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The Best Carp Fishing Rod And Reel Combos (My Top Pick Plus Reviews)

best carp fishing rod and reel

Need A New Carp Rod and Reel Combo?

Carp aren’t rare fish, but they are unique. You don’t want to go after them with basic bass equipment. You’ll want a high-quality carp rod and reel before you ever try to tackle these fish.

In this article, I’m going to tell you about three combos that I personally love to use while carp fishing. Keep in mind that these aren’t combos in the traditional sense. You can’t just pick up the complete set at Walmart. Each of these combos are made up of one reel and one rod that I feel compliment each other. You’ll have to buy each product separately.

The Best Carp Rod and Reel Combos (REVIEWS)


Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel

(Paired With)

Okuma SST Graphite Spinning Rod


The Rod

Okuma SST Graphite Spinning Salmon/Steelhead Rod, SST-S-902M

The Okuma SST is easily one of the best value rods on the market. It’s not too expensive, but it provides you with the same features and reliability that you’ll get with an elite-level rod.

I recommend getting the medium variant, but the Okuma SST comes in several different power variants, and you can easily pick up a different one if you prefer a different taper.

Regardless of which variant you choose, you’ll get a premium graphite rod, stainless steel guides, and blackened cork handles. Every Okuma SST comes with a copper finish that is resilient to corrosion, and it doesn’t look too shabby, either.



  • Premium materials
  • Elite-level performance
  • 1-year guarantee


  • It won’t work as well as a rod that is designed for carp.

The Reel


Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder Graphite Spinning Reel- ABF-30b


The Okuma ABF series has a lot to offer for a variety of fishermen. I personally recommend the ABF 30b model for carp, but you can pick a larger option without regretting it later. The 30b is simply a great all-around option, and it’ll perform well in most situations.

The reel comes with an oiled-felt drag system that utilizes multiple felt discs to fight against large fish without getting torn up. The drag system is assisted by six ball bearings and one roller bearing. The bearings allow the reel to function smoothly.

Finally, an automatic bait feeder system is implemented, and it has a quick-set bearing that allows you to set your hook instantly.


  • Great drag system
  • Quick-set anti-reverse system
  • Well-balanced for carp fishing


  • I’d like to see a better handle on the Okuma Avenger.

Take Away

This combination isn’t designed for carp, but it will work extremely well, and it won’t break your bank like a lot of specialty rods will. Okuma isn’t new to the tackle industry, and while there are better options out there, you won’t find a better option than Okuma when it comes to value.


Daiwa Maddragon Carp Rod

(Paired With)

Daiwa Regal Bite And Run Reel


The Rod

Daiwa Maddragon MD2314 12' Carp Rod

Daiwa has been one of my favorite companies for a long time, and I can’t recommend this rod enough. There are two problems that I have with it, but it’s designed to catch carp, and it does that better than anything else in this price range.

First, the blank itself is flexible, but it still has a lot of backbone. It’s not going to snap if you hook into a particularly large carp, but you’ll still be able to notice the gentle bites that carp are known for.

The handle is also balanced very well due to its split-grip design. It’ll limit the amount of positions that you can put your hands in, but it’ll really allow you to get some leverage when casting or setting your hook.

However, the reel seat is not very good at holding larger reels. The reel that I suggest using with it will work just fine, but you’ll need a different rod if you like to use really beefy reels.

The guides are also made out of aluminum oxide. I’ve noticed that aluminum oxide guides tend to wear a bit faster when fishing for larger fish, and you might have to replace them after a couple of seasons. Luckily, everything else on the rod is amazing, and you’ll bring a lot of carp in before you have to fuss with the guides.


  • Powerful and sensitive
  • Easy to cast
  • Provides lots of leverage


  • The reel seat won’t accommodate large reels very well, and the guides will wear out faster than steel guides.

The Reel

Daiwa Regal Bite&RunSpinningReel 4.9:1 M/H Act RG3500BRi

Daiwa Regal Bite&RunSpinningReel 4.9:1 M/H Act RG3500BRi
  • Four ball and roller bearings
  • Free spare composite spool
  • 4.9:1 gear ratio
  • Automatic Bite N’ Run clutch
  • Line capacity: 10/240, 12/210, 14/170
  • Dual, Selectable Infinite Anti-Reverse
  • Smooth, wet-system front drag with front adjustment

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Daiwa’s reels have been a part of my fishing collection for a very long time. They’re not expensive, but they perform extremely well, and they feel just as good as any $200 reel.

The Regal Bite comes with a super comfortable handle, a spare spool, and an impressive automatic clutch. It’s also the perfect size for the Maddragon rod. It won’t put too much weight on the reel seat, but it’s still strong enough to pull in carp.

The bearing system is a bit slow, though. It only has a four to one reel ratio, and that’s going to make it a lot slower than your average bass reel. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of speed while carp fishing.


  • Small enough for the Maddragon
  • Strong enough for carp
  • Advanced clutch system


  • Slow gear ratio

Take Away

This combination of Daiwa products will allow you to catch plenty of carp with ease, and you can easily purchase both pieces without going broke. However, you’ll have to get used to a slower gear ratio, and you might want to upgrade the reel seat if you like beefy reels.


Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod

(Paired With)

okuma ceymar Spinning Reel


The Rod

Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rods, CE-S-962MLa

This Okuma is a long rod at a budget price. It’s not quite as impressive as the Okuma I’ve reviewed, but you can’t beat the amount of value you get for what you pay for it.

First, the rod is nine and a half feet long, and it’s made out of graphite. So, it’s extremely sensitive, and it has a lot of backbone. However, you’ll have to watch out for tiny cracks in the blank. Graphite is notoriously bad at handling small cracks.

Unlike the other Okuma, this rod has aluminum oxide guides. Like I said in the Daiwa review, aluminum oxide isn’t a bad thing, but the guides will wear faster than the steel guides on the other Okuma.

It also has premium-grade cork handles. That’s not very common in this price range, and it’s one of my preferred handle materials. So, I’m going to consider that to be a huge bonus.

The reel seats are hooded to help protect your reel’s attachment prongs, but the hoods can make it difficult to fit really large reels into it.


  • Long and strong
  • Sensitive
  • High-quality handles


  • It’s made of graphite, and graphite cracks pretty easily once it’s damaged. Be careful with this rod.

The Reel

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-40

The Okuma Ceymar reel isn’t very different than the Avenger, but it’s ambidextrous, and it has a faster gear ratio. If you like to move around a lot while you fish for carp, that faster gear ratio can help you reel it in without wasting a lot of time. It’ll also help with fights, but it’s not really necessary.

It uses the same oiled-felt drag system as the Avenger, too. You shouldn’t have any problems pulling fish in with it.

However, it has several more bearings in it than the Avenger, and while that’s technically a good thing, it makes it more likely to break. There are just more parts to break or rust.


  • Faster than the Avenger
  • Ambidextrous handle
  • Oiled-felt drag


  • There’s just not a lot separating it from the Avenger, and the Avenger is a little more durable. It does offer a lot of the same benefits, though. It also matches the Celilo rod a lot better if you care about that.

Take Away

If you want a really long rod for chucking boilies and fighting carp, this is the combo for you. The reel is more than strong enough to handle carp, and the rod is great for technical fishing. The graphite blank might break easier, though. So, try not to smack it off of anything.


Tips For Carp Rod And Reel Setups

Here are some tips to help you pick the right combo for your next carp fishing trip.

  • Get a long rod. Long rods will really help you when tossing boilies, and they’ll help you fight the carp in a more graceful way.
  •  Pick a balanced reel. You don’t need a clunky reel to catch carp. They’re strong, but they’re not Goliath Grouper. Pick a reel that isn’t too small, but it should still have plenty of strength.
  • Consider the line that you’ll be using with your favorite rig. Different rods and reels handle various lines differently. Make sure to check the line rating on any rod or reel that you buy, and see what other fishermen have said about the line they use with certain products.


Final Thoughts

Personally, I like the Daiwa, but I’ll admit that, that has a lot to do with brand recognition. Both of the Okumas are perfectly valid options.

A good carp rod and reel combo has to be able to toss boilies across ponds, and it has to be able to handle the strength of larger carp. All of the combos I’ve reviewed today are more than capable of doing those things, but each one behaves differently. Pick one that really suits your needs.


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