Often when I am out fishing other anglers will come over to see what I am fishing for. Their interest is typically drawn to the “euro” style carping setup I am using. Many anglers here in North America have never seen a rod pod before, or an electronic bite indicator and the only people using 12 ft rods are beach fishermen casting far out into the surf.
After explaining that I am fishing for carp they take a closer look at my “euro” setup. Their immediate comment is always – “how much does all this cost ? that looks very expensive!” They do not ask what each item is, how it is used, the purpose, all they care about, is the cost.
Yes, a full carping 3 rod setup, could cost as much as a small family hatchback – if you went with all premium, high end and name brand products! However you do not need to go ALL-IN on your carping tackle when you first get interested in the sport. Many people simply cannot afford to spend high dollar on their tackle purchases, especially when they are first getting started and do not even know if they will stick with it long term.
An item of particular interest to new carp anglers are the electronic bite indicators. This is another critical item of our tackle that you can spend insane amounts of money on. From an entry level alarm costing a few dollars to the top of the line, wireless alarm offerings, from Delkim, Fox, Nash, Chub and other well known name brands.
When I first returned to carp fishing I did not immediately go out and spend hundreds of dollars on my alarms, instead I purchased a couple of simple, roller wheel style electronic alarms – they worked well and certainly got the job done. It was only last Christmas that I finally got some Delkim’s as a present from my wife.
When I am recommending an entry level carping setup to others, when it comes to bite indication, I usually always start with a simple, no frills, roller wheel style electronic alarm in conjunction with a hanger or swinger.
During my visit a month ago, to Big Carp Tackle here in the USA, I able to spend some time looking at the wide range of electronic bite alarms available from Next Generation Tackle. They are very affordable, they work and they get the job done.
For the angler just getting into the sport, or on a tight budget, these alarms are a great choice.
The most entry level alarm would be the NGT VX-1. The alarm is waterproof and comes with a green soft protective case. It is as simple as you get, with a volume control, latch LED (green) that stays lit for 20 seconds and run LED (red). When you are looking for a basic alarm, that sounds on a run, no frills. This is as basic as it gets and works well.
Next up would be the NGT VX-2 alarm, as with the VX-1 alarm, it is waterproof comes with a green soft protective case. The VX-2 brings a few more useful features, in addition to volume, latch LED and run LED, you also have a dial for variable tone and a jack plug to power external illuminated indicators.The VX2 alarms are also offered in a blister-pack that comes with 2 x VX2 alarms and a pair of simple chain indicator hangers, even comes with the batteries for the alarms!
The VX2 alarms are offered on a blister-pack that comes with 2 x VX2 alarms and a pair of simple chain indicator hangers, even comes with the batteries for the alarms!
The top end alarm in this range would be the NGT VX-3 alarm. As with the previous models this waterproof alarm is supplied with a green soft protective case. The VX3 has volume and tone controls, latch LED and run LED, jack plug for external illuminated indicators and finally, an auto-nightlight, which senses light levels and turns on an LED for visual rod location at dusk and off again at dawn. Very useful if you are fishing into the darkness hours.
The NGT VC-1, 2 and 3 range of alarms have identical features to the VX alarms, but are offered in a camouflage case coloring.
I have three of the NGT vx3 alarms and they have not let me down once over the past year of use – though I did freeze one solid whilst ice-fishing – certainly not the alarms fault!
In short the VX range of alarms from NGT offer outstanding value for money and will work with both mono and braided lines. Battery life is good, I only replaced mine once during an entire season. The only thing these alarms do lack, a feature more common on high end offerings, would be a sensitivity control.
Perhaps NGT will release a VX-4 offering with this feature in the future ?