Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What's with Those 12 foot Carp Rods?

If you check out any carp magazine or You Tube video in which sharpies are fishing for carp, you will see that most, if not all of them, are using 12 foot Euro carp rods.  Just what is a 12 foot carp rod and are they really necessary for those of us who fish around here?
Most true carp rods originate in Europe.  These generally measure 12 feet in length, and they feature a slow taper that often is quite flexible.  If you look closely at them, they look like a long fly rod on steroids.  They are unlike most American 12 foot surf rods have a fast taper meaning they are thick at the butt end and taper down real thin at the tip end.  There are several reasons why a carp fisherman might use a 12 foot rod.  I own a couple and I do like to use them in certain situations.  First off, they are made to cast a good amount of weight.  If you fish flowing rivers, you need at least a three ounce sinker to hold bottom.  Add to that a method ball that might weigh 3-5 ounces so you need a big stick to cast this weight out.  Secondly, these rods can really haul out an offering.  In big waters where a long cast might be needed, you have an advantage with that 12 foot rod.  Finally, a 12 foot rod gives you great leverage when playing a big fish.  Most of these rods are also soft like fly rods and bend throughout the blank meaning there is less chance of a hook pull since the rod absorbs much of the fight.  Most of the thirty pounders and that forty pounder I have caught were taken on my 12 foot rod. When I fish big waters and I'm looking for a trophy fish, I am almost always using my big sticks.
However, realize there are many disadvantages to these long rods.  In many places with limited bank space and brush, they are difficult to cast because you need a lot of room to cast.  Storage and transportation are problems. They are also quite heavy especially if you match them with a big reel. If you are fishing for average or smaller fish (less than 10 lbs.), they can be overkill.
I will tell you that my favorite carp rod and the one I use about 70 % of the time is a "stalker" carp rod made by Chub that measures 9 feet.  It has many of the advantages of a 12 foot rod and it is built like the longer rod, but is far more convenient to use. 
I always tell new carp fishermen that the least important piece of equipment for beginners is the rod.  In most cases,  a heavy duty freshwater rod or a light saltwater rod  of about 8 feet will do the trick. Baitrunner reels are far more important than the rod if you are looking for equipment.
However, if you get to the point where you are looking for top notch equipment to use on large fish in big waters, consider a pair of 12 foot rods. Test curves of 2.75 and 3.0 are most popular.  These rods are sold at online carp stores.

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