CTR Best Carp Tackle Awards 2017

This week we look at the tackle items that we reviewed this year which we feel beat all the others on the market.

Our CTR Best Carp Fishing Tackle Awards 2017 have been selected from our tackle review team and our readers.

Our awards are set out as a bit of fun and merely our favourite items we reviewed this year.

The awards cover the best rods, best reels, best alarms, best bivvy, best clothing range and best gadget we’ve used this year.

We wish everyone a happy new year, a big thanks for reading the blog and we’re looking forward to creating some unique and interesting content in the new year.

Let’s get started with our 2017 tackle awards…

Best Rods – Wychwood C-201 Carp Rods

With most high end rods going for as much as £300/£400, the Wychwood C-201 is the perfect mid range rod option.

The C-201 Carp Rods scream quality throughout and come with all the features you would expect from a high end rod but available at just under £100.

You can find our review of the Wychwood C-201 Carp Rods here.

Best Rods runners up: Daiwa Longbow DF, Fox Warrior S and Free Spirit CTX

Best Reels – Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD Reel

shimano ultegra 14000 xtd

The Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD Reels are well designed and well built throughout. One of the main features is the instant drag, going from taking line to a tight drag when playing the fish with a single turn.

The reel includes a unique slow oscillation and brilliant line lay, which means the line can pull off the spool fast, this can be great for distance casting, making the reels ideal for most European type waters.

These are excellent carp reels for the money and most likely, the best carp reels you will find for under £150.

You can find our Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD Reel review here.

Runners up: Daiwa Windcast, Fox FX9 and Wychwood Riot-S Black Big Pit

Best Alarms – Delkim Plus Alarm

Delkim Bite Alarm and Illuminated Hangers

The main feature that sets a Delkim Bite Alarm apart from the rest is that Delkim use a vibration sensing technology. The vibration sensing technology is exclusive to Delkim and offers you more accurate sensitivity options which could result in more fish on the bank in theory.

The Delkim Plus Alarm includes 20 sensitivity options which is handy in different weather conditions and fishing at different distances evidently avoiding false bite indications.

You can find out more about the Delkim plus alarm range in our Delkim 25th Anniversary Plus Bite Alarm review.

Runners up: Gardner ATTs, steve neville mk2 and Nash Siren R3

Best Bivvy – AQUA Camo Atom

The AQUA Camo Atom became our overall favourite bivvy in this years best bivvy 2017 guide.

Boasted as the most compact, lightest pram hood bivvy available on the market it was a clear winner of the best bivvy award.

It’s purposely designed with the mobile angler in mind but is also perfect for small swims, canals and river fishing.

Runners up: Avid Tardis, Trakker Tempest and Chub RS Bivvy

Best Clothing Range – Trakker

trakker tshirt

The Trakker clothing range includes waterproof coats, joggers/combat trousers, t-shirt, hoodies.

All of the range items compliment each other and look great on and off the bank. Our top picks are the Aztec Hoodie and the Core Multi-Suit.

Runners up: Nash, Fortis and Fox

Best Gadget – RidgeMonkey Modular Bucket

ridgemonkey modular bucket

The RidgeMonkey Modular Bucket is essentially a modular, multi compartment bucket, ideal for separating bait and tackle.

The two lidded trays included can be kept inside or attached to the outside the bucket for extra convenience whilst on the bank.

The RidgeMonkey Modular Bucket is a super simple gadget perfect for separating and organising items such as lose feed, stick/bag mixes, hookbaits and ready to go rigs.

Runners up: Korda Tackle Safe, RidgeMonkey Action Station and Jag Hook Sharpening Kit


Thanks for reading our CTR Best Carp Tackle Awards 2017.

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Best Carp Reels? The Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd Review

In this weeks tackle review, we take a look the Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd big pit carp reel.

I’ve been using these reels for a few weeks now, so will share my thoughts on these reels including all the features and will be keeping this review up to date regularly.

So what did I want from a new carp reel?

Well I needed a big pit carp reel that guaranteed me reliability, built from quality components, which is lightweight and stylish but not too expensive.

When looking for new carp reels I checked videos, reviews and asked other anglers their recommended big pit carp reel, I was recommended by a lot of anglers to check out the Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd reels.

Big pit carp reels from a design perspective haven’t really changed in the last 10 years, but Shimano is known for listening to anglers feedback and by making small improvements and tweaks, resulting in the production of the best carp reels on the market.

I’m so far very impressed with them and are definitely the best carp reels I’ve ever used.

Below is my full review including all the features that make up these carp reels.

The Review

One of the Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd’s main features is the instant drag, going from taking line to a tight drag when playing the fish with a single turn is very user friendly.

There’s no need for continued turning like a lot of other carp reels on the market, giving you ultimate control. This is great for weedy or snaggy waters where reel control can prevent you from losing a fish of a lifetime.


The next feature I noticed on first inspection may so a little silly, but these reels have a simple but well designed line clip.

I’ve used a few different carp reels throughout the years, which included fiddly, cheap and flimsy line clips so the line clip on the Shimano’s is one of the little things that makes me a very happy angler (sad I know).

The reel includes a unique slow oscillation and brilliant line lay, which means the line can pull off the spool fast, this can be great for distance casting, making the reels ideal for most European type waters.

One of the main things I notice when using the reels for the first time was how lightweight they are compared to others I’ve used in the past.

In my opinion they’re half the weight of my old Wychwood exorcist reels which makes casting very enjoyable and keeps my overall tackle weight down yet again, which is great for the mobile angler.


One of the biggest issues I’ve had with reels in the past is the line getting caught up in the back of the spool, resulting in you having the take off the spool, sort out the twisted line and put the spool back on again.

The Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd reels come with a unique line guard, which is placed behind the spool, this eradicates the line issue, which is a big thumbs up for me.

These reels have silky smooth handle turning due the bearings and gears hidden away in the reel.

The reel comes in matt black with chrome parts throughout, giving a super stylish look and in my opinion the best looking reels on the market.

These reels work well in conjunction with Gardner’s HD line and is super simple to re spool line onto it.

These are excellent carp reels for the money and most likely, the best carp reels you will find for under £150.



The key features include:

  • Super Slow Oscillation
  • Instant Drag (1 Turn)
  • Lightweight (645g)
  • Large line capacity
  • Comes with a spare spool and accessories

How much?

Buy cheap and buy twice is something that comes to mind when I think of carp reels.

I’ve been through numerous carp reels ranging from £50- £80 and seem last me for around a few years each. If your into your carp fishing and looking for a well built, reliable reel that I’ve been told can last for over 10 years than a Shimano carp reel could be the one for you.

You can find the Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd big pit carp reels for around £159 each from most Shimano stockists. You can also find the them a little cheaper at around £127 from sites such as ebay and amazon.


I hope you enjoyed this review of the Shimano Ultegra 14000 Xtd carp reels. If you have any questions about the reel I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check out our other tackle reviews, news and carp fishing guides.