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Best Carp Tackle for Beginners Part 1

If you are new to carp fishing or thinking about giving it a go, check out our guide to the best carp tackle for beginners as our resident blogger talks you through all the equipment you will need to catch your first carp in this two part series!

I think it be morally incorrect to just tell someone new to carp fishing to go out and buy equipment that they just don't need or is too advanced for their needs. There is an abundance of very good quality fishing tackle available from a variety of manufacturers, that will be perfect for your needs. As you develop your skills and experience you can upgrade or change your equipment accordingly but for now, let's keep it nice and simple and straightforward.

Carp Rods

An obvious starting point in our list of the best carp tackle for beginners! Carp rods have drastically changed over the years and the materials available now are of much higher quality and more readily available. All these advancements ultimately results in better quality products at more competitive prices. To start with for your average adult or young person, a 12ft rod will be perfect. Carp rods come in a variety of test curves and as a guide we would recommend a test curve between 2.75lb and 3.2lb. A test curve is the amount of weight required to bend the rod through 90 degrees, the higher the test curve the stiffer the rod, that is a very, very basic understanding but it will do for now! For youngsters or for those with limited storage, you may find a 10ft retractable stye rod easier to handle and store away. My recommendations;

Nash Dwarf range, the Sonik Extractor range and the Sonik Dominator X range, you can have a look at our range of carp rods by clicking the button below.


Carp Reels

next on our list of the best carp tackle for beginners is the reel. Reel choice can often be confusing so I am going to keep it mega simple, when a fish picks up your bait invariably it will try to swim off or 'run' with the rig in its mouth. In order for this to be able to happen the reel needs to be able to pay off line under tension but revert back to standard operation when the angler picks up the rod. This can be done via a baitrunner system with a flick of a lever on the rear of the reel OR via a quick drag system which is a small turn of a dial on the front of the reel. Sounds complicated but once you see it in operation it will all make sense. Personally I think a baitrunner is better suited to new carp anglers so these are my top recommendations;

Shimano Baitrunner ST RB 10000 reel, Korum Latitude Freespool reel, Daiwa 19 Black Widow BR LT reel. You can see all our carp reels by clicking the button below!


Bite Alarms

Traditionalists used to scoff at the anglers who used electronic alarms to indicate when a fish had picked up their bait! Nowadays though, they are a standard piece of a carp anglers armoury. Once your baited rig is cast out into the lake, the rod is placed on the bite alarm and the line makes contact with a roller wheel or a vibration sensor, when the fish picks up your bait and moves your rig, the bite alarm will let out a series of beeps, for example one beep for every 0.5cm of line pulled from the reel. Bite alarms allow carp anglers to fish over night and rest with peace of mind that the bite alarm will alert them if required. Moving up through the technology, you can also have a wireless remote receiver that you can carry on your person or leave in your shelter, this means that there is no danger of not hearing your bite alarms. You can even turn the volume right down on your actual alarms and rely solely on the receiver to save disturbing other anglers nearby. My top choices would be the following;

Delkim EV-D bite alarms, Prologic Custom SMX MKIII alarms and receiver, Sonik Gizmo bite alarms and the Carp Spirit HD5 alarms and receiver.

K3 Bite Alarms



Next on our list of the best carp tackle for beginners are indicators. Quite simply, indicators are clipped on to your line, between the reel and the bite alarm and they help to keep tension on your line which will enable your bite alarm to work properly. Without the tension the line could be too slack to properly run across the roller on the alarm. The only real decision to make is the weight of the indicator, if you are fishing at ranges of 80 yards plus then you will need a heavier indicator. I think it best to just recommend some of my top choices;

Fox Black Label Mini Swinger, Cygnet Clinga Dumpy Indicator and the Avid Lokdown Bobbin Kit. Check out our range of indicators out right here!


Rod Pods

Next up in part one of out list of the best carp fishing tackle for beginners, are rod pods. Designed to safely and securely hold your rods off the ground, the rod pods are by far the simplest and easiest way of supporting your rods and bite alarms. Being free standing they can be used on any surface and they will save you time and effort when setting up your equipment. Materials vary widely from aluminium, stainless steel and composite fibre. Aluminium will keep the cost down and is perfect for your first purchase. These are my top recommendations;

Cygnet Compact Pod, Nash Rod Pod, JRC Cocoon Rod Pod and the Prologic K1 Low Profile Rod Pod. Click the button below to see our full range!


Carp Care

Last on our list of the best carp fishing tackle for beginners, is arguably the most important. Carp anglers treat the fish they catch as their own pets and there is a whole host of equipment availabe to enable you to care for your catch on the bank. Unhooking mats and cradles, weigh slings, retainer slings, carp care medication, the list goes on. Rather than go through my favourites of all of those products, I have put together a little package that will be a great buy for any beginners. All of the products will allow you to carefully and safely, unhook, photograph and weigh for your catch, as well as treat any wounds or hook holds before safely returning the fish for someone else to enjoy.

Sonik SK Te Compacta Cradle - Nash Retainer Sling - Reuben Heaton 700 Series Scales - Wychwood EVA Water Bucket - Korda Carp Care Kit


I hope that has helped someway in advising you what tackle you are going to need to begin your carp fishing adventures, in part two we will look at the items that will enable you to fish overnight in comfort! Until then, take care and good luck if you are out fishing!