Tackling up for Carp on the Fly

Tackling Carp: What equipment do you need!?

Jamie Sandford gives us a quick run down of what gear we will need when we want to target Carp on the fly.

Rods + Reels:

As a general rule of thumb an 9’8# rod will suffice, You can choose to fish lighter or heavier rods to suit the conditions of the water you are fishing and the size of fish you want to target.

When it comes to reels, Choose a reel and spool that will hold ample backing and fly line – Carp are incredibly fast, powerful fish and will have you into the backing in no time!

Lines, Leaders and Tippets:

The water you fish will dictate what strength tippets you require but a good starting point would be anything from 8-12lb mono-filament.

Modern day mono lines have a very fine diameter for their breaking strain so heavier tippets can be used to combat snags and weed without having to compromise on finesse.

Fly Lines – Predominantly ‘Floating lines’ are used and matched to suit the rating and load of the rod you are using, However should you choose to fish a fly on a sinking line casting to ‘bubblers and fizzer’s’ then a sinking line can also be another option.

Leaders can be home tied or shop bought. To incorporate a very simple leader into your fishing that will aid the tippet and fly to turn over on the cast is a stiffer heavier piece of mono behind your tippet, simply connected via a uni-knot. 


There are a variety of Carp Flies on the market and Barbless Flies stock a fantastic varied selection – From Deer Hair Biscuit/Bread Patterns to Beetles and Lures.

There are many flies that can be applied to Carp on the Fly -  You just have to experiment and have fun going through the box, working out what the fish want on the day!

Other Items:

Line Floatant – A small tub of Muscilin is a must, This can be added to the tippet to help keep the line on the surface of the water as well as being added to flies to aid buoyancy if required.

A suitable un-hooking matt and large net are standard when targeting Carp, This will mean the fish are well looked after and any fishery rules are abided by.

A pair of quality forceps are also handy to keep to hand, aiding un-hooking as well as some antiseptic cream should any wounds need treating: If we look after our quarry now they’ll be there for years to come.