Everything You Need to Start Carp Fishing

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Everything You Need to Start Carp Fishing

Do not be overwhelmed when buying carp fishing tackle.

There is a huge range of kit out there covering rods, reels, baits, leads, alarms and camping equipment. The bottom line is that local experts know what is required. You will find ranges of gear that will suit the most naïve starter to the hardened professional carp angler on eBay. Everything depends on the:

  • budget available
  • fishery being visited
  • ability of the angler.

The one rule of thumb, as with many things, is that really cheap kit is often a false economy. So try and buy the best quality products within the budget. Given that a ticket to fish is so expensive plus food, petrol or diesel the tackle budget is always going to be tight but try to buy the best possible. It will last longer and perform better.

There are some good options on the market with start-out rigs from trusted brands that include all the required basics and some extras right up to the specialist professional gear for the experienced angler. Research what’s available on an affordable budget by looking on eBay.

When the big carp takes and ploughs off and the cheap spool disintegrates the beginner will soon wish that he had spent a little more. That said, there is no need to buy the high end tackle as the mid range is genuinely affordable and does the job well

Look out for good packages if just starting out. They offer a full range of all the kit needed to get the beginner started. It is reasonably priced and each element will certainly be of good enough quality to see you through a season or two.


When it comes to selecting a rod there are various useful questions to ask. Many people feel that the Test Curve is an important measurement. This refers to the amount of weight a rod requires to bend through 90 degrees from the tip to the butt of the rod. All this measurement actually explains is how stiff the rod is.

A more important measurement or description is the ‘action’ of the rod, which is often referred to in carp rods. This will give the angler an idea of how far the rod will cast. For example a ‘through action rod’ is probably best suited to short or medium range casts and a ‘fast taper’ is used for fishing at much greater distances. So when buying rods it is good to know what the fishery is like and how it is going to be fished first. Knowing what weight of fish is likely to be taken from the fishery is another important factor.

By combining the test curve and the action a better picture of rod performance and its relevance to the fish and fishery.

A generally accepted rule is to go for 2 ½ to 2 ¾ Test curve which will be able to cast leads of up to 3.5oz and is good for most fisheries.

The brands that tend to the most popular across the board are Shimano, Daiwa, Shakespeare, Chub, Greys, Leeda, Nash and Wychwood. All offer a good range of different rods to suit all budgets. They all are of a good enough quality to buy used and providing they are not in anyway damaged should serve the buyer well.


Again these will come as part of a package. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap. There are good quality, mid range reels available from Daiwa, Nash, Chub and Shakespeare.

Leads and Weights

These should come in with any package but set out below are some ‘must have’ options for different swims, beds and casting requirements.

Range of leads:

  1. Flat Pear Bomb
  2. Tournament Distance
  3. Square Barrel
  4. Stumpy Pear Inline
  5. Small Long Pears
  6. Distance Tear Drop
  7. Back leads
  8. Gripper
  9. Riser Leads

Bivvies/ Tents /Sleeping bags

It is really important to get these right but don’t spend too much on the very best arctic gear. Good quality kit is available on eBay.

Bank Rigs

Rod pods are a really useful piece of kit for stony banks and fisheries. The standard bank stick is fine but useless on really hard ground. The good pods are high quality aluminium and come with a good pair of alarms and bobbins so the sound set up is included. Do not be tempted by cheap alarms; the wet quickly gets into them and they fail. A bank rig like this should cost in the region of £40.

Buying a mid range package is a good way of getting into the sport. With the price of fishing anywhere good getting ever more expensive and with all the other tackle, baits, leads, bivvies and equipment needed it is worth looking at the used market for good deals.

The final point to note when buying carp tackle, is to check out the availability of a warranty or guarantee. Many manufacturers will offer lifetime guarantees so, if the paperwork is available, it can be very useful. With carp rods this isn’t always the case but it is definitely worth asking the question.

There are many different ways of fishing for carp. The buyer must be very clear on what type of angling approach is going to be taken. This will depend on the fishery and the rules it maintains, the weather conditions, the bait being used and the preferences of the angler. If possible consult with an expert. If the fishery is close to where the tackle is being purchased then it is likely that the seller will have a good knowledge of the fishery and be able to advise on what rod to buy.

As with all fishing getting good advice from local experts and working on gathering as much intelligence as possible before any purchase is made will always lead to the most satisfactory results. 

If you are being generous and buying carp fishing tackle as a present, it is as well to look out for sellers with a returns policy. Without detailed, local knowledge it is easy to come away with kit that just isn’t exactly right.

How to Buy Everything You Need to Start Carp Fishing on eBay

Now that you've worked out which Carp Tackle you want, find them quickly on eBay. While you shop, don't forget Tackle, Line, Bait, Fly Tying Tools/ Materials, Bait Tools/ Accessories and Tackle Boxes.Click the Sporting Goods portal and click Fishing.

Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Clothing & Footwear, Coarse Fishing, DVDs, Fly Fishing, Sea Fishing, Tackle Boxes, Universal Accessories, Videos and Trophies As you refine your search you'll be able to narrow down your choice by subcategory.

  • Product Finder: Use the Used Carp Rod Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by brand, model and condition. (Click used)
  • Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find used carp leads, type the keywords "carp leads used" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy Carp Fishing Tackle with Confidence

Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your item

Read the details in the item listing carefully.

Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you’re buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.

If you want more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.

Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.

Never pay for your eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or Moneygram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.

  • What is the seller’s Feedback rating? 
  • How many transactions have they completed?
  • How many positive responses do they have?
  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? 
  • Are they positive about the seller?

Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.

  • Do they offer a money-back guarantee? 
  • What are their terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection your purchase price plus original delivery cost.

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