Angling is among the most popular sports worldwide. Most carp fishing is done in large bodies of deep freshwater lakes.

The two most essential pieces of gear in carp fishing are rods and reels.  Choosing the best rods and reels depends on the condition and size of the lake and the size of the fish you plan to hook.

Carp normally feed close to the bottom of lakes, so anglers need rods and reels that can cast at long distances. The gear should also be strong enough to handle the catch.

Choosing the Rods

When choosing a carp rod, pay attention to the test curve and length of the rod.

These two elements help determine the rod’s ability to cast and how much weight it needs to get the rod at the required angles.


Test curves

The rod’s testing curve lets anglers know how strong a particular rod can be when it is cast at a 90-degrees angle from a horizontal position. The test curve also works best with the varying speeds of each rod action.

Examples may include the following:

For a 3.25-pound test curve, anglers need at least 4 ounces of casting weight when fishing in medium and large size lakes with lots of snagging.

A 2.25-pound test curve needs about 2 ounces of casting weight and is suitable for smaller lakes and shallow fishing conditions.

Three pounds of test curve works best with about 3.5 ounces of casting weight and is suitable for fishing in medium-size lakes with lots of snags.

Rod actions

There are three main types of rod actions:

  1. Through-action rods

These types of rods work best with small hooks and lightweight leads. They require little or no adjusting when attempting to cast.

They are more suited for casting at shorter distances. Through-action rods also help reduce the incidence of hook pulls, and anglers can utilize hook link and lighter strain lines.

  1. Semi-fast-action rods

Semi-fast-action rods work similarly to most traditional carp rods. Depending on the test curve, these rods play fish reasonably well.

They also cast small and medium-type feeders with no particular set of casting skills. However, these semi-fast-action rods are not compatible with heavier or more extreme feeding methods.

  1. Fast-action rods

While fast-action rods do not cast well at shorter distances, they provide excellent results for long-distance casting methods.

They can withstand the weightier types of method galls and feeder bags quite well.

Unlike other rods, fast-action rods are more rigid and do not allow anglers to play and hook fish very easily.

Anglers will need to exercise more clutch control and stretching techniques to minimize hook link breaks and hook pulls.

Choosing the reels

There are two main types of reels, Big Pits and Free Spools. The size of reels can normally handle lines between 2 and 12 pounds and lengths from 195 to 600 meters.

Fixed spool reels are popular among most anglers and operate with a clutch attached to either the front or back of the reel plate.


The clutch is necessary to let the angler adjust the amount of tension to pull the line from the spool.

The amount of tension determines how well the mainline will handle bigger fish without snapping.

Free spool reels

They are also known as bait runnerspools and provide an extra clutch capability to allow a freer line extending from the spool.

Anglers usually apply very little action to re-set the tension onto the spool.  These types of spools let the line release a lot easier when a fish comes onto the hook.

Big Pit Reels

Big Pit reels are more suitable for handling bigger lines for fishing in large lakes.

The additional diameter lines provide more line drag and also allow anglers with shorter casting distances.

Large spool bit reels will ensure you have adequate line drag on the spool to accommodate the fishing distance you need.

The reels also produce greater retrieving results, since they operate with longer reed handles and slower gears.

They are great reels for holding heavier loads. These reeds normally carry front-clutch mechanisms.

Other big pit reels that operate with faster front-clutch action and will disengage using a simple 900 turn.

Others traditional types of clutches require a series of rotations to disengage the clutch. When you cast the ring into the water, you will need to slacken the front clutch to get the amount of free spool for the catch.

Fishing lines

Choosing a fishing line will depend on the size and condition of the lake you plan to fish in.

Most lakes contain large amounts of snagging, rocky beds and other material that may cause your line to break quite easily.

For small lakes surfaces, .33mm and up to 12-pound liens may suffice. Heavier lake beds may require lines that can handle between 15 and 18 pounds, and measure from .37 to .40 mm in diameter.

There are two general types of lines: Fluorocarbon and nonfilament fishing lines.

Microfilament fishing lines

These lines have excellent breaking capacity and are affordable with lower diameter capability. Microfilament lines can float, they come already stretched and in color for easy detection.

They have sturdy knots, withstand lots of bruising, and are extremely flexible.

Fluorocarbon lines

These lines sink well and get down to deeper depths than microfilament lines. They are normally thicker fishing lines and will need more force to cast them over certain distances.

They may also be more suitable for nearby or medium-distance fishing. Fluorocarbon fishing lines are soft and pliable and maybe a bit more expensive than microfilament lines.


Carp fishing requires tackle that is strong and resilient. Carp are large, strong fish that require strong lines to hook them effectively. They also tug and drag on the line when they come in contact with the fishing hook.

They normally inhabit the lower depths of thick, sludgy waters that may have rock beds and other materials at their base. These conditions may cause your tackle to snap and break easily under pressure.

Choose the types of rods and reels that are suitable for the size and conditions of the areas you plan to fish.

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