The Spod Rod Explained – Are They Worth It?
Like most anglers that first start targeting carp, I thought the spod rod was just a gimmick. Another piece of kit we didn’t need but was marketed well enough to entice us into buying one. I spent many years baiting up swims with a regular fishing rod and reel. It wasn’t until I tested out a friend’s spod rod and reel that I realized how much easier they made life on the bank.
After testing a proper carp fishing spod rod and spod reel setup, I purchased my own set shortly after. The benefits are more than you could imagine, and I will outline them below.
What is a Spod Rod for Carp Fishing?
A spod rod is a fishing rod specially designed and built to handle the rigours of baiting up while carp fishing. Built with stronger materials, higher test curves and faster actions, spod rods speed up the process of spodding and spombing out bait and reduce the strain on an angler and the rest of their carp fishing gear.
Spodding is a form of baiting when targeting carp specifically. A spod or spomb is a torpedo-shaped device that delivers bait to a certain area when cast. Spods tend to be quite heavy when fully loaded with bait that should be optimally used with a dedicated Spod Rod and Spod Reel.
Why are Spod Rods Better than Regular Carp Rods for Baiting?
Typically Spod Rods are sold as a Spod & Marker Rod in one. This is due to their design, which is stiffer with a faster action than regular rods. They excel at casting heavy loads and feeling sensitivity through the tip. This aids in both feature finding with a marker lead and casting heavy loads.
Higher Test Curve
Spod Rods are designed with a higher test curve, such as 4.5 lbs or higher. This gives them the power to handle fully loaded spods and spombs when casting long distances. Where normal carp rods have 3.5 lb test curves and feel like a wet noodle casting a fully loaded spod, Spod Rods handle the task much more efficiently.
Spod Rods are specifically designed with a more extended butt section on the handle. This gives anglers the ability to generate more torque very quickly during casting. More torque and power is essential when casting heavy loads.
Strong Reel Seats
Often overlooked by most anglers. For carp fishing, a firm reel seat is necessary on a quality spod rod. The added power of spod rods puts greater strain on the rod and reel. Cheaper reel seats will fail over time, as did the reel seats on the regular rod I used for spodding when I first started.
Quick action in a spod rod is one of the essential features. This allows the rod to recover extremely fast once put under pressure, thus giving it the power to launch heavy loads to a greater distance. With quick-action spod rods, most of the bend and power is in the tip of the rod instead of flexing throughout the blank, unlike normal carp rods designed for fighting fish.
Robust Grip Design
The grips on the end of the handles of spod rods are designed with a flare or material to aid with gripping. When spodding oily baits, rods can quickly become slippery, and the added grip design prevents slipping with the more powerful rods.
Measurements on the Blank
Commonly found on marker rods, most spod rods will also have 6-inch and 1-foot increment marks on the rod blank above the reel seat. These marks allow anglers to quickly measure distances with a marker float to determine depths and distances to areas they plan on baiting to increase accuracy.
As you can see, although spod and marker rods resemble regular carp rods, there are many differences throughout the rods to better suit them to the task at hand. The points above should be considered when choosing the proper Spod Rod.
Benefits of Using a Spod Rod for Carp Fishing
The added design features of spod rods listed above aid anglers on the bank in many subtle ways. Not only is there less strain on the angler, but time will also be saved by having a dedicated spod rod and reel.
Save Time When Baiting
The Spod Rod and Reel combination will save time when baiting a swim. The added strength and power of spod rods and reels will decrease the time take to cast and retrieve heavy loads, especially on long sessions or when fishing long distances. However, it’s not as noticeable in short sessions.
Less Strain on Your Gear
With special gear tailored to the task at hand, your spod rod and reel setup will hold up to the rigours of baiting much longer than your normal carp fishing setup, which is better designed to fight and land fish. The reel seats on my normal rod were the first to go.
Save Time Switching Gear
On long sessions, it can become cumbersome to constantly swap out one rod and reel from your regular carp fishing setup to bait up with a spod or spomb, then back again. I’ve found life on the bank much easier with a dedicated setup I can grab quickly to get some bait into the swim and keep fish feeding.
Less Strain on the Angler
I first noticed how much easier it was to cast and retrieve spods and spombs with a dedicated spod rod and reel. With my regular setup, I would feel the burn after a few casts, but with the proper setup, I could cast and retrieve for hours.
When you look at the benefits of a specialized spod rod and reel setup compared to the cost over time, if you’re a dedicated carp angler, you can see that upgrading is a no-brainer. If you’re looking at a specific spod rod, you should also read What is a Spod Reel for Carp Fishing and check out the benefits of using a Specific Spod Reel.
What Size Spod Rod Should You Use for Carp Fishing?
The best spod rods for carp fishing are generally over 12′ long with a 4lb test curve or higher. The optimal length and test curve will be determined by your fishing conditions. Heavier baits will require a higher test curve, and longer distances will require a longer rod to fish effectively.
Carp Fishing Rods come in various different sizes and forms. If you’re new to carp angling or just looking for detailed information on carp fishing rod terminology, check out our article covering What to Look for in a Carp Fishing Rod.
What’s the Best Spod Rod for Carp Fishing?
There are many different brands and models of spod rods for carp fishing. If you already have a set of rods you like, odds are the same brand will be available in a spod model with added benefits for baiting. A quick google search should show where to purchase it.
I would recommend picking up a rod that serves as both a spod and marker rod. At first, I made the mistake of purchasing just a Marker Rod. The test curve was too light for baiting, so I purchased a dual-purpose rod the second time to simplify things.
For specific recommendations on the Spod Rods we use, check out our Recommended Carp Fishing Rods Resource or the Spod Rod Selection at Johnson Ross Tackle.