Carp Fishing Setup for Beginners [Best Choice]

Carp Fishing Setup for Beginners
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Carp fishing is one of the most popular types of fishing in the world.

Carp is present almost everywhere, from lakes and rivers, to small ponds.

Because of that, equipment for carp fishing is available in almost every fishing store.

There are numerous manufacturers producing fishing gear for carp, and for a beginner, this can be a bit overwhelming.

There are hundreds of options and to choose the right one, you should keep it simple.

When you gain some experience and see what personally suits you and a desired location, you can always upgrade.

I decided to make this decision easier for you, and inspire you to choose wisely.

In the following chapters, you can find carp fishing setup for beginners:



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Carp Fishing Setup for Beginners [Best Choice]

To catch a carp, every angler needs at least the basic equipment.

If you wish to do so, you can always add more items to your tackle box, but these are the essentials that every anger needs.

Carp Fishing Rod

Every carp fishing setup for beginners starts with the proper rod.

Make sure you always choose those made by reputable manufacturers, which usually have models available in all price ranges.

When it comes to rod features, as a beginner you should choose those that are 12 ft long, medium rod action and around 2,5 pounds test curves.

Rods like this are versatile and can be used in numerous carp fishing situations, locations and conditions.

Longer rods enable further casting, while shorter ones are more practical and easier to handle. 12 ft ones are the combination of both.

Medium action is good for casting distance and precise fish fighting. It is a versatile rod and you cant go wrong with it.

The 2,5 pound test curve is most suitable for all-around cap fishing.

If a beginner asked me which rod to buy, I would recommend Shimano Tribal TX-7.

This rod has all the given features, it is made from quality materials and made by a good manufacturer.

As a beginner (or advanced user), you will be very pleased.

It has a quite comfortable handle too, a good size one, so holding and maneuvering the rod is not a problem.

Carp Fishing Reel

The next piece of equipment to choose is a carp fishing reel.

When it comes to size, you can pick from smaller to larger, depending on the rest of your gear and targeted carp size.

As a beginner, you should choose a carp reel in a 6000-10000 range.

This reels are large and strong enough for fighting carp, can hold enough line and are more robust. Not every reel is suitable for carp fishing.

When you are choosing a carp reel, you will have a few options, and the one you choose depends on where and how you plan to fish.

Carp reels are usually divided into 2 categories ...

... smaller freespool reels, and larger big pit reels. Big pit can accommodate more line, and cast further due to less resistance caused by larger spool.

To complement the reel with the previously mentioned rod, I would recommend you to buy Fox EOS 10000 Carp Fishing Reel (#ad), which is a great all-around carp fishing reel.

Another possibility, for those who are willing to spend a bit more, is to choose Shimano Big Baitrunner XT-B (#ad).

Both of these are great, large enough to handle bigger carp, and very durable.

Carp Fishing Line

Carp fishing setup for beginners wouldn't be complete without a suitable line.

Carp is a strong and very cautions fish, so make sure when you are choosing the line, you also choose a suitable color which is not very visible in your local waters.

First of all, you can choose between monoflament and braided.

Mono is a bit better choice for a beginner because it is usually cheaper, it is abrasion resistant and barely visible to carp. Mono is stretchy and absorbs impact very well. Tying knots is also easy, so as a beginner, you will easily set up a carp fishing rig.

The only downside is that this lines are not suitable for very large carp, because strong monos have a large diameter.

Braided are thinner and stronger. However, as a beginner carp angler, you are not going to break a world carp angling record, so you will be fine.

Line strength needed for carp angling is usually in a 15-50 lbs range. As a beginner, you will be fine choosing from the lower end of this.

If you are a beginner carp angler, I would recommend you to try out the Daiwa Hyper Sensor mono fishing line (#ad).

It is strong, durable, resistant and compatible with the rest of the recommended gear.

Carp Fishing Rig

When you get the right carp fishing setup for beginners, you should know which rig to use.

Because you will have a good all-around setup, that is basic, but very useful, you should choose rigs with the same characteristics.

I would recommend you to start with a hair rig, and practice it until you master it.

This is one of the most famous, easiest, and most effective carp angling rigs.

When it comes to hook size, choose #4 to #6 size. This is going to work well with the rest of your carp fishing setup for beginners.

There are numerous instructions online, even videos, on how to properly tie it.

(Here you can check: How to Tie a Fishing Hook To a Line? [Quickly and Easily])

I will explain it briefly here:

1 - Take bout 15 inches of braided line link
2 - Tie a overhand knot in the last 3 inches. You can remove the line coating to make it easier.
3 - Pull the line through a hook eye from the back side to the front side
4 - Tie a 6 wraps knotless knot and pull the line through the hook eye in the same direction
5 - Finish and tighten it with a figure 8 knot.

Carp Fishing Bait

Carp can be caught on a variety of baits, including corn, bread, and of course, carp boilies.

Boilies are one of the best options, and suitable to be used by beginners with previously mentioned hair rigs.

To make it easier for yourself, instead of preparing them at home, you can just buy them in a fishing store.

Boilies are available in different sizes, flavors, colors and textures. Smaller ones are great for winter when carp is slow. The same goes for sweet flavors.

For topwater fishing use the floating ones. The possibilities are endless. Color has to be chosen in accordance with water clarity.

You simply can’t go wrong with boilies.

If you feel a bit adventurous, you can try to make them at home. Various recipes are available and you can customize it completely.

Carp Fishing Alarms

You may think that carp fishing alarms are not an absolute necessity, but they are going to make your life much easier.

These alarms are devices mounted to rod holders that detect any kind of line movement or vibration. Here you can check how to make a fishing rod holder (DIY).

When fish is checking out your bait, or even biting it, the alarm will make an audio, or visual signal.

There are numerous models available on the market, and many of them have similar features. Different manufacturers sometimes add additional features to stand out a bit.

When choosing it, check the sound settings.

It should have more than one alarm tone, just in case you are fishing with multiple rods. That way you will know which rod to attend to.

Another feature to consider is sensitivity.

Almost all models can have their sensitivity adjusted (here you can read more about fishing rod sensitivity). You have to have the ability to reduce sensitivity during strong wind or currents, otherwise it will constantly make noise.

Volume control is also important.

Turn it up if you are in the middle of nowhere, and having a lunch a bit further away from your rods. Keep it low when you are in the vicinity of other anglers.

And the last, maybe even the most important feature, are batteries.

Choose a model that indicates that a battery is low, to be able to change it in time. Also, choose a model that has standard (for example AAA batteries) that are available in any store, everywhere.

For a beginner, I would recommend Sonik SKS Carp Fishing Bite Alarm Set (#ad).

It has all the features explained above, and it is very durable and precise.

Carp Fishing Rod Pod or Banksticks

When carp fishing, holding a rod in your hand all the time is not an option.

It would make you tired very soon, and ruin your fishing experience. To overcome this problem, you can use rod pods or banksticks.

Both have the same purpose, but are slightly different.

When using rod pods, your rods are closer together and you can attend whichever you need very fast. If you are using multiple rods, you have to set the lines at an angle, because otherwise they could tangle because of the proximity.

Banksticks are great to avoid 2 or more lines tangling, but anglers must place them further apart and you will have to be positioned further away from the rods to observe them.

Many professional anglers have both options and use the one that suits a certain situation.

Pods are great for locations with platforms, while banksticks can be spread out and are more flexible to set it up as you wish.

Although banksticks can seem as a better option, a beginner could have a harder time attending them and placing them, so maybe you should opt for a rod pod.

But eventually, both options are great and you can choose the one that suits you better.

I would definitely recommend you to get Leeda Rogue 3 in 1 Rod Pod (#ad).

It can hold 3 rods, which is more than enough for a beginner, it is easy to use, transport, and it comes with a bankstic, which is absolutely great. That way, you can have both items in one.

You can easily set up the alarm you also have and enjoy fishing. This rod pod is quite affordable too, when compared to some other models with the same features.

Carp Fishing Net, Bag and Other

Among other things, you will need a bag, tackle box, fishing net, and some other things you might find useful.

Having a small chair to sit on would make your life much easier too.

If you plan to practice catch and release, make sure you have a padded unhooking mat, to gently handle the fish and unhook it without inflicting harm.

Fishing net has to be large enough for you to be able to scoop the fish and that the fish is not hanging out. Choose at least 40 inches wide models with spreader blocks. Mesh size should be up to 0,5 inches.

Tackle box will help you organize your hooks, weights, floats and all the other necessary items. You will not lose them and will always have a spare one.

Many rods and fishing pods come with a carry bag, but some anglers like to use different ones.

Or maybe you need it to store the net, chair, and other items you want to carry with you.

When it comes to your clothes, keep in mind that a carp can notice unusual colors that seem out of place and can become very cautious, so avoid bright clothes and items.

All-In-One Carp Fishing Setup

Some beginners want to get all in one carp fishing setup for beginners.

This sets have a few advantages, but maybe even more disadvantages.

Good thing about them is that they are cheaper than buying piece by piece, rods and reels are compatible, almost always made by the same manufacturer, and that saves you time and effort when choosing.

You will notice that experienced anglers never use those.

First of all, they like to choose specific items and combine manufacturers or models to get the best possible setup.

Also, the quality of this kits is questionable, and even if it is made by reputable manufacturer, they frequently use low-end products.

These setups can be useful and you can catch a carp with them, but almost all anglers realize, very soon, that they don't like the rod or a reel and they decide to change it.

So, it may cost you more money in the end.

If you are just an occasional angler who would just like to try carp fishing, this may be OK for you, but those who are more serious about carp angling should avoid it.

If you want to save some money, but still get almost everything you need, you could get OAKWOOD Carp fishing Setup (#ad) that includes rods, reels, alarms, net, and some other items.

Keep in mind that the quality of it is not comparable to other items bought separately that are mentioned on this list.

FAQ's about Carp Fishing and Setups for Beginners

There are some common questions asked by beginner anglers about carp fishing.

I will try to provide basic answers, just to give you an idea how to start this adventure.

How to Start Carp Fishing?

To start carp fishing, you will need proper equipment.

In addition, you will have to inform yourself about baits, locations where carp spend time, their activity periods during day and activity during seasons.

Besides this, you have to find local waters where carp live and find out local carp fishing rules and regulations.

If you have some fishing experience, you can gather all this information and head out to the water.

If you have absolutely no experience in fishing, you should practice tying knots, casting, setting up the equipment and much more. In that case, I would advise you to ask fellow anglers for help. Many of them will be happy to share their knowledge. You can also find articles and videos online or read some good books.

Why is Carp Fishing so Popular?

Carp fishing is popular probably because carp is available in numerous countries all over the world, and you can find it in many waters.

It is also quite tasty to eat and can be challenging to catch.

Carp can also grow very large and anglers targeting their personal trophy catch will often choose carp.

Because it is so wide spread, carp fishing equipment is also very easy to get and almost every fishing store has it.

In addition to this, carp fishing has a very long tradition that also made it well known and popular.

If you never tried it, now it is the time to do so, and see why millions of anglers all over the world enjoy it so much.

Carp fishing is suitable for all experience levels. You can catch carp in a local pond, or make it a multi-day fishing adventure on a distant river.

Is Carp Fishing Gear Expensive?

To be honest, any kind of fishing requires certain amount of money.

Equipment for carp fishing can be expensive because all the items are specially made for it and are very strong and durable, due to carp size.

You can get a decent equipment for a reasonable price and have an excellent fishing experience.

As a beginner, you do not need high-end stuff that is extremely expensive and made to be used in just a specific situation.

People who have very specialized equipment have multiple rods and reels, and that will cost you a lot.

All-around carp fishing gear mentioned on this list is quality made and cheaper than top-of-the-line items. But still, it requires you to have some money saved for it. The problem is not buying one by one item. If you are a beginner and have nothing, you will have to buy everything at once. That is why it seems expensive.

Depending on where you live, you can try to find used equipment sold by other anglers.

What Size Hooks for Carp Fishing?

I already mentioned this, but I will explain it a bit more here.

Majority of carp anglers use #4 or #6 size hooks, although some will even use #8 or ...

Larger hooks are stronger and can handle fish that fights aggressively.

But if the hook is too large, carp will not bite it. It should also be chosen in accordance with bait size. Larger baits may seem as a good idea to hide a small hook, but that is wrong. When the fish bites, large bait may prevent a proper hookset.

When it comes to the shape, hooks have to bi the circle ones. The hook shank makes the tip pointing back towards the hook eye and that creates a natural turning action. This eliminates the need to set a hook. It will set itself.

And, hooks can also be barbless ...

Hooks can significantly vary in their price. As a beginner, you can choose more affordable ones, but not the cheapest.

Hooks have to be sharp and with no damage.

How do You Catch a Carp for Beginners? [Tips]

And I the end, here are a few tips on how to catch a carp if you are a complete beginner:

• Every water has some specific “secrets” known by locals. Ask them for advice. Internet is great, but first hand experience is better.
Find fish. Walk around the water and observe it. See where carp could hide and set up your gear there.
Prebait wisely. Do not overfeed the fish. The goal is to attract it but to keep it hungry to take your bait.
• Go fishing to the same lake multiple times, to get the know the location, figure out where the fish is and to learn how to read those signs.
Get up early and go to the lake in time to set up as the sun rises, especially during warmer months.
Observe other anglers and learn from them.
Have a few different baits with you to change o the spot if necessary.
Practice as much as you can.


Carp fishing can be a great experience, but to make it so good, you will have to get a proper carp fishing setup for beginners.

Make sure all of the items are compatible, meant to be used in various situations, and made by reputable manufacturers.

As a beginner, you will need just the basic things and those are going to be great to gain some experience and learn what you actually need when you decide to upgrade.

Keep it simple and don't give up. Everything gets better with practice!

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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