As a carp fishing beginner, you may be wondering ‘what is a spod rod?’. Many carp anglers fish with four or five rods in their setup; three carp rods, a spod rod and a marker rod.
Throughout this article, we’ll give you an overview of what a spod rod is, how it can help you catch more carp and why most carp anglers have one in their armoury.
What is a spod rod and why do you need one?
A spod rod is essentially a heavier rod with a higher test curve, designed to cast heavy spods to great distances.
Spod rods are typically made up of much higher test curves than standard carp rods. This allows them to easily launch a heavy spod long distance without excess strain on the rod blank.
A standard carp rod will range from 2.5lb test curve to 3.5lb test curve, whereas spod rods are in excess of 4.5lb test curve.
Due to the weight of a spod (especially when filled with spod mix), a spod rod is designed to be a strong rod with a progressive blank which allows you to gain the power needed to cast a full spod. Spods can weigh in excess of 8oz when filled with bait.
Many anglers use spod rods to bait up at long distance, where they cannot reach with other baiting methods such as catapults or throwing sticks.
Alternatively, you may see carp anglers using spod rods at short to medium range when they are choosing to bait up as accurately as possible.
Typical spod rod features
Here are some specs/features you are likely to find on a carp fishing spod rod:
- High test curves of over 4.5lb suitable of launching heavy spods
- 50mm butt rings to reduce friction through the guides on the the cast
- 12 foot length is most common for spod rods
- Matching marker rods
What is a spod?
A spod is a rocket-shaped container that you fill with bait and cast out into the lake. It’s primary aim is to assist in bait delivery, enabling you to dispatch large quantities of bait accurately.
Given the enclosed design of a spod (otherwise known as a bait rocket), they are great for use with almost any bait, including particles, carp pellets, boilies and specifically designed spod mixes.
The makeup of a spod can vary depending on the brand that you choose, and typically they are supplied with few or no holes.
You can guarantee that they all have one common feature though; a buoyant nose cone.
As soon as your spod hits the water, the buoyant nose cone enables the spod to flip upside down and empty your bait into your swim.
Given the aerodynamic nature of a spod, they are ideal for those who like to fish at range.
With the right spod rod and reel, you can easily achieve a casting distance in excess of 100 yards with a fully loaded spod.
Using a spod rod to bait up
Here’s the process of using a spod rod and reel which you can follow during your next fishing trip.
This is just a general process that you may want to go through. Just remember, you should chop and change your tactics depending on the carp fishing scenario in front of you.
- Find a feature to fish to – First and foremost, you’re going to want to find the fish or any underwater features that you can accurately fish to.It could be that you see carp jumping in certain swims or you are within casting distance of lily pads or reed beds where carp like to hold up.
- Judge your range – Set up your spod rod and reel (or marker rod) and tie a bare lead on the end of the mainline in place of the spod.Cast the bare lead in the direction of where you want to fish or discover more about the lake bed.
- Use your line clip to hit the same distance – As soon as you find an area of the lake bed that you wish to fish, clip the line under the line clip on your reel.This will enable you to hit the same distance on your next cast.It will also stop you overcooking your next cast, disturbing the swim or annoying the other angler opposite.
- Swap your lead for an empty spod – If you used your spod rod for leading around, swap the lead for an empty spod after you have successfully clipped up.If you used a marker rod for leading around, use wrapping sticks to measure the distance and copy it with your spod rod.
- Fill your spod and start casting – Fill your spod with baits and cast towards your marker float or far bank marker. Judge the distance and feather the cast down with your finger until it hits the line clip.Don’t cast too far or your spod will hit the line clip and bounce back, resulting in your bait spreading over a large area.
- Retrieve the spod – When the spod hits the water, give it time to tip up and release all the bait. A few lifts of the spod rod can help to release any excess bait stuck in the spod. You’re then ready to retrieve the spod and start all over again.
Tips to help you use a spod rod accurately
Use a marker float
Accuracy is everything when it comes to spodding.
The most successful anglers in carp fishing are those who are able to fish to the same spot accurately.
If you’re fishing in open water, you may opt to have a marker float sat in your swim for a short duration whilst you are spodding.
Whilst you may use your line clip to cast regularly to the correct distance, it can be hard to judge casting direction if you don’t have a good far bank marker like a tree or pylon.
Using a marker float in this scenario is ideal as you can aim for the same area and drop your bait in the same place every time.
Hit the clip on your spod reel
Most purpose-built spod reels have a heavy-duty line clip designed to put up with the rigours of constant spod casting. Be sure to use it to ensure that you cast to the same spot every time.
To ensure that you’re clipping up at the right distance every time, invest in wrap sticks so that you can measure the distance out.
Use a shock leader on your main line to cast extreme distances
The weight of a spod can put excess strain on your line, especially when casting to the horizon.
A spodding shock leader can help in this situation, giving you some extra strength to prevent crack offs.
A shock leader is also great for giving you extra confidence to really launch the spod a great distance.
Keep your bait up high
Spodding can be a rigorous process, particular if you’re an angler who likes to put out large beds of bait.
Constantly hunching over to fill a spod full of small baits isn’t great for your back, so try to keep your spod set up high.
Many leading brands are now producing spod stands that enable you to keep your bait up high and rest your spod rod on whilst preparing bait.
You’ll notice that your spodding becomes much more accurate once you get into a rhythm and keep everything close to hand.
Use a finger stall
Spod braid is often very fine in diameter, making it easy to cut into your finger when casting a heavy spod.
It’s vital that you invest in a good quality finger stall to protect your casting finger from any deep cuts.
Keep the line on your spod reel wet
Braid on a spod reel can become dry, resulting in tip wraps and crack offs which can be time-consuming to deal with during your session.
Bet sure to keep a bucket of water to hand so that you can keep wetting the line on your reel after every few casts.
What is needed for a spod rod?
Here’s what you will need to spod successfully on your next session:
- Spod Rod (or dual spod marker rod)
- Big Pit Reel (or dedicated spod reel)
- Spod Braid (or similar sort of braided line)
- Shock Leader
- Spod or Spomb
- Finger Stall
- Buckets (stacked at hip height) or purpose-built spod bucket stand
- Water bucket
- Wrap sticks
Spod Rod Alternatives
There are times when you may be able to get away without using a dedicated spod rod. Here are some other ways that you can bait up accurately without the use of a spod rod:
If you are just using boilies, a throwing stick is an ideal way to bait up without casting.
Obviously throwing sticks are nowhere near as accurate as spods, so just remember that you’ll be baiting and fishing over a wider area of free offerings.
Catapult range is generally quite limited, however they remain an excellent tool for delivering bait at short range.
They are also excellent when you want to keep disturbance to a minimum, such as stalking in the edge or fishing smaller venues.
Like them or not, bait boats have a place in modern day carp fishing. They are an excellent tool for any angler who wants to drop their rig in a confined space.
No matter how well you can spod accurately, it’s very rare that you can beat a boat when it comes to creating a small pile of free offerings around your hookbait.
It’s rare that you see groundbait pouches being used whilst fishing these days, but they offer an excellent alternative to spodding if you are using groundbait balls.
It’s essentially a catapult pouch but attached to your mainline where the spod would usually be.
You can load this up with large, pre-moulded balls of groundbait and launch them a much further distance than you would be able to throw them.
You also have the benefit of not having to reel in an empty spod too after your cast.
This is very much an under-utilised baiting method, but one that can be very effective, especially when method feeder fishing.
Benefits of using a spod rod and reel
Spodding has remained one of the most popular forms of baiting up in carp fishing, and here are a few reasons why:
- It’s super accurate after you have clipped up and got into a rhythm of hitting the same area every time
- You can use almost any carp bait in a spod, even small baits such as pellets, hemp and pidgeon conditioner (which is superb value as a spod mix by the way)
- You can dispatch a large amount of bait in a short period of time
- You can use all manner of attractants in a spod, including liquids and cloudy mixes that help draw more carp into your swim
- A spod rod and reel loaded with braided line can also be used for marker work, meaning that you don’t need to a separate rod for both jobs
- You can put your free offerings out accurately when fishing at range (which you can’t do with a catapult or boilie stick
Carp fishing spod rods to consider
There are plenty of spod rods to consider if you are just getting started with this means of bait application.
Many of the leading brands have spod rods to accompany their range of fishing rods, with excellent value spod rod and reel combos available too.
Here are just a few that have good reviews online;
Wychwood Dispatch Spod Rod & Reel
This is the setup that I use for my fishing over the past four years and I’ve found it to be good value for money.
The rod and reel are well balanced and it comes with 30lb braid already loaded on the reel which is an added bonus.
The rod itself has plenty of backbone for the cast, but enough action in the tip too. For this reason, I use only this rod for my spod marker work.
Sonik Vader X Spod Marker Rod and Reel
The Sonik Vader range is well-known for being good value for money, so it was good to see them launch a spod marker rod to accompany their popular range of fishing rods.
Like the Wychwood rod above, the Sonik Vader also comes with a dedicated spod reel loaded with 20lb braid.
Can you use a normal rod to spod?
In theory, you can use a normal rod to spod. However, it depends entirely on the weight of the spod and test curve of the rod in question. A standard carp fishing rod should be able to handle a small Gardner Bait Rocket, but nothing bigger than that.
Do you really need a spod rod?
You only need a spod rod if you intend on spodding as a method of bait delivery.
Due to the weight of a fully loaded spod, it is recommended that you do not try to cast it with a regular fishing rod.
About the writer
I’m Rob, Carp Squad’s main contributor. I’ve been carp fishing on and off for 15 years, but the bug is well and truly back at the moment. Hopefully the articles I write on here help you put more carp on the bank.