15 Best Carp Rods 2021

best carp rods

WHAT IS THE BEST CARP ROD?

A fishing rod is a crucial tool for catching carp, I mean you cant really catch without one (although I did see a TV show once when a native used bamboo!)

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.

We discuss key rod features, such as line guides and handle material, how each rod performs when casting, and playing fish, especially close in.

Price is important if you are on a budget, so we also inform you if the rod you are buying is value for money or not.

Please note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases via links in this post.

How do I choose a carp rod?

This is why we have created this list of the best carp rods on the market today, so you don’t have to spend hours searching for them!

We’ve also included some best practices and tips for fishing with these type of specialist rods.

We’ll explain what rod length you choose, the number of rods and run through key features in the make-up of a carp rod.

This includes rod handles, ring guides, butt rings, blank material and reel seats.

What length carp rod should use, and why?

Carp rods typically range anywhere from 6ft up to 13ft.

12ft is the most common because at this length they can handle just about any situation such as casting short along the margins, or into the distance towards an island.

Shorter 6ft, 9ft and 10ft carp rods are useful for fishing smaller ponds and pits and are commonly used by fishermen to stalk carp in and around the margins, especially where the terrain may be rough and the foliage overgrown. A longer 12ft rod will be hard to navigqate through dense undergrowth.

At the other end of the scale, 13ft carp rods offer that little bit of extra power that is required for long distance casting heavy payloads – such as PVA bag or spomb filled with bait.

What are rod blanks? A lot of fishing rod manufacturers talk about them?

Modern fishing rod blanks are made from different materials such as fiberglass and graphite. or a combination of both.

It is the material in which a rod is crafted from and these can be designed to suit the type of rod that is been created.

The actual word ‘blank’ comes from the state of a fishing rod once all the additional components have been removed, such as the guides, reel seat and handle material, thus leaving the rod blank!

Is there a particular rod handle I should choose?

The three types of handle for carp rods are abbreviated, full-length and cork.

An abbreviated handle is basically just the reel seat with a bit of duplon or shrink tube fitted along from the butt. A full length handle is from the reel seat and then duplon or cork all along to the butt end. Finally,cork handled rods are just that!

What are test curves?

To answer this question in much more detail, we have included a really helpful video below to explain this.

We hope we have answered a few of the key questions around choosing the best carp rod.

Below is the start of our fishing rod guide, which includes 15 carp rods.

These are made up of both shorter 10ft rods, right up to 13ft power casters!

Modern carp rods are now really great value, so you will also find a good selection of brands and deals.

We hope you enjoy our best carp rod list, and we look forward to sharing many more tackle reviews with you in the future.


1. Sonik Vader X RS

Tackle Scout Rating

Progressive Casting Action
Ceramic Anti-frap Tip Ring
17mm Black DPS Reel Seat
M-Series DL Guides

A quality carp rod that is half the price of many traditional brand rods in this class, the Sonik Vader X RS casts smoothly and boasts plenty of power for landing big carp.

Sonik vader X RS carp rod

Top-quality carp fishing rods can be hard to find. However, with this carp rod by Sonik, you won’t be disappointed!

The rod features include an extreme sensitivity tip that makes it ideal for distance casting towards an island. It’s made from stainless steel and has a firm grip handle.

If you’re looking for a model that offers value for money, the Sonik Vader X is the one.

Its casting distance is often praised by customers who look for a trustworthy option, making it a worthy entry on our best carp rod list!

What the manufacturer says…

” Evolved and refined version of our award winning VADER X carp rods. Now with a sleek black armoured blank finish. Guides are updated to super-light M-SERIES which gives the rod tip phenomenal recovery speed for even better crisp and accurate casting. They still have the elegant VADER X look with a subtle red tipping that adds a touch of class.”

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Sonik Tackle


2. Fox EOS Carp Rod

Best Carp Rod (For Value)

Tackle Scout Rating

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.

Fox EOS Best Carp Rod

With a 40mm butt, the rod by FOX EOS has an anti-frap tip with an 18mm DPS roll holder. The price point is fair since it’s reliable and can last a long way 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?

What the manufacturer says…

“Our lowest priced rods ever – offering unrivalled value for money. Ideal for newcomers to carp fishing or anglers on a very tight budget that still want Fox quality.”

Fox EOS Carp Rod
  • Lightweight 'low resin' carbon construction
  • SLIK Air guides
  • Anti-frap top eye

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Fox Tackle


3. Daiwa Black Widow G50

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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.

Daiwa Black Widow G50 Best Carp Rod

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.

Daiwa Black Widow G50
  • Lightweight carbon blanks
  • DPS style reel seat
  • Slim profile full shrink grip handle

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Daiwa Tackle


4. Wychwood Extricator Carp Rod

Tackle Scout Rating

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, hilst 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 is the best carp rod for you?

Wychwood Extricator
  • EVA handle
  • Screw lock reel seat
  • Custom-spaced braid friendly guides

Features

  • High grade cork handle
  • Uplocking screw lock reel seat
  • Custom spaced LS braid-friendly TS rings

Video Review

Related Wychwood Tackle


5. Nash Dwarf Carp Rod

Best Carp Rod (Most Compact 2021)

Tackle Scout Rating

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 ina unique and understated look and style.

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!

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Nash Tackle


6. NGT Stalker Carp Rod

Best Carp Rod (Amazon Bestseller)

Tackle Scout Rating

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?

NGT Stalker Rod
  • 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

Features

  • 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

Related Tackle


7. Shimano Tribal TX2 Carp Rod

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Now this is a proper carp rod!

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?

Sale
Shimano Tribal TX2 Rods
  • ✅ TOTAL WARRANTY: this product is guaranteed for 2 or 3 years depending on the manufacturer's indications.
  • ✅ SAFE SHIPPING: the shipment of the product is assigned only to high reliability couriers and the packages are made in a very robust way.
  • ✅ BIG BRAND: this product belongs to a high quality brand.

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Shimano Fishing Tackle


8. Sonik Xtractor Carp Rod

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We were pleasantly surprised by the Sonik Extractor, 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? 

Wychwood Extricator Carp Rod

The Extricator carp rod is no exception due to the 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 10ft with a transport length of 29 inches (6ft model), 44inches (9ft) and 50inches (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!

Features

  • 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”)

Video Review

Related Sonik Fishing Tackle


9.Wychwood Riot Carp Rods

Best Carp Rods (For Beginners)

Tackle Scout Rating

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 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 used 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.

Wychwood Riot Carp Rods
  • A comprehensive range of rods including 9ft, 10ft, 12ft lengths in varying test curves and styles
  • The 12ft versions incorporate 50mm ringing and progressive casting actions
  • The 9ft and 10ft versions have been designed with the short to medium range angler in mind

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Wychwood Fishing Tackle


10. Greys Prodigy GT4 Rods

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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?

Greys Prodigy GT4 Rods
  • Length (cm): 366
  • Sections: 2
  • Power (lbs): 3.25

Features

  • 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)

Video Review

Related Tackle


11. ESP Onyx Carp Rod

Tackle Scout Rating

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?

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related ESP Fishing Tackle


12. Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rod

Best Carp Rods (Under £200)

Tackle Scout Rating

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 fetures 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.

Fox Horizon X3 Carp Rod
  • Fox Carp Rod for Carp Fishing
  • Length: 12 ft - approx. 366 cm, 2-piece, transport length: 1.89 m.
  • Test curve: 2.75lbs, weight: 350g

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Fox Fishing Tackle


13. Daiwa Crosscast Ext Rod

Tackle Scout Rating

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?

Features

  • 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

Video Review

Related Daiwa Fishing Tackle


14. Nash Scope Shrink Rod

Tackle Scout Rating

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

Nash Scope Shrink Rod

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.

Features

  • Carbon Line Clips
  • Scope Rod Fittings
  • Laser Etched Butt Caps
  • Japanese Shrink Grips
  • Discreet Styling
  • Various Models Available

Video Review

Related Nash Tackle

Summary

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 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API