As many anglers are beginning to take an interest in targeting carp as a catch and release species, they will undoubtedly start to research all the specialty European carp fishing gear. One main piece of gear that they may have never seen before is the carp fishing rod pod. A very distinct piece of equipment that immediately identifies one as a carp angler when seen on the bank.
What is a Carp Fishing Rod Pod?
The primary use of a Rod Pod is to securely hold an angler’s Carp Fishing Rod(s) while actively fishing. As carp anglers typically use multiple rods to target carp, rod pods come in various setups that hold 1 – 4 rods. The Rod Pod can be equipped with butt grips and bite alarms to secure the rods to the pod and also notify the angler via the bite alarm when a carp is hooked.
One can have many questions when thinking of buying their first Rod Pod. In this article, we will elaborate on all the parts of a rod pod and what additional items are required to effectively use one while targeting carp.
Rod Pods Explained – The Main Parts of a Rod Pod
There are many different brands and manufacturers of rod pods, but for the most part, they are all similar. We will quickly cover the terms used to describe certain parts of the pod to help you understand how they work.
Buzz Bar or Buzzer Bar
The front portion of the rod pod or “Bar” holds the front of your fishing rods. It is aptly named the buzz bar or buzzer bar as it is where anglers typically mount their carp fishing bite alarms. Buzz bars can come in multiple versions that can accommodate anywhere from 1 to 4 bite alarms. Some rod pods even come with various sets of buzz bars like my Fox Stalker Plus. It is convenient to have both a two-alarm buzz bar and a three-alarm buzz bar depending on how many rods one intends to use.
Rod Pod Legs
Rod pods are equipped with four adjustable legs via a thumbscrew or quick clip. Depending on the conditions or type of terrain the pod is set on, they can be extended or shortened. Aside from supporting and levelling the pod, the legs can also be adjusted to suit weather and water conditions. An angler can set them to have rod tips up or down to increase bite indication. Some pods come with shorter legs that make for a smaller compact pack downsize or large legs to hold the pod higher off the ground. The length of the legs can be a deciding factor in what type of pod you buy. Note: a few pods come with extra sets of legs, so you can swap short/long legs out depending on where you’re fishing.
Rod Pod Middle Bar / Main Frame
The middle portion will also be extendable via a quick clip or thumbscrew on a quality rod pod. This allows the pod to be used with any size rod and still be quickly adjustable to a small pack-down size while transporting.
Rod Pod Feet
As one will note when looking at the different varieties of rod pods, the base of the legs are, for the most part, pointed. The pointed legs allow the rod pod to be relatively stable and hold on to many different surfaces that it may be set on. Some manufacturers make removable rod pod feet that give a rod pod added stability. I purchased and use the extra Pod Feet made by Fox on my Fox Stalker Plus Rod Pod. They have pegging points on them that allow me to peg down my rod pod with bivvy pegs to ensure it isn’t pulled into the water in the event my free spool drag is set too tight on my baitrunner reels.
Rod Pod Posts or Goal Posts
The posts are an integral part of the rod pod design. The posts are used to attach the buzz bars to the main body of the rod pod. Different styles of rod pods come with different configurations. Some only have a single post, while others can have dual posts for aesthetics and stability. The posts usually thread onto the buzz bar and attach to the main body of the rod pod via quick clips or thumb screws for quick height adjustments.
Types of Carp Fishing Rods Pods
There are many different styles and brands of rod pods to choose from. The type you choose mainly comes down to how you plan to use it and your preferred carp fishing brands. There are two main types of pods, either compact easy to transport models or the more bulky large pods made for stability and set up in the same spot for longer durations. Below we will list the different situations you may be faced with to help you decide which type of Rod Pod is best for you.
Compact Rod Pods
Smaller rod pods are designed specifically for those on the move often or using smaller rods and reels to target carp.
These are my preferred version of rod pods. The Fox Stalker Plus is a perfect version of a compact rod pod. It is small enough to fit in the trunk of my car when folded up but also extends to a reasonable size to accommodate my 12-foot rods and 10,000 series Vaderx FRS Pro Reels.
Large Rod Pods
Some rod pods are designed to be large and heavy. These pods excel at fishing in windy or harsh conditions as they are tall and sturdy.
Why would you want a heavy and tall pod?
Some anglers have trouble bending and crouching all the time to adjust and work with smaller rod pods. This is where the large pod comes into play. These pods can accommodate three or more rods and can be used from a standing position. These pods also help on large bodies of water that can be difficult to access in some areas. A larger pod will hold the rods up out of any debris and over any obstructions between the pod setup and the water.
How to Set Up a Rod Pod for Carp Fishing?
So you’ve decided to purchase a rod pod, and now you’re wondering how to set it up and see exactly how it works. There are a few essential items you need to buy in addition to a rod pod to use it effectively for carp fishing.
Bite Alarms or Rod Rests
As stated above, you will require something like a bite alarm or rod rest to attach to the buzz bar on the front of the rod pod. These will ensure that the front portion of your rod is stable and holds the rods securely in the event of a run. The majority of rod pods come with 3/8 BSF threaded connections pre-drilled in the buzz bars. Depending on the type of pod you choose, there can be one or more threaded adapters.
Butt Rests or Butt Grippers
The rear portion of the rod pod will also have threaded holes where you will attach your additional butt rests or butt grippers. These will ensure that the butt end of your rod will be held firmly in place in the event of a take. A word of caution concerning cheap butt rests, they may not hold every rod securely. Ensure you spend a few extra dollars on these items, as they will save your entire rod and reel combo from taking a swim.
What Materials are Rod Pods Made Out Of?
It varies from different brands and manufacturers as to what materials are used to make a rod pod. This will be a major factor in determining the cost and quality of a rod pod as well. Below we will quickly list the pros and cons of materials used in the construction of a rod pod.
Cheapest and least durable of all materials, many of the budget rod pods on the market contain primarily plastic parts. While many rod pods state they are made from aluminum, stainless or carbon, the clips and connections are made from cheaper plastic materials.
Many of the pods today are made from strong carbon composite materials, which helps significantly with durability and makes the pods light for transportation.
When researching rod pods, you may come across some that are very expensive. This is most likely since they are solid stainless steel pods. Both light and very durable these pods are high quality and will stand up to years of use and abuse.
Some pods will contain aluminum parts to save on weight. Although not as durable as other materials, the offset is a fully metal pod that comes in at a reasonable weight without breaking the bank.
Carp Fishing Rod Pod Alternatives
If you’re new to carp fishing and unsure if you want to shell out the money for a rod pod, perhaps you should also look into banksticks. Banksticks are a great low-cost option for those wishing to try carp fishing. If you’re planning on targeting an area with soft ground where you can place banksticks, be sure to check out our other article on Banksticks for Carp Fishing or our Banksticks Video below, where I cover them in greater detail.
I highly recommend a Rod Pod if you’re serious about carp fishing with multiple rods. It is one of the best purchases I have made and simplified my setup for many of my favourite carp fishing spots. If you’re planning on fishing in North America, though, be prepared for many questions on the bank as the Rod Pod setup is rarely if never seen here.