16 Best Carp Rods (2022 Update Now Live!)

Carp Rod Reviews

Choosing the best carp rod can be daunting, which is why we have put together a helpful guide to make this task easier for you.

We’ve handpicked a selection of rods from most of the major brands such as Daiwa, Sonik, Nash & Wychwood to offer you the most choice.

Let’s get stuck in!

Our Pick
Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rod
Best Value
Sonik Vader X RS
Most Popular
Nash Scope Shrink Rod
FOX Horizon X3 Abbreviated | Karperhengel | 12ft | 3.00lb
Sonik NEW! Vader X RS Carp Rods - 12ft - 2.75lb, 3lb, 3.25lb, 3.5lb TC (2.75lb)
Nash Scope Rods Abbreviated Handle: Sawn Off 6ft 3lb
Our Pick
Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rod
FOX Horizon X3 Abbreviated | Karperhengel | 12ft | 3.00lb
Best Value
Sonik Vader X RS
Sonik NEW! Vader X RS Carp Rods - 12ft - 2.75lb, 3lb, 3.25lb, 3.5lb TC (2.75lb)
Most Popular
Nash Scope Shrink Rod
Nash Scope Rods Abbreviated Handle: Sawn Off 6ft 3lb

Sonik Carp Rods

Sonik Vader X RS

Updated for 2020, the Sonik Vader X RS now features super-light M Series guides which gives the anti-frap rod tip excellent recovery speed, crisper casting and a smooth feel as the lead hits the water.

Casting is in the hands of the angler, but some rods can feel a little off and require a few practice chucks.

However, I cast my rig towards an island with no issues at all. The action felt smooth, light, and as stated, recovery was fast.

Sonik Vader X Rs Carp Rods

Surprisingly, the Sonik Vader X RS rods have a reasonable price tag attached to them, and you may even get a good deal if you pop into a tackle shop and order three.

A great little setup that looks sleek, and I was impressed with the looks, performance and cosmetics. The video below is also well worth watching if you wanted to see a demo. (along with the new Sonik Vader X RS Reels!)

There are seven rods in the range – including a spod/marker rod.

If you’re looking for a carp rod that offers excellent value for money, casts well and has some decent features, then I cannot recommend the Sonik Vader X RS enough!

Suffice to say, I feel this is an excellent start to our best carp rods list!

Editor: If you are looking for a spod setup, we can highly recommend the Sonik Spod Rod & Reel Combo!

  • Slim, lightweight sleek black armoured carbon blank
  • Progressive casting action with superfast tip recovery
  • Super-light M-SERIES DL black guides
  • Hard wearing Anti-frap ceramic tip ring
  • 40mm guide pattern on 12ft 2.75lb and below
  • 50mm guide pattern on 12ft 3.00lb and above
  • Fold friendly ringing pattern
  • 17mm black DPS reel seat to house all big pit reels
  • Line friendly custom contoured Sonik clip
  • Slim Japanese shrink wrap butt grip
  • Black anodised butt cap laser etched with ‘S’ logo
  • 10′ 3.00LB
  • 10′ 3.50LB
  • 12′ 2.75LB
  • 12′ 3.00LB
  • 12′ 3.25LB
  • 12′ 3.50LB
  • 13′ 3.50LB

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Sonik Xtractor Carp Rod

Sonik Xtractor Carp Rod

We were pleasantly surprised by the Sonik Xtractor, especially after road testing a fair few shorter stalking carp rods!

Sonik rods have always looked luxurious, y’know, like they just belong on the bankside?

The Xtractor features:

Slim Carbon Blanks
Stepped Ringing Pattern
Custom Made Line Clip
17mm DPS Reel Seat

The Xtracator carp rod features slim and silky black carbon fibre blanks, and 17mm DPS reel seat mixed in with an awesome stepped ringing pattern that sizes down from 40mm to 12mm.

Variations include lengths of 6, 9 and 10 ft with a transport length of 29 inches (6ft model), 44 inches (9ft) and 50 inches (10ft) giving the range some great options for transporting from car to swim.

Overall, the Sonik Xtractor offers plenty of punch from the butt section, is aesthetically pleasing and performs highly when casting, retrieving and in recovery.

A powerful model that deserves a place in our best carp rod guide for 2021 at least anyway.

Bonus feature: The Sonik line-friendly custom made line clip is probably the best out there, so when you need to re-cast your bait, you’ll be hittig the same spot time after time.

  • Slim, silk matt black carbon fibre blank with progressive power action
  • Super-light M-SERIES DL black guides
  • Hard wearing Anti-frap ceramic tip ring
  • Large ID 40mm to 12mm ringing pattern
  • 17mm black DPS reel seat to house all reels
  • Line friendly custom contoured Sonik clip
  • Slim Japanese shrink rubber handle
  • Black anodised butt cap laser etched with ‘S’ logo
  • 6ft transport length 74cm (29”)
  • 9ft transport length 113cm (44“)
  • 10ft transport length 127cm (50”)
  • 6ft – 3lb
  • 9ft – 2.75lb
  • 9ft – 3lb
  • 10ft – 3.25lb
  • 10ft – 3.50lb

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Fox Carp Rods

Fox EOS Carp Rod

Fox EOS Best Carp Rod

Set at an affordable price point for beginners, or those on a strict budget, the Fox EOS rod boasts some really good features and holds up well on most fisheries.

The Fox EOS rods include:

An Anti-frap Tip
Full Carbon Construction
18mm Reel Seat
Great Value For Money

With a 40mm butt, the rod by FOX EOS has an anti-frap tip with an 18mm DPS reel holder.

The price point is fair since it’s reliable and can cast pretty darn far due to its power!

The model lets you cast it on a distance and catch even the most difficult carps.

If you want a slightly larger option, you can get the one with a 50mm butt ring and it’s just as useful.

Even though not all rods offer incomparable quality,the Fox EOS will not disappoint.

The best carp rod for beginners perhaps?

  • Full carbon construction
  • 12ft 3lb is perfect for smaller venues
  • 13ft 3.5lb ideal for anglers fishing larger venues
  • 12ft 3lb features 40mm butt ring through to 14mm tip ring
  • 13ft 3.5lb features 50mm butt ring through to 16mm tip ring
  • New 10ft 3lb model added to range
  • Features a 40mm butt ring through to 14mm tip ring
  • 10ft 3lb is ideal for small venues, tight swims, young anglers
  • All models feature 18mm reel seats
  • 10ft – 3lb
  • 12ft – 3lb
  • 13ft – 3.50lb

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Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rod

Great rods by a great brand, we adore everything about the Fox Horizon X3!

Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rod

Mid-range, with a host of options to suit most angling styles and venues, these include lengths of 10, 12 and 13ft with varying test curves from 2.75lb up to 3.50lb.

With a sub £100 price range, these offered unrivalled value at this price point, especially with features such as an 18mm DPS reel seat, black fitting sand whippings along with understated graphics through the length of the rod.

What struck me the most was they felt really lightweight, like a feather actually, but didn’t compromise on the playing action, which was explosive!

For features alone, we did not hesitate including these in our best carp rod guide at all.

Bonus feature: Thoroughly tested anti-tangle guides means that line glides through without so much as a pull back.

  • High modulus, lightweight carbon blank construction that provides superb all round performance
  • Multi-directional carbon construction
  • Anti-tangle guides
  • 18mm DPS-style reel seat
  • Black fittings and whippings
  • Understated graphics
  • Abbreviated and slim cork handle options available
  • 5lb Spod/Marker rods also available in 12ft and 13ft both with 50mm butt
  • 10ft – 3lb
  • 10ft – 3.50lb
  • 12ft – 2.75lb
  • 12ft – 3lb
  • 12ft 3.50lb
  • 13ft – 3.50lb
  • 13ft – 5.50lb

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Daiwa Carp Rods

Daiwa Black Widow G50 Carp Rods

Daiwa Black Widow G50 Best Carp Rod

When you take into consideration value for money and performance, you would be hard pressed to find a better rod than the Daiwa Black Widow G50.

In fact, if you go all in and opt to buy a set of three as part of your fishing tackle setup, and pair them with the Black Widow Reel, you are getting a very good carp setup!

We road tested the 12ft 3lb test curve model and we had great fun, noticing how powerful it felt chucking a PVA bag out at distance.

With excellent fish playing properties, and a strong but sensitive tip, this provided a good cushion for hook holds and lunges close to the net.

There are six models available, packed with features like a sturdy DPS reel seat, smooth black finish and slim profiled shrink wrapped handle.

All models, bar the 10ft option, feature  50mm butt ring.

For angles looking to buy a 3-rod setup, I would recommend these as the best carp rods.

Read the full review here.

  • Lightweight carbon blanks
  • Slim profile full shrink grip handle
  • Stainless steel frame guides
  • Lightweight LS ceramic rings
  • 50mm Butt guides (Except BWC0300-BU model)
  • Aluminium butt cap
  • 10ft – 3lb, 12ft – 2.75lb, 12ft – 3lb, 12ft – 3.25lb, 12ft – 3.50lb and 12ft – 4.50lb

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Daiwa Crosscast Ext Rod

I’m a massive fan of Daiwa, so when we were asked to review the Crosscast EXT carp rod, we were really excited! (the EXT stands for extendable btw)

Those may argue that these are a pure rip off of a certain rival brand’s product, BUT competition is healthy, or so the saying goes……

Daiwa Crosscast EXT Carp Rod

So, onto the review…

As you may, or may not know, the extendable butt allows you to store the rod more compactly, for example, in a quiver, on top of a barrow or simply as a spare roaming rod that you can keep safely in the boot of your car.

The rod itself was crafted using a 1K woven blank which really packs a punch, but recovers quickly.

It was genuinely a joy to use – and a playing a small carp close in was very easy, and I’m sure it can handle a much larger specimen with ease.

As for options, there is a 9ft and two 10ft models. The smaller 9ft rod packs down to 111cm, and the two 10ft rods down to an impressive 129cm.

If you’re seeking an alternative to the ‘other’ retractable rod on the market, at a great price point may I add, why not give the Daiwa Crosscast EXT a whirl?

If the range of Nash extendable rods aren’t for you, then maybe these are the best carp rods as an alternative to them?

  • Telescopic Extendable Butt section for more compact storage
  • 1K Woven Carbon with clear matt finish
  • SeaGuide Reel Seat
  • Slim profile full shrink grip handle with Flared Butt
  • SeaGuide Stainless Guides with slim lightweight LS rings
  • Aluminium butt cap
  • 9ft – 2.75lb, 10ft – 3lb, 10ft – 3.5lb and 10ft – 4.5lb

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Wychwood Carp Rods

Wychwood Extricator Carp Rod

As a brand, we are huge fans of Wychwood due to a strong line-up of quality carp tackle, at reasonable prices.

So, let’s talk about the Wychwood Extricator Carp Rod, which has been around for about 3 years now. There are two options here – the lower budget MLT rod, and premium ‘Plus’ Extricator.

Wychwood Extricator Carp Rod

So, the Extricator MLT range is available in 6, 9 and 10ft lengths, whilst the Extricator Plus rods are available as a 9 or 10ft model.

Cosmetically they are beautiful looking carp rods. Each is kitted out with a timeless cork butt section, entwined with stealth black EVA which looks classy.

You can expect superior performance from this range, each built without compromise. 

Features of the Extricator MLT Carp Rod include a full cork handle, custom-spaced braid-friendly ringing and strong line clip. 

The MLT (sub £60 carp rod) casted delightfully without any issues – even on the retrieve. During testing, we paired the MLT up with a Riot reel.

For anglers asking what the difference between the two models are is that the PLUS is made from high-grade modulus 40T carbon blank.

If you’ve got this far down our review list, and nothing has really caught your eye yet, maybe the Wychwood Extricator could be the best carp rod for you?

  • Grade cork handle
  • Unlocking screw lock reel seat
  • Custom spaced LS braid-friendly TS rings
  • 6ft, 9ft and 10ft

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Wychwood Riot Carp Rods

I previously worked in the tackle industry, and I can tell you that the Wychwood Riot rods have really split opinion amongst seasoned anglers.

Anyway, what are the Wychwood Riot rods good for, apart from great value?

Wychwood Riot rods

Yes, they’re a fantastic carp rod for anglers new to the sport, or are on a tight budget – but be aware that the Wychwood Riot’s are known to snap easily, which is why I’m not 100% confident these will stand the test of time.

However, I have personally owned and fished with three of these rods with no problems at all, so go figure?

When paired up with the Riot big pit reel, this combo is one of the most balanced on the market for covering a wide range of fishing situations, whether that’s plunging heavy lead setups into a deep gravel pit, or dropping a light rig amongst some lily pads down the margins.

Options include 9, 10 and 12ft options, available in both cork and EVA. 

Bonus feature: 50mm butt ring on the 12ft model.

A great carp rod, with a dodgy track record, if you can look past that, I would recommend these to new starters or carp anglers who need to spread money thinly.

Give them a try as a spare set, and because they are such great value, these are worthy of our best carp rod list for now.

  • Slim, lightweight matt black carbon fibre blank with progressive casting action.
  • Double leg black SIC guides and anti-frap tip.
  • 50mm butt guide on 12ft models.
  • Full slim Cork and EVA options available.
  • Fold friendly ringing pattern.
  • Black DPS reel seat.
  • Line friendly clip.
  • Black anodised laser etched butt cap.
  • Lifetime warranty policy
  • 9ft – 2.75lb, 10ft 3lb, 12ft – 3lb and 12ft – 3.25lb

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Nash Carp Rods

Nash Dwarf Carp Rod

Best Carp Rod (Most Compact 2021)

The Nash Dwarf Rods are very special due to their short pack down size, making them a great rod to keep in the boot of your vehicle, ready to seize any opportunity to get a rod into the water!

Nash Dwarf Carp Rod

Available in lengths of 6, 7 and 10ft, they were once billed as ‘cheap alternatives’ to the legendary Nash Scopes, but over the past 2 years, have proven to be more than capable, even in the tightest of battles with a large wary carp.

Besides the short packdown size, each is crafted using low profile Japanese shrink grips on the slim 1k finished blanks – giving them a unique and understated look and style.

Both abbreviated and shrink-wrapped handle versions are available.

You can find the many styles, lengths and test curves listed below all suited to varied fishing applications from the largest leads to the biggest carp.

If you are looking for a shorter rod, that can pack down into your car or a smaller length rod holdall, then I highly recommend this as the best carp rod for that.

The whole setup looked pretty sweet when used in conjunction with a Nash Tackle Rod Pod!

  • Exclusive Nash reel seat with slimline EVA trim
  • Reverse mounted Minima ringing with anti frap tip guides
  • Matt black tapered butt cap and black whippings
  • Tip and butt section alignment markers
  • 6ft 2lb, , 6ft 3lb  , 9ft 3lb, 9ft 3.25lb, 9ft 3.5lb, 10ft 3lb, 10ft 3.25lb and 10ft 3.5lb

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Nash Scope Shrink Rod

The Nash Scope ‘Shrink’ rods feature subtle black whippings, token decals and includes a robust carbon line clip.

nash scope shrink best carp rods

The sleek handle, which grips very well, is now finished with the ever popular Japanese shrink grips – these favourable improvements have brought this model up-to-date with modern carp angling.

A great rod, in fact now legendary, these are the best stalking rods available today.

  • Carbon Line Clips
  • Scope Rod Fittings
  • Laser Etched Butt Caps
  • Japanese Shrink Grips
  • Discreet Styling
  • 6ft – 2lb, 6ft – 3lb, 9ft – 3.5lb, 10ft – 3.25lb, 10ft – 3.5lb and 10ft – 4.5lb

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Nash X-Series Rods

The Nash X-Series Rods offer a smooth playing action, powerful casting for hitting long distances and can be used for most angling situations.

Nash X-Series Carp Rods

Why buy these rods?

There are plenty of models in the range, which includes a mammoth 13ft 3.5lb ‘350X’, offering anglers an extreme tool for long distance carp fishing.

Furthermore, after setting these up, I found that the reel seat looks very fresh, sleek and modern. It comes complete with a tapered EVA trim.

This time around, ringing has been sourced from America. Labelled ‘Vortex Air’, it is a reversed ringing pattern that looks rather good.

There is a 50mm butt ring on both the 12ft and 13ft models, and each model features an anti-frap tip as standard.

The rod is finished off with gloss black whippings, profiled butt cap and a carbon line clip.

The Nash Dwarf and Scope rods were going to take some beating, but Nash have released this new range aimed at the big hitting anglers who want something powerful, but accurate.

I enjoyed using these rods, and can highly recommend that these hardcore rods won’t let you down, whatever water you intend to cast a rig into.

These are the latest rods to appear in our best carp rod review list.

  • 1K finish carbon
  • Satin black Nash reel seat with tapered EVA trim
  • American Tackle Vortex Air reversed ringing
  • Anti-frap tip guide
  • 50mm butt rings on 12 and 13 foot models
  • Tapered Japanese shrink butt grip with profiled butt cap
  • Gloss back whippings, reinforced at the spigots
  • Carbon line clip
  • 10ft – 3lb, 10ft – 3.5lb, 12ft – 3lb, 12ft – 3.25lb, 12ft – 3.5lb and 13ft – 3.5lb

NGT Carp Rods

NGT Stalker Carp Rod

Best Carp Rod (Amazon Bestseller)

One of Amazon’s best-selling fishing rods, the NGT Stalker Carp Rod is a low-budget, but big on performance model when fighting carp hard in the margins!

NGT Stalker Carp Rod

Coming in two pieces, with a total length of 8ft, this stalker rod can be carried really easily in a rucksack or rod sleeve pocket.

The rod is made from (ahem….) fiberglass, with a delicate 2lb test curve and is one of the cheapest carp rods you can expect to find.

This makes it perfect as a spare margin rod, or for a relative, or the annual bring-a-friend fishing day.

Would you be surprised if we said that it was also available in camo?

  • It’s ideal for carp off the top using stalking tactics.
  • Supplied in a cloth bag.
  • One of our best selling rods in this class
  • Made from fibreglass
  • Supplied in a cloth bag
  • 8ft – 2lb

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Shimano Carp Rods

Shimano Tribal TX2 Carp Rod

Now this is a proper carp rod!

Shimano Tribal TX2 Carp Rods

The Shimano TX-2 model is made from XT-60 high performance blanks, with robust SiC guides where line and rings glide smoothly together as you cast into the distance.

There are plenty of length/test curve options available to mix and match your style of fishing.

A quality DPS reel seat offers a great feeling as you play a carp from distance, and for anglers that like to know what gear we used, we paired this with an Ultegra XTD which offered superb balance throughout the haul-to-net procedure.

Powerful, responsive and a test-of-time carp rod that also looks stylish when resting on your rod pod in the glistening sun or battling a chunk at close quarters as you reach for the net in anticipation of a perfect landing.

Best carp rod for style and substance?

  • Rod type: Carp/Specimen
  • Lengths: 10ft, 11ft or 12ft
  • Blank material: XT60
  • Reel seat: DPS-type
  • Guide type: Shimano stainless steel SIC
  • Grip: Thin rubber
  • Packaging: Cloth bag
  • 10ft – 2.75lb, 10ft – 3lb, 12ft – 3lb and 12ft – 3.25lb

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Greys Carp Rods

Greys Prodigy GT4 Rods

Now in its fourth generation, this is a great carp rod that has been around a while now, and for a good reason!

Greys Prodigy GT4 Rods

The Greys Prodigy GT4 carp rod is made with a quality 3k high-modulus woven blank and offers a progressive action which consistently performs time and time again.

Other key rod features include a Japanese shrink wrap handle and G-Lite guides.

More than capable of punching out leads, heavy PVA bags and battling fish at close quarters with no struggle at all.

The best carp rod for pure power?

  • 3k-UD high modulus woven carbon fibre blank
  • Classic Prodigy progressive action
  • Carbon Armour™ blank finish
  • Full Japanese shrink wrap handle
  • Fuji DPS-18 reel seat
  • G-Lite™ guides (black edition)
  • 12ft – 3.25lb

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ESP Carp Rods

ESP Onyx Carp Rod

The Onyx brand by ESP is fairly new, with the Onyx rod and reel at the forefront of this Terry Hearn backed tackle company.

ESP Onyx Carp Rod

The ESP Onyx carp rod is well balanced, very responsive and built using high modulus blanks. The traditional, but subtle finish, makes it a very old skool carp rod!

There are just two lengths available right now, 10ft and 12ft, each has options of either a 3lb or 3.25lb test curve.

The 12ft longer model has a 50mm butt ring that steps down to a 16mm tip, whilst the shorter ‘stalking-style’ 10ft carp rod offers up a 40mm butt ring down to a 12mm tip ring.

I can just picture myself fishing with two of these, resting in my chair, and watching the world go by!

Bonus feature: Excellent grip, even with wet hands, is due to the full-length shrink rubber handle which has a flared casting grip.

One for the purists, we are looking forward to more additions to the Onyx tackle range.

A note worthy choice in our best carp rod list don’t you think?

  • Light, well balanced and responsive, high modulus carbon
  • SiC Guides in a long range ringing pattern from 40mm butt guide to 12mm tip
  • Shrink rubber handle with an ergonomic casting grip
  • DPS reel fitting along with anodized butt cap and collars
  • SiC guides
  • 3lb test curve
  • 40mm butt guide
  • Moulded ESP line clip
  • Subtle branding and ‘old school’ unground carbon finish
  • 10ft – 3lb, 10ft – 3.25lb, 12ft – 3lb and 12ft 3.25lb

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Avid Carp Rods

Avid Carp Traction Pro Rods

The Avid Carp Traction ‘Pro’ rod range has been improved to include an advanced ‘parabolic’ action that leads to a slow build of power as you cast, with minimal effort.

Avid Carp Traction Pro Rods

This means you can cast further, whilst the reactive carbon fibre construction helps to absorb those powerful lunges as carp kite left and right in an attempt to throw the hook.

More control is given to the angler, and less hook pulls have been noted during the testing phase.

Why buy this rod?

The blanks feature a careful blend of technologies, including an anti-glare 1km weave, smart graphics, laser etched line clip (which is strong!) and to top it off, each model features a shrink-wrapped Japanese handle, which seems quite long.

For a mid-budget set of carp rods, these feel smooth, light and casting was a joy.

We paired these rods with a set of Shimano Baitrunner DL RB 6000’s, which offered a nice balanced setup. A Ronnie rig was the order of the day, and resulted in two carp over a 24 hour session.

They can also be used for stalking which proved to be an effective method on this session, as we landed one close in the margins.

Could these be the best carp rods for anglers with a modest budget? They’re up there for sure!

  • Light, well balanced and responsive, high modulus carbon
  • SiC Guides in a long range ringing pattern from 40mm butt guide to 12mm tip
  • Shrink rubber handle with an ergonomic casting grip
  • DPS reel fitting along with anodized butt cap and collars
  • SiC guides
  • 3lb test curve
  • 40mm butt guide
  • Moulded ESP line clip
  • Subtle branding and ‘old school’ unground carbon finish
  • 10ft – 3lb, 10ft – 3.5lb, 12ft – 3lb, 12ft – 3.25lb and 12ft 3.5lb

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Carp Rod Buying Guide

If you are still debating about what rod to buy, we’ve answered some common questions about carp rods such as features, test curves and cosmetics such as blank material, rod guides and reel seats.

Best Carp Rods: Final Verdict

Whatever type of carp rod you are thinking of buying, we hope our best carp rod guide has helped convince you that are there are so many options around right now.

From 10ft models, to 13ft distance-whackers, it really is a case of testing a rod out for performance and feel.

As rods are released to the general public, you can be sure that we will have a review lined up!

Thanks for reading our best carp rod guide and we hope you have found what you are looking for.

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Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API