Beginners Guide to Carp Rods

Carp fishing is such a well known sport all around the world and there are many aspects to becoming a great carp angler. One of those things is using the correct rod for the job. 

It can get really confusing nowadays as to which rods to start with, due to the huge range of lengths, weights and test curves. This guide will cover everything you need to know about carp rods and hopefully help you choose the right one for you. We also have an in-depth Guide on Fixed Spool Reels which you might want to pair with your new carp rod.


When choosing a new carp rod the budget will definitely be the first thing to consider as there is no point saying you want the best quality carbon blanks capable of casting a 4oz lead 150 yards but only wanting to spend £50 a rod. On the other spectrum there are rods available for as little as £25, however they will most likely be made from poor materials and will not be as strong as more expensive rods. Carp rod prices can easily surpass the £500 benchmark, although most rods around the £75-£100 will be more than capable of landing some great carp without trouble, as well as being able to cast a fair distance accurately.


Once you have decided on your budget the next important question to ask yourself is what type of carp fishing you'll be doing? Are you going to be fishing for smaller or larger carp, or are you going to be fishing on smaller venues or will you need to cast further distances? 

When deciding on the length of a rod it's important to know whether you're going to be fishing shorter or longer distances. If you are fishing mainly at medium to further distances then you will want to be looking at longer rods, anywhere between 8ft and 13ft. Typically the longer rods are able to cast further distances easier than the shorter ones. Longer rods will generally also have a higher casting weight allowing heavier leads to be cast with them. As a general rule:

  • 6ft rods: 0-50 yards
  • 9ft rods: 0-80 yards
  • 10ft rods: 0-100 yards
  • 12ft rods: 0-120 yards
  • +13ft rods: +120 yards

Along with the overall length, the pack down length should also be taken into consideration when buying a rod. Some Carp rods are available in two-piece take down sections or more. Typically if you're after a more compact setup and don't have much room to take two 6ft sections with you then it could be a better option looking at three-piece take down rods. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you here, just check out the product features on each of our rods.



Carp rods generally have a test curve between two and three pounds. The higher the test curve, the higher the strength. A rods test curve is measured by placing it in a horizontal position and pulling down at the rod tip till it reaches a 90-degree angle. The amount of weight required to take it to 90 degrees is a rods test curve measurement. Bear in mind though that although a rod with a higher test curve will be able to cast further, it will also feel "stiffer" when playing a fish and less enjoyable when catching smaller carp (i.e. less than 10lb).

The three main rod action types are through action, tip to middle action and fast action. Through action rods are the least common rods and only a few companies still create them. They are able to bend from the tip to the butt of the rod and are not great for distance casting. Tip to middle action rods are the most common type of carp rods and are able to freely bend from the middle to the tip. While the fast action rods will stay stiff from the butt to past the middle of the rod and only the tip will bend.


The placement of rod rings can determine whether or not a rod will bend perfectly. Also some rods will be available with more or fewer rod rings than others it is the size and material of the guides that will determine how far the rod can cast. 

The ring closest to the handle is known as the butt ring and is required to be the strongest ring as there is a higher amount of tension placed on it. Generally the stronger rods will require stronger line guides due to the power of the fish.




The majority of modern carp rods now have a fitted screw seat. The screw seat allows for a strong hold and will fit almost every reel on the market. More expensive rods will typically have the screw above the reel which will prevent any uncomfort in the grip.

The handle material for rods is mainly down to personal preference. There are three main handle materials, cork, duplon and abbreviated. Typically the cork handle rods will be more expensive than the other materials and will only provide good looks. Duplon handles are basically a foam which is available in different colours although it's mainly seen in blacks and greys. Duplon can give a more comfortable feel and is typically cheaper than cork. The last material is abbreviated handles. These are the most common throughout carp rods and other than providing grip it gives it a modern look. 



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