Finding the best carp rod for your budget is a tricky task. There are so many available at all different prices, which makes is so difficult to decide how much to spend and what rods to choose.
In most cases, you’ll be buying 2, 3 or even 4 rods so it can get expensive really quickly. The aim of this article is to present a selection of rod options that cost below £100. Still a lot of money, I know, but I do feel this budget range is offers an opportunity to find an excellent mix of value and quality.
Carry on reading for reviews of my current picks for the best carp rods under £100.
Best Carp Stalking Rods - Product Reviews
TOP PICK FOR BEST CARP ROD UNDER £100
Shimano Tribal TX2 Carp Rods
Shimano is one of the oldest and most respected fishing manufacturers in the world.
The Tribal TX2 rods are what you would expect from such a brand.
Flip the name around, and you get “XT”, which is exactly the type of carbon the rod is made from.
The powerful XT60 carbon blank has enough power to get your rig amongst the feeding fish. In fact, the European Casting Championship uses the Shimano TX range. Terry Edmunds was able to cast 214 yards with a Shimano TX4.
While powerful, the tip section still absorbs every last-gasp lunge from the carp. One negative is the line clip that loses some of its grip in hot weather.
You have the choice of four different rod lengths: 10, 11, 12 and 13ft. Once you’ve settled on a length, you can choose between test curves of 2.75lb to 3.5lb.
Also on the blank is a DPS style reel seat, rubber handle grips, and stainless steel SiC guides.
Daiwa Black Widow G50
Daiwa has released a range of affordable carp fishing rods available in a number of lengths and weights, intended to suit most scenarios.
One of these models is the G50 from Daiwa, which is a fantastic all-rounder.
The rod is available in both 10ft and 12ft. The variation doesn’t stop there, as the test curves (TC) vary from 3lb to 4.5lb.
Unlike most budget carp rods that are heavy to hold, the G50 is made from premium carbon that’s a pleasure to hold.
The rod also features a grip handle, DPS seat for your reels, and big ceramic rings (50mm bottom ring on the 12ft rods).
This is a medium-action rod, which allows you to cast to the middle of the lake, without sacrificing your ability to play fish.
A lot of 3lb+ TC rods are a bit “pokey”, which means they’re a bit stiff when it comes to reeling in your catch. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the G50, which offers a great cushion for the hookhold.
BEST OVERALL VALUE CARP ROD UNDER £100
Wychwood Riot Carp Rods
At half the price of our budget, the Wychwood Riot rods represent excellent value for money.
Unlike the rods above, the Riots come as three pieces, rather than the conventional two. This style makes them perfect for those who value portability and compact storage.
The rods are made with black carbon fiber blanks that feature strong rings and mountings. You can choose between cork or EVA handle, with the cork handle being my personal choice, especially for an old-school look.
For anglers who are into the current trend of shorter 9 and 10ft rods, these are an ideal option in the sub-£100 market.
Fox Horizon X3
Known for its affordability, here we have a carp rod from Fox’s X3 range of fishing gear.
The rod features a blank made from some of the best carbon. In fact, it has the same build structure as seen on the X5 range of rods, which are three times as expensive.
Basically, the Fox Horizon X3 has nearly all of the benefits of the X5 rods, but is available for under £100!
The rods can be bought in 10, 12, and 13ft lengths, which give something for everyone. On each rod, you will find a DPS reel seat, abbreviated handle, and anti-tangle guides.
Sonik Vader X RS
Here we have a carp rod from a relatively new brand.
While some of you may be more comfortable buying from the aforementioned companies, I can’t complain about the Vader X RS rods from Sonik.
This is a slim rod made from carbon fibre. It has a gun-metal grey colour, with high-gloss black whippings for style.
For performance, the rod comes with a tip ring that is anti-frap, 50mm butt ring (on 3lb+ test curve rods), SiC line guides, line clip, and DPS reel seat.
There are currently two sizes of rod in the Vader X range – 12ft and 13ft. The 12ft gives a choice of test curves from 2.75lb to 3.5lb, while the 13ft rod is only available in the 3.5lb option.
As such, I would recommend these rods for those who fish in lakes where distance fishing is paramount.
What to Look for When Buying a Rod – Buyers Guide
Like with any product, you first need to decide on what you’ll be happy to spend on a rod.
For carp rods in general, you’re paying higher prices for higher-grade carbons, sturdier reel seats and stronger eyes. It is about finding a combination of quality materials at a price you can be happy to pay, which is exactly what this article has been written for.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that you may want to buy additional rods in the future, which means it can be a mistake to blow your full budget on just one expensive rod.
Now you should decide what length of rod you need. The most common rod size is 12ft, but you can get carp rods from 9ft to 13ft. Generally, you want a longer rod for casting further and a shorter rod if you value portability or need to cast in tight swims.
The amount of weight needed to bend a rod 90 degrees is known as the test curve. For example, if your rod has a test curve of 3lb, this is the total force needed to bend the rod completely.
Basically, the higher the test curve, the more stiff and powerful your rod will be.
Use a high test curve rod if you need to cast long distances or are fishing in situations where you need to pull hard against stronger fish.
However, be mindful that powerful rods will have ‘less give’ when you’re playing the fish, which means hook-pulls are generally more common.
For carp fishing in the UK, a test curve between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds will be fine. Most anglers go down the middle and opt for 3lbs.
It’s easy to find carp rods made from all kinds of materials, whether that’s carbon, cork, or EVA plastic. The rods in this guide all have blanks made from some type of carbon fibre, which strikes a nice balance between strength and weight.
It’s best to stay away from the really cheap rods, as the plastic can break under stress. I’ve even had the eyes snap off while playing carp!
So, those are my favoured carp fishing rods for under £100. While they still aren’t the very cheapest on the market, I feel they all reach that sweet spot by combining quality materials and performance without breaking the bank.
For an overall top pick, I’ve gone with Shimano’s TX2 range, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because they are well-known to be a great value rod and you won’t go wrong for under 100 quid!
Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API