The easiest answer is always that it depends but after nearly a decade of angling we don’t think that carp fishing has to be expensive but there are things that can make it particularly pricey like artificial baits.
Style of fishing
You see a lot of pro anglers these days reeling in enormous carp and casting hundreds of yards, the fishing they do requires incredible performance from their equipment which is why it’s so expensive.
However, in most commercial fisheries in the UK, you don’t need that kind of performance especially if you’re just getting started.
A lot of new anglers who are just getting into fishing buy big, beefy rods with 3.75lb test curves with enormous Big-pit reels and expect to have great success on them but often don’t. This is because it takes a ton of practice and proper technique to utilize the rods and reels capabilities.
I remember when my brother and I started out carp fishing, we’d used a basic waggler setup and caught plenty of fish over the years which allowed us to slowly build our experience on how to play fish and how to cast, etc.
Even after a long time of fishing many different ways now, the float/waggler method still remains our favorite, it’s a very active method and you have to watch your float like a hawk otherwise you might miss a bite which makes it so intense and fun!
If you’re looking to start out carp fishing we’d advise you start off with affordable gear and build up your collection as you gain more experience.
A great starting point rod is the Diawa Black Widow G50 in the 12ft, 2.75lb test curve model and a good reel to accompany it is the Black Widow reel.
If you’d like a wider of rods to choose from then check out one of our other articles on best feeder rods
This setup is perfect for new anglers as it offers great performance at a very reasonable price and it allows you to learn the ropes of carp fishing.
What you need to start
If you’re already a carp angler and you’re wondering why new gear is so expensive it’s because there is a high demand for top quality carp gear and people are willing to pay the price for it. However this doesn’t mean that you can’t get good carp to tackle cheap, we’ve used very cheap rods that cost around £40 that have don’t have a huge difference from rods that cost three times as much as them.
We’d only be willing to spend hundreds of pounds on a rod or reel if I was going to need every last feature it has to offer. A lot of the cheaper tackle on the market has improved vastly over the years and they are now capable of doing everything most anglers would want them to. If you’d like to know everything you need for carp fishing, check out our article on Essential gear for carp fishing.
Baits make carp fishing REALLY expensive!
Baits have become a big problem for many carp anglers. Although we strongly believe that carp fishing gear doesn’t have to be expensive, the same can’t be said for baits.
Over the last few years, the carp fishing baits industry has exploded and they are continuously pumping out more and more effective baits.
We love artificial baits, it saves you some time of having to make your own but it has come to a point where the prices for them have just become ridiculous and anglers are just getting ripped off, many anglers agree with us and it has become a real problem.
We understand that angling shops need to make a profit and the amount of money they’re pouring into research and development of baits was always going to result in an inflammation of prices but lots of anglers (ourselves included) didn’t think the prices would shoot up as they have. Take, for instance, we found a pack of small regular boilies at a shop for nearly a £10!
Of course, this can’t be said for everyone and there are still many companies that do produce baits at a reasonable price but overall there has been a steady climb in prices over these last few years.
In order to avoid having to spend money on baits, Make your own.
The idea of making your own boilies at home can be a bit daunting but it’s really not that hard, it does require some practice it does save you a lot of money and we would highly recommend that you try. If you haven’t ever made boilies before, you make want to read our article on how to make boilies.
Another advantage as well as saving money is that they become fully customizable. You can do trial and error to see what works best at the lake your fishing and make the most effective bait possible that is personalized for you, we find this to be a huge advantage as it gives you an unlimited amount of options and Ideas to try out.
Alternatively, you can just use cheaper and more accessible baits like sweetcorn and bread. Both these baits work great and they have caught us hundreds of fish over the years but they do come with some compromises, for example, neither of these baits can take an especially hard cast and they don’t stay whole for a long time underwater.
This makes them great for short sessions where your baits aren’t likely to be in the water for hours and hours. You can always get artificial versions of sweet-corn and bread but that links right back to the original problem of baits being too expensive, however, we have found some really good fake sweetcorn online that has worked well for us, you can find it here.
To conclude, carp fishing gear doesn’t have to be expensive although the top of the range models will be pricey. Baits, however, have become much more expensive over these last few years and in our opinion aren’t worth it.