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Post 24 Oct 2020, 21:09 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 46
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Hey peeps,

I’m really getting into the carp fishing at the moment and am thinking about getting a dedicated carp rod. I’ve got a couple of ideas but wanted to see if any of you carp chasers had any suggestions based on the water, flies and fish that I see.

The water I fish ranges from a small drain to lakes. The small stream kinda looks like this with limited casting space and some overhanging trees. Can get really tight in parts.



The flies that I fish are typically lightly weighted with medium bead chain eyes or small brass dumbbells in sizes 6-8, but I’ll also occasionally fish soft hackles or flies with lead dumbbells.



Fish average about 20 inches and 3-4 pounds, but there are some chunks around including some double figure fish. I think the very largest I have seen may be pushing 20lb.

Here are a slightly smaller than average fish and a larger than average fish.

[youtube][/youtube]



Casting distances are usually between 15-30 feet, so a rod that can load well at short distances would be nice. One of the rivers is pretty snaggy, so a bit of backbone would be good. Tippet strength I fish is usually 6lb, but I’ll go up to 12 among the sticks.

Interested to hear your thoughts. Carp have become all consuming for me. It’s currently all I fish for. I’m currently using 4 weights to fish for them, but that’s only cos i broke all my other rods lol.

Edit, I should probably mention that I was leaning towards a new rod, but vintage suggestions always welcome!!!


Last edited by kevinng on 25 Oct 2020, 06:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 24 Oct 2020, 21:22 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/15/10
Posts: 567
Location: Elizabethtown & Germania, PA
You'll likely get better suggestions, but I think Chris Barclay's 777 would be great.


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Post 24 Oct 2020, 21:45 • #3 
Guide
Joined: 09/10/18
Posts: 116
Location: Alberta, Canada
When I lived in Nebraska I would fly fish for carp all the time. I used an 8' 6wt Hardy Fibalite and it worked great. Handled many fish north of the 2' mark. In flowing water (I mainly fished them in a creek), I found San Juan worms are really effective. The biggest thing about carp is to observe them and learn their behaviours in a given body of water. If you do that, I've found you can have pretty predictable and consistent results. I've caught lots of carp (including grassies) on dry flies, too. I've attached a picture of an average carp around Lincoln, NE.



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Post 25 Oct 2020, 07:57 • #4 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 46
Location: Perth, Western Australia
salvelinus wrote:
but I think Chris Barclay's 777 would be great.


I’ve been mostly looking at 6 weights, but That’s a great suggestion!


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Post 25 Oct 2020, 08:39 • #5 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 880
Location: US-MO
Split the difference----I have always favored 7 wt. ----easier to cast than a 8 wt. but stronger than a 6 wt..
IMHO.


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Post 25 Oct 2020, 11:56 • #6 
Guide
Joined: 09/10/18
Posts: 116
Location: Alberta, Canada
midmofly wrote:
Split the difference----I have always favored 7 wt.


I could see a 7wt. being pretty ideal for a dedicated carp rod. A 6wt. gets the job done, but a little more power wouldn't hurt, particularly if you're going to have to try and steer them away from sticks, weed matts, etc.


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Post 26 Oct 2020, 09:07 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 87
Location: Candler, NC
Sorry I can't advise on new rods. For vintage selections, I would recommend Fenwick FF80 or FF85, with a 7 weight line to suit.


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Post 26 Oct 2020, 14:11 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/27/14
Posts: 1452
Location: ON, Canada
Vintage - yeah find any Fenwick 7wt. I prefer the 8ft rods (FF80 and FF807), but the 8’6” rods (FF85 and FF857) a great too.


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Post 26 Oct 2020, 14:49 • #9 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7089
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Find an old Fenwick FF756 two piece rod. It is short enough for cramped quarters, but is also fine for open water. The rod is labeled for a 6 weight line, but I think it fishes just as well with a WF7. It was an all-purpose model for the one fly rod fisherman (with a Medalist reel, of course).

Fenwick sold a few tons of FF756s during the 70s. There are still a couple tons of them left on the used market. They are commonly available at a nice price. For that matter, buy a couple to have them rigged and ready to go.


Tom


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Post 26 Oct 2020, 18:26 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1349
Location: urban Colorado
the 756 is an excellent idea.. short enough to handle well on the drain, sufficient for casting on lakes. My 756-4 with a handsome tail,

Image

I'd also second the FF807 as it has a bit more backbone, in case you run into one of the bigger fish.
I like a longer rod for carp since a lot of times I find myself sneaking up and dapping for them, rather than casting. For this I like the FF856 and 857. There are lots of these to be had cheaply since no-one else much likes the longer old glass. Not sure about the Aus used rod market, and it might be tough to find someone willing to ship from the USA.

For a new rod the Epic 686 looks terrific. I've heard good things about the Epic rods and presumably they'd be a bit easier to get in Aus, from New Zealand..


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Post 27 Oct 2020, 07:58 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 46
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Quote:
Not sure about the Aus used rod market, and it might be tough to find someone willing to ship from the USA.

For a new rod the Epic 686 looks terrific. I've heard good things about the Epic rods and presumably they'd be a bit easier to get in Aus, from New Zealand..


The Aus used rod market for Fenwicks is non-existent. Hell, trying to test cast a rod before purchase is difficult enough. Epics are pretty darned expensive with the exchange rate. Most, if not all the US builders are cheaper. I did consider the Epic, but was looking at shorter rods too. I've mostly fished with my Steffen 8' 3/4 and the black Scott 756/4, and I liked the length. Definitely done plenty of dapping - those carp are sooooo spooky!

I've also considered an Echo BAG quick shot in the 6, but I hear it's pretty heavy. Trying to find something with a backbone yet a sensitive tip for those short distance casts.

Was considering another Steffen since I enjoyed the 8' 3/4 so much but a bit torn between the 8' 5/6 and the 8.5' 6/7. Also a bit sad that Mark isn't making 4-piece rods anymore.


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Post 27 Oct 2020, 09:39 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4460
Location: US-MT
Whatever rod you get, why use 6lb tippet??? I would certainly go to a stronger tippet unless you like tying flies and losing fish.

I used to carp fish a LOT in the Columbia and Missouri drainages, a 6 or 7wt, you pick the length. Have fun, post pictures!!


Last edited by majicwrench on 27 Oct 2020, 11:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 27 Oct 2020, 10:27 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 08/25/08
Posts: 1456
Location: Delton, MI
I don’t fish carp a lot but still chase them about 5 or 6 times a year. I find my Steffen 78 8’3” 3pc with a 7wt line to be a great compromise rod between lakes and streams for carp. Steffen no longer builds them but the old Fenwick FF837 8’3” 7wt 2pc or the current Fenglass FG837-3 8’3” 7wt 3pc should work admirably well.


Last edited by CrustyBugger on 27 Oct 2020, 10:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 27 Oct 2020, 10:44 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/27/14
Posts: 1452
Location: ON, Canada
Well, if Steffen is your only option, then I suppose the 8'6" 6/7 might be ok. ;)


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Post 27 Oct 2020, 14:46 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 01/26/07
Posts: 1264
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
Have you given any thought to a CTS blank from New Zealand? You could order a custom Quartz 686 with options of increasing butt and tip weight. If you can't build it up yourself, you could surely find somebody who could do it for you. Seems like it would be much less expensive than having a rod built in the US and shipped to Australia. I have a rod built on the 376 blank and it has a wonderful action.

Larry


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Post 28 Oct 2020, 02:36 • #16 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 46
Location: Perth, Western Australia
majicwrench wrote:
Whatever rod you get, why use 6lb tippet???


We seem to fish light here. A lot of guys in the Australian carp scene fish with 3 or 4 weights... Including myself. So far, the only time I've been broken off was when I caught my rod tip in some brush. Otherwise, the 6-7lb tippet has handled them acceptably.

Perhaps we have smaller fish. My average fish here is probably around 4 lb (I'm not sure, I don't weigh them, so whatever 20" is). Probably because they're considered pests over here and tend to get pulled out by our equivalent of Fish and Game.


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Post 28 Oct 2020, 09:18 • #17 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/19
Posts: 91
I will depend somewhat on your fishing conditions, size of fish. This summer I targeted some in a medium river, very clear conditions, typically a little wind to deal with. I used a 7wt fast action rod because I had to cast fairly far in order to not spook them. They ranged anywhere from 2ft to 3.5 ft long. I have a 6wt in the same rod, which would be fine, but the 7wt allowed my to cast a little quicker and further.
Not sure if that helps; just my experience.


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Post 28 Oct 2020, 09:34 • #18 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8139
Location: US-ME
Size the rod line weight to the size of the flies typically used--assuming you want to flycast them whereby the weight of the line carries the fly. Size the leader and tippet to turn over and straighten as the energy of the cast dissipates. Heavy flies in the sizes you mention can be flopped out there with light lines and tackle but casting will be more effortless with a balanced outfit. Seven or 8 weight. Length according to water and bankside conditions.


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Post 28 Oct 2020, 10:49 • #19 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2135
Location: Georgia
Is the Cabela’s CGR 7/8 readily available there? I have very limited experience with carp (and none with that rod), but my first reaction to the request was FF807. But if that’s not really available there, it’s not. Looking at the pics of the water, I’d want accuracy at relatively close distances and something to get under the trees. That’s basically how I use the CGR. It’s not a distance caster and doesn’t have quite the same butt strength as the FF807, but it’s got plenty and has kept 17” shoal bass away from the timber. I use a DT7,

If you can get one there easily, it’s cheap enough to take a chance on. And, although I’ve found the rod to be very rugged, that also means it’s readily replaceable; you did say everything but the 4 weight’s been broken.


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Post 30 Oct 2020, 20:15 • #20 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 46
Location: Perth, Western Australia
whrlpool wrote:
Size the rod line weight to the size of the flies typically used


Thanks whrlpool. I have thought about that a fair bit, hence looking at 6 and 7 weights in about the 8’ length. I’m definitely guilty of fishing as light as possible a lot of the time mostly as it increases my enjoyment level. I usually don’t fish so light that the fish are placed under undue stress.


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Post 01 Nov 2020, 23:32 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/14/11
Posts: 1010
Location: Chicago Western Suburbs
Upstreeam wrote:
Is the Cabela’s CGR 7/8 readily available there? I have very limited experience with carp (and none with that rod), but my first reaction to the request was FF807. But if that’s not really available there, it’s not. Looking at the pics of the water, I’d want accuracy at relatively close distances and something to get under the trees. That’s basically how I use the CGR. It’s not a distance caster and doesn’t have quite the same butt strength as the FF807, but it’s got plenty and has kept 17” shoal bass away from the timber. I use a DT7,

If you can get one there easily, it’s cheap enough to take a chance on. And, although I’ve found the rod to be very rugged, that also means it’s readily replaceable; you did say everything but the 4 weight’s been broken.

I would second the Cabelas CGR 7/8 rod. While I seldom fish for carp it is an excellent small stream rod for smallmouth and largemouth bass. It looks like it would be a good match for the drainage canals you fish. I have caught the occasional carp while bass fishing and it handles 18” carp just fine. I pair mine up with a 7 weight Cortland peach WF 7-F line. It does a nice job of turning over heavily weighted Clouser minnows.


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Post 02 Nov 2020, 06:54 • #22 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/24/11
Posts: 977
Location: Belgium
Second the FF 756 - it has a fine tip and strong butt and is 7'6" which looks about right for your water. It's cheap enough you can gamble on an ebay rod without test casting it. I can't think of anything better especially considering the price.

The Epic 805 will work well even if it's a bit long er than what I would want.

A custom CTS can be also be ordered to fit the bill if you feel like going down that route - they are excellent.


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Post 28 Apr 2021, 06:04 • #23 
Sport
Joined: 05/20/18
Posts: 46
Location: Perth, Western Australia
I just wanted to give you all an update in my search for the perfect carp rod.

I’be been hovering on the auction site and these forums looking to find a 3-number four piece Fenwick. I’d had a couple of shots at FF756-4s and FF806-4s, but didn’t end up pulling the trigger for a variety of reasons.

Eventually, a FF806-4 showed up on the auction site for a reasonable price that also had overseas shipping and I pulled the trigger. It’s a P serial number in pretty good condition and I’m pretty sure it was owned by one of you at some stage. There’s a bit of history on the original tube with a name tag, as well as someone’s phone number engraved in several spots. Adds to the character IMO.

It arrived just as our city went into a 3-day lockdown, so my plans to take it fishing were replaced by a session on the arena for a casting session with an SA Amplitude Infinity Smooth on an Orvis hydros IV. It balances pretty well with this combo. My impressions were that the swing weight was quite heavy but the rod thru nice loops from 30-60 feet and was pretty accurate, particularly under 50. I didn’t try other lines mostly cos I’m pretty lazy.

I finally got to take it out today. Mask mandate was still in place but excuse the dodgy mask wearing. In the heat of the moment, I completely forgot about the swing weight and had a really good time with the rod. Mostly short range flicks but had no complaints. I really should take it out on one of the lakes but they’re difficult to fish at the moment.



Ended up with one to the net, but it was a better than average fish for the water at 27”, my second best ever. The FF806-4 handled itself very well with 12lb tippet. Had a nice strong butt which was able to apply lots of pressure and keep the fish out of the sticks. Had a stranger stop by and helpfully assist with the grip and grin, and we had a lively debate about the merits of CNR for this species in this country.




As a bonus, I picked up a couple of almond mushrooms next to the car. Breakfast for tomorrow sorted!



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Post 28 Apr 2021, 06:21 • #24 
Guide
Joined: 07/07/19
Posts: 107
Location: US-WI
Glad you are enjoying your 806-4. Don’t be afraid to try out a 7-wt line on it. Mine sings with it.
Tangentially related question - what’s your preferred wild mushroom preparation/recipe?


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Post 28 Apr 2021, 07:51 • #25 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2135
Location: Georgia
Glad you were able to get a rod shipped to you. I’ve got a couple of 4-piece Fenwicks - not the FF806-4, but I’m sure it’s a good one.


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