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Choosing Your Carp Rod

10 May 2023

Here at Browns Angling, we specialise in many types of fishing. One of the most popular areas of angling in the UK is Carp fishing, so we will cover how to choose the best type of Carp rod in this segment. Like all rods, there are certain sections that are more or less unanimous. These […]

Choosing Your Carp Rod

Here at Browns Angling, we specialise in many types of fishing. One of the most popular areas of angling in the UK is Carp fishing, so we will cover how to choose the best type of Carp rod in this segment.

Like all rods, there are certain sections that are more or less unanimous. These being:

Rod Butt –


Reel Seat –

Rod Handle –


Rod Guides –


Rod Tip –


Rod Blank –


Types of Carp Fishing Rods

  • Stalking Rods: typically, shorter than other carp rods, usually between 6ft – 10ft. These rods are designed for shot range fishing, margin fishing or fishing in tight swims.
  • Spod And Marker Rods: A heavy duty rod with a fast action for baiting with a spod, spombs or finding features with marker floats or lead.
  • Distance Casting Rods: A longer rod with a fast action and higher test curve to cast at distance more accurately.
  • Floater Rods – These rods are designed when fishing zigs or surface fishing. Generally, a much lighter rod to help detect bites
  • Carp Feeder Rods – A long rod with a much more forgiving tip to react to bites, this rod will be used by carp feeder anglers.


Things To Think About

What Length Should I Choose?

As a rule, most carp rods are 12ft. The typical carp angler you see on YouTube or on your socials will use a 12ft rod for the majority of their fishing. The longer rods are ideal for casting longer distances. Generally, if you are looking to cast anything over 80 yards, a 12 or 13ft rod will be recommended.

However, in recent years, shorter rods have become very popular, such as 9ft and 10ft rods. These smaller rods still allow you to fish at a comfortable range (around 80 yards or potentially further depending on your ability), but also pack down smaller and easier for transportation.

To choose the length of rod you require, you need to work out what body of water you are fishing, the ranges you require to fish to and the state of the swims you are fishing. Longer rods will provide you with more manoeuvrability when playing the carp especially when there are tricky margin spots. It is not uncommon for a lot of carp anglers to have a short rod set up and a long rod set up to accommodate all situations.

What Test Curve Should I Get?

Very similar to the rod length, each test curve has a purpose. For example, the higher the test curve, the stiffer the rod and generally makes it easier to fish at range. The benefits of having a stiffer rod would be purely for casting a longer range.

You must also be wary that when purchasing a shorter rod, the test curve will feel different. For example, purchasing a 3.5lb tc, 12ft rod, will feel a lot different to purchasing a 3.5lb tc, 10ft rod. Due to length, the test curve will feel much stiffer in the shorter rod.

Purchasing a lower test curve rod will give you a much better action for playing the carp. For example, a 3lb tc, 12ft rod will be a lot more forgiving on the tip section of the rod and will give you more room for error and less chance of a hook pull whilst playing the fish, especially under the rod tip.

Do Butt Rings Make A Difference?

Butt rings usually come in a 40mm or a 50mm size. 40mm rings are usually found on smaller rods and 50mm are found on the longer range rods. The thought behind the larger butt ring, is that there is less resistance when casting, as the line has more freedom to move through the rings when casting. A smaller butt ring will allow you to cast more accurately.

Do I Need To Spend A Fortune On My Rods?

Carp rods these days are generally built to a very high standard. Due to the competitiveness in the carp fishing scene, if a rod is built to a poor standard, word soon gets around. This being said, the quality of the more expensive brands such as Century and Free Spirit is superior and will last longer than perhaps the cheaper builds.

If you are looking to fish often (once a week for example). A better quality rod would be recommended as the blank will be able to take a lot more stress for a longer period of time than a cheaper rod.

Carp Rod Maintenance

There are plenty of ways to look after your carp rods. As anglers, we understand that fishing isn’t the cleanest, most glamorous of sports. Especially in the moment when catching that long awaited fish. We understand that sometimes the rod can be thrown aside and left in the mud or in the bushes. Leaving mud and dirt on the carbon over time can cause your rod to become weaker in these areas therefore cleaning them is necessary to ensure the longevity of your rods.

When things do go wrong, there are rod builders who perform repairs and maintenance. We would recommend using our local rod builder, Buzzard Rods who will be able to assist you with any queries you have when it comes to any maintenance work required to your rod such as; ring repairs, hand repairs, reel seat repairs, etc.

Expert Advice

Here at Browns Angling, our team have a huge amount of knowledge on most fishing situations. Our staff have experience fishing the great barrier reef for sharks, down the Gudgeon fishing on the local grand union canal. So if after reading this, you are still unsure on which rod to purchase, please feel free to give one of our experienced team members a call for further guidance.

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