The complete guide to all the tackle and bait you need for Perch fishing, from floats and lures to lines, rods and reels. We'll help you catch one of the UK's most popular predatory fish!
PERCH FISHING FLOATS
Fishing close in with a float is one of the most enjoyable ways of catching big perch. Look to fish next to features such as reeds and bushes, or if there are none the base of the near shelf where the bottom flattens is good.
•Straight peacock wagglers - Sensitive and great for baits such as worms and prawns in static water. BUY NOW £1.99 each at Chapmans Angling
•Drennan Loafer - Thick tops, great for livebaits or flowing water
BUY NOW £8.50 for a set of 5 on Amazon
FISHING LURES FOR PERCH
Small spinners such as Mepps have long been a favourite of the perch angler but in recent years soft plastic lures have taken the UK by storm. Now thousands enjoy drop shotting and jigging with small colourful plastics on lakes, canals and rivers. Here are some of the best patterns for perch...
•Fox Rage Spikey Shad pack £5.99 on Amazon
•Fox Rage Micro Spikey Fry Shad pack £4.50 on Amazon
•35 soft baits and 10 jigheads set £6.99 on Amazon
LURE FISHING ROD
Short soft specialist lure rods are ideal. A good dropshot rod around 6ft 6ins-8ft in length is an ideal all-around choice for soft plastic lures. Jig rods tend to be slightly stiffer and are good for bigger fish and boat fishing.
Korum Snapper Twin Tip Dropshot rod £52.99 from Chapmans Angling
Daiwa Specialist Light Lure Dropshot rods £62.99 from Chapmans Angling
Fox Rage Ultron 2 Dropshot from £79.99 from Chapmans Angling
Abu Garcia Complete Dropshot Kit £59.99 from Chapmans Angling
HOOKS FOR PERCH FISHING
Match the hook size to the type of bait used but generally you'll be looking at size 4 to 10, with a wide gape and medium gauge wire. A lot of commercial fisheries will only allow the use of a barbless hook but if not, go for a microbarb. A full barb may not always properly penetrate the bony mouth of a perch properly. Sizes 4 and 6 are ideal for livebaits, prawns and whole or double lobworms. Sizes 8 to 10 are for smaller worms or worm sections.
Kamasan B983 £1.35 at Chapmans Angling
Drennan Super Specialist £1.73 on Amazon
Fox Rage Dropshot Powerpoint £4.99 at Chapmans Angling
PERCH FISHING REEL
You don't need anything fancy for general bait fishing for perch, a standard 3000 sized coarse match reel is more than adequate. For lure fishing you'll be holding the rod all the time so you'll want something smaller like a 1500 or 2000 version, which makes for a really light set up and even more enjoyment!
Daiwa Ninja FD 3000A £49.99 at Chapmans Angling (Bait fishing)
Korum Snapper KDS 2000 £42.99 at Chapmans Angling (Lure)
Sonik AVX 2000 Lure Reel at Chapmans Angling (Lure)
LINE CHOICE FOR PERCH
A monofilament reel line of about 6lb is about right for perch. For dropshot and jig fishing you'll want a thin braided mainline however, which has no stretch, so you can feel every tap on the line and set the hook.
Maxima Chameleon 600m £15.65 at Chapmans Angling
Fox Rage Jig Silk £14.99 at Chapmans Angling
BAIT FLAVOURS AND ADDITIVES
Perch do respond to certain flavours and additives when bait fishing. They're best when used on your hookbait, to make it stand out from any feed. Red seems to be the most tried and tested colour for colouring baits, especially prawns.
Dynamite Robin Red Liquid £8.99 at Chapmans Angling
Van Den Eynde Predator Plus £6.35 on Amazon
CC Moore Liquid Worm Protein Extract £11.49 £11.49 on Amazon
Specimen carp fishing is the fastest growing form of freshwater fishing in the UK so here's our guide to all the tackle and bait you need to get started and the best deals we can find for you. Who knows, before long you could become the next Danny Fairbrass or Terry Hearn!
1. PICK A CARP FISHING ROD
With fish from double figures up to 40lb or more possible, you'll need to step up your gear considerably. A typical carp rod is 12ft long and boasts a test curve of between 2.5lb and 3.5lb, for big fish and potentially long casts. Judge the rod to the type of venue - you don't need a 3.5lb version on a five acre lake! Heavier test curves mean stiffer actions which cast further while softer rods are better at close range. A pair of rods will double your chances of catching but three rods can be a bit too much for all but very experienced carpers, as hooked fish can wipe out other lines.
FOX WARRIOR CARP RODS from £63.17 on Amazon.co.uk
DAIWA BLACK WIDOW CARP RODS £39.99 at Amazon.co.uk
SONIK S3 from £39.99 at Chapmans Angling
SHIMANO TRIBAL VELOCITY from £55 at Chapmans Angling
NASH KNX from £69.99 at Chapmans Angling
2. BUY A CARP FISHING REEL
Carp reels run from 6000 up to 10000 class, although exact sizes differ slightly between manufacturers. Models can be categorised into either freespool or big pit versions. Freespools include a baitrunner-style facility to engage when waiting for fast runs while big pit reels typically have a large body and oversized spool, designed to be used with the front drag.
Wychwood Riot Big Pit from £54.99 at Chapmans Angling
Wychwood Riot Big S Black from £54.99 at Chapmans Angling
Daiwa Black Widow A from £69.99 at Chapmans Angling
Shimano Baitrunner ST RB from £34.99 at Chapmans Angling
Nash BP-10 Fast Drag from £54.99 at Chapmans Angling
3. CARP FISHING MAIN LINE CHOICE
Unless you're faced with an extreme snag situation, a monofilament mainline of around 10lb to 12lb is more than adequate. Avoid fluorocarbon as a mainline as it's springy and difficult to use. Also avoid braid as a mainline until you become an accomplished angler fishing at distance, because you're liable to lose fish with the lack of stretch.
DAIWA SENSOR from £9.32 for almost 1,000m on Amazon.co.uk
KORDA CARP LINE from £8.61 for 1,000m at Amazon.co.uk
GARDNER GT80 from £19.99 at Chapmans Angling
ESP SYNCRO XT from £19.95 for 1,000m at Amazon.co.uk
BERKLEY CONNECT CM90 from £17.87 at Amazon.co.uk
4. USE THE RIGHT CARP HOOK LINKS AND HOOKS
Coated braid hook links are preferred for carp fishing. This is stiff so doesn't tangle and is very safe and strong. Strip the coating off near the hook to give the bait more natural movement. In terms of hooks, a reliable, wide gape eyed pattern is a must. Here are some of our favourite patterns but some exceptional ready tied rigs are also available, whether you're a newcomer or seasoned carper!
KORDA DF READY RIGS from £1.99 each at Amazon.co.uk
FOX CAMOTEX SOFT COATED CAMO BRAID from £10.80 at Amazon.co.uk
KORDA N-TRAP FROM £9.50 at Amazon.co.uk
NASH FANG HOOKS from £4.49 at Amazon.co.uk
KORDA WIDE GAPE From £3.78 at Amazon.co.uk
5. MAKE A CARP FISHING RIG
Carp fishing is as complicated as you make it and there are loads of different rigs for different purposes. For starters however, a simple, easy rig is with a lead lip attached on the end of the mainline. Clip the lead on but don't push the tail rubber over it too tightly. Under extreme pressure the lead will come off, for example when snagged. Attach your hooklength to the lead clip, an 8ins length is about right.
6. PICK THE RIGHT CARP BAIT
Boilies are by a mile the most popular big carp bait going. Modern shelf life boilies are ideal but stick to a tried and trusted brand. Try a size of around 14mm 15mm or 16mm.
You can use the same on the hair-rig, or you can go for pop ups.
CC Moore boilies from £9.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Mainline Cell boilies from £11.75 at Amazon.co.uk
Sticky Baits Manilla boilies from £11.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Dynamite The Source boilies from £11.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Sonubaits Code Red boilies from £22.99 at Amazon.co.uk
7. WHY YOU NEED BITE ALARMS
A good set is paramount. You can buy wireless alarms with receivers to transmit a signal to your bivvy too. You'll also need a set of bobbins to use with alarms to register drop backs, as not every bite will tear off to the horizon.
Delkim EV Plus £64.49 at Amazon.co.uk
Nash Siren SR5 £49.99 at Amazon.co.uk
Fox Micron MR+ £64.00 at Amazon.co.uk
8. BUY A ROD POD
You'll need something to hold your rods and bite alarms whilst waiting for a run. Bank sticks with or without buzzer bars are one option but pods are easy to set up and are great for all surfaces. Always remember to have to your nearest line guide on your side of the bite alarm, to avoid the risk of losing the rod!
Rod pods from £13.95 at Amazon.co.uk
9. GET THE RIGHT LANDING NET
Go for a landing net of at least 40ins in size, so we're talking a triangular specialist version rather than a spoon.
42" Landing nets from £11.96 at Amazon.co.uk
10. CHOOSING A BIVVY OR BROLLY
You'll need to be prepared for longer sessions and overnight stays on lakes so some sort of shelter is a must. A brolly system tends to be an open face shelter so is probably better for warm weather and shorter sessions. A bivvy can be fully zipped up to keep the elements out.
JRC Contact 1 Man Bivvy £59.36 at Amazon.co.uk
Korum Carper 1 Man Bivvy £70 at Chapmans Angling
Chub RS Plus Shelter £80 at Chapmans Angling
Korum Day Shelter £85.49 at Amazon.co.uk
11. INVEST IN A BEDCHAIR
If you're going to be serious about your carp fishing and you intend staying for a full day or more, a bed chair is great for reclining on. For overnight stays a sleeping bag will also be needed with it.
JRC Contact Lite Bedchair £79.99 at Chapmans Angling
Daiwa Infinity Sleepeezy £100 at Chapmans Angling
TF Gear Deluxe three leg £69.99 at Chapmans Angling
12. GET AN UNHOOKING MAT
Looking after your catch is paramount, especially when you've got a large carp in the landing net ready to bring onto the bank. Invest in a large unhooking mat with plenty of padding, ideally with walls or a flap to keep the fish contained, or a cradle. Always wet the mat with a bucket of water before a fish goes on it.
TF Gear Hardcore Packaway Unhooking Mat £39.99 at Chapmans Angling
Fox Easy Mat £59.99 at Chapmans Angling
NGT Jumbo Folding Carp Fishing Cradle/Inner Padded Mat £37.99 on Amazon
A pair of polarised sunglasses is one of the most useful accessories an angler can take fishing. The lens removes surface glare so you can see clearly beneath the surface and also makes it easier to see floats and rod tips in direct sunlight. Put on a set and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them! Here are some of the very best...
AVID CARP BLAZE SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £18.49 from Amazon.co.uk
These glasses incorporate a tinted, bi-focal magnifying panel with a dioptre of +2.50 so you can see clearly when undertaking fiddly tasks close up.
Lenses available: Amber, grey
E-S-P CAMO SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £14.99 from Amazon.co.uk
The large grey tinted lenses make spotting fish on bright sunny days much easier. The frames have a dark camo finish and are supplied with a woven E-S-P neck cord, cleaning cloth and protective case.
Lenses available: Grey
EYE LEVEL DYNAMIC BLUE SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £14.99 from Amazon.co.uk
These sporty wrap-style glasses feature charcoal grey frames with a satin finish and flexible thermo-grip temple tips and nose pads for a comfortable fit and to prevent slipping.
Lenses available: Mirrored blue
EYE LEVEL GRAYLING SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £17.17 from Amazon.co.uk
These glasses feature black and grey carbon effect frames in a durable wrap design. The inlaid rubber temple tips provide a non-slip and comfortable fit.
Lenses available: Brown, grey
AVID CARP SUNGLASSES SAGE GREEN
BUY NOW for £18.99 from Amazon.co.uk
With ‘carpy’ green frames and high quality Revo lenses with a green tint these stylish glasses look the part both on and off the bank. Ideal for overcast and low-light conditions.
Lenses available: Revo green
BUY NOW for £19.99 from Amazon.co.uk
Wraps have been designed to fit perfectly around the face and eliminate unwanted light penetrating from the side. A unique vent system at the top increases airflow and prevents mist/fog build up.
Brown, amber and Switch
GARDNER HI-LO SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £17.99 from Amazon.co.uk
Hi-Lo glasses offer you the dual benefit of having interchangeable amber and grey lenses to suit varying light conditions. The amber are perfect for overcast days and the grey for bright sunny days.
Lenses available: Amber, grey
AVIC CARP MOCHA SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £18.99 from Amazon.co.uk
The brown tinted lenses are great all-rounders and work well in both dull and bright conditions. The arms and nose pad have ergonomic rubber grips which means these shades can be worn comfortably for long periods.
Lenses available: Brown
NASH MICRO-PAK FOLDING SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £19.99 from Amazon.co.uk
The unique design of the Nash Micro-Pak glasses means they fold down into a compact package capable of fitting in the smallest of pockets.
Lenses available: Amber, brown
WYCHWOOD AVIATOR SUNGLASSES
BUY NOW for £17.89 from Amazon.co.uk
The Wychwood Aviators have been retro-styled to mimic the look of the classic, long-lived Aviator design. Equipped with Category 3 TAC lens they perform best in really bright conditions.
Lenses available: Grey
We've put together a compilation of the best coarse fishing carryalls and tackle bags that money can buy. Don't shell out until you've checked out this luggage selection...
MAP DUAL TWIN TIER ACCESSORY BAG
CHAPMANS ANGLING £42.99
WE SAY: This twin tier, lay flat bag is ideal for storing items like pole rollers up to 700mm in length, seatbox accessories and pole roosts etc. When the bag is fully opened both compartments can be accessed with ease, and both have wipe-clean bases. As the bag lays flat when opened, your zips are always kept off the ground so there’s no chance of them getting clogged up with mud.
Manufactured from a tough and durable material with carry handles and a large padded, detachable shoulder strap.
DIMENSIONS: 400mm (h) x 720mm (w) x 200mm (d)
TRI-CAST SUPER DELUXE 60 LITRE MATCH CARRYALL
WE SAY: There’s loads of room in the spacious main storage area and a zipped wide compartment. A further outer pocket is perfect for storing landing nets or sidetrays etc. There are two end pockets for bits and pieces and a very well-padded carrying handle and shoulder strap.
The sturdy wipe-clean base will prevent the bag from getting wet and dirty on the bank.
Zips are large and robust and don’t stick when opening, plus the buckles on the outer pockets also feel sturdy and substantial enough to withstand plenty of use.
DIMENSIONS: 450mm (h) x 550mm (w) x 200mm (d)
MATRIX ETHOS PRO NET & ACCESSORY BAG
Chapmans Angling £59.99
WE SAY: Well thought out and cleverly designed so you can be super organised on the bank. There are two main compartments for storing box accessories, tackle and items of bait as well as an outer zipped compartment for nets, riddles and sidetrays. All of the compartments fold out for easy access to tackle and bait. There’s an additional keepnet pocket with drainage holes on the outside. A hard durable base provides extra protection and ensures longevity and the reinforced lower edges prevent wear on key areas.
DIMENSIONS: 430mm (h) x 670mm (w) x 380mm (d)
BROWNING BLACK MAGIC MATCH CARRYALL
Chapmans Angling £34.95
WE SAY: Tough and durable, with all the features a regular match or pleasure angler could ask for – especially on a budget. It boasts a protective rubberised base which can be wiped cleaned and an extra large front pocket for housing keepnets and sidetrays. The large main compartment will easily hold all the gear you’ll need to take for a day on the bank and there are additional external zipped pockets at either end. With comfortable EVA-covered carry handles and an adjustable padded shoulder strap are also included.
DIMENSIONS: 400mm (h) x 500mm (w) x 200mm (d)
WE SAY: A compact 45 litre carryall with two front and two zipped end pockets, which can house a wide combination of nets and accessories. The large main compartment is suitable for bigger items of tackle and there is also a front compartment for storing keepnets and landing nets. A padded shoulder strap and oversized zips increase reliability and improve performance.
The bag is constructed from a wipe-clean material which so you can keep your luggage looking like new.
DIMENSIONS: 400mm (h) x 500mm (w) x 200mm (d)
DAIWA DELUXE COMPLETE CARRYALL
Chapmans Angling £74.99
WE SAY: One of the more expensive pieces of luggage in this buyers’ guide, so is it worth the money? Well, in a word, yes. As soon as you pick up this bag you can see why it's a favourite among many match anglers. Well constructed and manufactured to a high standard, it feels solid thanks to the tough, PVC-backed fabric nylon and highly durable reinforced plastic. There are three external pockets and a large main compartment, plus a supplied twin net bag. This securely clips into the keepnet compartment. Also includes two groundbait bowls.
DIMENSIONS: 500mm (h) x 600mm (w) x 240mm (d)
FRENZEE MATCH PRO FXT CARRYALL
Chapmans Angling £36.99
WE SAY: The Frenzee Match Pro luggage range has been designed around the needs of modern anglers and styled to suit with value to appeal to everybody. The external pockets are handy for storing baits and small items of tackle and the central compartment will hold pretty much everything else you’re likely to need. The outer net and tray pocket is shallower than most bags but will still store a keepnet. Oversized zips open easily and they all feature easy-pull rubber grips. The base is reinforced for durability, with a padded shoulder strap too.
DIMENSIONS: 350mm (h) x 750mm (w) x 350mm (d)
WE SAY: Xtreme luggage is hard wearing, practical and designed as a fully modular system. This 50-litre capacity bag is a compact version of the Mega Carryall but will still hold an Xtreme Cool/Baits Bag and Xtreme Accessory Cases in a neat modular format. The 840 denier super-tough nylon material wipes down easily and there is a tough coated twin-skin reinforced material at the base for added durability. Not only ideal for commercial match anglers but also ideal for river anglers who don’t want to be weighed down by too much kit.
DIMENSIONS: 400mm (h) x 500mm (w) x 200mm (d)
DRENNAN MEDIUM CARRYALL
WE SAY: A 55-litre capacity bridges the gap between the 50-litre Small Carryall and the 70-litre Large Drennan versions. It's made from tough, waterproof fabric with a padded shoulder strap and carry handles. The hard, moulded base is incredibly sturdy and rigid enough to ensure the bag retains its shape. Along with two handy zip-up side pockets it also has two full-length pockets for items such as keepnets, landing nets, riddles and trays, and a small zipped internal storage pocket under the lid.
DIMENSIONS: 400mm (h) x 550mm (w) x 250mm (d)
SHAKESPEARE AGILITY CARRYALL, £29.99
WE SAY: A medium-sized bag with an easy access main compartment and two additional internal pockets. It has a strong padded adjustable carry strap and two carry handles that combine with an internal Velcro strap for security on long walks. An external net pocket with drain holes – something a lot of more expensive bags don’t feature – and a restraining strap, will easily hold a large keepnet and landing net. You'll even get change from £30 for this!
DIMENSIONS: 400mm (h) x 600mm (w) x 300mm (d)
If you like fishing for carp close in, in the margins, then it's well worth investing in a margin pole. These short models are super-strong and are great with heavier elastics and even extreme situations, when you don't want to risk breaking your more expensive main long pole. Here's a selection of the very best margin models available...
PRESTON INNOVATIONS MONSTER ROLLER PULLA 8.5M, £139.99
WE SAY: Very well balanced, light and manageable but without compromising on strength. A great bit of kit from Preston and we love the addition of the Roller Pulla bush already on the pole, for stripping out elastic to land fish quicker. Whether you're looking for big fish or a big weight of fish, this will handle either with ease.
•Pre-fitted with a Roller Pulla Bush
•Mini extension, pole holdall and tubes
DAIWA YANK AND BANK POWER MARGIN 9.5M, £199.99
WE SAY: Forget the slightly cringeworthy name for a second, this is a classy margin pole which boasts some of the features of Daiwa's top end long poles. And what a great package this comes with, involving three separate power kits to give you the option of having different elastics set up.
•Slide easy finish
•785g at 9.5m
•20+ elastic rating
•Two spare power top kits
SHIMANO BEASTMASTER MARGIN 850B 8.5M, £159.99
WE SAY: Beast by name, beast by nature! Capable of a 20 elastic or even more, this is a beefy margin pole with a surprisingly thin diameter, making it very easy to fish with. We also love Shimano's famous Ultra Sound Sanding System finish, which is super smooth through the hands. If you need to ship the pole back quickly to pull fish away from snags in the edge, this finish is a serious advantage.
•XT60 Biofibre Powered Carbon
•Rated to a 20 elastic
•Ultra Sound Sanding System
•S.A.S. Shimano Alignment System
•Reinforced Joint System
•Supplied with a spare top 2 power kit
•Includes Competition Holdall
MAP TKS POWER MARGIN 8.5M, £195
WE SAY: A light and slim tool for carp crunching and another real powerhouse . A nice touch is that if you own an existing TKS pole the top kits are fully interchangeable! An optional 1.6m Parallel Extension (£59.99) is also available if you need a margin pole that is slightly longer than normal.
•Ultra Strong carbon
•Anti friction finish throughout
•Reinforced band on all kits for drilling
•Section alignment system
•Pre Bushed Power Kit + 1 Extra
•12 Month Guarantee
MIDDY EXTREME M2 10M, £169.99
WE SAY: Length wise this is definitely about as long as a 'margin pole' goes, in fact you can use it for fishing in front of you too at the full 10 metres. This is a seriously strong bit of kit with a whopping 30 elastic rating! A 4m 'M1' version is also available.
•Extra power top 2 kit and a mini butt, supplied in carry case
•Free 30 elastication kit
•G-pulse carbon technology with slik-slide finish
•30 strong elastic rating
•Pull it wrap on 3rd and 4th sections
•Weight 699g (excluding mini butt)
ZEBCO XITAN REVOLUTION XTREME MARGIN 9.5M
WE SAY: A real high-end margin pole which is light and stiff, and is equally usable for other types of fishing too, including silver fish. Comes with large diameter 5.5mm kits which don't need cutting back to fit a strong elastic. We also love the half butt protector which fits on the 5 and 6 sections to prevent any damage to the main sections.
•Sections 5/6 Pole Protector butt section
•2x 5.5mm SLKP's
•Quality tubes for pole & topkits
Barbel fishing is definitely one area where you can't compromise on rod choice. If it's not up to the job you simply won't land this hard-fighting fish! Here's our guide to the best barbel blanks to go for on a £100 budget.
KORUM BARBEL ROD 13FT 2.5LB, £83.99
WE SAY: At its 13ft length and with power in abundance, this is the ideal big river rod for somewhere like the Trent or Wye for example, where powerful flows and big feeders are the order of the day. With a highly visible white tip for excellent bite indication.
•2.5lb powerful tip section
•High modulus carbon blank
•Low profile silicone lined guides
•Full cork handle
•Maximium casting weight: 8oz
•Line rating: 10lb – 15lb
DAIWA POWERMESH BARBEL 12FT 2.75LB, £100
WE SAY: A rod which is at the more powerful end of the barbel spectrum with its hefty 2.75lb test curve rating. It will cast 4oz weights with ease, we recommend this one for big fish, big rivers and even floodwater conditions.
•High grade carbon blanks with 1K woven carbon
•Fuji DPS reel seat
•Full cork handle
•Stainless steel frame guides
•Lightweight LS ceramic rings
•Aluminium butt cap
•Supplied in padded rod sleeve
SHIMANO ALIVIO AX BARBEL CLASSIC 12FT 1.5LB, £74.99 |
WE SAY: Fantastic action but definitely one for smaller rivers and close range work, due to its soft middle. Fantastic action, this is a lot more than just a barbel rod as a 1.5lb test curve makes it ideal for chub or stillwater bream and tench work too. We love the choice in tips too and a power version of the rod is also available.
•Stylish cork handle
•Three push in quivertips
•One Avon tip
JOHN WILSON QUATTRO 12FT AVON QUIVER (25TH ANNIVERSARY LTD EDITION), £99.99
WE SAY: We'll never tire of the sight of John's Avon rod bending into a barbel in his famous Go Fishing videos, followed by his infectious laugh! In all seriousness his Masterline range of rods are worth a serious look and this limited edition 'traditional-style' Avon is a good choice for smaller rivers and short chucks. Definitely fit the heaviest 1.75lb supplied tip for barbel though.
•Two piece construction
•Spigot joints for improved actions
•Quality AAA cork handle
•Four full length 6ft tips included
•1.25lb and 1.75lb Avon tops
•1 3/4 oz + 3oz spliced quiver tips
•Fully lined guides
FOX ROYALE SPECIALIST BARBEL 12FT 2.25LB, £84.99
WE SAY: A real powerhouse of a barbel rod, perfect for when you need to cast large feeders, big PVA bags or heavy leads to hold bottom in strong flows. Another plus point we noticed is the large and evenly-spaced SLIK guides, which will go some way to stopping debris jamming the guides in flood conditions.
•Lightweight low resin carbon construction
•SLIK guide system
•High quality 17mm reel seat
•Matt black finish
•High grade cork handle
JW YOUNG BARBEL MULTI TIP TRAVEL 12FT, £99.99
WE SAY: A handy little travel rod for anyone thinking about sneaking in a spot of barbel fishing when they’re on holiday or short on storage space. Ideal to tuck away in the boot of the car, the five-sectioned 12ft carbon blank has a powerful through action, able to deal with good-size barbel. A standard non-travel version is also available at the same price.
•Slim and lightweight blank
•Full cork handles and fore grips
•DPS style reel seat
•With quivertips of 2.5oz, 2oz and 1.5oz
•Fully lined guides and hook keeper ring
•High quality guides and overbindings
Method feeder fishing is one of the most popular ways of catching larger coarse fish such as carp and bream.. Here's our pick of the very best 'match-style' rods to choose for this great technique...
DAIWA AIRITY FEEDER 10Q, £320
Available in lengths starting at 9ft but running up to a 12/13ft combo. It's 10ft version is perfect for all but long range work. Total class in a feeder rod.
•X45 compression zone for accuracy / power
•Quicker blank recovery
•Hybrid tip and multi length editions
•Megatop carbon quivers
•Unique Tournament reel seat
•Shaped EVA and cork for comfort
•Line rating 2-8lb
BROWNING SPHERE BOMB, £219.99
A Method feeder rod doesn't have to be long, stiff and powerful. At close to medium range for smaller carp and F1s a blank such as this one, with a soft progressive action, is bang on. It means less hook pulls and more fun!
•Length: 3m (9ft 10ins)
•Max recommended casting weight: 50g
•Spare quivertips: 0.5oz, 0.75oz, 1oz, 1.5oz
SHIMANO SPEEDMASTER AX COMMERCIAL 9-11FT MULTI FEEDER, £124.99
An very slim and lightweight blank with an incredibly responsive action, typical of the Speedmaster range. The beauty of a 9-11 style rod, which Shimano has really made its own, is that you can choose the length to suit the distance required. At 9ft it's a great little rod for short distance.
•Nanoalloy carbon technology
•HPC 100 carbon fibre blank with added Bioﬁ bre for strength
•Shimano custom reel seat
•Split cork/EVA handle
•With three carbon quivertips
PRESTON CARBONACTIVE MINI PLUS 11FT 6INS METHOD, £149.95
If you need a bit of power to contain large carp, or you need some backbone to punch a feeder out a little bit further in the 40 - 60m range, a Mini Plus such as this is perfect. Mini rods offer great actions at very comfortable, manageable lengths.
•Line rating 3-8lb
• EVA handle fitted with a soft-touch reel seat
•With a glass tip rated 2oz and a 2.5oz carbon tip
•Fold-down keeper ring
GARBOLINO ALTIMA COMMERCIAL PICKER, £129.99
Garbolino has long made some great short feeder and bomb rods, offering superb value too, rods. The latest, the Altima Commercial Picker, features a really lightweight, slim blank and a great action to boot.
•HM carbon construction
•Ultra slimline blank
•Quality lined guides
•High density Eva/duplon handle
•Screw down reel fitting
•Three push in tips
MATRIX CARP MASTER 10FT MK2, £149.99
The Mk2 version of Matrix's popular Carpmaster feeder rod retains its same classic long section design and outstanding fish-playing action. But there’s a little more steely backbone through the mid-section. The handle is longer, making for easier casting up to a range of about 40m.
•High modulus carbon blank
• Semi-parabolic fish-playing action
• Optimum handle lengths for fish-playing and casting
• Quality guides
• Cork/EVA handle with soft-touch screw down hood reel seat
• EVA transport holder block
• Interchangeable tips
MAVER DIAMOND FEEDER, 10FT 6INS, £189.99
A flagship model which is highly versatile, for most coarse species. Ever since the rise of the Reactorlite series, Maver rods have become synonymous with thin sensitive tips and blanks, yet a deceiving amount of power. The Diamond is no different and its 10ft 6ins length is perfect for lots of Method fishing situations.
•EVA twist grip
•Top quality full cork handle
•High quality lined guides
•Quality graphite screw reel fitting
•Folding hook keeper ring
No carp or specialist angler fishing multiple rods would be without a reliable bite alarm. Likewise you can use one to fish a 'sleeper rod' to one side of you while you enjoy float fishing with a main rod for example. Here's a pick of the best mid-range models...
DELKIM EV PLUS, £64.49
Delkim is the holy grail of bite alarms and its mid-range version is packed full of buttons and features, with six choices of LED colour. Uses its piezoelectric, digital and microcontroller technology. It might sound complicated but Delkims are surprisingly simple to operate.
NASH SIREN SR5, £49.99
Wireless alarms with very good build quality, common to all the Siren series. The SR5 is very sensitive and accurate, with extreme range remote performance. Excellent value for money.
FOX MICRON MR+, £64.00
Top quality digital circuitry and also features Fox's unique D-Tec Sensing System and CNC Machined Tru Run roller wheel, which is found on the company's top-end N-series of alarms. With its own dedicated receiver and weatherproof sealed case. Incredible 200m signal range, not that you should ever be that far away from your rods!
JRC RADAR CX, £45.99
Great array of features for a sub-£40 alarm, including volume, tone, sensitivity, travelling LED and digitally amplified sound. Receiver compatible with a choice of four bright LED colours. All weather proof, with double sealed electronic parts.
WYCHWOOD AVX-S, £45.99
A really interesting design which uses Wychwood's in-built snag ear system. The purpose designed snag ears can be extended for use then collapsed within the alarms robust and weatherproof casing. All volume, tone and sensitivity settings can be changed at the touch of a button.
We've racked our brains to bring you the best coarse fishing reels on the market for £50 or less. Don't open your wallet until you've checked these five crackers out!
DAIWA NINJA FD, £49.99
Incredibly smart and striking, this is a reel which looks and performs like something twice its price. Super smooth and benefits from a host of Daiwa features such as Twistbuster, Infinite Anti-reverse, a graphite body and an Air Rotor.
SHIMANO BAITRUNNER ST FB, £49.99
With the world-famous Baitrunner lever feature, which puts the reel into freespool, paying out line after a bite until you are ready to pick up the rod. The XT-7 spool has Varispeed for better line lay and casting accuracy and Power Roller gears to reduce line twist on the retrieve.
BROWNING COMMERCIAL KING CK, £49.99
Small sizes and shallow spools, perfect for short to medium casts on modern stillwater fisheries. One-touch folding handle, sensitive 'click-stop' vernier front drag, safe nylon line clip in a lined recess. In a striking white.
OKUMA CEYMAR C FIXED SPOOL, £30 - £44.99
A really solid reel featuring a corrosion-resistant graphite body, Precision Elliptical Gearing system and heavy-duty, solid aluminum bail wire. With a narrow Blade Body design and a skeletal spool to reduce overall weight.
MITCHELL 300 PRO FD, £50
Mitchell has taken its hugely popular 300 series and elevated it to new heights. A carbon hybrid drag, open rotor, machined aluminium spool and a staggering 10 bearings give this high performance features. The front drag and handle closely resemble the original.