With more years experience than he'd like to admit to Ian Chillcott has learnt a thing or two about rods. The wide range of carp rods on the market is enough to bamboozle any angler, but it comes with good reason. In this article Chilly looks at the tools he uses and why he has a number of different rods in his armoury.

It may surprise some of you, but when I started fishing solely for carp back in the 1980’s, there were far more important things to consider than how good my set up looked. Yeah, I agree “looking good” is much better than appearing like you haven’t got a clue. However, I have always felt “doing good” is a far better way of directing our thoughts. Much of those considerations will revolve around whether the gear is up to the job we expect of it, and can the equipment handle the task we set? There can be little point fishing a snaggy water, if your mainline and associated items can’t handle the conditions; and likewise, what’s the point of fishing a large water where distance is an issue if you’re not armed with the tools to cover the casting? Whilst these are all very salient points to note, there can be no denying that we all go fishing for fun, don’t we? So why not try and ensure the tackle we use enhances the fun factor as much as possible.The perfect shot of my rods in action.Can the equipment handle the tasks we set?

There is one very noticeable difference when looking back at my ‘caveman’ days, and that is how good my rods looked, as well as being able to cope with every situation I came across. It’s a subject many seem to skip over when selecting a rod and reel combination, and certainly one which is worth looking at in a bit more detail. I guess we’ve all searched for a rod that covers every eventuality, but it’s just not possible to cover all the bases with just one rod and reel set up. It’s why Fox have created rods for all occasions, and for very specific reasons, too. A rod built for surface fishing like the Horizon X3 12ft 2.25lb TC Floater Rod, is going to have a very soft through action, which enables the angler to use much lighter mainlines and hooklinks. Tackle and tactics which are so necessary for tempting carp off the top. Marker rods and Spod rods need to be completely different too. Although you aren’t going to be bending them in battle with a carp, they have a vital part to play in our angling. A Marker Rod needs to be able to cast a relatively heavy lead (the heavier the lead, the more information you receive at your fingertips), but also have the sensitivity in the tip section to transmit information about the lakebed. A Spod Rod, however, needs none of this sensitivity and relies totally on the power to cast heavy baiting devices around. The way those rods are constructed, therefore, have to be different. And much the same can be said for the rods which we have to stare at the butts of, whilst waiting for a bite.Spod and marker rods are built to different specifications.

I have always felt “doing good” is better than “looking good”. Wraysbury’s mallins in 1997.