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Choosing the Right Carp Rods
We get a lot of people asking if we have many rod and reel deals and if we can beat the price another shop is doing it for. I had one chap call, and he wanted a Daiwa Black Widow Rod 12ft 2.75lb test curve and a black widow reel and what’s my best price because he could get it online for a certain price. Before I looked at the price I asked him what he wanted it for, and he said, method feeder fishing for carp. He then said he’s seen people doing well using large method feeders. I asked him what the weight of his empty feeder was, and he said 2.5 ounces. I politely said I’m very sorry I don’t have those items, but perhaps you may want to look at a stronger rod. I said if your feeder is 2.5oz to start and you compact a method mix around it, it could weigh anywhere from 5-7oz, and that will no doubt break your rod. He told me there’s no chance it would, and if I didn't have what he wanted, he would buy it from elsewhere. No problem, I said and thanked him for calling. The thing is, I did have the rod and reel and could have done it £20 cheaper than he could get it for, but I knew once it broke it would be the rod's fault, and I should sort it out for him! Next time you cast a spod or spomb, weigh how much bait is in there and look how strong a spod rod is.
What I’m trying to say is, when buying a rod, do your research. Check what other people are using and what they are using them for. One thing I will say is spend as much as you can on rods because they are the things that will have to put up with a lot of abuse. If you are advised by someone you trust like your local tackle shop owner that’s known you for some time, that the rods you are looking at won’t do the job but spending 50 or 100 pounds over your budget will, instead of buying three cheaper rods buy two then save your money to get the third once you can afford. Just make sure the rod’s you are purchasing aren’t going to be discontinued soon. That person will know a thing or two about lot’s of different carp rods, and he will hear how others get on using them. Listen to what he’s saying, as it's not always down to trying to get more money out of your pocket!
I‘d rather not sell something if I knew it wasn’t suitable for the job because I really don’t want anyone to waste their hard earned money. Usually, the more money you spend on a rod, the better the spec of the rod should be, like the quality of the carbon used when making it. I don’t mean if you see a rod selling at £40 and another for £50, there will be a massive difference. But, if you see a rod at £40 and the one next to it is £100, there will be a difference. Just like the rod selling at £100 to the rod selling at £250 or £350, there will be far better grade materials and technology used when building it.
Just like a lot of your top-end rods will use Japanese Carbon material which is one of the best carbons in the world. Once the banks have been rolled they will be places in an autoclave machine that will remove all the air pockets from the resin that's rolled in between the carbon when making the blank to help prevent weaknesses whereas cheaper models won’t be.
There are lots of different rods on the market in all lengths and test curves, so when choosing your rod, think of what you are mainly going to use it for. Also, make sure the brand has a history in building rods and a carp team behind them testing them because there’s a lot of cheap rubbish out there.
Let’s say you really want some of the new Nash Scope Rods because you like how they compact down but you're fishing a gravel pit and need to be casting at least 80 yards plus. Those rods will make your fishing very hard work. I’m not saying that a Scope rod won't cast that far, but a 12 or 13ft rod will do it a lot easier.
A lot of people can only afford to own one set of rods, so you want the rods you choose to be able to cope with 80% of your fishing. The other 20% there will be a way to get around it. Also, when choosing a rod, don’t think the stiffer the rod, the further you will be able to cast it. One of my sets of rods are 13ft Free Spirit Hi’s Ive, and I would say these are around 3.75lb test curve. There is no way I’m compressing them to the max on the cast, and I will use 4 or 5oz leads. I mainly use these in France on bigger waters, and I use a bait boat to take my bait out a lot of the time. I will always cast if I can as I prefer fishing like that. I also have a 10ft 3.5lb Scope Black Ops rods set that I use on smaller water or when fishing shorter distances. I chose to fish like this because if I fished using my 10ft rods 150 yards out, using a boat to get the bait out. I feel that when lifting the rod up when you get a run, the 10ft rod won’t pick the line up quick enough through the water as my 13ft rods would, and there’s a chance I won’t set the hook good enough and lose the fish in the fight. Just like I wouldn’t advise using rods with this high test curve on waters where your biggest fish may be a mid-twenty, but you are mainly catching fish 10-15lb because the battle you experience while playing the fish won’t be anywhere exciting as using a softer rod. But if you are only fishing that sort of water now and then and mainly fish for bigger fish, it will be fine. I primarily fish now in France, and the average size of fish is around 30lb. My rods will always have a nice bend in them, but when landing a lot smaller fish, I need to loosen the clutch on my reel because if the fish darts off and I haven’t there's a chance, I’ll pull the hook out of the fishes mouth due to the power in my rods.
I hope this helps, but the main thing is to ask people who know about rods and not people who fish using the latest fashion accessory as money to them may not be an issue and they will swap their rods all the time anyway. So if money may not be an issue to you, be wise with it and get the advice you need first to narrow it down, then perhaps ask someone like me. Fishing Rods can be very expensive, especially if you chose wrong the first time, so do your research, ask questions, and get the right tools for the job you wish to do.