The fishing rod is easily the most crucial piece of gear in any angler’s arsenal. It helps tie together all the other elements of your fishing rig, so choosing the right rod can make or break your angling experience.
There’s no need to worry, though, as we’ve got you covered with our list of the most popular products on the market to help you choose the best carp rod that suits your style and needs.
Also, if you’re looking for some speciality stalking rods for surface fishing, you’ll be pleased to hear that we didn’t overlook such a niche!
|Daiwa 12′ Longbow X45||Check Today's Price|
|Wychwood Extricator Plus Rod||Check Today's Price|
|Shimano Rod TX-7||Check Today's Price|
|Daiwa Black Widow G50||Check Today's Price|
|Greys Prodigy GT4 Carp Rod 12||Check Today's Price|
|Shimano Carp Tribal Tx-9 12-275||Check Today's Price|
|Daiwa Longbow DF Carp Rods||Check Today's Price|
The Top 7 Best Carp Rods in 2023
Your carp fishing trips will be a whole lot more rewarding if you have a quality rod in your gear. Whether you’re a beginner carp angler or a seasoned pro, we have the best carp rod just for you. So buckle up as we walk you through some of the most reliable fishing rods on the market!
1. Daiwa 12′ Longbow X45
Daiwa has made a name for itself in the carp rods’ space and for all the good reasons. The company has perfected the formula of carp rods as it worked closely with famous anglers and integrated the features that make their fishing outings all that memorable. This is especially true with the Daiwa 12′ Longbow X45, which offers a great all-around package for most anglers.
When it comes to design, you’ll be surprised by how premium the X45 looks and feels. The carp fishing rod comes in a matte, anti-glare finish that’s rarely seen in this price range. The Longbow also combines a full carbon construction with a metal finish to bring the best of both worlds in terms of flexibility and durability.
As for the reel seat, the X45 features a custom Fuji DPS that’s moulded with the utmost comfort in mind as it follows the contour of your palm. That’s not all; the DPS-style reel seat is guaranteed to hold your reel firmly in place and allow you to have the upper hand over any hard-fighting fish. Combine this with a fast rod action, and you’ve got yourself a beginner-friendly package.
It’s worth noting that the recovery and response levels take a hit compared to Daiwa’s more premium Infinity lineup. That’s totally understandable, though, considering the price difference. Finally, the Longbow manages to keep a portable profile as the shrink grip handle can get the rod from 366 cms all the way to 189 cms.
- Great value for money
- Implements a fold-friendly ringing pattern
- Comes with six Minima 4 butt rings
- Premium design with an anti-glare finish
- Comes with an anti-frap tip ring design
- Response level isn’t the best
- The rod’s recovery leaves a lot to be desired
Carp angling won’t be the same once the Daiwa 12′ Longbow X45 joins your carp fishing gear. It’s an easy recommendation for the best carp rods for anglers looking for a responsive rod tip, a sturdy Fuji reel seat, and an anti-glare finish all in one package!
2. Wychwood Extricator Plus Rod
Wychwood comes swinging with a Plus variant for its popular Extricator carp fishing rod that brings many new additions to the table. This revised model is made of lightweight carbon blanks and a high-grade cork handle that feels comfortable to hold for hours and hours!
Extricator fans will be pleased to hear that the Plus model retains the same rod features they’ve grown to love over the years. This is one of the 10ft carp rods that is designed primarily for mobile angling, giving you the versatility you need while boat fishing. Furthermore, the 100-yard casting distance makes surface fishing more rewarding, as your boat will be far enough not to disturb your potential catch.
The Extricator Plus is rated at 2.25 pounds in terms of the test curve. You might wonder what this number actually means and how it can affect your carp fishing experience. The answer is pretty simple–the Extricator Plus needs a weight of 2.25 pounds for its rod tip to bend at a 90-degree angle towards the butt cap.
This cements the Extricator Plus as a powerful carp fishing rod capable of withstanding the active summer fish that snapped many of your old rods before. It’s important to know that the rod comes in two other sizes; 9ft and 6ft. The former is excellent for dealing with tight water banks where you need precise handling, while the latter works best as a carp stalking rod for securing carp at river edges.
- Excellent for long-distance casting
- Superior build quality
- Comes in variable sizes for different use cases
- Features a Fuji reel seat and an ergonomic handle
- The multi-layer rod blank is masterfully engineered for better durability
- The included rod bag isn’t the best in terms of build quality
The Extricator Plus sits among the best carp fishing rods on the market, and for good reasons. It comes with a favourable test curve giving it the edge of durability and precision. Furthermore, it offers different sizes for carp anglers to choose from. So, whether you’re boat fishing, going after resilient carp, or bank fishing, Wychwood has you covered.
3. Shimano Rod TX-7
Heavy-Duty Carp Fishing Rod
We weren’t thrilled by the recovery time of the Daiwa 12′ Longbow X45, so here comes Shimano with its carp rod that combines high-pressured carbon and bio-fibre blanks. The material choice makes the TX-7 incredibly powerful while retaining the easy pick-and-cast factor that the SHIMANO carp rods are known for.
Speaking of accessibility, the TX-7 also implements an anti-frap tip. So, no matter how far your casting distance is, you won’t end up with the line wrapping and tangling around your rod tip.
The same design philosophy has gone into making the guides fixed to the blanks. This way, you get impressive test curve numbers without any compromises in terms of weight. The payoff is worth it, as the Shimano rod TX-7 is only 3.5 pounds while retaining the power of much heavier carp fishing rods.
It should be evident by now that the TX-7 is your go-to carp fishing rod for landing a heavy game. The laser-etched butt cap allows you to plant the rod into the ground and show a resilient trout who’s the boss. Furthermore, the EVA grip handle combined with the big pit reel lets you easily retrieve the hungry carp.
- Comes in five different models to choose from
- Built for heavy-duty use
- Easy handling
- Decent weight for the power it offers
- Comes with a DPS Style reel seat
- May represent some transport challenges as it comes in two large pieces
If you’re one of the carp anglers always looking for a bigger prize on each fishing trip, then the Shimano TX-7 is the way to go. You get relentless power and easy manoeuvring in a package that never gets overwhelmingly heavy. We rarely see a powerful yet forgiving rod that doesn’t drive away amateur anglers aspiring to become better in the carp fishing game.
4. Daiwa Black Widow G50
Best Budget Carp Rod
You’d be hard-pressed by what you’re getting here for your money, as Daiwa manages to crack the formula of the best budget rod. The Daiwa Black Widow G50 comes with excellent fish-playing properties, allowing anglers to chase after big fish without worrying about breaking their rods by the end of the encounter.
This is made possible thanks to the stainless steel frame guides and the lightweight carbon blanks that make for a durable package ready to tackle the big carp you have in mind for your next Instagram post. Furthermore, the carp rod also uses a DPS reel seat suitable for anglers looking to get their reel permanently fixed to their fishing rod and just forget about it.
The icing on top is that a full shrink grip handle complements the slim design to keep a comfortable profile. It’s also worth mentioning that the Daiwa Black Widow G50 different size variants come with 50mm butt rings except for the 10ft model. The implication for the average angler is that you can cast your bait for longer distances without experiencing any breaks in your fishing line.
- Offers great pulling power while retrieving your catch
- Delivers a decent carp rod at an entry price point
- Excellent build quality
- The carp rod handles heavy fish with no issues, thanks to its stainless steel frame
- Not the best option for anglers using light baits and lures
- Con 2
Anglers on tight budgets, rejoice! Daiwa Black Widow G50 offers great value for money with its varying test curves, the implementation of the standard Fuji DPS reel seat, and its excellent build quality. It’s not every day that we see a budget rod working surprisingly great with heavier weights and bigger baits.
5. Greys Prodigy GT4 Carp Rod 12
You might think that carp rods have finally reached their final form, and there’s no room for more innovations. Greys comes to prove you wrong with their Prodigy lineup. Such carp rods use patented Carbon Armor blanks made of high modulus woven fibres. This intricate design makes it possible to achieve strength and flexibility, allowing anglers to mount more powerful reels.
It’s only convenient that the Greys Prodigy GT4 12′ carp rods use the standard Fuji reel seats, giving anglers peace of mind that the reel they own is compatible with their newly purchased carp rod out-of-the-box.
To achieve a 3.5lbs test curve rating, Greys incorporated a tougher variant of their patented carbon fibre material into the butt cap as well. The lower section of the rod, together with the butt cap, is made of 3k woven carbon that allows for better traction and steadier retrieval.
Finally, the carp rod comes in a stealth black finish that highlights the laser-etched butt cap and makes for a premium-looking piece of gear that’ll surely get some eyes rolling when you take this bad boy on your next carp angling trip.
- Innovative design and build quality
- Delivers progressive casting action
- Allows for tackling carp of all sizes and weights
- Uses a Japanese shrink wrap handle
- Falls on the pricey side
Lead casting lines are tough in a way that not all carp rods can handle. Luckily, the Greys Prodigy GT4 is a carp rod explicitly designed to handle whatever you throw at it. Want to fight resilient carp at close range? Check! Looking for a rod that allows for casting bulky PVA bags? Check! The possibilities are endless if you pick Greys’ custom-built carp rods.
6. Shimano Carp Tribal Tx-9 12-275
Best for Pro Anglers
Shimano knows how to make great rods that stand the test of time, and this is especially true with their Tribal TX model. The Shimano Tribal uses lightweight ceramic rings that allow the fishing line to slide smoothly during casting and retrieval.
This isn’t a lucky coincidence, as Shimano worked closely with the world’s best long-distance casters to ensure they delivered a package tailored for all the professional anglers out there. This pays off nicely, as seasoned anglers praise the Shimano Tribal as one of the best carp rods in terms of the quality and density of carbon fibre that goes into making the blanks.
Furthermore, the rod supports big pit reels, allowing you to mount your serious gear and chase after the biggest carp in the river. It also offers a soft rod tip that makes for an enjoyable fish-playing experience. You can pick on the finest movements whether your bait is yards away or just under your feet.
However, all such features come with a steep price tag. Unless you’re willing to push the Shimano Tribal to its absolute limits, you’re better off picking another more affordable carp rod that nails the basics.
- Designed with professional anglers in mind
- The blanks are made of dense carbon fibre for the best durability
- Comes with a 2-3 years warranty depending on the manufacturer’s indications
- Relatively pricey
The Shimano Tribal packs all the features seasoned anglers are looking for in carp rods. Progressive casting action, excellent test curves, and DPS reel seat support are just a few of the attributes that make the Shimano Tribal your go-to light rod for catching big fish.
7. Daiwa Longbow DF Carp Rods
Features Danny Fairbrass’ Branding
The one and only Danny Fairbrass have chosen to lend his expertise and collaborate with the engineers at Daiwa to deliver a unique carp rod lineup that has taken the market by storm since it was first introduced. The golden goose of such collaboration is the Daiwa Longbow DF, as it manages to tick many boxes for most carp anglers.
The rod allows for excellent mid-range casting and offers an anti-frap tip that allows hassle-free casting. The Longbow DF makes stalking carp much easier thanks to its tapered end design and fast action. This way, you can feel the most subtle rubbles around your bait runner and retrieve your catch at the right moment.
Furthermore, the Longbow DF shares the same anti-glare finish as Daiwa’s X45, giving you great value for money. Today, looks and performance go hand in hand, and Daiwa engineers seem to have considered such a fact when deciding on the rod features. The rod comes with a DPS reel seat adopted by the best carp rods.
- Great value for money
- Comes with six Minima 4 butt rings
- Premium design with an anti-glare finish
- Comes with an anti-frap tip ring design
- Not the best for big pit reels
- The rod’s recovery isn’t the best in class
If you’re a Danny Fairbrass fan, you’ll be pleased to see your legend collaborate with a leading brand like Daiwa and deliver a package that borrows many features from the company’s more expensive carp rods and bring them into a more affordable product with little compromise.
How to Pick the Best Carp Rod
Having your first footing in the world of carp fishing can be overwhelming, as you’ll be met with a lot of jargon! Knowing what to look for in your next carp fishing rod will help you make an informed decision and be satisfied with your purchase in the long term. That’s exactly what we’re here for!
Carp rods come in different sizes, and knowing what works best for your fishing technique is crucial. If your existing rods don’t allow you to cast extreme distances, you should look for a longer rod this time around. You’ll find tons of 12-13ft options that provide sufficient length for excellent casting.
However, you need to remember that longer rods are harder to control and require experienced anglers with a good physique. We’d recommend you stick with the 12ft carp fishing rods, as they’re more forgiving while also retaining a decent casting distance for anglers looking to throw their baits in deep waters.
Unless you’re a seasoned angler, terms like test curves won’t ring any bells for you. Simply put, the test curve refers to the weight needed to bring the rod tip down by an angle of 90 degrees when measured at the rod’s rear end. This still doesn’t tell how such a parameter can impact you while angling at your favourite spot!
Test curves dictate your casting distance, as the rod deformation can create a boomerang effect and keep your baits from exceeding a given distance limit no matter how hard you cast. For most anglers, a test curve of 2.75lbs is more than enough, as it allows for a 100-yard casting distance.
It all boils down to your budget and how much you’re willing to drop on a carp rod. It’s also worth noting that anglers end up buying multiple carp rods down the line, which adds up pretty quickly. Ask yourself whether you’ll be pushing your carp rod to its limits and if your rod of choice works best with your fishing technique to justify the price tag.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Rod Blanks?
Rod blanks compromise the main body of the carp rod. They’re usually made of carbon fibre or fibreglass or a mixture of both. The material choice dictates flexibility, durability, and casting action.
What Is Meant by the Rod’s Fish Playing Properties?
The majority of carp rods you’ll find are made of carbon fibre, which strikes the perfect balance between strength and smooth action. This allows you to feel your potential catch fishing back and gives you more input when it’s time to retrieve your carp.
What Are the Best Carp Rods for Distance Casting?
Longer rods allow for further distance casting–provided that it’s coupled with a quality reel. Also, carp rods that use larger, smooth guides allow the carp fishing line to glide even further.
No matter what budget you’re working with, you’ll find the best carp rods that suit your fishing technique. That’s the main takeaway here among our great carp rods. You don’t have to pick an expensive model with lots of bells and whistles if you can’t take advantage of all those added features and push the rod to its limits.
Furthermore, you need to make sure that your carp rod of choice plays nicely with your fishing line, reels, and other accessories, so you build a coherent ecosystem that makes you a better angler.