In this post we’re going to take a look at the carp fishing technique of spodding. For a lot of carp anglers, using a spod never really springs to mind and many people prefer to stick to the basics and avoid these more advanced techniques.
Personally, I believe that the basics should be mastered before branching out into techniques such as using a spod but considering you are here I’m assuming you’re looking for information on how to spod. Am I right?
As I’m sure you are aware, many carp fishing techniques and practices involve baiting up swims and areas of the lakes to attract hungry fish to greatly increase your chances of catching.
Methods such as feeder fishing allow anglers to get bait into your swim but in relatively small lots. On the occasions when you are looking to get large quantities into a swim a spod can be extremely effective.
Spods, as you can see in the picture above, are basically a rocket shaped container with a buoyant nose cone that allows you to pack lots of bait inside and cast it out into your swim where the nose cone will float upwards and deposit the bait below.
Using a catapult and throwing baits far distances can be extremely inaccurate and can cause too much of a spread of the baits which will spread the carp thin and most likely away from your hook bait.
In this post I’m going to cover all the topics you’ll need on how to spod. These are;
- What exactly is spodding
- The tackle you will need for using a spod
- The best baits for spodding
- How to cast a spod accurately
- Spodding tips and tricks
What is Spodding?
As I’ve mentioned previously, spodding is using a spod to cast large quantities of bait into a swim in the hope of attracting plenty of carp into your swim and keeping them there.
When using a feeder, such as the method feeder, many casts need to made if you want to bait up a swim with plenty of baits. This can be extremely time-consuming and largely inaccurate as it is very difficult to hit the same exact spot over and over again, more on this later though.
By using a spod and spodding techniques large quantities of baits can be cast to an exact swim over and over again.
This not only mean that you should have a large bed of carp freebies for attracting nearby fish but will also mean you can cast your hook bait to a focused area so you will know the carp are in the area and not spread across many patches of free baits.
By using a spod light baits such as hemp and sweetcorn can be used to bait up your swim.
This is a massive benefit of using a spod as otherwise you would not be able to throw or catapult these baits very far at all and we all know how much carp love both hemp and sweetcorn.
Tackle for Using a Spod
Learning how to spod definitely has to start with a description of the tackle you are going to need. If you can’t cast a spod accurately and effectively what’s the point in using one? Probably not a lot!
As full spods can weigh anything up to around 1.5kg it should be no surprise that you might need to upgrade your tackle slightly when you are ready to start spodding.
Unfortunately, your more delicate feeder rod with 6lb main line is not going to be anywhere adequate for these heavy spods.
Most, if not all, serious carp anglers will have a specific rod and reel just for the purpose of spodding during a session. Yep, that’s really all this rod is used for so I’d have a cheek to call it a fishing rod.
This is another reason why a lot of anglers avoid using the spod to bait up swims and only really serious carp anglers seem to use the method.
That being said though, if you are looking for information on how to spod then you are definitely going to need to invest in the right rod and reel so I’ll give you some details on what you should be looking for.
Spod rods are manufactured with heavy casting in mind and they are usually made with progressive action which refers to how much the rod will bend under pressure.
“Progressive action” means the rod will bend throughout near enough the full rod. This gives power through the full length of the rod on the cast and aids in distance casting of your heavy spod.
Spod rods are also made with heavy test curves of over 3lbs. “Test curves” refer to how much weight it takes to bend the rod to 90 degrees of the butt so basically means how much weight the rod will be able to handle.
Spod rods are made with higher test curves than you average rod to ensure the rod does not bend uncontrollable under the weight of the heavy spod and also so it has enough power through the rod to cast far distances.
Generally speaking if you are planning to cast large spods with heavy baits inside a higher test curve would be most desired.
On the other hand if you are planning to use a smaller spod with lighter baits inside a 3lb test curve rod will handle the challenge no problem at all. Spod rods with test curves at around the 5lb mark will be ideal for casting a spod set up of around 10oz.
You’re probably wondering why spod rods come in quite large lengths. This is once again due to the fact that when you are spodding you are typically going to want to be casting far distances. More length in a decent rod generally means greater distance.
If you are planning to cast upwards of 100 yards with a large heavy spod then you should be looking to buy a heavy test curve and long rod.
If you are planning to cast quite a bit under 100 yards with a lightish spod then a smaller lighter test curve rod will be just fine.
Now that you know what you should be looking for in a spod rod the next thing you’re going to need is a decent reel to pair with your new spod rod.
Spod reels are generally larger than your standard carp fishing reel. This is mainly down to the following;
- A larger spool is required to hold more line for casting large distances. Also, when spodding 12lb braid is recommended to withstand casting the heavy spod so this also takes up more room on a spool than standard low strength nylon.
- Spod reels commonly have higher gear ratio’s to bring in your line more quickly. This reduced the effort level needed to spod and can also reduce the time it takes to bait up a swim effectively.
- Nearly all spod rods will come with an added line clip feature to aid in casting the perfect distance every cast.
The Best Spod Mix
The next thing you’ll need to consider when learning how to spod is what bait mix you’re going to be using to pack your spod.
Generally a spod can be packed with basically any carp baits and provides an opportunity to cast light bait far distances. By using a spod you also take away the requirements of mixing loose and dry baits around feeders to get them into your swim.
Generally your spod mix should mix plenty of different ingredients together with different colours, flavours and sizes for maximum attraction and to keep the fish interested.
In a lot of cases anglers are going to have conflicting opinions on what the best spod mix looks like but I can almost guarantee that every angler will include some combination of the following baits;
- Cooked Hemp
- Tiger Nuts
- Crushed Boilies
When making your mixture you’re always going to want some sort of binding agent to hold your ingredients together when they are flying through the air in your spod.
Liquids can sometimes be adequate at binding together your dry baits but often freshly mixed groundbait or micropellets are needed to bind everything together properly.
If you are unsure how to mix these ingredients before adding in your extra dry ingredients have a read at these posts;
If you are looking for a full specific spod mixture then watch this video below;
Casting a Spod
When it comes to casting a spod accurately and dispersing you bait into the correct swim where your hook bait is going to be resting it can get quite complicated.
If you follow my tips for casting a method feeder accurately you will begin to pick up the basic casting techniques but unfortunately when spodding this can become slightly more advanced.
When spodding I am assuming you already have a marker float in place to mark an area of preferable clean gravel or silt.
Generally, people will assume its as easy as casting to your marker float, clipping up and beginning to bait up with your spod falling beside your marker float every time.
Unfortunately this is not quite the case and your bait will be effected by undertow or the way different types of baits float down in the water.
By following this basic mistake you may have a well baited up area a good few feet away from where your hook bait will be landing, this is the last thing we want.
So how do you fix this? Generally different anglers are going to give slightly different options but here’s mine which aligns with a lot of carp anglers today!
In around 11ft of water it is thought that you should take around 3ft off your spod distance to bait up directly below the marker float.
If you were constantly fishing 11ft this would make it extremely easy but unfortunately as the depth of water varies the distance of your spod from your marker float will also vary significantly.
Generally we can stand by the rule of;
For every 4ft of water depth you are fishing clip you spod up a foot back from the marker.
When fishing the spod and any line clipped technique at all you should be thinking about where your spod is in the air when it reaches the line clip.
If you spod is still high in the air when your line reaches the line clip the wind can carry your spod a few ft to the left or right of your marker and chosen swim.
If you spod is too close to the water when it hits the line clip the further away your baits will spread from you.
Typically, you want to be hitting the line clip about 2 to 6ft above the water for optimum results.
Spodding Tips and Tricks
Now a guide on how to fish a spod wouldn’t be complete without a list of tips and tricks. These tips and tricks will help improve you spodding and hopefully help you catch more fish!
When it comes to spodding and a lot of carp fishing techniques for that matter consistency can be key.
By continuing to bait up your swim throughout your session you can continue to encourage the carp into a feeding frenzy which will increase the chances of your hook bait being snatched.
Accuracy is Key
Once again you must make sure your baiting up is accurate. This is imperative when fishing the spod.
If you fail to clip up your spod too close or too far from your marker float you risk baiting up an area away from your hook bait.
Also, if your casts are hitting the line clip hard the spod could be bouncing back from the market and depositing bait off the mark. Casts should be hard enough to reach the line clip but soft enough to stop any bounce back.
Little and Often
By baiting up little and often rather than a large bed of bait in the one go you can gauge how strongly the fish are feeding.
If you begin by casting a large bed of bait out and the fish are not feeding heavily you risk them becoming full and leaving your swim which will completely remove your chances of catching until they return looking for more freebies.
If the fish are feeding heavily and you are getting plenty of bites you can keep the bait going in heavily using the spod.
Mix up your Bait
By making sure you are using the biggest mixture of carp baits as possible you can greatly increase the attraction of your baits.
By adding ingredients that cloud up the water and ingredients that sink to the lake bed you attract fish in every layer of water which means you can switch up your fishing if need be.
Get into a Rhythm
By getting yourself into a steady rhythm will baiting up large areas your casting accuracy will improve naturally with your spod landing spot on every time.
Raise Your Spod Mix
When using a spod you’re going to be filling plenty of times throughout the day which means you’ll be bending down a lot. This puts unnecessary strain on your back and isn’t very pleasant at all.
By raising your bucket in a bucket stand you can forget about the constant bending down and back pain and concentrate on your spodding and fishing.
It Shouldn’t Be Difficult
I’m sure you can now see that spodding really isn’t that difficult at all if you follow these simple steps.
Yes it might cost a little more than your typical fishing due to having to buy lots of bait for a spod mix and also the expenses that come with upgrading your tackle but the results can be second to none.
The addition of a spod set up to your fishing sessions could greatly increase your productivity and see you catch a lot more fish.
If you have anything to add or any questions feel free to leave a comment below!