Carp Rod Guide
When you’re searching for a new carp rod, the terminology used can sometimes make no sense at all.
So, we thought we’d put together a sort of ‘carp rod glossary’ that may shed some light on terms like ‘this rod has a 4k weave’ or ‘line runs smoothly due to the SIC guides’.
Some anglers, especially if you’re new to the sport, might not have a clue by all of the technical jargon often found on tackle sites these days.
So sit back and enjoy, as we try to help improve your carp angling knowledge with our Carp Rod Glossary (+ a bonus video guide can be found at the very bottom!)
When describing ‘blanks’ this is actually what the carp rod is crafted from.
Improvements in technology have altered the way carp rods are made today, with the main materials used are either graphite, fiberglass or carbon.
Fiberglass is more forgiving and less prone to breaking, whereas graphite is used in the more expensive rods and provides ‘the feel’ so to speak.
Other ingredients may be added, but this is all ‘cloak-and-dagger’ in the rod building industry!
When describing a carp rod – three terms are used; ‘length’, ‘action’ and ‘power’.
Length is self-explanatory really – how long from top to bottom it is, and in carp fishing, these range from 9ft to 14ft.
Action is affected by the taper (how thick the rod is from the base to the tip), the overall rod thickness and the material of the blank itself.
These all determine the ‘flex’ or ‘action’ of the rod, with those which have a small amount of bend often described as having an ‘extra-fast action’ – perfect for when fish need to quickly be hooked and brought in.
Hence, a popular choice in coarse fishing, especially match angling!
‘Fast action’ rods will bend from about a quarter of the way down (from the tip), and ‘medium action’ rods – you’ve guessed it, bend from around the middle!
There are slow-action rods, but these tend not to be used in carp fishing because they don’t set the hook (this is when the carp is hooked, or ‘set’ in the mouth) too well, although they are superb when battling larger carp close quarters.
Finally, ‘power’ means the amount of force it takes for the rod to actually bend.
The ‘Weave’ of a Rod
The ‘weave’ of carp rods refers to the amount of fibres that are used in the weaving of the cloth that goes into the manufacturing process. So, 4k means four-thousand etc…
This ‘higher density weave’ not only has more strength, but it also requires less resin material to fill in the ‘spaces’ between the fibres. This offers advantages in creating a lighter rod construction as well as better durability in repeated flexing of the rod when casting or playing fish.
These are the ‘eyes’ (that form part of the guides) that your line flows through and these may often be called SIC guides.
SiC stands for ‘silicon carbide’ which is what they are made from, sometimes ceramic may also be used.
Rods will have either ‘single’ or ‘double leg’ guides, which we’ve illustrated below, whilst the latter may last longer and be less easy to damage than singles.
You’ll often find single guides used on lighter rods. They use less whippings (turns around the rod to secure them in place) but will increase rod flexibility. The action in the tip may also feel a lot smoother!
Brands such as Fuji are famed for their reel seats (see below) but also make good quality guides. Other guide brands include Shimano and Daiwa.
When you cast or reel in, you’ll want your line to ‘roll’ smoothly through the guides without affecting the performance -thats the aim anyway!
On spod rods, you may find the tip will have a larger eye because braid will take its toll eventually if used on your standard carp rods. This larger ‘eye’ will be more robust and stand out to the rigors of braid.
Another important aspect as far as the rings or guides go is the base ring, or commonly known as the ‘butt guide’.
On carp rods, it will usually be either 40mm or 50mm and has to be the strongest as this will take the most friction as line rips through it.
50mm butt guides will perhaps allow for an extra 10-15 yards of casting reach, therefore are preferable for those larger carp lakes.
On many carp forums, this issue is often discussed as to the actual ‘practicality’ of using either 40mm or 50mm – but, really, there isn’t much in it!
Finally, a simple rule when weighing up a carp rod is the number of eyes it has relates to the strength. The more flexible – the more eyes!
A float rod may have around 12 eyes, whereas a carp rod will have 6.
We found a great write-up about Rod Guides that goes into more depth than our effort – feel free to check out ‘What You Need To Know About Rod Guides‘ courtesy of OnTheWater.com
We will only touch slightly on the issue of the ‘reel-seat’ because on most carp rods, this is quite standard with Fuji being the main manufacturer of these.
This is because they are really high quality, built-to-last – and get the job done!
Cheaper rods will generally have a plastic reel-seat built into the blank, with the most expensive opting for a metal one for longevity.
Again, the job of holding the reel in place is of course important – and most reel seats achieve this job very well.
These ‘classic Fuji DPS Reel Seats’ sure do the business!
There are companies that create custom reel seats of course, and by all means this is fine to go for.
What we are saying through is Fuji reel seats are certainly more than capable!
These are a couple of the finishes you can expect to find on a carp rod.
It really is a personal taste when deciding what you should opt for!
There are 3 types of handle you can go for here, with varying sizes!
Cork, Abbreviated and Duplon are the types available, and you’ll often hear a handle described as ‘slim’ or ‘super-slim’ – which is exactly what it means.
Duplon is usually made from a black or grey foam, which is cheap and a good alternative to cork – some may even have a mix of both.
Abbreviated is a bit of a ‘suped up’ term really – this just says that there are special areas on the handle where grip is increased.
Finally, but very important – is test curves!
This is an indication to the power of the rod.
In fact, technically it’s the weight that the rod can take before it is pulled through to a 90 degree angle.
It’s a useful measure for buyers to gauge the strength and casting ability which is important when you may be looking for a rod capable of punching out PVA bags or spod mixes and wanted to cast long distances.
A common carp rod (for all-purpose carp fishing) will be 12ft in length and have a test curve of either 2.75lbs or 3lbs.
A stronger ‘casting animal’ will be 3.5lb, with a lighter stalking carp rod weighing in at 2.25lb or 2.5lb (stalking rods are usually shorter at about 9ft or 10ft)
‘The Fox Warrior S is a great, all-round carp rod’
We mentioned action earlier – but we wanted to recap on this.
The 3 main actions are fast-action, tip-to-middle action and progressive action.
Fast-action rods pick up line quickly on the strike, and will also offer a tip-to-middle action which means the rod will bend easily from tip-to-middle to absorb the reflexes of bolting carp.
Progressive action means that the power comes into the rod progressively as the rod bends from the tip.
A true progressive blank will increase the power equally as the tip is pulled around!
Well, another epically long post – but well worth it if your interested in knowing the nitty gritty of choosing the right carp rod.
You’ve learned about blanks and the construction materials used, how guides are important for the way line flows through them and you now understand how the test curve on a carp rod matters when deciding what you actually need it to do!
If you’ve got this far – a big thank you for reading our Carp Rod Glossary and we hope you’ll find other resources on the website that are just as interesting!
Want more? Why not take a look at investing in some Polarised Fishing Sunglasses that make spotting carp easier?
Until next time – enjoy your fishing!