Carp Fishing Gear for BeginnersSo 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.