Sonik Vader X Carp Rod Review

Last Updated on 6 September 2023 by James Bevan

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Sonik is an up and coming that is producing some really good carp gear. One model that has gone down really well on the carp angling scene is the Vader X range.

But why is it so popular and is it worthy of all the hype?

In this Sonik Vader X Carp Rod review, I, alongside some carp rod experts put the rod through its paces and test it against the key criteria that make up a decent carp rod. All attributes get scored and the rod is then compared against its competition.

So, if you are ready, let’s get straight into it.

Overall Review Ratings

Casting & Feel7.3
Playing Fish7.2
Value For Money9

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as of 24 July 2024 18:41

Comparison To Similar Rods

ImageNameOverall RatingPriceTest CurvesLengthsFeaturesAppearanceCasting & FeelPlaying FishValue For Money
Daiwa Black Widow Carp RodDaiwa Black Widow Carp Rod7.6from £36.992.75lb, 3.5lb, 3lb10ft, 12ft, 13ft7.57779.5
Sonik Vader X Carp RodSonik Vader X Carp Rod7.6from £49.9910ft, 12ft, 13ft7.
Fox EOS Pro Carp RodFox EOS Pro Carp Rod7.2from £54.993.5lb, 3lb10ft, 12ft, 13ft77.
Sonik XtractorSonik Xtractor7.3from £39.992.75lb, 3.25lb, 3.5lb, 3lb10ft, 9ft, 6ft7.37.3778
Wychwood Riot Carp RodWychwood Riot Carp Rod7from £39.992.75lb, 3.25lb, 3lb10ft, 12ft, 9ft7.
Sonik Xtractor ReconSonik Xtractor Recon7.3from £54.992.75lb, 3.25lb, 3.5lb, 3lb10ft, 9ft, 6ft7.37.3778
Sonik SKS Commercial Feeder RodSonik SKS Commercial Feeder Rod7.4from £34.99778.5

How The Rod Compares To The Averages

Sonik Vader X7.6
All Carp Rods8.3
All Budget Carp Rods7.3

Quick Summary

Sonik’s Vader X Carp Rod is an excellent offering for beginner carpers, especially those who a looking for a good value all-round rod. It scored an overall rating of 7.6 in the review which is 0.3 points better than the average of the budget carp rods that have been tested.
The rod is available in a variety of test curves and lengths, casts well, and feels good in the hand. While very much on the affordable side, the Vader X certainly doesn’t feel cheap; it’s clearly a well-made and durable product that should stand the test of time, provided it’s taken care of well.
I’d comfortably recommend the Vader X to beginner carpers or anyone looking to pick up a budget-friendly carp rod, provided that they aren’t looking for a rod with a load of ‘bells & whistles’.

Pros & Cons

Here are some benefits and drawbacks of the rod I found when testing:


  • Available in various test curves (2.75, 3, 3.25, and 3.5 lbs) and lengths (10, 12, and 13 feet) – Vader X range also features a 4.5 lb spod rod
  • The blank features progressive action to keep it feeling balanced when playing fish
  • It marries great value for money with good overall performance
  • The 17mm DPS reel seat can accommodate a big pit reel with ease
  • The blank’s anti-scratch finish helps preserve its appearance
  • The ’fold-friendly’ ringing pattern makes transporting the Vader X straightforward


  • Does feel a bit ‘bullish’ when playing fish under the rod tip.
  • The blank is a tad chunkier than its competitors

A Bit About The Sonik Vader X Carp Rod

Sonik Sports is a UK-based angling brand with operations centred in Northumberland. Since its foundation in 2008, the company has grown to manufacture a range of carping and sea rods, as well as angling clothing.

The brand specialises to an extent in making budget-friendly gear, and this becomes quickly apparent when reviewing the Sonik lineup. In addition to the Vader X, models like the Xtractor and the DominatorX are similarly-priced while offering a wide variety of features and great build quality.

The Sonik Vader X Carp Rod is essentially Sonik’s higher-end budget-friendly carp rod. Sonik is an up-and-coming brand and is starting to get a reputation that is known for producing quality and affordable angling gear. The Vader X is no exception; it’s lightweight, durable, well-made, casts well, and feels especially good in the hand when playing fish.

Who’s it ideal for

The Sonik Vader X is especially suited to novice carpers. It’s remarkably beginner-friendly and is largely versatile enough to be used in a variety of different angling applications. The rod is responsive without being too sensitive, casts nicely, and looks great.

The powerful armoured carbon blank is lightweight while still offering progressive action, which makes a real difference when playing fish compared to other, budget-friendly rods. 

With that being said, I think it’s worth pointing out that the rods in the Vader X range are generally best suited to small to medium-sized waters and fish. Anglers looking to fish large venues for specimen-sized carp will likely want to opt for another model, though this is likely to be less relevant to novice carpers who are just starting out in the sport.

The Different Versions Of The Rod

There are many different versions of the Sonik Vader X carp rod. You can check out the variations and the maximum casting distance of these rods in the following table:

Length Test Curve Ideal For Max Cast Distance
10 ft 3lb Smaller venues, close range fishing and stalking 90 yds
12 ft 2.75lb Small to medium venues or close range work 110 yds
12 ft 3lb Small to medium venues. Good all-round rod 130 yds
12 ft 3.25lb Medium to Large venuew. Good all-round rod 140 yds
12 ft 3.5lb Medium to Larger venue where distance casting is required 150 yds
13 ft 3.5lb Large venues for casting long distances 165 yds

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The 5 Attributes The Rod Was Tested Against

As mentioned previously in the article, there are 5 key elements that carp anglers look for in the best rods. These are as follows:

  • Features
  • Appearance
  • Casting & Feel
  • Playing Fish
  • Value For Money

For more detail on the review process please visit the designated review explanation page that outlines how products are reviewed on eTackle.

The Sonik Vader X Carp Rod Review

So having set the scene with where the rod came from and what criteria the rod was tested against let’s now get into how it performed.

First off, let’s see how the experts have rated this rod…

"So they’re finished in black and look pretty mean, but there’s so much more to the new rods from Sonik than meets the eye!"
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"Sonik's Vader X rods prove to be incredibly popular rods they're a fantastic blank with a really affordable price point"
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"Sonik Vader X carp rods are very decent medium to long-range big-fish tools. Ideal for the novice carp angler, they are well built and nicely furnished, with an action perfect for pits and lakes where distance casting is paramount"
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The Key Attributes Scrutinised

Features & Specifications

Features Rating7.2

The handle

Sonik Vader X Handle

Sonik’s Vader X boasts a slim, Japanese-made shrink wrap-style butt grip, which is slimline and feels unobtrusive in the hand. The anodised butt cap is finished with a laser-etched Sonik logo.

The reel seat

Sonik Vader X Reel Seat

With a rock-solid 17mm DPS reel seat, the Sonik Vader X can easily accommodate a big pit reel comfortably and keep it firmly in place.

The eyes/guides

Sonik Vader X Eyes

The Sonik Vader X comes equipped with a set of lightweight, black M-Series DL guides, which do a great job of preserving your line, as well as an anti-frap ceramic tip guide ring, which equally does the same.

All models in the range with a test curve of 3 lb or larger boast a 50mm butt guide, with the smaller models equipped with a 40mm butt guide instead.

The guides are laid out in a ‘fold-friendly’ ringing pattern, which helps keep the Vader X transportable. I found with this feature they fit in the rod bag slightly more snug than other rods.

The blank

Sonik Vader X Blank

The Vader X’s lightweight, slim blank is made with armoured carbon and is finished in gunmetal grey.

It also boasts an anti-scratch finish which helps preserve the longevity of the blank and progressive action throughout its length, assisting the blank in staying springy and responsive when playing fish.

Features & Specifications Summary

  • Available in 10, 12 & 13 foot lengths
  • Test curves available include 2.75lb, 3lb, 3.25lb and 3.5lb
  • Large DPS reel seat (suitable for Big Pits)
  • Slim, shrink wrap style butt grip
  • M-Series DL guides in black
  • Lightweight and slim armoured carbon blank
  • Anti-frap ceramic tip ring
  • Sleek, anti-scratch finish

Here’s what the experts said about the rods features:

"Slim, lightweight matt black carbon fibre blank - These rods have a progressive casting action - Double leg black SIC guides and anti-frap tip"
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"As you can see all around they're a fantastic-looking range of rods. They've got this lovely 17 mm black DPS reel seat which will house all big pit reels then got a really nice little line friendly line clip. There is a beautiful little carbon area just above the real seat and a lovely cork candle finished off with a laser-etched butt cap which features the Sonik logo"
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"Double-legged black SiC lined guides are fitted throughout, starting with a 50mm butt ring and ending with an anti-frap tip ring. There’s also a dependable 17mm black DPS reel seat to take big pit reels"
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The Vader X boasts a tasteful, slick and minimalist design with a gunmetal grey blank and white and red details on the rod. This is polished off with black hardware, giving the rod a unique, yet subtle, look which I personally really like.

Here’s what the experts said about the look of the Vader X:

"There’s something distinctly Death Star about the aesthetics of the Vadar X range. Think matt black and minimal and you won’t be far out"
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"The actual blank has got a sleek black finish which has got an armored coating on it to prevent scratching"
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"Sonik Vader X carp rods are very decent medium to long-range big-fish tools. Ideal for the novice carp angler, they are well built and nicely furnished, with an action perfect for pits and lakes where distance casting is paramount"
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Casting & Feel

Casting & Feel7.3

The Vader X is a more than respectable rod as far as casting is concerned, especially in the 3.5lb test curve version, which handled longer distances with relative ease. Its anti-frap guide ring is able to eliminate most line frap, and the 50mm eyes in particular really allow the line to glide when cast. Shorter casts do feel manageable with the Vader X, but it’s probably fair to say that they aren’t the rod’s forte.

This is what the experts said about how the rod casts and feels when handled:

"Sonik has built these rods to do it all, thanks largely to the progressive action of the blanks. The quicker you can get that rod compressed, the further you’ll cast and this rod does just that"
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"They've got this really lovely slim carbon blank which has got a progressive casting action and a really fast tip recovery"
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"Although pitched by Sonik as a medium-to-long-cast tool, the 3.25lb test curve model can be used for close-range and margin work too"
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Playing Fish

Playing Fish7.2

Playing fish with the Vader X is an enjoyable experience thanks in large part to the rod’s blank, which is nice and pokey without feeling too aggressive. The rod is balanced from tip to tail and features a progressive action. I caught carp to the low twenties when using this rod and I found it absorbed the shock of the fish lunges nicely without feeling overly responsive or sensitive.

Here are some quotes from the experts on how the rod performs when playing fish:

"So not only do you have a rod that makes playing fish comfortable, but even quite modest casters will be able to get the best out of these babies"
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"This super lightweight blank has then been combined with lightweight M-series DL black guides for a really minimalistic look that is fantastic to play fish on"
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"This is quite a pokey blank, but unlike many of today’s ‘value for money’ carp rods this one retains sufficient cushioning in its progressive action to absorb the lunges from big lumps without risking hook-pulls"
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Value For Money

Value For Money9

One area where this rod truly shines is in the value for money it offers. While a very affordable offering, Sonik’s Vader X feels far from cheap. The rod performs well overall, feels nice in the hand, and is well-made. It costs similar to or slightly less than some of Sonik’s other carp rods, but doesn’t compromise on features and finishings; I think of it as something of a high-performance budget-friendly option.

With that being said, the rod is arguably best suited to targeting smaller to medium-sized fish and venues. So, while it comes in a range of test curves and lengths, it’s arguably less versatile overall than some other budget or beginner rods may be.

Here’s how the experts scored the rod on value for money:

"Yes, the price… Here’s where it all gets a bit crazy. The RRP for the Vadar X is £49.99, which is a stone-cold steal"
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"So as you can see they're beautiful rods and a really fantastic bit of kit for the money"
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"Sonik’s excellent and affordable Vader X carp rods start at just £49.99. For that small sum you might expect a budget composite material with an action either poker-stiff or more wobbly than jelly on a plate. Not a bit of it!"
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Final Thoughts & Conclusions

All in all, this is an exceptional rod for its price. The Vader X is made well enough that it should last a decent amount of time if properly taken care of, as well as offering the angler decent versatility and performance.

Beginner carpers in particular will find plenty to get excited about with the Vader X, as well as those looking for a great, affordable, all-round carp rod.

With that being said, I would recommend that anglers looking for a specimen hunter that can cast extreme distances consider other models over the Vader X such as those featured in our distance-casting rod category.

Thanks for reading.

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