Carp rods are moving on with all the latest technology and research. It can be hard to know which rod is right for you so here are my recommended carp rods under 100 for 2018.
The great thing is there are so many manufacturers of carp rods, which increases the competition. This is great for us as the buyer as the standards are improving and the prices stay competitive!
Let’s understand how a carp rods work, with test curves and fast recovery
Here a good video from Avid explaining test curves and how quickly some rods recover quicker than others.
How is a test curve measured in a carp rod? Lets say you have a 3 1/2 lb test curve rod. When the rod is at 90 degrees then it will exert 3 1/2 lb. That’s not actually true as if you’re using mono mainline, with the line stretch, it will be a lot less. This is because the power is taken out of the rod. This is primarily why distance casters will use braid to ensure most of the power is used from the rod on the cast.
Fast recovery rod is how quickly the rod goes back to straight from the cast. This helps with the line leaving the reel without any friction through the guides and the power isn’t wasted in the cast.
DIFFERENT STYLES OF CARP RODS
The length of carp rods has changed recently. 12ft carp rods used to be the norm but now 12.6 and 13ft rods are becoming more prominent with manufacturers.
Then you have your stalking rods 10ft and shorter. This is a good length when out stalking in the margins when you need more sensitive feedback through the rod.
So choose a rod that is right for the style of fishing you are doing and also the size of the venue.
CARP ROD BUTT RINGS 50MM OR 40MM
I’d go for 40mm or lower on the lighter rod and for my distance rod I’d go 50mm which would work better with big pit reels.
Carp rod handles
You have a few choices including Japanese shrink wrap, abbreviated and full cork handle. Free spirit seem to stick with the abbreviated handle design, while most other manufacturers seem to favour a shrink wrap handle. That does come down to personal choice.
Full shrink wrap
Full cork handle
So now we know what to look for lets review some carp rods under £100. Here are my top 5 rods
New for 2017 is the Sonik VaderX It’s well under the 100 budget.
The new VADERX Carp Rod is a new rod from Sonik and offers exceptional value for money. It uses a Slim carbon fibre blank with a nice progressive casting action, with a fast tip recovery on the cast. It uses a nice slim Japanese shrink wrap handle.
The VaderX Carp rod uses double leg lightweight SiC rings with an anti frap tip to stop the line twisting around it on the cast.
It has 50mm butt ring from the 3lb test curve and above. This is great for using big pit reels from the 3lb test curve rod and above.
17mm black DPS reel seat for all sizes of reels.
And a nice feature is a line friendly line clip built into the rod.
The rods come in 12ft at the moment from 2.75lb to 3.5lb test curves with also the addition of a spod and marker rod in 4.5lb.
Shimano Tribal Velocity carp rod.
Shimano is more famous for their gears for bikes and their fishing reels.
They also produce some good rods, I still have my Shimano Catana rod.
This Shimano Velocity rod Uses an XT60 Carbon slim blank that uses 3k carbon fibre weave. So it has a nice strong backbone for casting.
They have 50mm rings down to 30mm for the 10ft stalking rod, with an anti wrap tip guide with the Shimano SiC guides. With the option of a 13ft rod in 3 and 3.5lb test curve. This means that all tastes are catered for.
They come with line clips build into the rods which are a nice feature.
So for the money a very nice rod with some great features and options.
Free Spirit CTX
The CTX range of free spirit offers value for money from well-respected rod builders.
I have these rods and I’m very pleased with them. They have a lovely soft tip section but with a nice strong backbone for casting.
The blank is extremely slim, one of the slimmest carp rods out there I’d say. I have the 12ft version in 3.5lb
Their range includes 12ft 2.5lb test with 40mm butt ring up to 13ft 3.5lb and an SU model which stands for (stepped up) which has an even stronger backbone for the long range casters out there.
They have Fukji DPS reel seats. They use a Multi layered structure that does look a lot different from most of the rods out there with the finish.
Now the CTX 12ft 2.5 does come under the carp rod under 100 with the other models just over £100. It still makes them worth considering as they are Free Spirit after all and they know how to build good rods.
Greys Prodigy GT4 Rod
The Greys Prodigy rods over the years have had some good reviews on their carp rods.
The blank is made for a 3k carbon fibre high modulus weave, to give a very tough and strong rod for casting.
Has a very nice progressive action so not too soft or too firm that it would be hard to compress.
Full Japanese shrink handle for that nice slim look and G-lite guides which are the black edition, with Fuji DPS 12 reel seats. They come with line clips that you can position on the blank where you want.
Chub Outkast Rod Full Cork Handles.
Next up on the best carp rod under 100 is the Chub outcast this is the full cork version if you want something a little different on the bank.
This model has a raw carbon sanded fishing which gives it a different look from the more traditional gloss finish rods.
The full cork model only comes in 12ft 3.lb test curve which is fine for most fishing situations, which gives a crisper action.
DPS 18 Matt black reel seat. Double leg gunmetal SiC lite guides and does come with a line friendly line clip built into the rod.