Top 20 Carp Fishing Essentials List

29 Dec 21


When I first started carp fishing many years ago, I would often forget vital pieces of equipment that I really needed. I’m not talking about the obvious carp gear like fishing rods, reels, carp bait etc but other items you may not consider.

This article is a carp fishing essentials lists including items you may forget, these items are what I would group in a basic carp fishing setup of which I forgot when I first started carp fishing.

Use this article on the top 20 carp fishing essentials list, to ensure you don’t get caught out on your next session. These items could be used as a carp fishing checklist on top of the more obvious items.

Anything I have missed? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think should be included as must have carp fishing gear.

Top 20 Forgotten Carp Fishing Essentials


A must have on any carp fishing checklist!

Whenever I am carp fishing in cold weather, a lovely hot cup of tea really hits the spot and gets me through the cold conditions.

Don’t forget your teabags, coffee, sugar, milk, mug etc. 

carp fishing kettle

Kettles and stoves run off of gas and so always check the levels of the canister before you set off. 

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Suntan lotion

I have lost count of the numbers of occasions where I have got home from a carp fishing trip only to find I look like a tomato from the sunburn!

I always carry suntan lotion even on cloudier days to ensure I don’t get burnt and something I feel should be included on any carp fishing checklist!


When I first started carp fishing I would normally wear a pair of old trainers and quite often found myself traipsing through mud and ending up in a right mess.

carp fishing boots

I invested in a pair of decent waterproof boots and it was money well spent. Boots for me are now a top item in a basic carp fishing setup.

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I remember carp fishing on Bluebell Lakes in Peterborough and the heavens opened, I got out the fishing umbrella that I picked up for a very reasonable price and thought that would be that. But sadly I was mistaken! This cheap umbrella started leaking and I ended up completely soaked, moral of the story is buy a decent fishing umbrella and avoid ending up in a situation like myself. 

Check out my article on The Best Fishing Umbrella and always add a decent umbrella to your carp fishing essentials list!


This follows on from the fishing umbrella and is another item I would include in a basic carp fishing setup, I would often wear joggers and a hoody which is OK for good weather but when the rain starts to come down, waterproofs were necessary.

If you are playing a fish you can’t stay under your umbrella and so investing in some waterproofs is definitely worth it, in my opinion.

I also like to bring a spare set of clothes just in case.

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Polarized Sunglasses 

A pair of polarized sunglasses have two benefits, the first obvious one is to protect your eyes from the sun which I find is often stronger when reflecting off the lake water.

The second benefit is polarized sunglasses actually help you see through the water and spot any carp that could be in the margins. If you have never tried this, you’ll be amazed the difference it makes.

Perhaps not a must have carp fishing gear item for everyone, but for me, a decent pair of polarized sunglasses is very important.

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Another one for when the sun is shining, a hat will keep the sun off your head and hopefully stop you getting sunburn. Cheap and doesn't take up much room in your tackle bag.

Battery power brick

When the carp aren’t taking your bait, I often spend time on some app on my phone which drains the battery. Having a power brick enables me to charge my phone several times when the battery gets low.

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Having a decent book in your tackle bag is another one to pass the time when you aren’t catching carp. I can manage to get through a book or two on a carp session.

Assortment of tackle

If someone asked me what equipment do I need for carp fishing? I would always recommend having several options when carp fishing.

This is a must for when you’re struggling to get bites. I will have a variety of end tackle that allows me to fish different methods. For example, I will carry end tackle to fish a zig rig, chod rig (pop-up boilie), PVA bags to cast to showing carp etc. The most important point here is to give yourself options when you are not catching carp and should be very high on any carp fishing checklist.

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If I manage to catch a carp or two, I like to carry a decent camera to ensure I get a quality picture.

I have written an article on the Best Camera for Carp Fishing, check it out

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is often overlooked by many anglers and is very important in regards to safety and should be included in any basic carp fishing setup.

I remember on one occasion I managed to prick myself with a barbed hook completely through my hand and having a first aid kit was vital to ensure I cleaned the wound and could enjoy the rest of my session.

I also ensure I carry paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets in my first aid kit.

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Weighing Scales

In the early days when I started fishing, I forgot to bring a set of weighing scales and this only became apparent when I landed a carp and realized this! 

A must have carp fishing gear item. I have written an article on the Best Fishing Scales


A good knife in your tackle box is a given in any basic carp fishing setup and can be used for a variety of different applications, from cutting up bait to finishing off a carp rig.

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Rod Licence 

Another one that many anglers can easily forget and high on any carp fishing essentials list. Everyone fishing must have a rod licence. 

I have written an article about this in more depth.

Bait boxes

As carp anglers, we tend to carry multiple types of carp bait and I often found myself lacking bait boxes to keep everything in. A bait box is cheap so I now carry several in my tackle bag allowing me to add different bait flavour enhancers to my boilies or other bait I may be using.

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Disinfectant wipes

As a carp angler, I’m constantly handling carp bait, lake water and hopefully a carp or two. All of these actions require me to clean my hands afterwards, so I carry a pack of disinfectant wipes to ensure I stay hygienic during my session.

Plenty of food and water

Over a session, I can get through a surprising amount of food and especially water, make sure you carry too much than not enough.

food and water 

It could also be worth checking if the venue has a cafe or any local takeaways delivery.

Carp Care Kit

Many venues now require you to carry a carp care kit to treat any wounds or injuries you spot when landing a carp. These kits are inexpensive and are generally a good idea to ensure the carp are cared for in the best possible way. A good item to add to your carp fishing checklist.

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Spares Batteries

Any easy item to overlook, so add this to your carp fishing essentials list. Many carp bite alarms run off very specific batteries and I like to carry some spares in my tackle bag just in case.

These are not easy to pick up in a local shop so I tend to buy in bulk online before my session.

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That is my list of the top 20 carp fishing essentials list. Have I missed anything that you have on your carp fishing checklist or would include in a basic carp fishing setup?

Leave a comment and let me know. If it’s a good one, I might even add it to the article!

See you next time.

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