Spodding — American Carp Society

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The Spod is a very versatile and invaluable tool for accurate bait delivery to distance, where a traditional catapult/slingshot is not up to the job and the use of a boat is prohibited.

There are many types of spod available on the market today of all shapes and sizes, along with specialized rods built specifically for their use. They are excellent for particles or boilies and are a very effective method of pre-baiting or topping up in a swim. When fully loaded the larger spods can weigh more than 10oz and so care must be taken with using the appropriate tackle such as a good shock leader.

A suitable rod and reel are also recommended as the constant cast and retrieve of the spod will seem to last an eternity if you are baiting to distance without the correct tackle. A large reel with a high retrieve ratio will make the job much easier, along with a good stiff rod to handle the workload.

NOTE: Please check the rules and regulations of your State’s Department of Fish & Game as to whether Pre-Baiting/Chumming is a legal practice before applying the methods described on this page to your fishing…

We will look at the various aspects of spodding and the tackle needed for the job:

As the name suggests, these items of tackle are relatively small with the purpose of providing the Angler with a bait delivery system that could be used with a standard Carp fishing rod.

There are many of these spods available on the market today usually small enough to fit in your pocket – hence the term ‘Pocket Rocket’.

They are built such so that the loaded weight of the spod will be suitable for use with a standard Carp rod of roughly 2.5-pound test curve. They are usually solid in design allowing the delivery of both particles and boilies. Because of their size the payload delivered is quite small but their ease of use, convenience and flexibility more than makes up for this.

These spods are especially designed to deliver boilies accurately to great distance. Again, a solid spod, usually designed to carry a number of boilies ‘stacked’ on top of each other with the inclusion of water for extra casting weight and accuracy of delivery. They are excellent for use in a strong headwind when a throwing stick will not efficiently deliver the results.

This range of spods is designed in the same manner as the stubby spods only larger. They are very versatile and allow large quantities of pellets, particles, and boilies to be delivered at distances in excess of 100 yards. They are solid and therefore can hold a ‘topping up’ of water for increased weight and casting efficiency. They should not be used with a standard carp fishing rod as continual use with the loaded weight could weaken the effectiveness and life of the rod.

As the name suggests these spods have been specifically designed for the delivery of particles. Many come with ‘free flow’ holes in the sides that will allow a quick recovery and efficient delivery of particles, the holes also allowing immediate water penetration of the particles once the spod has hit its mark. The holes also have the advantage of stopping the spod from reaching any significant depths when it hits the water on the cast, unlike that of a standard rocket. Therefore, they are also recommended for shallower swims.

They are a great all around spod to have and if you are not fishing at great distances are also suitable for delivery of boiles.

The Spomb is the latest development to hit the market in the spodding department. Designed, manufactured, and marketed by a UK company called Spomb. They have developed 3 different sizes and recently, added a float that is designed to be attached to the end of the spomb that helps the product float in the event of line breakage during the cast. This greatly increases the chances of you retrieving the Spomb in this scenario.

A few main advantages of using the Spomb are:

Almost any bait that fits in the Spomb and can be cast out including: pellets, boilies, hemp, corn, mixer, bread, meat, maggot, worms, and particles.

Zero bait loss during the cast once the Spomb is loaded, because the container is closed shut, no bait will come out until it impacts with the water and opens.

When the Spomb contacts the water, the body of the Spomb opens up fully open so washing the bait out instantly.

The Spomb, once opened releases its load upon immediate contact with the water and upon the retrieval, glides effortlessly across the top of the water with no spinning or line twist even in the strongest of winds. A fast-steady retrieve will produce what seems an amazing flight across the top of the water as it aquaplanes back across the surface.

Wind has very little effect on its flight because of the Spomb’ s aerodynamic design. Even with a strong cross wind, its accuracy and distance is excellent.

Available in black or white, the white version improves visibility when casting against trees or a dark background, also better at night.

We advise purchasing the white model as it stands up better against the UV light, thus lasting longer in the harsh, sunny climates typically experienced in the USA.


When ‘spodding’ it’s always worth considering the objective. Is it to build up a swim gradually or to deliver bait to a specific area to be fished during a fixed time – such as in a competition situation? A ‘little and often’ approach is always worth considering and a method used by successful match Anglers the world over. Many Anglers are wary of the disturbance that a spod can create when entering the water, however it is also very common to hear that the Carp can be waiting just below the surface for the next spodfull, having associated the sound of the spod entering the water with that of a dinner bell! So, it will really vary depending upon the venue that you are fishing.

As with all aspects of fishing it is best to experiment and see what works best for your own situation…there are no “written in stone” rules that work on every water.
There are many methods of bait delivery and the use of a spod is just one of them. Spods are an invaluable tool when tournament fishing or in a situation where a regular supply of bait has to be delivered accurately to distance on a continual basis. Especially when the fish are at distance and you are facing a strong headwind. In these conditions, Spods can be much more practical than the use of a boat. It is also worth remembering that a fully loaded spod can reach a weight of 12oz and so care should be taken to achieve the job with safety.
When you consider the forces that the constant casting and retrieval of loaded spods put upon our tackle, then you will realize why a purpose-built rod and reel specifically designed for this job is recommended. Using your regular fishing tackle for this task, except with the use of a stubby spod, will take years off its life.
However, to start off, any stiff rod and large reel will do the job. As in many other cases, you do get what you pay for and so if you are planning to spend any amount of time fishing in a situation that will include the use of a spod, it’s best to purchase a purpose made rod for the job. There are a good deal of rods and reels available on the market today. Make sure that you get the highest quality tackle that you can afford.
A successful spodding campaign will be a mixture of consistency and accuracy… along with a tired arm!
If you are lucky enough to have a large quantity of fish in the swim that you have built you will need to consistently keep ‘topping up’ the swim with bait. The frequency of this will depend upon the size and number of fish present… a decent size shoal of large fish will need quite a bit of food to keep them preoccupied in your swim so they have no thought of moving on. One large fish will go through a spodfull in a few seconds…
You will find that leaving a certain length of line on the retrieve will allow you to ‘swing in’ the spod and be the exact length to allow you to hold the rod in one hand will reaching down and filling the spod with the other. If you are casting to a marker make sure that once you have achieved accuracy on the cast you ‘clip up’ on the reel. A reel with a purpose-built line clip makes this very simple and you just pass the line behind the clip. This will ensure that the spod will not travel passed the required mark when being cast.
Now it’s just up to you to accurately, and with the same amount of compression on the rod, cast to the marker. If you feel that you ‘overdo it’ on the cast you can ‘feather down’ the spod by placing your finger on the spool thus slowing down the flight of the spod. The clip will stop the spod from traveling past the mark.
After a while you will begin to feel the correct amount of compression needed to achieve consistency to the mark. Then it’s just a question of getting in a rhythm to get the job done. If you are fishing with a partner you can help each other by one filling the spod on the retrieve… this helps by avoiding the constant bending over and filling the spod and then standing to cast.
Again, these examples may seem excessive but if you are in a situation where you need to cast 30 spodfulls on the hour every hour (This may be the method needed to keep the fish in your swim!) then efficiency ends up being the key factor in a successful spodding campaign.

Spod Rods

Spod rods are usually that of the ‘fast taper’ variety, meaning that that will have a very strong and stiff butt section for casting power with all the action being limited to the top third of the rod. These rods have been designed with one job in mind and that is the constant cast and retrieval of a fully laden spod.

The rod needs to be powerful enough to cast the spod accurately to distance and withstand the constant action of repeating this motion repeatedly. The Big Bertha range of rods are known the world over as workhorse rods for both Spod and Marker work but many rod making companies now produce a good range of Spod & Marker rods at various price points.

Spod Reels

Anyone who has used the spod extensively will tell you that the biggest problem with this method of bait delivery is the constant cast and retrieval of the spod… especially at distance! Efficiency is the key and so the use of a large reel with a quick retrieve ratio is recommended.

It’s also worth remembering that the reel will also get a great deal of use and so one of good quality is worth considering for exclusive spod work. Constant spodding will soon become ‘old’ when using the incorrect tools for the job… an underpowered rod and small reel with a low retrieval ratio (you will literally feel like your arm is going to fall off after a while!) plus it will take twice the amount of time if the incorrect tools are used.

When looking for a reel for your spod set up it is well worth considering those that have purpose built line clips. Once you have hit your mark clipping up will ensure accurate bait delivery to the same spot repeatedly. This can be critical for efficiency in a tournament situation or when the fish are holding in a very tight spot near to a feature at distance say on the edge of a large bay close to the main flow of a river… a few feet over cast will see the bait being swept downstream etc.

We have all been in the situation where baits placed a few feet outside of the ‘zone’ will not produce. The same can be said of spodding in similar situations.

Shock Leaders

It is highly recommended that a shock leader is used when spodding. This will help absorb the pressure of the spod during the cast when the rod is fully compressed and help to avoid ‘crack-offs’.

The shock leader should be roughly twice the length of the rod in length. This allows a few turns of the handle of the reel for the shock leader to lay on the spool before the cast.

The sole purpose of the shock leader is to ‘absorb the shock’ of the cast and so it is imperative that there are a few revolutions of shock leader on the spool prior to the cast. There are some purpose made shock leaders available on the market that are ‘tapered’ for increased efficiency when casting such as those from E.S.P. Many start with a 45lbs section that tapers to 15 lb. Alternatively if extreme distances are not required some 30lb-45lb heavy mono will suffice.

You may want to experiment with different brands as they all have varying qualities in regards to memory and abrasion resistance etc. but in this case, we recommend the locally available, P-Line CXX X-tra Strong 30 LB test line in Moss Green color which is very abrasive resistant, extra tough and extremely strong! (See below) After safety, it is all down to individual taste.

Note: Always make sure that the shock leader knot is positioned at the base of the spool prior to the cast. (Shown in the photo below) This will help the efficiency of the cast and help to reduce friction and avoid the knot tangling with the line on the cast and avoiding the deadly ‘First eye wrap’ crack off!

A shock leader is recommended in any situation where a reasonable weight is going to be cast to distance thus needing a significant amount of compression on the rod.

This can either be with a lead, fully laden spod or marker set up. Safety is a primary concern. As you can imagine a 4 ounce lead being cast to distance of say 120 yards requires a certain amount of both momentum and compression from the rod putting a great deal of pressure on certain elements of the tackle.
If for any reason the lead or object cracks off during the cast, not only is there a loss of tackle but also a very dangerous situation.
Common sense as a rule will ensure that the correct steps are taken when making the decision regarding use of a shock leader…for example an Angler using a 2oz lead fishing at 60 yards with 15lb b.s. line would likely not require the use of a shock leader whereas an Angler fishing at 100 yards plus using a 4oz lead would be advised to.
Again common sense must come into play given the situation…


As you will be using a shock leader with your spod rod, the line used on the reel should be as thin a diameter as you can reasonably use while still performing the job at hand. The smaller the diameter the further distance will be achieved on the cast.

For this reason, many Anglers use braid for their spod reels as it is very strong yet still very low in its diameter.
Care must be taken however when using braid as wind knots will be experienced if the braid is not wet prior to the cast. This will result in the braid wrapping itself around the butt ring followed by the sound of a crack-off and the loss of expensive tackle… so precautions must be taken!

You can either pour some water onto the spool or alternatively start casting the empty spod at a very close range gradually increasing the distance until the braid is sufficiently wet on the spool.

Monofilament in the 15lb breaking strain range is also very popular and although not as strong as braid, is easier to use as it does not suffer quite as much with wind knots. In this case, we recommend using Berkley’s Big Game in Green, 15 LB test in conjunction with a good Shock Leader.

Note: If you are spodding for any length of time or happen to be fishing in colder weather you may want to consider the use of a finger stall. Constant pressure on the forefinger with the leader when wet and especially in colder weather will end up in cuts on the finger, especially with the use of braid.

A leather racket ball or Golfing glove is easily customized for the job with the help of a pair of scissors. Alternatively, finger stalls or tape can be purchased from the drugstore.


Although not always directly connected to spodding, the use of Snag Leaders is an important safety subject worth including here:

As the name implies snag leaders should be used when fishing waters that contain unusually heavy or sharp snags such as Sandstone, Zebra muscles, tree stumps or large sharp boulders where a mono leader will simply not do the job.
Fishing such waters without snag leaders in these situations will result in lost fish and tackle. This is not good for the Angler or the fish so please be prepared for the different waters that you may encounter.
The snag leader is the length of line that is between you, the snag and possibly the fish of your dreams! The length needed will depend on the situation and weather you also choose to use a shock leader as well.
One example would be fishing The St. Lawrence River in certain swims during the summer months when the Zebra muscles are at their worst. They will cut through 25lb mono like butter resulting in loss of fish and tackle.
You may not need the use of a shock leader in conjunction with the snag leader if you are fishing within reasonable range, however you may need 10 to 20 meters of snag leader dependent upon the situation. There is one point on the St. Lawrence that holds some very large fish where a ledge drops from 12 to 35 feet immediately. The 12ft ledge has some very sharp boulders and stumps covered in zebra mussels on it and a good length of snag leader is needed to successfully land the big fish because of the drop off and the snags. It’s no coincidence that the big fish can often be found in these ‘snaggy’ swims as both the Zebra muscles and snags are attractive to the Carp… so if you want to pick up some of the big boys go prepared!
Again, as described above in the shock leader section, P-Line CXX X-tra Strong line in Moss Green color is very abrasive resistant, extra tough and extremely strong! Depending on the situation, you may need to step up from the 30 lb to 45 lb or more bs test versions. Both ‘Quicksilver’ and ‘Ton Up’ by Kryston are also excellent options & highly recommended snag leaders.

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