Thursday, February 25, 2010

Carp Fishing Pole Reviews

Carp Fishing Rods

Looking 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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Carp Fishing Supplies For Beginners

Carp Fishing Gear for Beginners

So you want to get into carp fishing? Great, where do you start? Start with the basics: carp fishing supplies for beginners. Like any other sport, carp fishing takes the act of catching a fish and turns it into an artful skill. Learning how to bait them, hook them and reel them in requires a little equipment and the quality of equipment you buy can very depending on your devotion to carp fishing and how good you want to become.

First, buy yourself a good carp rod. To be fair, any rod and reel setup is likely to catch a carp but there are different types of carp fishing rods that are more designed to the task and they fall under a couple of categories. The first type is a telescopic rod. Take for instance the Alegra Carp Telescopic Rod. This 10’ 5’’ rod breaks down into seven sections but has a transport length of 35’’, meaning this rod travels well. Some carp poles are designed for distance casting, boasting a longer length about 12 or 13 feet in length. Others are designed for trolling or fishing in surf. The method of carp fishing dictates the best pole to use.

The next step is to buy yourself a spool of fishing line without which a rod isn’t going to do a whole lot of good. For beginner fishermen most experienced carpers will recommended that you buy an 8 pound test. An 8 pound test fishing line can net you a decent sized fish and keep up a good fight. If the carp you are fishing for in your area are larger, try a 12 lb line, or ask carp fishers in your area what they use. Also look for fishing line that has little memory.

Fishing line with a lot of memory will coil up easily leading to snags. In addition, consider monofilament line or other thin line. If the line is too thick, fish like carp can identify this and avoid it. That's why I don't recommend Kevlar fishing line, since you can see that stuff six feet deep in the water. When tying on hooks or lures be careful of which not you use. The worst kind of knot to tie is an overhand knot as it will cut into the fishing line. This weakens the line at that point and can dramatically increase your risk of losing your favorite carp lure, or your temper, or both.

Now that there’s a nice spool of line on the rod here comes the fun part of picking up your carp fishing supplies: deciding between carp bait and carp lures. Traditional baits used for carp include bread, lunch meat, cheese, and sticky smelly concoctions. Basically, you can try to bait the carp with your leftover lunch. But carp have a tendency to learn and many anglers have more success with a type of bait called boilies. Carp Boilies are artificial baits coming in an endless variety of colors sizes and flavors. Some are more successful than others but it comes down to finding your own preferences and settling on the ones you like best. These can vary from area to area, just like any style or technique of fishing.

Boilies attach to the hair of a hair rig, which is one of the most popular types of rig used for carp fishing. Though making rigs can be difficult to master and is a study in and of itself, the hair rig is essentially bread and butter. Boilies can be bought as stable shelf life boilies (meaning they survive in their packaging at room temp), frozen boilies or homemade, which is discussion in and of itself. For best results use up your boilies during each session, as trying to keep them will allow them to lose flavor, color, and overall appeal to the carp.

Many other foods can be used as carp bait as well. Flavored dog biscuits have also been known to catch carp. Carp will also eat anything naturally occurring including maggots, worms, and other such critters. So how do you figure out what bait to use? Trial and error. Figure out what the carp eats in its area and tempt it with a different look or flavor. Bloody meats such as liver or oily substances such as hemp are also popular. Experiment and find your preferences, or more importantly, find the carp bait that the trophy sized fish love in your neck of the woods.

You think you're done with carp fishing supplies yet? Not quite, my friend. Now we go back to the aforementioned rigs. Rigs basically determine how the bait is presented to the carp. It matters not only what bait you use but how the carp perceives the bait. If it can see the rig it generally won't bite. Finding the right carp rig for the job means knowing the conditions of the lake, the current behavior of the carp, their recent feeding patterns and good old fashioned trial and error. The only hard and fast rule is to rigs is to learn how to read the environment and predict the fish, and follow your gut if it tells you to try an unconventional rig.

Remember that a rig that works great in one lake for snagging trophy sized grass carp may be blanked in a very similar lake and even the most perfect rig will be worth nothing if you use the wrong sized hook or bait.

In terms of finding the right hooks for hooking carp: keep them sharp. Dull hooks, if they hook the fish at all will puncture a large hole in their mouth leaving not enough flesh for the hook to grip, making it easier for the carp to eject the hook or for the hook to fall out on its own. Use the lightest hook possible. Some carp will feed by sucking bait to them from a few inches away. A heavier hook will pull the bait back toward the lake bed whereas the lighter hook will get sucked in. Used barbed hooks whenever possible. This makes hook ejection more difficult for the carp. Use of barbed hooks is prohibited in many fisheries, however so check on the rules first.

If this seems like a lot to take in when looking at carp fishing supplies, don't sweat it. There isn't any more to finding the right carp equipment than there is to preparing to go after any other type of trophy freshwater fish. Remember this is only the beginning. You have the rod, the line, the bait, the rig, and the hook. Now you just have to figure out what combination of carp fishing tackle is going to net you the most carp. There are plenty of carp magazines, fishing shows, Internet postings, and anglers that are more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge, so read up, watch up, study up and listen up. The old anglers will show you how to put that carp fishing gear to good use.