Fishing Rods, Carp, Feeder, Float, Avon, Spinning, Beach & more
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Here at Angling Direct, you’ll find hundreds of fishing rods from the market’s leading manufacturers, covering every type of fishing, every angler preference and all budgets across the board. We take huge pride in listing the latest and best rods from the industry’s top suppliers, each of which has a flawless track record for pure performance and rugged reliability. After all, even those who know nothing about angling would probably say the word ‘rod’ if they were asked to name a piece of fishing tackle and there’s certainly no denying that a quality rod is one of the most important pieces of kit in your portfolio. In fact, it was probably the first thing you invested in when you decided to take up angling. However, with hundreds of rods on the market, it can often feel overwhelming when you’re trying to find the perfect rod for you needs and even the most experienced angler can find themselves swamped with choices, especially if they are looking to explore a different area of the sport. If you find yourself stuck for choice (or are confused by all the jargon), you can use this quick guide to help you narrow down your options until you have the perfect rod for you!
Materials and Components
Most top end rods will state that they have a blank (the main body of the rod) that is manufactured from high modulus carbon fibre. Modulus is a stiffness rating, so if carbon fibre has a high modulus rating then it means it is a stiff rod that can perform well under pressure. Different manufacturers will use different methods to ensure that their rods perform well under high-torque (rotation), too. These techniques can vary from super heating the blank to placing the blank under extreme pressure during the construction phase. Cheaper rods might use a slightly lesser quality of carbon fibre or will be made from a composite material that combines carbon fibres with others to give their desired action.
When it comes to the handle of a rod you’ll most often be faced with a choice of EVA or cork – or some combination of the two. Cork is the traditional material used in rod manufacture and old school anglers will always claim its superiority to EVA. Some of the benefits of cork include its heat retention – meaning that on a cold day it won’t leech warmth from your hand – and its ability to provide a good grip in wet conditions. However, cork is very hard to clean once it gets dirty and with constant use it can wear and crumb. EVA is a modern alternative to cork which is often praised for its light weight, as well as its ability to be manipulated into ergonomic positions. Much tougher than cork, EVA is long lasting and will take a lot of use before it begins to show signs of wear. It can also be cleaned easily, allowing you to maintain the ‘like new’ look of your gear. The handle will most likely be finished with a butt cap: a small circle, usually made from metal and engraved with the brand logo, which sits on the very end of the rod. Its main purpose is to protect the blank from damage.
The rod will then be furnished with guides and a reel seat. Guides are the rings that run up the length of the rod and their main purpose is to create a path for your line to run through. They will start with a larger size at the butt of the rod and will gradually decrease in size until they get to the tip. Butt rings of 40mm (for a standard casting rod) or 50mm (for a distance caster) are most common, with tip rings hitting somewhere around the 14mm mark. Reel seats are designed to hold your reel in position and they come in a variety of styles, from DPS to Skeleton. These will vary depending on the kind of reel you’re housing and the style of fishing you want to do. Most manufacturers will state that their guides and reel seats are Fuji products. Fuji is one of the most popular creators of guides and reel seats and it is famous for its high quality. However, some manufacturers like to produce their own custom designed reel seats or line guides, too. The quality of these will vary depending on the manufacturer but, chances are, if the manufacturer can make a good rod blank then they can also make good furnishings and own brand fixtures are nothing to be sniffed at.
These are the basics that you should see on all of the fishing rods we stock at Angling Direct. Some rods will also offer line clips, hook keeper rings, and isotope slots – these are all additions designed to make your angling easier but whether or not you choose them is down to personal preference. It’s also worth noting that you can buy all of the above to fit onto your existing rods, so you shouldn’t let these rod accessories determine your final choice.
Carp fishing is one of the most popular areas of angling and you’ll find a huge range of rods in the carp fishing section of our store. Prices for a quality carp rod can vary between as little as £30 to as much as £600, but for the most part anglers stick to somewhere in the middle of the road. For £150 - £250 or so you can get yourself a top quality carp rod that more than does the job and, although as a general rule of thumb quality does improve the more money you spend, the average angler can achieve everything they want with a rod in this price range. Many carp anglers choose to fish with two or three rods, too, so you might want to take that into consideration when you’re budgeting for your carp rod.
More often than not, carp rods are available either 12ft or 13ft in length. For many years 12ft rods were seen as the pinnacle in the carp fishing world. Allowing you to target most venues – whether they are commercial carp waters or syndicate lakes – a 12ft rod is the ultimate all round tool that enables you to fish tight to the margins or out towards your favourite features. In the last decade, 13ft rods have been brought to the fore as anglers want to cast further and further out into the water. Often boasting 50mm butt guides and a reel seat that’s large enough to house a big pit, 13ft rods allow you to target the furthest features on your favourite waters – enabling you to explore areas that were previously unthinkable.
Both rod sizes offer similar test curve options. The test curve on a rod will give you an idea of how it will perform under pressure and it refers to the amount of weight needed to pull the tip of the rod to a 90-degree angle with the butt. Carp rods tend to have test curve between 2.75lb and 3.5lb, although you can find rods with lower test curves too. The test curve that you choose will depend on the size of the fish you’re looking to target, your rig setup, and the water you usually fish. At the end of the day, the most important thing to consider is the action on your rod – a parabolic action (that is, somewhere between a fast action and a through action, sometimes referred to as a progressive action) is usually what you’re after as is allows for the killer combination of a responsive tip and a powerful butt section.
Harrison rods and Century rods sit at the top end of the spectrum, whilst Wychwood rods, Prologic rods, and Shakespeare rods are at the slightly cheaper end of things. Big name brands, such as Daiwa, Shimano, and Fox, produce rods for a range of budgets.
Spod Rods and Marker Rods
Spod and marker rods are often used in tandem with a traditional three-rod carp fishing session. A spod rod is a rod that has been purpose designed to chuck rockets full of bait (known as spods) out to your chosen spot. These burst open upon impact with the water and are quickly reeled in, ready to be refilled and re-cast. This is a really effective way of getting huge quantities of bait out to a feature, quickly and accurately. However, since spods are much weightier than a traditional rig setup, the spod rod offers a much heavier test curve than a traditional rod, sometimes exceeding 5lbs. This is to ensure that the rod won’t break under the pressure of launching your rockets in excess of 100 yards, and top end spod rods are designed to be able to cast as far as your main carp rods.
Like spod rods, marker rods often have a slightly heavier test curve than your main rods. The purpose of a marker rod is to cast a brightly coloured marker float onto your feature, giving you something to aim for when you’re casting to ensure accuracy over a long period of time. These rods can also be used to feature find – a technique of casting and retrieving in order to discover the topography of a lake bed.
Coarse and Match Rods
You’ll find three main rods in our coarse fishing section: float rods, feeder rods, and waggler rods. These rods are often produced in tandem with one another and their names refer to the method of fishing that you use them with. Feeder rods (sometimes known as ledgering rods) are designed to chuck heavy feeders, such as the method feeder, or heavy leads to your favourite features. These then slowly release bait and reveal your hook. Waggler rods (sometimes referred to as match rods thanks to their usefulness when fishing the pole isn’t going to plan) are designed for use with a pellet waggler – a stick float that you house bait in to get a great distribution of flavour through the water column. Float rods are used when you’re float fishing or surface fishing. These are used throughout the carp, coarse, and match fishingdisciplines and are effective in rivers and still water venues.
These three rods most often come with various tip options. Avon tips are hollow and are used when fishing for smaller barbel, big chub, and roach. These are seen on float rods and ledgering rods. Quiver tips are the most common tip type and are seen on rods across the board. You’ll often find that you’ll get two or three different quiver tips with your rod, each with a different weight rating. These can be as light as 0.5oz or as heavy as 3oz and these ratings refer to the optimal casting weight of the tip. You’ll also find rods with fibreglass tip options, too.
These three rod options are often available in slightly shorter lengths than a carp rod, although it can vary between 9ft and 12ft. Test curves on these rods also tend to be lighter than carp rods, and can be as delicate as 1lb. Once again, the test curve you choose will depend greatly on the venue you’re fishing and the type of fish you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting a large or hard fighting fish in a fast flowing river you’ll want a rod with a greater test curve. If you’re targeting a specific fish, you might want to invest in a rod that is designed for it, too. Barbel rods, for example, have been designed with hard fighting barbel in mind. However, to throw more confusion into the mix, there is nothing to say that you can’t use a barbel rod to target tench or bream, a feeder rod to spin for predators, or a waggler rod for float fishing. It is all about picking a rod that suits your needs and conditions of the water. Coarse rods and match rods are slightly cheaper than carp rods on average and range between £20 and £400. The most popular rods often come in between £50 and £150. Once again Daiwa rods are prevalent throughout the price brackets. Maver rods and Drennan rods are both popular among the match fishing scene, too, and these two brands are produce tackle dedicated to match fishing.
Predator Rods, Pike Rods, and Lure Rods
If you’re looking to target fish with teeth then you’ll want a rod designed for a predator. The UK is lucky enough to boast plenty of predators, the most popular freshwater species being pike, perch, and zander. There are also countless saltwater predators that you can fish for and there is often some overlap between sea fishing boat rods and predator rods.
The most popular type of predator rod is a spinning rod, which is often paired with a spinning reel. Spinning rods are typically shorter than carp or coarse rods as you’re likely to be using them from a boat, where a longer rod would feel ungainly and unbalanced. Rather than being measured by test curve, these rods are rated based on their optimal casting weight, which is either listed in grams or ounces. This is because spinning rods are designed to cast lures (imitation fish with a hook built into their body) as well as dead baits (previously caught prey fish which the angler manipulates to look alive in the water). Like coarse rods or specimen rods, you’ll often find spinning rods dedicated for a particular predator. Once again, there’s no reason you can’t mix and match and just because you’re holding a rod designed for a pike it doesn’t mean you can’t target a perch.
Light rock fishing is an area of predator angling that has really grown in popularity in recent years. This involves targeting tiny predators and thus requires highly sensitive rods which are often considerably shorter and lighter than traditional lure rods. Drop shotting is another popular style of angling in the UK and it is a popular method used on the country’s canal system. You can get drop shot rods that are specifically designed for this style of angling.
Predator rods can be as cheap as £15 and at the top end of the spectrum you can expect to part with £150 or so. Rods around £40 or £50 are often considered ‘middle of the road’ in this category. Some brands have their own dedicated predator fishing mini-brands, such as Fox with their Fox Rage rods. You’ll find American names in this section, too, such as Savage Gear and Berkley. Shimano rods and Daiwa rods are prevalent throughout.
Sea Fishing Rods
If you’re sea fishing then chances are you’re either going to be fishing from the land into the water (whether that’s from the end of a pier or stood on a beach) or you’ll be fishing from a boat. These two types of sea fishing not only target different species but they also use wildly different rods.
Surf rods, also known as beach rods, are the rods you use to cast from the beach into the water. In order to get the kind of distance you require to cast out over the surf and into the deeper water where the fish dwell, these rods are often longer than any other rod type on the market – with the shortest surf rods coming in at 13ft and longest stretching out past 16ft. Beach rods can range between £15 and £500 in price, with the average angler choosing something around the £100 mark. Zziplex rods are considered to be the top of the pack by many surf casting anglers. Daiwa’s rods are in the mix again, and names like Imax, Penn, and Sonik are all popular in this category.
Boat rods, often split into general use boat rods and uptide rods, are shorter than their surf casting counterparts in order to allow you to use them effectively in a more compact space. The advantage these boat rods have over standard spinning rods is their resistance to salt water, which is highly corrosive and can cause serious damage to your tackle. Often less than 10ft in length, these rods are graded based on the line break strain you use, so you’ll see ratings such as 6lb-12lb or 30lb-50lb listed on these rods. These rods can range from as little as £10 to £100, with brands like Shakespeare, Leeda, and Daiwa all showing their faces across the price range.
Fly fishing is the oldest form of angling in the UK and rods range between as little as £15 to well in excess of £800. G Loomis is the premier brand in the fly fishing category and all G Loomis rods are manufactured by hand in the US. If you want your fly rod UK made then Hardy rods are the ones to look out for. These two brands operate at the top end of the spectrum, but there is no need to break the bank if you’re trying out the sport for the first time. Shakespeare and Leeda both produce rods that are very affordable for the angler on a budget and Greys rods are excellent as a mid-range option, too.
Fly rods are differentiated much like sea fishing rods, with ratings based on line rather than test curves or casting weights. However, fly fishing uses its own rating system, with line weights decided by an AFTM (Association of Fishing Tackle Manufacturers) rating. These range from #3 lines, which are the lightest, to #12 lines, for seriously heavy duty fly fishing. In the UK, you’ll most often be faced with line choices between #6 and #9, although you will find rods that accommodate line outside of this range. Fly rods tend to be around 9ft in length, although this can vary too and you’ll find rods anywhere between 7ft and 10ft.
As the UK’s leading specialist in angling supplies, Angling Direct takes pride in covering all bases and the seal of approval from us means peace of mind for you. We’re also determined to give you the best possible price for your gear. Our price checker promise means that we’ll always aim to match the price of any of our UK competitors – whether that’s in-store or online. So, whether you’re looking for a handcrafted piece of perfection from bespoke rod specialist Harrison or you prefer to rely on the experience of a tried and tested rod from a stalwart of the industry such as Fox, we have a top quality rod at an exceptional price for you! As the UK’s leading stockist of the world famous Daiwa brand, we are able to offer exclusive deals across Daiwa’s range of rods.
Angling Direct is composed of a team of dedicated anglers, from all areas of the sport, and we’re proud of the variety of anglers in our ranks. Our own brand Advanta rod range is where we really showcase the variety of knowledge from our team, and as you can see we have rods available for all types of fishing. All rods come complete with extensive warranties and the kind of quality assurance guarantees only possible when buying from the world’s most iconic brands. Most manufacturers will also include their own warranty, so you are getting double the support.
We understand that not every angler is willing or able to spend big money on top-shelf tackle, which is why we’ve covered all entry-level bases with a wide variety of quality budget rods. There is no longer any reason why budget should stop you from competing with the bug guns. For the novice angler who may be intimidated by larger price tags, our range of value-for-money budget rods allows budding anglers to try their hand at the sport without breaking the bank. As our store features excellent value for money across all areas of the sport, it also offers the chance for committed anglers to try their hand at a different style of angling.
Angling Direct: Serious about your fishing…