Advanced Carp Fishing Tackle Buying Guide

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Advanced Carp Fishing Tackle Buying Guide

Carp can be found in lakes and rivers across the world and can grow to reach a considerable size. This kind of fishing is popular among fishermen, due to the fact that carp are common in many areas, and their vegetarian diet and wary nature make them a difficult to hook prize. Carp are considered ‘coarse fish’, a group of which are fresh water fish that are not part of the ‘game fish’ group, such as salmon or trout. The term originates from the nineteenth century, when the gentry who fished for sport disdained fish that were not considered game fish.

The term tackle covers almost all of the equipment an angler might use while fishing, including such equipment as rods, reels, lures, tackle boxes and waders. Sometimes, tackle may be referred to as fishing gear. A good deal of the tackle needed for carp or coarse fishing is similar to that needed for other kinds of fishing, whilst some more specialised equipment may be needed to catch certain kinds of carp. Tackle encompasses a great deal of fishing gear, and eBay offers a wide selection.

Fishing Rods

Perhaps the most immediately recognisable of all fishing gear, the fishing rod has a range of specifications which can make it suitable for different kinds of fishing. Some anglers opt to carry two rods, so they have a spare in the event of damage, or for to catch different kinds of fish.  Due to the size carp can grow to, and the fight they can up when caught, a sturdy rod is recommended. There are a few key specifications which are used by manufacturers to outline the suitability of certain rods.

Rod Weight

Rod weight, also known as the ‘power value’ of a rod, is an indicator of the weight of fish, or the kind of fishing, a rod is suitable for. Rods are generally categorised from ultra light to ultra heavy, or by similar scales. An ultra light rod, for example, may be more suitable for catching small fish for use as bait, or ‘panfish’, edible fish which never grow too large to fit in a frying pan, whereas an ultra heavy rod might be more suited to deep sea fishing, or for catching heavyweight fish. Theoretically, any kind of fish could be caught with any kind of rod, though fishing for small fish with an ultra heavy rod would offer little to no challenge, whilst attempting to catch heavier fish with an ultra light rod would prove exceptionally challenging and carries a high risk of damaging the rod and losing the fish. For carp fishing, a moderate rod weight is more suitable, as though carp can grow to be fairly large, they remain within the capacity of mid range rod weights. There is no standardised measurement of rod weight, with manufacturers applying their own rod weight specifications to their rods.

Line Weight

This is the range of weights of fishing line that a particular rod is designed to support. Fishing line weight is often measured in pounds of tensile force before the line parts. The line weight for fly rods is represented differently, by a number often from 1wt to 12 wt, with ‘wt’ representing the standard weight for the first 30 feet of the line. It is important to match the weight of a line with the line weight of a rod. For carp fishing, a 7wt or 8wt rod is considered adequate, and strong enough to take on struggling carp.

Lure Weight

The lure weight of a rod is the recommended weight of a lure or hook a particular fishing rod is designed to support. A too light or heavy lure or hook can make effective casting more difficult, while exceeding the lure weight of a rod may too much risks damage to the rod. The lure weight is generally measured in ounces or grams. In carp fishing, the size of the lure can vary depending on the kind of carp that the angler is fishing for. While small bait on a hook is suitable for some, filter feeding carp require use of the ‘suspension method’, which involves the use of dissolving bait surrounded by a nest of tiny hooks. Very heavy lures, however, are less common in carp fishing.

Rod Action

The rod action measure the speed with which a rod returns to a neutral position from being bent, be it from casting the rod or from a fish on the end. Rod action is expressed as slow, medium or fast, including such measurements as medium-fast. Fast rods allow for further casting, while a slower rod action is considered more forgiving, and can prevent issues such as throwing bait. The rod action that is most suitable can be matter of personal skill and preference, with a wide range of rod actions being preferred by different anglers.

Rod Length

The length of a fishing rod can be a key consideration, and the suitable length varies greatly depending on the environment in which an angler intends to be fishing. Length is generally measured in feet and inches, and longer rods give further reach to the angler. Surf fishing, for example, requires the use of very long rods, so that the angler can reach where the fish congregate, beyond where the surf breaks. In carp fishing, which takes place most often in rivers and lakes, a 12’ to 13' rod is often considered a good length. This offers the angler enough length for good casting, strong control over any caught fish, and is less difficult to transport. Transportation and storage can also be an important consideration for long rods, and many rods break down into pieces, or fold up telescopically.

Test Curve

The test curve of a fishing rod is the amount of weight that is required before a rod will bend to a ninety degree angle. This is generally measured in pounds, and is often a key consideration for carp fishing, with rods marketed specifically for carp fishing and coarse fishing often prominently displaying this specification. A 2.75lb test curve is generally considered ample for carp fishing. Rods with 3lb and larger test curves are generally designed for anglers casting heavy weights over long distances.

Number of Pieces

Due to the difficulty of transporting and storing full length fishing rods, many are designed to break down into two or more pieces. The number of pieces a rod breaks down to can be a key element to consider. Many anglers prefer single piece rods, due to the way they handle. The right number of pieces for an angler is often a balance between how the rod handles, and the length they are willing to store and transport. Due to the relatively small size of rod generally used for carp fishing when compared to other kinds of rod, it may be easier to store and carry a rod of fewer pieces. Telescopic rods, which can be kept in its small, collapsed form and fully extended for use, are popular among some anglers. These rods are primarily designed to their portability, and can sometimes be less sturdy than comparable rods which break into pieces, or single piece rods.

Types of Fishing Rod

Many manufacturers offer a range of fishing rods designed specifically designed carp rods, which can come with a variety of different specifications. There is a wide range of other rods available for a variety of uses, and many of these are also suitable for carp fishing, including:

Spinning Rod

Spinning rods are popular for recreational and sport fishing, and are widely available in telescopic form. This kind of rod is generally made of graphite or fibreglass, with a cork or PVC foam handle. Unlike many other kinds of rod, the spinning reel sits beneath the rod. The weight of the reel hanging beneath the rod can mean that this kind of rod is more comfortable for use over prolonged periods of time. This kind of rod can also offer the user a great level of control, as the design allows the rod to be held in the dominant hand. This kind of rod is generally between 5’ and 8.5’, which is a good length for use in carp fishing.

Casting Rod

Casting rods are somewhat similar to spinning rods, though are generally more powerful, and generally have a heavier line weight. This can make them suitable for caching heavier carp, though might be considered unnecessarily powerful for use against smaller fish. A key characteristic of casting rods is that they are designed to hold the reel above the handle, which also often includes a forefinger trigger grip.

Fly Rod

Fly fishing rods are an unusual choice for carp fishing, as their thin flexible structure can make it difficult to successfully catch carp. Despite this, some anglers opt for the great challenge of carp fishing with a fly rod. Fly rods are designed to cast an artificial fly to attract fish, and due to the near weightless nature of the lure this requires a special, weighted line. Fly rods are built to be thin and flexible, and often have little or no handle extending beyond the reel. These rods are available in a range of lengths.

Tenkara Rod

Another unusual choice for carp fishing, the tenkara rod is a telescopic rod which has the characteristics of an ultra light weight fly rod. Designed for tenkara fishing, a traditional kind of fly fishing in Japan, this rod generally fully extends to between 11’ to 13’ feet in length. The action of tenkara rods has been standardised to be measured in ratios of stiff parts to more flexible parts, with the ratios being5:5, 6:4, 7:3, and 8:2. 5:5 represents the slower rod, with 8:2 representing the faster rod. A defining aspect of the tenkara rod is its lack of reel, with the line instead being directly attached to the end of the rod. Popular in Japan, this kind of rod has seen rising popularity elsewhere.

Rod Supports and Rod Pods

Rod supports hold a fishing rod in place, taking the weight of the rod out of the hands of the angler. These can be invaluable for longer fishing sessions. A common type of rod support is the bank stick, which is stuck into the ground to provide a support for the rod. Some bank sticks are designed to be screwed into the ground, which can make it easier to place them in harder ground. Another option for rod support is the rod pod. These are similar to bank sticks, but instead of being stuck into the ground they are supported by a frame. This means rod pods can be used on hard surfaces, such as concrete. Rod pods are also often designed to be capable of supporting a number of rods. A drawback of these, however, is that they can be difficult to assemble quickly.

Bite Indicators and Alarms

Bite indicators and alarms alert the angler that a fish has bitten, and can be greatly useful in carp fishing. Fishing floats, also called bobbers, are widely used to hold bait at a certain depth, and to allow the hook to float along the current to otherwise difficult to reach areas. These floats are also commonly used as bite indicators, as their movement can indicate a bite. For carp and coarse fishing, long and thin floats are generally preferred.

Quiver tips are another possible bite indicator, which are fitted to the end of specially designed rods called ‘leger’ or ‘feeder’ rods. Quiver tips are sensitive, and rarely used for coarse and carp fishing, instead being more suitable for smaller fish.

Bite alarms are a more sophisticated option. These electronic devices are more popular for carp and coarse fishing, and emit a warning sound when a rod receives a bite. The audible indication makes the device useful for anglers using multiple rods, as it does not require visual monitoring. Bite alarms range from simple devices, to ones that offer a range of variable settings.


A variety of bait is used in carp fishing, such as pellets. Perhaps the most commonly used kind of bait for carp fishing is the boilie, which are boiled collections of milk proteins, eggs and artificial flavours. Other baits sometimes used include canned corn and tiger nuts.

Landing Net

The landing net is vital for landing a caught fish. In modern angling, a great deal of emphasis is placed on avoiding unnecessary harm to the fish, and landing net designs reflect this. Finer mesh is generally better for carp, and the generally recommended size is around 42”. A range of materials, handle designs and telescopic nets are available, and the most suitable option is generally decided by the preference of the angler.

Unhooking Mat

The unhooking mat provides a safe surface upon which to place a caught fish while removing the hook. This prevents damage to the fish, and some fishing venues require their use.

Finding Carp Fishing Tackle on eBay

A wide range of tackle suitable for carp fishing can be found on eBay, in the Sporting Goods  section, under Fishing. The Tackle section of Carp Fishing can be found in Coarse Fishing. The listings here can be arranged by particular kinds of tackle, as well as with options such as price, size, condition, brand and distance to the seller.

Key information about different fishing equipment is generally clearly displayed in the listing of a particular item. Further information can be found on an items page, where information about the seller, such as feedback, can also be found, allowing a purchase to be made in confidence. It is also possible to ask the seller a question regarding a specific item here.

To find specific equipment, it may be more effective to use the search function at the top of every page. Advice on effective use of this function can be found on the Search Tips page.


Carp fishing involves the use of a wide range of tackle, from rods to bit indicators. Tackle can be found to fit any angler’s skill, intended fishing environment, and their preferred technique. eBay offers an accessible, wide range of carp fishing tackle.

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