What is a spod rod? – A complete guide on spodding & spombing

Last Updated on 4 June 2024 by James Bevan

What Is A Spod Rod - Main Image

A spod rod is a specialised tool that many carp anglers use to bait their swims with large amounts of loose feed.

It does this by casting out a spod or spomb full of bait both efficiently and accurately to a specific area of the water you are fishing. The spod rod differs from a conventional carp rod in that it is stronger and stiffer in order to handle heavy weights to be cast.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about spod rods, including how to use them and why they can help you catch more carp.

What is a spod rod and why do you need one

A spod rod is a stiffer, more powerful rod compared to standard carp fishing rods. They are built to handle the repetitive action of casting a heavy spod filled with bait. Spod rods have a high test curve rating, generally around 4.5lb upwards.

The test curve refers to the amount of weight needed to bend the rod 90 degrees. The high test curve gives them the backbone to launch heavy weights without too much bend.

Anglers need a good spod rod in order to cast spods or spombs long distances. A spod filled with bait can weigh over 8 ounces! Trying to launch this weight with a typical carp rod with a 3.5lb test curve will put excessive strain on the blank. The carp rod is designed for playing fish, not for the frequent casting of heavy loads.

What are the typical features of a spod rod?

Here are some of the specifications and features you should expect to see on a decent spod rod…

  • High test curve over 4.5lb (4-4.5lb test curve on a 10ft spod rod)
  • Typically lengths of 12ft or greater, although 10ft spod rods are available
  • Strong, reinforced reel seats
  • Fast tip action but overall progressive blank bend
  • Line clip for consistent distance
  • Heavy-duty 50mm butt rings (40mm potentially on shorter rods)
  • Markings on the blank if a spod rod doubles up as a marker rod

What is a spod and spomb?

Both a spod and a spomb serve the same purpose in that they are both rocket-shaped containers that hold the loose bait you want to introduce to your swim. They attach to your mainline and are then cast out to your desired area.

They differ slightly in the way that they operate. A spod is usually open-ended and contains a buoyant cap. As the spod hits the water the buoyant top rises and the bait subsequently tips out.

A spomb actually closes shut once you have filled it with bait and releases when there is impact with the mechanism on the top of it. So when a spomb hits the water the impact will open it and release your spod mix.

A selection of spods and spombs

An example of a spod (on the left) and a spomb (middle & right)

How to use a spod rod

Here are some tips on how to use a spod rod effectively…

  1. Find the Fish – First, look for signs of carp jumping, swirling or stirring up the bottom with them feeding. Also, target features like lily pads, reed lines or margins where carp may be patrolling.
  2. Test the Depth – Tie on a marker float rig and make some exploratory casts, letting the lead down slowly. Feel for changes in depth and ascertain the contours of the water bed by dragging the lead along the bottom of it. Make note of any clean, hard and gravel-type areas.
  3. Mark the Distance – Once a prime area is located, use the line clip to record the exact distance. This avoids repeated long casts disturbing the swim.
  4. Rig Up the Spod – With the distance marked, replace the marker lead and float with an empty spod or spomb on the spod rod. Match the range you marked earlier.
  5. Pepper the Zone – Load up the spod or spomb and fire out some casts, feathering them down before the clip. Let the spod rest to fully discharge its contents.
  6. Retrieve and Repeat – Steadily bring the spod back once it’s done its job. Avoid snagging it. Repeat casting to build the perfect spot.

Now you have your own ready-made buffet for the carp! Follow these steps to create the perfect spod spot and catch more fish.

Tips to help you improve accuracy with your spod rod

Getting your bait perfectly on the money time after time is crucial for spodding success. Try these tactics to increase casting accuracy:

Deploy a marker float in your swim

You can use a marker float as a visual aid for consistent casts to the same spot. A marker float can remain in the water for the entire session to ensure you are accurately building your swim full of bait. This attracts carp to the area and hopefully increases your catch rate.

A marker float in the water

A marker float acts as a useful visual aid for consistent and accurate spodding

Use the line clip on your spod reel

All decent spod reels feature a strong line clip that can be used to clip your line once you have found the required distance on your cast. Once clipped, as long as you get the right direction on your cast, you can ensure you are hitting the same spot consistently.

Use a shock leader on your spod rod

Using a shock leader helps with the accuracy of your casts by absorbing the force generated by casting heavy weights. A shock leader can also help prevent damages and breakages to your fishing gear as well ensuring that long spodding sessions can be drama free.

A shock leader on a spod reel

A spod rod with a shock leader deployed

Use a finger stall

A finger stall is used when spodding to protect your index finger from cuts and slices by thin braid when casting heavy loads. Quite often baiting up with a spod is done many times throughout the session so it’s important you protect yourself from harm as accidents do inevitably happen. I personally recommend the Korda finger stall strap.

Ensure your line is moist

Dry braid or mono on a reel can cause more friction when it peels off on the cast. A wet mainline will ensure friction is kept to a minimum and the cast is as efficient and accurate as possible. You can submerge your spool in a bucket of water before using it or even just cast a few times to an area away from where you are fishing.

You may want to check out this video that shows these great tips in techniques in action…

What tackle do you need for a spod rod setup

Here is a list of everything you need for an effective spod rod setup:

  • A spod rod (either a single purpose or a combined spod/marker rod)
  • A spod reel with a large spool and a strong line clip
  • A good quality mainline, preferably braid, however, monofilament can be used
  • A braided shock leader (I use 50lb breaking strain)
  • A spod or spomb
  • A finger stall
  • A bucket for your spod mix
  • Wrap sticks to ensure an accurate measure of the sport you are introducing bait to

Alternatives to using a spod rod

Here are some different options for using a spod rod…

Catapult

A catapult is a simple and effective way to bait up at shorter ranges. It can be used to accurately place particles and loose boilies around your hook bait. It is also a lot cheaper than a spod rod, however, it’s not the best option if you need to bait up at longer ranges as it has a limited range.

Throwing stick

If you are just using boilies, a throwing stick is an ideal way to bait up without casting. It can be used to place boilies at range, and it’s a lot cheaper than a spod rod. However, it is limited to boilies and these need to be a specific size to what throwing stick you purchase. It is also nowhere near as accurate as using a spod rod.

Bait boat

A bait boat is a great option if you need to bait up at longer ranges. It can be used to accurately place a large amount of bait around your hook bait at the same time as placing your rig. It’s a lot quicker and easier to use than a spod rod. However, it’s not the best option if you are on a tight budget, as bait boats can be quite expensive and not all fishing venues allow them.

The benefits of using spod rods

Spodding remains one of the most popular methods for baiting up in carp fishing, offering several key benefits. These include the following:

  • Extreme accuracy – With practice, spodding allows precise bait placement after clipping up and developing a consistent casting rhythm. You can repeatedly hit the exact same spot.
  • Bait versatility – Spods can launch almost any bait, including small particles like pellets, hemp, as well as boilies and all sorts of spod mixes.
  • Rapid baiting – Large bait loads, quickly dispatched on each cast, help to establish large and attractive beds of bait to be created.
  • Attractant delivery – Liquids and cloudy mixes that draw in carp can be spodded to increase attraction.
  • Reduced gear – Braided spod rod lines also excel for marker work, eliminating the need for an extra rod.
  • Long-range baiting – Spodding excels at hitting distant spots that are unreachable by hand with a throwing stick or catapult.
The advantages of using a spomb

Using a spod or spomb is super accurate for creating a concentrated bed of bait

The drawbacks of using spod rods

There are some potential disadvantages to using spod rods, these include…

  • Added costs – Spod rods and reels are a significant investment, especially for beginners.
  • Disturbance – Repeated spodding makes noise and commotion that can spook wary fish in clear, pressured venues.
  • Accuracy challenges – Spodding accurately takes practice and precision, especially in windy conditions.
  • Fatigue – Repeated long-distance spodding can be physically draining compared to hand baiting methods.

Some good spod rod options

If after reading this article you decide to go ahead and give a spodding a go then you may want to consider the following options that are featured in our guide on the best spod rods...

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

Final thoughts

In summary, a spod rod is a specialised carp fishing rod designed for accurately casting heavy spomb and spod loads of bait long distances.

Its stiff, powerful blank allows efficient, repetitive spodding to establish beds of free offerings without excessive fatigue.

While spodding does have some drawbacks like added costs and disturbance, the precision bait placement it enables makes it a go-to technique for many carp anglers. With practice, spod rods excel at peppering fishing spots with attractants and food sources to draw in wary specimens.

Hopefully, this guide has provided a helpful overview of everything you need to know about spod rods. From their purpose and setup to top product recommendations, you should now be well-equipped to use spodding to maximise your catches.

Thanks for reading.

Tight lines!

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