How to Buy Carp Fishing Rigs for Beginners

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy Carp Fishing Rigs for Beginners

Buying any tackle when first starting out is a daunting prospect. There is just so much out there and so many different options to chose from. Carp tackle is probably one of the most extensively evolved areas in fishing tackle development so buying a rig for a beginner is even more daunting.

The market does however have a number of options available in the form of start-out rigs from trusted brands that include all the required basics and some extras.

Set your budget

All that has to be done is to really do some research on what’s available on a budget that suits you. Do not be tempted to buy really cheap. When the first big carp takes and ploughs off and the cheap spool disintegrates, the beginner will wish he had spent a little more.

Good mid range equipment is abundant so don’t be tempted by freebies or low-end outfits.


Check out the Diawa Mission X package, which offers a full range of all the kit that you will need to get started. It is reasonably priced and each element will certainly be of good enough quality to see a season or two through.


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 of 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, are 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. Providing that they are not in any way damaged, they will serve the angler well.


Again these will come as part of a starter package and 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:

Flat Pear Bomb

Distance Tear Drop

Tournament Distance

Back leads

Square Barrel


Stumpy Pear Inline

Riser Leads

Small Long Pears


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, as the wet quickly gets into them and they fail. A bank rig like this should cost in the region of £40.

Best bet for newcomers to carp fishing

Buying a mid-range package is a good way of getting into the sport.

The price of fishing anywhere good is becoming ever more expensive. Bearing in mind the cost of all the tackle, baits, leads, bivvies and other equipment needed, it is worth looking at the used market for good deals.

Buying a whole carp set-up for a beginner can be a daunting and risky business.

There is no point spending £440 on a pair of new rods when half that price will get a really good a perfectly adequate set-up. That said, kitting out with cheap gear can be a false economy as sub-standard tackle tends not to last. It will more than likely let an angler down at exactly the wrong moment. All the brands mentioned above are trustworthy and have good, entry-level packages. The best bet is to get a mid -range rod with a good but not over fancy finish, from a reliable source. If the carp ‘bug’ strikes, simply upgrade from there.


The final point to note when buying carp rigs, 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. 

How to buy Carp Fishing Rigs for Beginners on eBay

Now that you've worked out which Carp Rods 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 Rigs for Beginners 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.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides