5 Best Spod Rods For Precision Baiting

Last Updated on 28 January 2024 by James Bevan

The Best Spod Rods of 2023 main image

Spodding or spombing is a fantastic method to accurately bait your swim with a large amount of bait.  But to do this efficiently you need the right tools for the job, and the main carp fishing tool you need is a decent spod rod.

If this is what you are looking for then you have come to the right place. Whether you’re watching your budget or ready to splurge I’ve got you covered with the best spod rods on the market today. I also dive into whether you should double up your spod rod as your marker rod too, and help you save some more of those precious pennies.

Let’s get into this!

Quick Summary:

If you are in a rush here are the spod rods that were top scorers in our tests with a quick link to a retailer that offers a great price…

Top Overall Spod Rod – Daiwa Infinity X45
Budget Option – Daiwa Black Widow XT
Spod & Marker Combined – Trakker Propel
10ft Spod Rod – Sonik Xtractor
Retractable Option – Onyx Quickdraw

If you would like more detail on what these rods scored and why they are considered the best you can skip straight to the reviews below:

What To Look For in a Good Spod Rod

The traits of a good spod rod are similar to those of a top standard carp rod. These traits and attributes are all part of the overall makeup of the rod and include the following…

Test Curve

Some anglers have the attitude that bigger is always better when it comes to spod rods. While spod rods are, for the most part, longer, more powerful rods than other models, coming in at test curves of 4+ lbs, this isn’t always as much of an advantage as you might think.

If, for instance, you’re primarily using small spods, then a massive spod rod will actually cast with less accuracy and power than a regular 3.5lb test curve carp rod would. While most anglers will prefer the flexibility that a rod sporting a greater test curve can offer, this is something that’s worth keeping in mind.

With that being said, there’s a reason that the majority of spod rods have test curves of 4 lbs or higher. These rods are seriously powerful pieces of kit and will allow you to effortlessly cast heavy, loaded spods at great distances with ease.

Perhaps the majority of standard spod rods will fall somewhere between 4.5 and 5 lbs in terms of test curves; rods with test curves of up to 6 lbs are also available, but these are fairly specialised. I’d argue that, for the majority of UK waters, a 4.5lb spod rod is more than sufficient, with anything heavier than that being more or less overkill.

Top Tip: – If you need some more help on test curves for carp rods in general you can check out our full carp rod test curve guide and calculator here

Length

Generally, spod rods come in lengths of 12 feet or more. This is advantageous for longer casts; longer rods are usually more powerful, thereby allowing you to cast further.

Currently, though, more and more spod rods are being manufactured at lengths of 10 and even 9 feet. This is to accommodate anglers who prefer fishing with a shorter rod; if this is the case for you, then you might like a shorter spod rod.

Note that shorter rods won’t usually be able to handle longer casts with spods on larger venues, though, so if you’re looking for a spod rod that offers the best possible performance, I’d recommend that you invest in a 12 or 13-foot model.

Swims Comparisons for spod rod length

A picture of 2 different swims that may require different spod rod lengths

Ring Size

You’ll ideally want your spod rod to have 50mm rings wherever possible, especially as the first butt ring. 50mm rings have a number of advantages over their 40mm counterparts; they typically give the line more freedom with less friction, allowing for longer casts, and are less prone to line frap.

Both of these advantages are especially apparent when spodding, which typically involves larger casts than other angling styles.

Action

Quality spod rods will generally boast progressive action through their length. This allows the rod to transfer the maximum amount of power during the cast, helping the spod travel further with minimum resistance or inefficiency.

Marker Rod Option

If you are looking for a spod fishing rod that can double up as a marker rod, you might want to consider one with depth markings on the blank as these can be really useful to identify depths accurately and ultimately help your carp fishing.

However, this shouldn’t be a critical determinant when choosing a spod rod. Most spod rods can effectively serve as marker rods as well, provided that you use a braid for your reel line.

These rods often feature a somewhat softer tip, which can facilitate feature detection by transmitting any lead movement up the blank.

Is it better to purchase a combined spod marker rod or separate ones?

This is a valid question, as the choice can significantly impact your angling experience. Both scenarios provide advantages and disadvantages.

The benefits of a combined spod/marker rod:

  • It’s cost-effective: Purchasing a single rod that combines both functions can save you money compared to buying separate rods for each task.
  • It saves on space: Carrying one rod means less gear, which can be especially useful if you have limited storage or if you need to carry your equipment over long distances.
  • It simplifies your setup: With the current trend of ‘wrapping up’ to ensure you hit the same spot every time, you may find yourself not needing to actually have a visual marker. However, you may still need to have the sensitivity in the rod to ‘feel’ the contours of the water bed. A one-rod solution that does it all far simpler and requires one less rod to set up.
An example of markings on a marker rod

An example of the useful markings on a marker rod

The disadvantages of a combined spod/marker rod:

There are some reasons why you might want to opt for separate spod and marker rods, these include the following:

  • Precision: A dedicated marker rod is designed to help you find features on the lake bed, and it may offer better sensitivity and control compared to a combined rod. Similarly, a dedicated spod rod is built to withstand the pressure of casting full and heavy spods and spombs.
  • Versatility: Having separate rods allows you to customise your setup to suit your needs. For example, you can choose a spod rod with the right test curve for the size and weight of your spods, and a marker rod with the sensitivity needed for searching out specific features or depths.
  • Optimal performance: Using dedicated rods for each task will ensure the best possible performance in terms of accuracy and comfort during your angling sessions.

Whether you choose to go for a combined spod/marker rod or separate ones will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and angling style. Both options have their merits, so decide which solution best suits your needs.

Why Are Spod Rods Better Than Regular Carp Rods for Baiting?

While regular carp rods that are designed for casting long distances can be used for spodding or spombing, spod rods offer some key advantages that make them a superior choice for this purpose.

Firstly, spod rods are built with stronger materials, higher test curves, and faster actions than regular carp rods. This combination makes them ideal for spodding and spombing out bait at long distances with much greater precision and accuracy and with a reduced risk of breakages and snap-offs.

Another benefit of using a purpose-made spod rod over a carp fishing rod is its robust construction. The build of a rod designed for spodding has the ability to reduce the strain on both the angler and the actual components of the rod itself during baiting. Continuous spodding is tiring, especially if you are using a tool that isn’t made for the job at hand.

Top Tip: – To help reduce the strain on your fishing gear whilst spodding, you may want to use a shock leader. You can check out our full guide on using a shock leader for spodding here.

How The Best Spod Rods Were Chosen

Selecting the top spod rods involves more than just a glance. We toss ’em, test ’em, and get a real feel for their build, balance, and bang-for-your-buck value.

Pair that with the lowdown from other anglers and expert opinions, and you’ve got a list that’s reeled in with genuine insight and first-hand experience. The rods picked in this guide are all proven to be of a decent quality that won’t let you down.

Best Overall: Daiwa Infinity X45 Spod Rod

Daiwa Infinity X45 Spod Rod picture
Overall Rating9.3

Something that really struck me about the Infinity X45 Spod Rod was how much casting power it truly has. Despite its High Volume Fibre blank being, on the whole, incredibly lightweight it offers a surprisingly fast action.

Thanks to this, the rod simply handles long-distance spod casts with ease. The SeaGuide TDG Rings help the line travel smoothly during casts, even with heavy spombs attached, and the Japanese Shrink Grip Handle is probably one of the best I’ve ever tried for long-distance casting.

To put it into context on how smooth and fluid this rod casts, I was able to reach a spot at 120 yards with a fully loaded spod with relative ease, and I am by far, nowhere near, a good distance caster.

The Infinity X45 spod rod is ergonomic and has plenty of ‘stick,’ making it easier for you to put much more power into each of your casts; trust me, it makes a difference!

Additionally, I found the ALPS ARD reel seat to be incredibly solid. I have no doubt that this could lock even the chunkiest of spod reels in place without a millimetre of movement.

All in all the Daiwa Infinity X45 spod rod is the best out there and matches the incredible performance of the rest of the Infinity X45 range. If you can afford it, it’s a must-purchase.

Pros

  • Uses Daiwas V-joint technology and 45-degree carbon layering
  • Casts really heavy and loaded spods and spombs accurately and with limited effort
  • Rock solid reel seat
  • Beautifully sleek finish to the rod
  • Extremely lightweight yet extremely powerful
  • A real feel of quality in your hands

Cons

  • It’s not the cheapest rod out there but what you do get is a real quality product for your money
  • Only available in a 12-foot length

Best Budget Option: Daiwa Black Widow XT Spod

Daiwa Infinity X45 Spod Rod picture
Overall Rating8

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly, reliable spod rod, it’s hard to overlook the Daiwa Black Widow XT. Daiwa is renowned for producing some of the most reliable angling gear, and the Black Widow XT Spod is no exception.

The model marries great build quality and performance with a very reasonable price tag, making it a highly appealing option for carpers on a budget looking for a dedicated spod rod.

The Black Widow XT’s carbon fibre blank is both hardy and remarkably lightweight, neatly transferring plenty of power when casting without being too flimsy. With a test curve of 4.5 lbs, I found that this rod is a more than viable option for spodding on the UK’s largest waters.

What’s more, the Daiwa features quality LS 50mm ceramic rings, further allowing for smooth, effortless casting, even with heavy spods and at exceptionally long distances.

In summary, this is a spod rod that absolutely does the job asked of it and does so at an amazing price!

Pros

  • Reliable budget-friendly spod rod that represents great value for money
  • Still made with quality materials despite its low price-point
  • Nice and comfortable, grippy handle
  • Decent DPS-style reel seat that keeps your reel super-tight
  • Fantastic value for money

Cons

  • The blank is chunkier than some of the more premium models
  • Only available in a 12-foot version

Best Spod & Marker Combined: Trakker Propel

Daiwa Infinity X45 Spod Rod picture
Overall Rating8.9

For even the most hard-core of spodders, Trakker’s Propel spod rod is a game-changer. This bad boy is a beast with a 4.5lb test curve and comes in your choice of 12 or 13-ft lengths.

The best part? Its high-quality 36T carbon construction on the tip and +30T on the butt make it stiffer and perfect for reaching those far-off spots. Handcrafted by the Trakker team and put through its paces in rigorous testing, the Propel is a top pick for anyone serious about their spodding and marker work.

High-quality, impressive performance, and good looking to boot – all without breaking the bank. This is not just a rod, it’s your new fishing partner!

Pros

  • Versatility: The rod is designed for both spod and marker work. It is also available in 12 and 13-foot lengths
  • Powerful Fast-Taper Blank: The design of the blank provides substantial power for casting, making it possible to reach long distances accurately
  • Depth Markers: Whipped 1ft and 2ft depth markers are incorporated in the design which is pretty handy
  • Well-thought-out guides: The 50mm butt ring and the anti-frap tip are well set up for distance casting with heavy spods
  • Handle: Comes with a nice and comfortable shrink-wrapped handle with a flared butt

Cons

  • Price: Although the Propel isn’t quite at the premium price points of some of the other elite spod rods, it still comes with a fairly hefty price tag compared to some of the competition

Best 10-Foot Spod Rod: Sonik Xtractor

Daiwa Infinity X45 Spod Rod picture
Overall Rating7.6

When talking spod rods, you don’t usually associate a 9 or10 ft option. But there is a market for it, especially if you are fishing tight swims or need a decent spomb rod for your travels. If this is you then the Sonik Xtractor Spod Rod will be your best mate. Available in 9 and 10ft versions, this bad boy is built tough with its carbon fibre blank construction.

And it’s not just about brawn – the unique M-series DL black guides offer a precision that’ll make your casting sing.

Straight from Sonik’s stable, each Xtractor goes through gruelling tests to ensure it’s up for the challenge. A combo of Japanese shrink rubber handle and a reliable 17mm black DPS reel seat brings together comfort and silky-smooth performance.

If you’re after a top-notch, short spod rod without the jaw-dropping price tag, then the Xtractor is a perfect catch.

Pros

  • The rod packs down into a nice small unit making it ideal for a roaming approach or traveling
  • The blank is lightweight yet quite powerful for a 9 or 10-foot length rod
  • The rod Boasts some great hardware, like its M-series DL guides and Japanese shrink rubber handle
  • It has a good build quality at a very reasonable price, representing great value for money

Cons

  • I would have liked to have seen a 50mm butt ring for the spod rod version of the range
  • It lacks a little bit of overall distance potential compared to a 12 or 13-foot spod rod but this is to be expected

Best Retractable Spod Rod: Onyx Quickdraw

Daiwa Infinity X45 Spod Rod picture
Overall Rating7.3

When it comes to retractable spod rods, the Onyx Quickdraw Spod Rod is top-of-the-line. Developed in a five-year collaboration with Kev Hewitt, it’s a masterpiece that combines balance, strength, and precision.

Its ideal 4.5lb test curve and high-modulus carbon build mean it’s robust, yet flexible, ensuring accurate casting up to impressive distances. Don’t be fooled by its unassuming appearance; this rod is a double threat, adept in marker-float work too with Hewitt himself hailing it as the best he’s ever used.

If you need a spod to take on holiday or are just looking for a quality spod rod option for a roaming approach then this is your ultimate fishing companion.

Pros

  • The quickdraw offers a really neat retractable bottom section to the rod
  • A great option for traveling or for those who love to fish light and use a roaming approach
  • A very comfortable EVA handle
  • The anti-frap tip helps prevent tangles
  • Its a sleek and nice-looking spod rod
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Doesn’t cast as far as a non-retractable 12-foot rod but this is to be expected
  • I would have preferred a 50mm butt ring and a 16mm tip ring as this may provide a few extra yards of distance

FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we get on the topic of the best spod rods:

What is the best test curve for a spod rod?

The best test curve for a spod rod is between 4.5 and 5lb. This test curve offers the strength and power needed to cast a fully loaded spod or spomb at distance.

It is worth noting, however, that the blank shouldn’t be too stiff towards the tip end of a spod rod. It should still have enough flexibility that balances well with the stiff blank to be able to cast efficiently and accurately.

Can you use spod with a 3lb test curve rod?

Technically you can use a spod with a 3lb test curve rod but the total weight of the spod should be very light (up to 4 ounces). This is because a 3lb test curve rod isn’t designed to cast out the heavyweights you find with fully loaded large spods or spombs.

If this is attempted you would find the whole setup unbalanced and as such would lose accuracy and distance. You will also run the risk of actually breaking the rod.

Do I need a leader on my spod rod?

If you are using very heavy, fully loaded spods or spombs, it is good practice to use a shock leader. By doing so you will find casting long distances more efficient and accurate whereas if you don’t, you run the risk of crack-offs or rod breakages.

You can use a spod rod without a leader however the weight should be considerably less and you would be best advised to use a strong braided line.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, choosing the right spod rod boils down to your angling needs, personal preferences, and budget.

Whether you opt for the top-end Daiwa Infinity X45, the budget-friendly Daiwa Black Widow XT, the multi-tasking Trakker Propel, or the compact Sonik Xtractor, a good spod rod can make a significant difference to your baiting strategy.

Remember, the best spod rod is the one that suits your style of fishing, is comfortable for you to use, and fits your budget. With the detailed reviews and information provided in this guide, you should be well-equipped to make an informed choice.

Happy casting!

You can check out these spod rods and more in our spod rod review category.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *