What size ccarp rod do i need - Carp fishing rods and rod pod on bank

There are many tactics and approaches that you target carp with, such as heavy bottom rigs, float fishing, and even fishing on the surface, which all come with different tackle to suit.

As a new carp angler, selecting the right first rod can be challenging with the number of rods available to your and seemingly complex specifications.

Reading of length, test curves, and action may through you off, but to be honest it’s not very complicated at all.

If you have some sort of idea of what size of carp you will be targeting, how far you will be aiming to cast and what types of rigs you plan on using, then selecting a suitable rod is no problem at all.

“What type of carp rod do I need?” will be asked continuously up and down the country in tackle shops, so today I’m going to write up an answer to this question before you even step foot in a tackle shop.

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  • What Type OF Carp Rod Do I Need?

    Before I start going over what size of carp rod you’re going to need for various fishing situations, lets take a quick look at some of the main specifications of rods that you may not have heard of.

    Test Curve

    Test curves refer to the weight required to bend the rod tip to a 90-degree angle with the butt of the rod. This is a specification given to all fishing rods and usually varies from 1.5 lbs up to around 5 lb’s. 

    You will get rods out with these specifications, but for normal carp fishing, you’re not going to be needing anything other than within this range.

    This rating gives a good idea of the “power” of the rod and how much control you’ll have over large or small fish. Generally speaking, heavier test curve rods are best for casting heavy rigs and fighting large and heavy fish.

    Lighter test curves are suitable for casting light rigs and playing with small fish to avoid overpowering them and causing hook pulls and lost fish.

    You’ll usually find that standard carp rods are within the 2.5-3.5lb range and work well with casting average rig weights and playing average-sized carp.


    The action of a carp rod refers to how it bends under load towards the butt of the rod. They are usually rated fast, medium or slow.

    Fast action rods will only bend the last third of the rod, a medium rod will bend further towards the butt, and a slow action will bend consistently until the butt of the rod.

    Fast action is generally heavier rods with more power used to cast heavy weight and also fight heavier fish, while slow action rods are for casting light lures or rigs and casting smaller fish.


    The length of your rod will also have an impact on how it performs. The length generally has an effect on how far you will be able to cast, as longer rods will be able to generate more power through the cast.

    Casting distance is also influenced by the power of the rod as well but generally speaking, longer rods will have to be relatively stiff and allow you to cast your rig further than shorter rods.

    Types Of Carp Fishing Rods

    When it comes to selecting the right carp rod, you’re going to need to have an idea of what style of fishing you’re to be targeting the carp with.

    To start off, having an idea of the average size of carp that are swimming in the venues is a good start. This will give an idea of what test curve of the rod will best suit the venue.

    The rods that are used for fishing feeders, light float rigs, stalking, or even spodding or baitng with heavy PVA bags are all slightly different if you want optimum performance.

    A lot of the time, a rod can be used interchangeably for various fishing styles, but generally, they are made with one style of fishing in mind.

    Feeder Fishing Rods

    What Type Of Carp Rod Do I Need - Man casting method feeder from behind

    If you plan to fish feeder’s then a feeder or quivertip rod is what you’re after. These rods have fine end sections called quiver tips that move and bend with any interaction from fish when your rig is in the water.

    These rods can be commonly used in commercial venues, and the most commonly used test curve will be around the 2.75 – 3 lb mark, which should give plenty of power over the standard commercial fishery-sized carp.

    These rods are usually moderate-fast action and will provide enough power for casting heavier feeder rigs and for playing fish into your net.

    They will also usually be 12-13ft in length which will allow you to last far enough distances to fish your standard carp venues.

    So, if you’re planning to be feeder fishing on commercial venues, then a feeder or quiver tip rod with a 2.75 or 3lb test curve with moderate – fast action will be a great place to start

    Float RodWhat Type Of Carp Rod Do I Need - Carp fishing rod and reel

    Float rods, as you’d imagine, are designed for fishing float rigs such as waggler rigs. These rigs are generally very light so the rods used for float fishing need to be designed with casting light rigs.

    Float rods usually range from 10 to 15 ft, with rods over 12ft generally used for waggler fishing which is a standard method of fishing for carp and other coarse fish.

    These rods will have softer actions than bottom fishing rods.

    Float rods are also usually lighter in test curves to aid in the casting as they are not as stiff and rigid.

    Typically carp float rods will be 12-13ft and have a test curve of around 1.75 lbs.

    Standard Carp Rod

    what type of carp rod do i need - man sitting beside river with carp rods

    Standard carp rods are rods that are usually used with bite indicators, unlike feeder rods where bite dedication is registered in the tip of the rod.

    Generic carp rods can be used for fishing bottom rigs and also rigs such as the chod and zig rig that will fish up from the bottom but still have some weight to cast.

    These rods will generally be 10-12ft and be rated test curves of around 2.75lb to 3lb’s.

    When you’re selecting a carp rod, you should be keeping in mind how far you’re most likely going to be casting and also the size of fish you will be catching.

    If you’re casting large distances, then a longer rod can be more effective, and if you’re fishing for large fish or casting really heavy rigs, then a higher test curve will be best.

    Spod Rod

    What type of carp rod do i need - two men holding spod rods

    Spod rods are rods that are used for carp fishing but are not generally used for actually catching any fish.  They are used for “spodding” which is casting a plastic container packed with carp bait to a swim to bait up the area.

    These rods have fast action and are rigid and strong, usually with test curves of 4 – 5 lbs to handle the increased weight of heavy spods filled with baits.

    If you’re new to angling, then I wouldn’t even consider a spod rod as you shouldn’t be overly bothered about baiting swims massively if you’re fishing commercial and well-stocked venues.

    That’s All 

    Choosing what type of carp rod you need shouldn’t;t be all that difficult with a bit of knowledge in specifications such as test curve and action.

    If you have an idea of what type of rigs and fishing approach you’re going to be using, then it shouldn’t be a problem to pick a rod that is suited to you.

    I hope this post helps clear up what type of carp rod you need.

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