Carp fishing can be an expensive hobby and your rods will be one of the costliest items that you will purchase, especially when you need to buy 2, 3 (or even 4) of them.
With that being said, there are some options on the market which will still allow you to obtain great carp rods without breaking the bank.
When purchasing carp rods, you should always consider the following:
First and foremost, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend on a rod. There are some rods on the market that we would all love to own, but the reality is that few of us can afford them.
Next up, you should decide what length of rod you require. This can depend on many factors, but the general rule-of-thumb is that to cast extreme distances, you will require a longer rod.
For those that aren’t familiar, a blank is your fishing rod before it had any other components fitted to it. Typically made from carbon fibre and available with different actions.
The action of a carp fishing rod is usually placed into one of the following categories:
- Slow or through action
A slow or through action carp rod will bend all the way from the butt of the rod to the tip. Due to this action, these rods are not particularly good when casting long distances, but give greater control when playing a fish in close-quarters and reduce the chances of the hook pulling.
- Medium or moderate action
A medium or moderate action rod is widely regarded as the best all-round option for carp fishing. They retain the capability of playing a fish under the rod tip without fear of the hook pulling, while still allowing the potential to cast towards the horizon.
- Fast or tip action
A fast or tip action is usually found on longer carp rods. Out of all the actions available, these rods are the stiffest and lend themselves well to anglers wanting to punch solid bags well in excess of 100 yards. The increased stiffness of rods with this action can increase the chances of the hook pulling.
The test curve of a rod is the amount of weight needed to make the tip of the rod bend ninety-degrees from the butt. If your rod has a test curve of 3.25lb, this is how much weight is needed to make it arc.
Rod rings (sometimes called eyes) are what you pass your line through. Fuji rings are renowned as the best in the business but are typically reserved for rods with a higher price point than the ones that we will look at today. Rods with a lighter test curve will normally be fitted with a 40mm butt ring, with heavier models sporting a 50mm butt ring, making them more suited to distance casting with a big pit reel.
As with the rings, Fuji reel seats are known as the premium fixtures and are more likely to be found on high-end rods. Rods in this price bracket will most likely feature the manufacturers own brand reel seat.
So, now we know a little bit more about what to look out for, let’s take a look at the best carp rods available for £100 or less (in alphabetical order).
Avid Traction Pro Carp Rods
The Avid Traction Pro range of carp rods is an excellent example of delivering value for money.
Of course, different people have different opinions, but these are billed by many as the best rods available for under £100.
Wrapped in an anti-glare 1k matt weave, Avid incorporated their reactive carbon fibre technology into the blank, which helps to cushion the blow when dealing with a fish that is lunging under your rod tip.
A full range is available, with length options of 10ft and 12ft and test curves from 2.5lb (for small water fishing) to 5lb (spod rod). All models with a test curve in excess of 3lb have 50mm butt rings.Finished with a Japanese shrink wrapped handle, Supa Lite reel seat and an aluminium butt cap, the RRP of these rods is usually £95, but you can sometimes get a better price from Amazon or Total Fishing Tackle.
Avid Traction Pro Carp Rods At A Glance:
Blank: Reactive Carbon Fibre
Test Curve: 2.5lb-5lb
Rings: Lightweight CS Ceramic
Reel Seat: Supa Lite
Daiwa Black Widow G50 Carp Rods
The Daiwa Black Widow G50 range of carp rods offers excellent value for money and includes different options for most fishing situations.
The blank is manufactured from lightweight carbon and sports a full shrink grip handle. It comes with a DPS style reel seat and has lightweight ceramic rings (all of the 12ft models have a 50mm butt ring).
Lengths of 10ft or 12ft are available with test curves of between 3lb-4.5lb.
All of the rods in the Daiwa Black Widow G50 range have a medium action which enables anglers to hit terrific distances when casting, while also allowing for good control when playing fish. When paired with the correct reel and terminal tackle setup, casts of 100 yards or more should be easily achievable.Expect to pay in the region of £75 per rod, though you can sometimes make a saving when buying from Amazon.
Daiwa Black Widow G50 Carp Rods At A Glance:
Blank: Lightweight Carbon
Test Curve: 3lb-4.5lb
Rings: Lightweight Ceramic
Reel Seat: DPS Style
Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rods
The X3 range was brought to market to offer the renowned Fox quality to anglers on a budget.
The blank is constructed from high modulus carbon and boasts the same multi-directional build pattern like that of the flagship X5 range (which costs three times the price!)
Lengths of 10, 12 and 13ft are available, all of which are fitted with anti-tangle guides, an 18mm DPS reel seat and finished with an abbreviated handle. This shows that the X3 has borrowed much of what has made the X5 range so popular, while keeping the price affordable to the masses.On the Fox website, these rods are priced at £100 each. If you place an order with Angling Direct, you can sometimes save around 10%.
Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rods At A Glance:
Blank: High Modulus Carbon
Test Curve: 2.75lb-5.5lb
Reel Seat: DPS Style
Shimano Tribal TX2 Carp Rods
Shimano has been manufacturing fishing equipment for a century, so their products are always among the best in their price point and the Tribal TX2 rods are no different.
Manufactured from XT60 carbon, the blank is powerful enough to take care of distance casting with ease, while still showing compromise in the middle and tip sections to ensure a sturdy hook hold when in a duel with an angry carp.
The Tribal TX2 rods are available in lengths of 10, 11, 12 and 13ft with test curves ranging between 2.75lb-3.5lb. The blank is complemented by a DPS style reel seat, stainless steel SiC guides and rubber handle grips.Usually priced at around £90 per rod, you can often reduce your outlay by ordering these from Amazon or Angling Direct.
Shimano Tribal TX2 Carp Rods At A Glance:
Blank: XT60 Carbon
Test Curve: 2.75lb-3.5lb
Rings: Stainless Steel SiC
Reel Seat: DPS Style
Sonik Vader X Carp Rods
When compared to the other manufacturers on this list, Sonik (along with Avid) are relative newcomers to the world of carp fishing gear.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the new kids on the block couldn’t possibly produce a quality carp rod for under £50, but they have done exactly that!
The lightweight carbon fibre blank has a classy matt-black finish and boasts an action that I would say sits in the middle between medium and fast.
There are lengths on offer between 10ft-13ft with test curve options in the 2.75lb-4.50lb range. The custom Sonik reel seat is perfect for accommodating big pit reels and the black SiC guides are finished with an anti-frap tip.While the RRP of these rods is always listed at around £50, you can normally make a small saving when ordering from Amazon.
Sonik Vader X Carp Rods At A Glance:
Blank: Lightweight Carbon Fibre
Test Curve: 2.75lb-4.5lb
Reel Seat: DPS Style
Trakker Defy Carp Rods
Trakker products generally need no introduction, and the Defy range of carp rods continues that trend.
High-quality Toray carbon fibre has been used to create the blank, and the medium to fast action is capable of both distance casting and dealing with an unforgiving carp under the rod tip.
Available in 10, 12 and 13ft lengths, with test curves varying between 3lb-4.5lb, all models come with a 50mm butt ring as standard. Low friction zirconia guides, a full-length shrinkwrapped handle and Fuji reel seat completes these price-defying rods.The recommended retail price of these rods is actually well in excess of the £100 price cap of this article. However, if you place your order with Angling Direct or Tackle UK you can sometimes get a deal for a few pounds under the threshold.
Trakker Defy Carp Rods At A Glance:
Blank: Toray Carbon Fibre
Test Curve: 3lb-4.5lb
Reel Seat: Fuji DPS
The rods in this list are, at the time of writing and in my opinion, the best on the market at this price point.
With not a lot separating them in terms of price, your choice will likely come down to personal brand preference or the action of the rod.
The Fox Horizon X3 would be my personal choice, but the Shimano Tribal TX2 and Avid Traction Pro are both excellent rods.
If you are on a tighter budget, the Daiwa Black Widow G50 is an excellent choice and the Sonik Vader X is an amazing rod for the price.
Do you use any of the rods listed in this article? If so, what is your opinion of them? Please let me know in the comments.