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What tackle do I need for carp?
So, you want to try out carp fishing ? get ready for some 'fightin fun'. Carp come in all sizes , they are powerfull fish ,BE WARNED ! . If you go where BIG carp are ,you will need substantial tackle. However carp are not big in every water ,although even in an overstocked water many fish will be over 10 lbs. A 10 lb fish is capable of breaking most lines ,especially if knots & hooks are of poor quality. If you are a new to carp fishing & are expecting to hook fish in the 10 lb range & you have some experiance & if there are no snags ; then 8-10 lb line will cover your needs in most cases. Where big fish (over 15 lbs) are expected & if there are snags or mussel beds in the area close by ,then 12-15 lbs line would be more suitable (see below). Dont buy rubbish line ! buy Berkely or Maxima or something recommended by your tackle shop. I now can fully recommend Power- Pro (TM) or alternatively Tuffline superbraid in 30-65 lbs B.S, especially to combat mussel & other snag abrasion, this type of line has very low diameter to b.s. rating. If the bottom is free & clear of snags or water is gin clear, it is better to opt for clear mono in 10-15lbs B.S. depending on the size of fish expected, this can sometimes fool spooky fish.
Then you need a decent reel, most carpers use fixed spool (spinning ) reels but multipliers (baitcasters) can be used with some success. Dont skimp on the size, you need one that holds at least 250 yds of 10 lb line ; although in most cases you wont have anywhere near that amount of line out, when you decide to load up with 12-15 lbs B.S line or more & hook into the fish of a lifetime you will be glad to have such a reel! buy a reel with a good clutch/drag, I have Shimano Baitrunners TSS 3500 & a Dam 455 fs. Daiwa also make excellent carp reels. There are now several shops to buy Shimano & other baitfeeder/runner types of reels, which can be bought off the shelf, you should be able to find somwhere to obtain one. Also another desirable is a soft meshed landing net, the biggest you can find, in Canada there are rubber ones in 2ft6in diameter, which will do the job, also micromesh nets which are good for the fish are now increasingly available, get one 36" -42" frame size.
You also want a 10 ft  or larger rod, which will lift a 1.5 lb- 3 lb weight (test curve). This type of rod with a through action or fast taper ( depending on it's requirement), will lob out your baits nicely without splitting them. You will also find it will absorb the lunges of a hooked carp very nicely. A rod of 10 ft or more ( 12/13 ft is sometimes needed), is necessary to give you control over the fish especially needed whilst fishing from the bank, since you cannot chase the fish down like in a boat. The longer rods are also much better for distance casting. Several carp rods are now available in Canada.
There are many other things you will add as you find more carp in different situations. You'll need hooks in sizes #10 to size 2, these should be forged because otherwise they can be straightened when you get a whacker! I use Kamasan B980 & 983 for float & light work, (size 6 for Corn & size 2-4 for boilies) also Eagle Claw LS056 are suitable. For heavy work Kamasan do a B982 which is thicker wire, also VMC zander hooks & Kamasan B175 trout hooks. For Maize I often use the gold Mustad salmon hooks. New on the scene & very good are Redwing "Sabre Tooth" hooks (available in Ontario).Carp hooks are becoming more widely available in N.A, so you may find some. See the 'Business end' section for more details, THE most important factor is that the hook should be ultra sharp & strong enough to land the fish!
Baitrunner Reel
Business End Bite Alarm
Special carp equipment
You need some lead (sinkers)fom 1/2 oz to 2+ oz some swivels, some assorted split shot. Some styrofoam (beaded insulation) to make bouyant hookbaits,some braided line comes in usefull for hooklinks (15 lb b.s.). Then there are baiting needles (essential if using the hair rig) , banksticks, bite alarms, floats, chair, bait tubs ,etc, etc, of these I would say that a proper rod rest (rod pod if you can afford it) is of most help ,& most important ; a good pair of polarising glasses so you can spot the fish & get better 'insight ' beneath the water. You will find a cupped slingshot very handy for putting out free offerings or 'groundbait'. Almost all of the other items can be improvised .
What must be appreciated is that your tackle needs to 'match' to the situation. For example it is no good tackling your local river which holds 10 lbs fish & then using the same tackle for the massive hard fighting fish of the Kawarthas or St Lawrence river. Also no one set of tackle is ideal for every situation. Many use several rods in their armoury & this is to match the different situations encountered on different waters. In this respect the advice given above  is somewhat generalised. It is a good base to start with though.
Links to other sites on the Web
Oatmeal Jack on the Potamac
Dont forget that once you know how to catch them , they are big fish, check out the 'Respect your catch' section in the contents page. Press back for contents.

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This is a typical modern carp rod set-up. I seem to remember also catching a nice 20 lb fish on this day too! Slightly to the left of the reedmace in the foreground is a fallen tree,which is an ideal holding spot for the carp, since it provides cover & a break from the river current.
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