Carp Fishing RodsLooking at carp fishing rods, also called carp rods or carp poles, is the logical first step when venturing into the rapidly growing sport of carp angling. From this launch pad you can decide what fishing line to buy, what rigs, hooks, baits, and lures and rigs to attach to the end of the line and get an idea as to what type of carp you want to land on the end of your carp fishing pole.
In all reality, a sharp hook on the end of a sturdy line and the ability to reel it in are the only requirements necessary for hooking in a fish. In Tobago (a small island off the coast of Venezuela), fisherman can bring in a catch with nothing more than fishing line tied around a chunk of driftwood. That being said, specialized carp rods and reels will certainly increase your probability of catching a carp.
Many carp fish rods on the market today were designed in part by seasoned carp anglers in Europe. Anglers of carp in Great Britain or France, where carp fishing has been popular since the 1930’s have a pretty good idea as to what makes for a good carp rod.
As carp angling is growing in popularity in the United States, the market has opened up for carp poles geared towards a specific catch. As such you can find a carp pole classified by casting power, ranging from ultra-light to ultra-heavy as well as other attributes such as tip action or the responsiveness of the carp rod.
Rod action can generally be categorized into through action, medium action, or fast action. The through action description on carp fishing poles indicates that when playing a fish, the rod will bend all the way from the tip to the butt. These rods work well for playing a fish at close range. They lack the power to play a fish at a distance and also has limited casting power as these carp poles require less pressure to fully compress.
Medium action carp poles are generally the most common carp rod offered. Because the butt section of the rod won’t bend it provides power to distance cast medium sized leads yet still has a sensitive enough tip to play a carp.
Fast action carp reels are designed to control carp and play them at a distance. The additional power in the middle of the pole as well as the butt provides the ability to cast heavier leads to distance. Even more incredible are the specialist carp rods, which in the hands of an experienced carp angler are capable of casting bait to a distance of 150 yards.
Another classification of for carp fishing poles is their power rating known as test curve. A common method for determining test curve is to hold the rod vertical with line and weight to determine how much is needed to bend the tip perpendicular to the handle. While the accuracy of these tests is debatable it purpose isn’t. The purpose is to give you a good idea of what size carp your carp rod and reel is suited for. For a fifteen pound carp, a test curve of 1.5 to 2 pounds would be adequate. If the fishing venue is larger or distance casting is required, a 3 pound test curve would be better suited.
Determining the size strength of the fishing pole is vital for determining which type of reel to use and how much fishing line to add to it. While some carp poles are sold with reels, many manufacturers realize that there is no one size fits all. They sell their carp rods as blanks allowing a variety of reels to be attached.
So we now get to the bottom line of putting all this together into deciding what makes a good starter pole when pole fishing for carp. The carp rod is likely going to be your most expensive purchase to venture into carp fishing, unless of course you want a boat to go with it. While budget is certainly one consideration, there are others. First, when choosing a pole, find one that suits your fishing style and angling venue. If you have an idea of where you’re likely to be fishing the most find out about the average sized catch you might see or the different carp fishing techniques commonly used, as there are poles suited for each. For carp species of fifteen pounds or less, a 1.5 to 2 pound test curve should be adequate using a rod with fast or medium fast action.
Most carp fishing rods and reels bear an average length of 10 to 13 feet in length. Unlike other poles designs carp rod only breaks down into two sections. The exception to this rule is travel carp rods, which break down into several lengths, down to about two and a half feet long. If you decide to go with a full length carp pole, a ten foot pole is useful when using a technique called stalking where you’d be carrying your pole through unfriendly terrain. A thirteen foot rod is going to give you superior casting power if you happen to need it. Many people enjoy the happy medium of an eleven or twelve foot carp rod; not too bulky, but not too light either.
By and large, the most common compound used in producing carp fishing rods and reels is carbon monofilament. Older carp rods were actually made from glass, for heavier rods, or bamboo for lighter rods. Newer materials translate into giving you the strength of the old rods without the weight. Newer rods are lighter and stronger, and some high-end carp rods even have Kevlar fiber woven in.
When pole fishing for carp, especially if just getting your feet wet (pun intended), you might be looking at starting with a 12-foot carbon monofilament pole with fast action. Don’t buy a specialized pole until you know how you want to upgrade. In addition, saving up for the next bigger and better pole, or any carp fishing gear for that matter just gives you something else to look forward to. Not buying the most expensive carp rod on the market will also help assuage the pain of losing the entire fishing rod to the carp, which can happen if you take your eyes off your rod for too long.
As your skill grows, so will your knowledge of the market. Like any market you will find certain brand names take the cake by reputation or quality or price depending on what your priority is. Currently popular on the market with prices set at $150 and up are Chub carp rods, Shimano carp rods and Greys carp Rods. Your first carp fishing rod is likely going to be like your first car: it will get you where you need to go but it should give you an idea of what you really want and what you’re willing to spend to get it.
I hope this article has been helpful and please feel free to check out the rest of my carp fishing blog.