Back to top

Can I Use Carp Rod For Surf Fishing?

carp rod for surf fishing
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.

Carp rods can vary in functionality. The main point to think about these rods is their action. Some rods can flex throughout the entire blank, which gives you more versatility when playing with the fish. 

The most popular models of carp rods are those which offer medium action. With that in mind, you may wonder if you can use your carp rod for surf fishing.

It is possible to go surf fishing with a carp rod. You will want a rod with a test curve of between 3 and 4 pounds. The lead should weigh, at most, 5 ounces. As carp rods are freshwater rods, you will need to wash them after your excursion to the sea thoroughly.

This article will run you through what you need to know to use your carp rod for surf fishing.

What Is Meant By The Test Curve of A Carp Rod?

When you jump online to learn about any fishing rodOpens in a new tab., you may find some people referring to test curves. With carp rods, it is recommended that they have a test curve of 3 to 5 pounds.

What does that mean? The test curve refers to the weight your rod needs to flex to a 90⁰ angle.

Rods rated at 3 pounds test curve are great for any fishing. If you want a rod that offers good casting capability, go for one with a 3.5 to 3.75-pound test curve. 

Anything with a test curve less than 3 pounds will still be okay, yet it won’t be that effective at casting.

Since surf fishing is about getting your line in the right spot in the sea, you will want a carp rod with a test curve of 3.5 pounds or higher.

Is A Shorter Carp Rod Okay For Surf Fishing?

With surf fishing, longer rods are the better option. This is because the casting ability of these rods is higher than that of shorter rods.

If you want to catch fish in the front of the surfOpens in a new tab., you could get away with a 6-foot carp rod. However, it pays to use a rod 8 to 11 feet longOpens in a new tab. for further out fish.

Another issue with using a smaller rod is that it confines you regarding reel size. You could try putting a 6000-size reel onto the rod, but the balance is affected.

When casting and playing with a bigger fish, you struggle to control the rod.

The Carp Rod’s Power And Action

Two specifications must be considered when using your carp rod for surf fishing: its power and action. The power and action you need vary according to your fishing type.

Get these wrong, and you can find that you have ruined your fishing rod. Online fishing forums contain personal accounts of anglers who lament having taken their carp rod to do a spot of surf fishing. 

The result for these individuals was a rod that snapped against the pressure from surf fishing.

A Rod’s Power

When referring to a rod’s power, we are talking about the amount of pressure needed to flex the rod. There are six different power ratings:

  1. Ultra-Light: Ideal for lures ranging from 1/32oz to 3/8oz
  2. Light: Use lures between 1/16oz to 1/8oz
  3. Medium-Light: The best lures for this power rating are those weighing 1/8oz to 1/2oz
  4. Medium: A popular power range as it provides versatility regarding fishing options. It can support lures between 1/4oz to 3/4oz.
  5. Medium-Heavy: Another common choice for anglers. The power rating for this rod can cope with lures weighing 1/3oz to 3/8oz.
  6. Heavy: A heavy rod can handle lures ranging between 3/8oz to 1oz

Placing the heavier than recommended lure on your rod (for example, you have a Medium-Light rod and tie a 3/4oz lure to it) can affect the casting ability of the rod. Also, you risk the rod flexing too much, which can result in the rod snapping.

The Rod’s Action

The action of a rod refers to where it flexes along the blank. There are three types of action:

  1. Fast: The top 20%-30% of the rod flexes against the pressure. This is the most common type of action in rods.
  2. Medium/Moderate: Moderate action rods will bend in the rod’s upper 30% to 40%.
  3. Slow: Rods that are rated as slow flex midway along the blank. They can even flex throughout the entire blank.

What Power And Action Do I Need To Go Surf Fishing With My Carp Rod?

Surf fishing has hidden challenges, such as fish weighing up to 20lbs or more. Also, you have the drag of the tide as the water rushes in and out from the shoreline. This drag can put extra pressure on your line.

If you want to take your carp rod out to do some surf fishing, get a rod with medium to heavy power and fast action. This will serve you well.

What Lure Weight Should I Use With My Carp Rod When Surf Fishing?

Which lure you should use withOpens in a new tab. your carp rod all depends if you are fishing off rocks or casting more into the surf.

Remember, you need to match the right lure with the correct power of your rod. We mentioned the possibility of damaging your rod if the lure is too heavy.

Consider mixing and matching the lure weight to find which ones work best for you. To help you, here are some general suggestions:

Try a 3oz lure with your medium to a heavy rod. If you want to talk about Test Curves, then this type of lure is great from rods with a 3-3.25lb test curve.

You can get away with using a lure that can weigh up to 5oz with a 3.5 test curve rod. Use a rod that offers fast to medium action.

A 3oz lure with 10lb of line and a rod rated with a 2.75lb test curve will serve you well for rock and beach fishing.

What Line Should I Use?

If you plan to do a lot of knot tying on your line, consider going with a monofilament line. This type of line makes the process easier than a braided line.

The strength of the line should be at least 10 pounds. Ideally, you want to go with 20 to 30 pounds as this provides the strength to withstand the play with larger fish.

Braided lines are better for casting than monofilament lines. The main reason is that braided lines won’t twist while casting out.


You have a carp rod and would like to use it for surf fishing. It is possible to do so. To get the most out of your time surf fishing with such a rod, you will want to have one that provides medium to heavy power with fast action. 

This allows you to pull in the larger catches without fear of snapping your rod. To maintain your carp rod, wash it under fresh water when you return from surf fishing. Carp rods can corrode fast.

Zaldy G.

I love feeling the cool ocean spray every time I hit the beach with a rod and a bucket of bait. I love the thrill of feeling bites on my line whenever I hook a big one. And I especially love the pride that comes with cooking a fresh catch and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for stopping by. Let's go catch some fish!

Recent Posts