The best carp cradle should, ultimately, protect the carp from any damage during the unhooking, weighing and photographing process.
There are many styles of cradle, including low profile where you kneel on a pad low to the ground, and others that are raised by building a fish-friendly fabric into a frame.
Whatever cradle you’re looking for, I’ve chosen many styles, shapes and sizes to suit your preference.
If you’re looking to ‘step-up’ from an unhooking mat, check out my list of 14 of the best fishing cradles below!
NGT Pop-up Cradle
For beginners, or those who want to sample a carp cradle for the first time – this carp cradle review is for the budget minded and worthy of consideration.
With it’s quick pop-up design and detachable padded mat, this is actually pretty decent.
It can be pegged down which secures it ready for your catch, whilst its light enough to be transported easily.
In conclusion, the NGT Carp Cradle is well worth a gamble on a day session or two!
Overall – a good improvement to an unhooking mat and great value for money.
Quick Folding Pop-up Design
Only 1.65kg – including carry case and pegs
Detachable, well padded mat
Size: 108 cm x 50 cm x 20 cm
Leeda Rogue Cradle
Best Cradle - Value For Money
The Rogue Carp Cradle utilises a ‘frame-style’ design thats again, ideal for beginners.
The 3-leg aluminium frame is stable which can be compacted down to a reasonable size. There are carry straps so you can freely move to your desired location – assisted by strong carry straps.
In conclusion, this is a great cradle suited for beginners that may not want to throw money at an expensive cradle.
On the other hand, we’d have no hesitation using this for on a day session.
Great job from Leeda here.
3 Leg Aluminium Frame
Large enough for a 30-40lb Carp
Perfect for light travellers
Size: 102 cm (l) x 66 cm (w) x 30cm (h)
Nash MK3 Cradle
"This is truly a 'Big Carp' cradle."
The ‘daddy’ of cradles, the Nash MK3 is an absolute beast designed to hold big carp!
From a top brand aimed at serious carp anglers, this provides for safe fish retention for unhooking or photography.
It folds down in two sections for ease of transportation with the legs capable of been adjusted to suit your height.
The quality really does help with eliminating back pain often occurring when handling carp out of the water.
A high quality cradle that’s more than capable of handling big carp.
The Nash MK3 is certainly built to last and more importantly, provides excellent care not only for the fish, but better for your back and knees!
Very safe for large fish
Relieve Backache or Knee Trouble
Strong, Robust Frame
Good Water Retention
Size: 100cm(l) x 68cm(w) x 36cm(d)
Similar Nash Cradles
Below, I’ve highlighted some additional Nash cradles that you may prefer over the MK3.
JRC Extreme Cradle
They’ve opted for a ‘telescopic leg’ option here – which I suppose makes it easier to fold down and pack away?
The padding uses 420D polyester foam for peace of mind, with a lovely velcro cover (most cradles provide for this).
This isn’t too shabby – we’re just unsure with the crossed leg design but we could be wrong?
It seems very spacious compared to other models which may not suit those who don’t like to bend down too much.
Overall though, it looks like a robust cradle thats not too heavy on your pocket either!
Size: 120cm x 69cm x 43cm
Tough, Nylon Carry Bag
Easy to Transport
Small Outer Pocket for unhooking accessories
Fox Deluxe Carpmaster Cradle
Best Cradle - Editors Choice
Another trusted carp brand, the ‘Carpmaster Cradle’ simply sits freely on the ground – meaning there is no frame here.
There is however thick 80mm foam padding and we adore the ‘oval’ shape of this!
The outer material is made from Ven-Tec fabric (100% polyester) with the padding a mix of polyethylene and polyurethane for the chemistry enthusiasts amongst you!
Anyway, this retains carp safely (it does the job intended) for unhooking and taking carpy photos.
The unique design allows one side to be folded inwards so you can kneel down comfortably with the other side sitting proud to protect the fish.
Internal zip baffles gives additional carp protection.
A great cradle for mobile carp anglers.
The sleek oval design is simple to use and makes the carp and yourself very safe and comfortable throughout the whole process – a top job from Fox!
Mucus-friendly High Walls
Velcro Tabs securing the zips
EVA Grab Handle
Folds down small for easy storage/transportation
Dimensions: L 125 cm x W 65 cm x H 28 cm
In-Depth Video Review
Related Fox Cradles
I’ve includes some alternate cradle options below, although the Carpmaste Deluxe is my choice!
Fox XL Carpmaster Cradle
✅ Water drainage holes at each end
✅ Easy to clean
✅ Easy folding frame
✅ 210Denier soft-touch PVC fabric
Avid Carp Folda Cradle
We’ve discovered that Carp cradles seem to be split into either a frame design, or a low profile ‘folding’ system.
This falls into the latter category – where this cradle has padded side panels that fold neatly so it can be packed away to make storage and transportation easy.
The internal mat can actually be removed – so you can wipe this down ready for your next catch!
It comes supplied with a carry bag, webbing straps – to secure everything, and carrying handles.
Made from durable Breathstop material, there is also a cover to calm the fish.
Overall, this is a pretty standard carp cradle that does the job required.
For anglers that don’t want anything that is bulky or awyward to transport, the Avid Folda Cradle could be the one for you!
Unique fold-flat design
150D Breathastop Material
Stiff Side Panels
Removable, wipe-clean Mat
Built-in Fish Calming Cover
Webbing Straps & Handles
Carry Bag Included
Size: 107 cm x 25 cm x 70 cm
Related Carp Cradles
If the Folda cradle isn’t quite what you’re looking for, I’ve selected a couple of similar cradles below.
Avid Compact Cradle
✅ 10,000mm waterproof material
✅ 50mm padded base
✅ Features carry handles
✅ Supplied in a waterproof carry bag
Carp Cradle - Best Sellers
Last update on 2019-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why Carp Care IS Important
With ‘Carp Care’ under the microspoic frequently these days, from holding techniques to treating any diseases you may spot, are important in making sure you return the fish to the water safely and securely.
Carp cradles really do provide for this.
The fish can feel secure with the additional ‘wall’ surrounding it – whilst retaining more water than an unhooking mat.
Some can be adjusted height-wise, whilst also provide some padded kneeling areas for better comfort to the angler!
JRC Carp Care Video
The ‘Asylum Mat’ by Gardner Tackle shows how the walls ‘protect the fish at all costs’.
(This is kind of an unhooking mat/cradle hybrid – so if you’re fond of the mat style, make sure you check it out!)
** A cradle really helps you take those treasured carp photos!
The guys over at Wychwood have produced a superb article that is worth a read >> Basic Fish Care: Are You Doing It Right?
(or, alternatively, we’ve selected a great video below!)
So, let’s count down the very best carp cradles starting with a decent, budget conscious cradle from NGT….
Carp Cradle Round-up
That just about rounds up the Best Carp Cradles for today – but we may add to this list in the future!
We’ve suggested a few styles, shapes and carp cradle designs to suit your budget (and relieve your backache!)
Thank you for reading – be sure to check out our fantasitc ‘Carp Rod Glossary‘ to help you decde which carp rod to choose!
Until next time – enjoy your angling!
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