This rod comes from Grays, who are a popular maker with a range of affordable and quality gear, and it’s a nice rod that offers decent specifications at a sensible price. This is only a 10-foot rod, which is somewhat shorter than the average we have seen in these reviews, but of that is sufficient for you then it’s certainly worth checking out in a little more detail. It’s nicely made, of a good quality, and worthy of being on the list.
It is a carbon rod so you get the added performance that brings, and it also weighs very little and is easy to handle. It breaks down into two parts for transport, so is simple to transport, and is fully equipped with guides and ready to go. It has a 3lb test curve rating, which is around the norm for carp fishing. If a 10 foot rod will be enough for you, there’s no reason why this one should not fit the bill at a decent price.
Key Features – 10ft, two part, carbon, 3lb test curve
7: Drennan Acolyte Carp Waggler
You tend to find that, within the fishing world, people have brands that they prefer. Drennan is one of the popular names, and this excellent range of carp rods is a good example of why. Available in either 11 or 12foot lengths, each of which breaks down into two parts for carriage, and available at excellent prices that are well below our ceiling, this is a great choice of rod for all types of fishing, and proof you can get quality items that you can afford.
These rods are made to be used for a long time, are very light and the choice of lengths means you can buy the one that suits your type of fishing. They come ready with guides, and the maker recommends them as capable with fish up to 10lb. There is nothing we don’t like about these rods, they are very decent and worth looking at, and with plenty change from our upper level price, you’re getting a quality item.
Key Features – 11 or 12ft, quality rods, two part
That’s seven different carp rods we’ve had a look at for you, but which is for you? Let’s see if we can help you decide!
As with many such sports, choosing equipment for carp fishing is about personal choice, so we are not going to recommend one of these rods above the others. Each of them has its own attributes, and will suit different people, and it comes down to a few notable aspects: the length of rod you prefer, the test curve you need, and whether you have a preferred brand or not. We feel that we have covered the market pretty well – and proven that you can buy a very nice carp rod for under £200 – so have another read through and see if you can spot one that is right for you.