The best fishing whips for all budgets

The best fishing whips for all budgets

by Dan Webb |
Updated on

With no reels or rollers to add complications, whip fishing is about as basic as it gets. But in the right hands a whip can be responsible for catching huge bags of smaller fish and its also a great way to introduce someone to the sport and progress them into pole fishing with longer poles.

Generally whips are telescopic in design, sometimes including a take-apart top kit section but this all depends on the manufacturer. The rig is either attached to a metal eye that is fused into the end section, commonly referred to as a "flick tip" or you can thread some elastic through the end section for added insurance when targeting larger fish.

The best fishing whips at a glance:

Best for lightness: Daiwa Connoisseur Pro Whip - View offer on Fishing Tackle and Bait

Best for beginners: Leeda Concept GT whip - View offer on eBay

Best for carp: Middy Baggin' Machine 5.5m whip-pole - View offer on eBay

Best that money can buy: Browning Sphere Silverlite System whip - View offer on eBay

In terms of fishing with a whip, its best to have a rig as long as the whip itself, so if you're fishing with a 5m whip, a 5m rig is best suited as it allows you to swing it back into your hand when re-baiting or landing a fish. If it is shorter or longer than the length of the whip, you will have real difficulty when it comes to retrieving the rig and it makes the whole process very inefficient and challenging.

Best for lightness

Light and crisp in the hand, these quality Daiwa Connoisseur Pro telescopic whips will cover everything from short-range gudgeon and bleak snatching right through to long lining for roach and dace.

Fully telescopic, each Daiwa Connoisseur whip has a blended solid carbon flick tip, and top Daiwa technologies such as V-Joint, X45 Bias and HVF Nanoplus carbons. Available in 2m, 2.5m, 3m, 3.5m, 4m, 4.5m, 5m and 6m lengths. For those seeking Daiwa quality in a system whip, there’s a Connoisseur 8m version.

Superb-actioned whips from one of the best carbon producing brands around!

Pros

  • Superb action.
  • Classy aesthetics.

Cons

  • Best suited to smaller species.

Best for rivers

Cadence CP200
Price: £159.99 (6m), £289.99 (9m), £89.99 (Top-5), £39.99 (Top-3)

www.cadencefishing.co.uk

Designed predominantly for river fishing where longer whips are becoming a necessity, yet tough enough when elasticated for fishing pole-to-hand style in Ireland, Holland and Denmark. Unusually, the whole top-5 is telescopic for a stronger and improved action.

The Cadence CP200 whip can be bought at 6m or 9m lengths, while additional top-3 and top-5 kits can be added at very reasonable prices. Deals can also be had if you buy several whips together.

This is a perfect choice for the river angler who wants a number of lengths and tops kitted out for different venues.

Pros

  • Good strength for a long whip.
  • Additional top 3 and 5 kits can be added.

Cons

  • Not the strongest for carp.

Best all-rounder

The Drennan Acolyte Pro is a superbly well thought-out and great value system whip that can be bought at either 2m up to 8m on its own or in packages that include an additional top-3 and an elastication system.

Each top-3 on the Drennan Acolyte Pro whip is telescopic and comes with a flick tip, but with the correct sized bush and plugs to allow you to elasticate the No2 section as well. The second kind of plug included is adjustable and comes with a bead, so you can change the tension of your elastic without cutting it. After the top 3, all other sections are put together and numbered, so you know the exact length at which you’re fishing.

Pros

  • Light and responsive for speed fishing.
  • Can be elasticated for bigger fish.

Cons

  • Not in the the best price range for beginners.

Best for beginners

Leeda Concept GT Whips
Price: £10.99 (3m), 14.99 (4m), £17.99 (5m)

www.ebay.co.uk

Trying out fishing has never been cheaper with this exceptional value range of whips. Each comes with a rig and a disgorger.

There’s simply no cheaper way to get into fishing than a Leeda Concept GT Whip.

Choose from 3m, 4m and 5m lengths, all telescopic with a pre-attached eye to fit your rig.

Alternatively, for slightly more experienced anglers or those wishing to target larger fish, the two longer whips can also be bought ready elasticated.

Pros

  • Incredible value.
  • Can be bought ready elasticated.

Cons

  • Not the longest or lightest.

Best for speed fishing

Colmic Emperor Pro Whips
Price: £35.99 - £116.99

www.ebay.co.uk

The Colmic Emperor are the highest quality telescopic whips with a fast action and a slim profile. A spliced-in carbon tip flick tip is perfectly blended, making them ideal for catching huge numbers of smaller fish without breakages and hook pulls.

A quality tool for the experienced match angler, these are the perfect whip for any fish race venue.

Each model is fully telescopic, with the full range scaling from 2m right through to 5m and every half-metre in between.

Pros

  • Fantastic for speed fishing.
  • Super light.

Cons

  • Not the longest whips on the market.

Best for carp

An incredible value 5m telescopic whip with a 0.5m dolly butt. It comes with a flick tip and two ready elasticated tips.

There’s even a rig and a disgorger, making it ideal for beginners. Super-strong, it will cope with up to a 24 elastic and is suitable for both silverfish and carp.

A lot of variety is covered at very little cost, ideal for the super-keen young angler.

Pros

  • Perfect for youngsters.
  • Can handle fish big and small.

Cons

  • Not the longest whip on the market.

Best that money can buy

Designed using the same technology as Sphere poles, Browning believes it’s created the lightest and most durable long whip available - the Browning Sphere Silverlite System Whip. Available in 8m and 10m packages, each including two spare hollow top-3 kits for elastication as well as the flick tip top inside the whip, reversible dolly butts with EVA nose cones to protect sections from damage, and a multi pocket hard-shell carry case. The hollow tops are all the same length as the flick tip tops, so there’s no loss of length when elasticating. Can also be used for short-lining at speed.

For the angler who wants the best, you’ll struggle to find better quality or a more comprehensive package.

Pros

  • Super light.
  • Can be elasticated for bigger fish.

Cons

  • Comes at a price only suitable for top-level match anglers.

Best for balance

Preston Response Whips
Price: £55.99 was £64.99

www.total-fishing-tackle.com

Three super-slim whips matched to a solid carbon flick tip, these Preston Response Whips are ideal for catching high volumes of silverfish at speed. Fully telescopic, the top end is soft and forgiving while the lower end is much stiffer, giving great balance and control along with excellent fish cushioning properties.

Professional quality at the cheaper end of the scale – the serious angler can get kitted out for a reasonable cost.

Pros

  • Fully telescopic.
  • Great for catching silvers at speed.

Cons

  • Not elasticated for bigger fish.

Best starter fishing whips

Guru A-Class Whips
Price: £9.99 (3m), £11.99 (4m)

www.ebay.co.uk

These new Guru A-Class Whips in 3m & 4m are designed for quick and effective fishing, allowing young anglers, newcomers or people who simply don’t want to break the bank to catch some fish!

They’re super-simple to set up too: just telescope the whip out before attaching the rig to the connector on the tip-end.

A top-quality rig is supplied ready-tied to the perfect length, so no faffing about there either, and they’re targeted towards a variety of fish species and sizes. Both whips are lightweight and strong, with forgiving actions.

Pros

  • The ready rigs are the perfect length.
  • Strong and little to go wrong.

Cons

  • Could come with a few more accessories.

What to look out for

There are two main types of whip – the system whip or the fixed length telescopic. Designed to be fished at a fixed length, the fast-acting flick tips of telescopic whips are ideal for plucking smaller fish straight out of the water.

Although not normally as well balanced, system whips are far more adaptable, with a telescopic top followed by a number of ‘put in’ sections that allow them to be used at various lengths.

System whips often come with spare tops, so you can easily switch between flick tip and elasticated options.

Whatever your style, ability or budget, there’s a whip in our line-up for you!

Glossary

Whip: A telescopic carbon or fibreglass fishing pole, usually around three to eight metres long.

Flick Tip: The end section where the rig is attached, there is a metal eye or plastic connector, but there will be no elastic present.

Elasticated section: The end of the tip section is cut back to allow elastic to be run through the centre of the section, this is fastened with a bung at the base and a rig connector at the tip end.

Telescopic: An item consisting of concentric tubular sections that are designed to slide into one another. The whip packs down into one large section.

Take Apart section: A section, usually at the end or the base of the whip that is pushed onto or into rather than telescopically attached.

Rig: The name refers to the final product of line, hooks, floats and weights.

Dolly Butt: A section usually around 0.5m that is inserted into the base of a whip for added length.

Fast Action: If a whip is fast acting, it means it can be moved quickly through the air to help striking efficiency.

Responsiveness: The time it takes for a strike to register at the tip end, better responsiveness means a shorter time between the two.

Frequently asked questions

What length whip is good for a beginner?

If you have just started fishing or this is your first venture into whip/pole fishing we recommend choosing one of around 4-5m in length. This will get you out far enough to catch fish, and it is also a comfortable length to get used to fishing without a reel. Any longer and you may find them a little cumbersome to use.

How do I attach the rig?

Attaching the rig couldn't be simpler. If the tip has a metal eye, you can just tie it directly onto it with whatever knot you prefer, if it has a plastic connector with a hook attachment, just create a loop in the rig, pull back the sleeve on the connector, attach the loop to the hook and slide the sleeve back over to lock it into place.

Are whips only for small fish?

Whilst whips are primarily used for catching smaller fish like roach and dace, this does not mean they aren't capable of landing larger fish. Many carp are caught on whips, it just takes some patience to land them. If you were looking to target somewhere that had a lot of larger fish like tench and carp, we recommend looking at one of the stronger products on the list or elasticating your chosen whip to cushion the fight.

Are whips easy to use?

When it comes to angling, using a whip is probably the simplest and easiest way to fish. There are no reels to get tangled, no casting is required, and you can buy good quality rigs that are ready to use. Simply attach the rig, bait the hook and swing it out into the lake and you are fishing, it really is that easy.

Author Dan Webb first became involved in angling journalism in 2015 and has worked as Tackle Tester at Angling Times since April 2021. He is a fanatical all-round match angler and former England Youth International.

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