101 Carp Fishing Tips For Beginners - Ultimate Guide

Carp Fishing Tips For Beginners
Beginners guide to carp fishing
August 20, 2023

How Do You Catch a Carp?

If you have never tried carp fishing before and are considering taking up the sport then we have a lot of advice for you in this article.

This Carp Fishing Tips For Beginners article will help guide you through carp fishing tips on the basics and reel you in until you're hooked.

Getting a Rod Licence

The most convenient way to obtain a fishing rod license is via the government website. You don't have to wait for your license to arrive, and you can fish right away.

If you are found to be fishing on lakes or rivers without a license, you could face a possible fine of up to £2500. Also, have your fishing gear confiscated.

Once you have paid the license, you can legally fish in any public canals and lakes. You can also fish on private ponds and lakes as long as you pay the owner if required.

Tackle You Need For Carp Fishing

Carp tackle Tips For Beginners, carp rod, carp reel

A number of factors can come into play when selecting your fishing equipment. Whether to go cheap or go all out and spend the big bucks, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Everyone's budget and needs are different, so here are some of the main points to be considered when you’re shopping for your equipment.

I have put together a list of what equipment you will need to help you make sure you are well equipped and have the best chances of success when you start carp fishing.

A simple float or feeder rod, a carp reel, net, unhooking mat is all you’ll need to start off. The right tackle for the job is another key factor when wanting to catch the most carp.

The best feeder rods are perfect for beginners as well as being great for catching nice-sized carp.

The next thing to purchase is a simple reel, there are lots of different options on the market sometimes making it hard to find the right one.


Most people start with 2x rod carp set up when they are fishing with a 2x carp set-up.

For beginners, fishing medium sized waters you would want a set of 12ft carp rods with a test curve of 2.75lb.

Generally, a higher test curve rod, say 4.5 lb, generates more speed. For beginners fishing in smaller waters, I would suggest going for 10-12 ft rods.

For longer rods, generally, longer rods are considered better for casting distance. However, they do require more skill and control to handle properly.

Carp Rod Test Curves 

A test curve measures around 2.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs. This is how much the rod will bend when pressure is applied. If you want to catch big carp or cast further, you need the higher test curve.

Normally the higher the test curve, the more the rod will cost.

The best weight for you as a beginner will be the lower end of 2.5lbs. Lower test curve is much easier to handle as a beginner.

One you learn how to carp fish and it because easier, you can always use heavier gear and purchase a rod with higher test curve.

Carp Rod Suggestions

Daiwa ninja rod is excellent for beginners as is the Fox Warrior and Daiwa Black Widow are brilliant carp rods that I suggest for people new to fishing.


You need to buy a set of reels to match the number of rods you use. Carp reels run from 6000 up to 10000 class, although exact sizes differ slightly between manufacturers.

Models can be categorised into freespool or big pit versions.

Baitrunner Carp Reels

A baitrunner is a smaller, simpler and simpler to use than a big pit or big pit.

A carp baitrunner reel have a smaller spool on the rear of the reel.

For beginners, baitrunners provide better control, are lighter and feel more balanced on lower test curve rods.

Big Pit Carp Reels (Front Drag Carp Reel)

The Big Pit (which also goes by the name front drag reel) are larger than baitrunner reels with an oversized spool. They require a bit more experience to handle over baitrunner reels.

Big pits tend to have a bigger spool and a front drag system.

Unlike the bait runner, the Big Pit reels have a front drag system that is operated manually when playing with a carp.

As a beginner you should start with the smaller bait runner system and then advance to a Big Pit carp reel if necessary.

Carp Reel Spool Size

The spool size usually measures anything from 6000 to 10000, with the larger size allowing extra line to be fed on the reel.

Normally the type of reel you choose, whether its a baitrunner or a big pit will normally dictate what size it's spool will be.

As a beginner you want to look for a spool size of around the 6000 size.

Carp Reel Suggestions

Shimano Baitrunner ST RB, designed for anglers who want all the reliability, durability, and quality of unrivalled

Shimano Baitrunner technology but don’t want to pay the price tag. Perfect for carp fishing beginners.

Buy a Rod Pod

When fishing, it is important to place the rods on; this is where a rod pod is useful. A rod pod is a frame able to hold four rods and bite alarms.

Rod pods are easy to set up but are great for all surfaces and easy to use.

Bank sticks hold one stick and provide more flexibility when deciding where to fish, but the rod pod system is better. Most rod pods do the same thing, and you don't need to spend a lot of money on one. It is better to buy one that is easy to set up and uses less space once boxed away.

The line to Choose For Carp Fishing

For beginners, it would be best to buy the 12 lbs breaking strain mainline that is ample for carp fishing. However, if the lake has a lot of weed or snags, the mainline will take more abuse so using 15lbs might be better.

It is easier to buy the ready-made rigs at the start of carp fishing. However, they are manufactured to the best standards and will not fail when you get a bite.

Getting A Bite

Boilies are a tried and tested bait that has been around for many years. Boilies are designed for carp and contain fish meals, bird food and other ingredients. Buy them fresh or frozen, but frozen is best as they last longer. Boilies range from 10mm to about 24mm.

Due to fish safety, most fisheries need you to have a landing net and unhooking mat. A landing mat with a size of around 42" is reasonable and a hooking mat that will cover the biggest carp. The unhooking mat should have a lot of padding to keep the fish safe when out of water.

Once the rods are in place in the rod pod, alarms and bobbins will register when your fish takes its bait. Dropbacks work when the carp takes the bait and moves forward without any line, it can be tricky to detect at first, but alarms and bobbins make it easier.

Sometimes you will go on an overnight fishing trip and need different shelters to help during your adventure. The Bivvy, bed chair and sleeping bag all come in useful on an overnight trip. The bivvy is a versatile shelter that can be opened in the day or closed at night. A bed chair will help you get some decent sleep at night. A sleeping bag will help keep you warm during the night.

Always buy the best that you can afford but, don't go over budget as there are ways of getting things cheaper. Maybe you have friends who are willing to lend you those crucial items that you need? Maybe you know someone who has given up the sport recently?

One of the most important things is to go out there and get practice. You will learn many things through firsthand experience rather than being an observer. It is a continual learning experience that gets better with time.

5 Carp Fishing Tips For Beginners

  1. Become familiar with your carp. Although carp are fascinating, challenging, and crazy fish, it is still possible to catch them on rod and line. Stalking is another possibility for catching carp though it is somewhat alternative, and not that many people do it. Rather than waiting around for the carp to take the bait, you actually get up close to the carp by moving around the water's edge.
  2. For years, people thought You could not catch carp due to their strength and power. Today, we have more tackle and baits available, making it easier to catch carp. Buying the right tackle and baits is key to your success when carp fishing.
  3. Buy carp rods and get the right tackle for catching carp. In some lakes, you can fish with three or four rods, but it's better to make sure of the rules per lake. Early on in your carp fishing career, you should buy two rods which is a fair balance between having enough carp and spending too much money.
  4. A carp rod dedicated to the sport will be more powerful than ordinary fishing rods.
  5.  Timing. Learn the times that the carp become more active and the times when they slow down. Although people say it is better not to be a clock watcher, this is a time when it comes in useful. During carp fishing, observing times can be beneficial. Also, notice the times when you catch the most carp.

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