|The Okuma Avenger ABF-50 Baitrunner is a "best buy".|
So, what makes a good carp outfit without breaking the bank. Here are the parts that you need in the order you need them:
1. Reel- A baitrunner reel is a MUST. The best buy on the market is the Okuma Avenger ABF 50. I've got a couple I use on occasion and I've had them a while with no problems. One of these reels landed a 31 lb. carp for me this spring. The reel can hold a good amount of line and has a good drag. They can be bought online or at Dick's Sporting Goods for $39-$49. A comparable Shimano top of the line reel would cost you four times as much.
2. Line- Yes, line comes in #2. You need quality line that will take a beating as it gets rubbed along rocks and trees as a large carp goes off on a run. I especially like Berkeley Big Game monofilament in 15 lb. test. That size line fits well on the Okuma reel described above. Any line testing less than 10 lb. test is too light and unacceptable in carp fishing. I'm not high on braid since it lacks stretch (important to have soft touch on the fight) and it has poor abrasion resistance. Note that carp fishermen are divided on what type of line is best.
3. Rods- Longer and heavy duty rods tend to be better because they offer leverage and casting ability. While I use long and thin 2.75 test curve Euro carp rods, a lot of fishermen use inexpensive
US stuff like Shakespeare Ugly Sticks in an 8 or 9 foot length. Still, others like catfish rods. Saltwater rods around 8 feet also work well. You want a rod that has a "soft" touch with a medium action. Avoid real stiff rods. Ugly Sticks sell for about $39-$50.
Note that what I have described above is simply a starter outfit, but will get the job done with most carp here in southern New England.