Tench are strong and smart fish that are hard to play if you aren’t using the right type of gear. That is why using a rod that can handle a wild tench in any situation is especially vital if you want to land your fish successfully.
As float fishing and ledgering for tench demand different rod models, I decided to write this helpful in-depth guide on the best rods for tench in order to assist you in choosing the perfect rod for your fishing.
I have spent many hours behind my rods and many years optimising my fishing gear in order to find the best rods for this incredible coarse fishing species. And trust me, with the right gear, every tench session and every bite will become an unforgettable experience as it really can make such a difference!
In order to make the article more structured, I have divided it into three main sections, covering both float fishing, ledgering with swim feeders and method feeders, as well as ledgering with bolt rigs for tench.
Best Tench Fishing Rod for Float Fishing
Float fishing for tench is such an exciting way of catching these fish. The feeling you get when fishing the lift method and seeing myriads of feeding bubbles getting ever closer to your float is simply unbeatable.
For this fishing method, a robust float or waggler rod is your best pick. You will want to use a rod that is lightweight and at the same time has some backbone to it.
This combination will give you the perfect float fishing experience, as it allows you to both fish very delicately and with extremely light tackle, and fight and land even the angriest and strongest of tench with ease.
The AMP MAP Dual Competition Float Pellet Waggler is such a perfect float rod for tench. AMP has really managed to deliver the best quality at a very affordable price, making this rod the perfect choice for both seasoned anglers and beginners.
The AMP MAP Dual Competition is a really light rod that will give you all the sensitivity and responsiveness you’ll need for the delicate art of float fishing.
You can choose between the 11ft and 12ft model, depending on your level of experience with longer rods and your intended fishing distance. The 11ft length is perfect for short-distance tench fishing close to the margins, while the 12ft length is perfect for longer casts and deeper fishing depths (e.g. in the bigger and deeper gravel pits).
It’s the perfect choice for tench and won’t let you down in case a carp (even one of the bigger variety) decides to take your bait. But even when it just comes to tench, strength and performance are super important in a float rod, as they are so strong and hard to control. This rod has plenty of both!
Conclusion: You will have a hard time finding a better performing rod for the money. It really is a superb float fishing rod with an unbelievable playing action!
Best Tench Fishing Rod for Ledgering with Cage Feeders
Now, we move on to fishing with swim feeders, which will demand a classic quiver tip or feeder rod. Personally, I prefer the somewhat stronger feeder rod option over quiver tips, as it manages to handle tench far better.
It’s tough to beat the sight of a slightly bending feeder tip during a tench session; tension is building up, you wait for the right moment to strike, and then it suddenly happens and you start feeling an immense weight and resistance in your rod. It’s just incredible, isn’t it!
Once again, you are looking for a type of rod that manages to combine strength, agility and sensitivity, especially when it comes to the feeder tip section.
I never use tips beyond 2 ounces, as tench have this, at times, really annoying ability to just nibble away at your bait forever. I call this phenomenon a “micro bite”, and with a tip that is too thick and stiff, you simply won’t be able to detect such careful bites.
On the other hand, the rest of your rod should possess a good deal of raw strength, as it can be very challenging to control bigger tench on a too light action feeder rod.
The one I use for my tench fishing is the Maver Reality Feeder Rod, which is a super versatile rod that is the perfect pick for all feeder fishing situations.
It comes in lengths between 9 and 12 feet (I prefer 9-10 feet for swims with limited space and a lot of vegetation, and 11-12 feet for open swims) and includes 2 feeder tip sections (1oz and 2oz), which are perfect for both fishing with swim feeders (1oz) and method feeders (2oz).
And thanks to its medium action, casting out method feeders of up to 1-1.5oz with this feeder rod won’t be a problem at all, even at greater distances.
Conclusion: A reliable, very strong and at the same time highly sensitive feeder rod that won’t fail you when targeting tench!
Best Rod for Tench on the Bolt Rig
This last section includes a more modern approach to tench fishing and is mostly used by specimen anglers targeting big tench in more difficult venues.
Ledgering for tench using bolt rigs, or really heavy method feeders, is a more passive way of fishing that is perfect for longer overnight or whole weekend sessions.
The rod you are looking for here is a specialist rod with a test curve of 1.75lb.
This method is somewhat less delicate, but nonetheless extremely effective, especially at night when you can’t keep awake.
My favorite ledgering rod for tench on the bolt rig or a 1.5-2oz method feeder is the Sonik Specialist Barbel Rod, which is an extremely solid rod that can handle even the biggest of tench (and other bigger coarse species, should they happen to take your bait).
Despite its strength, it is surprisingly flexible and just stiff enough to chuck out those method feeders loaded with heavy groundbait. I mean, we are talking considerable casting weights here, so you’ll definitely need a rod of this caliber if you want to be able to cast out your rigs perfectly.
It has a very fine and sensitive action and will bring you a lot of joy when playing tench, no matter what size they are.
Additionally, this rod allows you to effectively stop a wild tench in mid-run, as you’ll have quite a few screaming takes when fishing with bolt rigs or heavy method feeders for tench, always given that you are using baitrunner reels, of course.
Conclusion: The perfect heavy-duty rod for bolt rigs and large method feeders that will handle any old tench with both strength and grace.
Best Reels for Tench Fishing
The three different fishing methods described in this article do not only demand different types of rods, but also reels. Factors such as size, weight, and whether you are using a fixed spool or baitrunner function all matter, and knowing what reel and rod to use for what fishing method can increase your success rate considerably.
If you also want to read up on the best reels for tench fishing, make sure to also check out this article I wrote: Best Tench Fishing Reels (for Ledgering and Float Fishing)