Catfish Gear 2018: Bait, Hooks, Lines & More

Catfish Gear 2018: Bait, Hooks, Lines & More
Game & Fish Gear 2018: Catfish gear. (G&F photo)

catfish gear
The most important catfish gear is what's at the end of the line. (G&F photo)

Catching big catfish is the name of the game and that requires the right knowledge and gear to put them in the boat. Here's a look at some top catfish gear choices for 2018: Bait, hooks, lines and accessories.

BAIT

Berkley PowerBait PowerPunch


This sticky fiber bait provides maximum catfish attraction and stays on the hook, even in swift current, under a wide range of temperatures. Designed for use with treble hooks, it's available in blood and cheese scents. $5-$9; berkley-fishing.com


Magic Bait Stick-It Punch Bait

This bait blends aged cheese, rich oils and secret ingredients held together with a unique fiber. Attractants mixed with the right amount of fiber create an ideal stay-on-the-hook enticement for eating-size cats. $6-$10; magicbait.com

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TERMINAL TACKLE


B'n'M George Young Jr. 3/0

This offset circle hook is unbelievably sharp. Blood-red color attracts smaller cats, but it's sturdy enough to bring in trophies, too. Also new: George Young 8/0 and 9/0 wide-gap circle hooks perfect for oversize baits and monster cats. $2-$5; bnmpoles.com

Gamakatsu Big Cat Circle

Gamakatsu designed this hook specifically for catching tough-lipped catfish. The offset, precision-sharpened point penetrates quickly even with light hook sets. An "up eye" allows fast, easy snelling. The strong, forged steel can tackle the biggest blues and flatheads. Sizes 1/0 to 12/0. $4-$10; gamakatsu.com 

Gamakatsu Outbarb Circle

The barb on traditional circle hooks is inside the hook bend. But with certain techniques, if line slackens, it could get snagged by the hook barb and possibly nicked or cut. Gamakatsu's outbarb design eliminates that risk, and the circle hook design results in deeper penetration and more reliable hook-ups. Sizes 3/0 to 12/0. $4-$10; gamakatsu.com

Ted Ellenbecker Rod Bender

Legendary cat man Ted Ellenbecker designed these solid, sharp, affordable hooks. Small-diameter wire and super-sharp points improve penetration and keep live baits livelier longer. Available in 24-hook packs with six hooks each in sizes 1/0, 2/0, 3/0 and 4/0. $7; tedellenbecker.com

B'n'M George Young Jr. Sinker Slides and Swivels

Catfish anglers use lots of different hardware to create rigs for different tactics. B'n'M's new line of advanced sinker slides and swivels makes the job easier and provides confidence in terminal tackle. Included are two quick-snap sinker slides, a 125-pound-test chain swivel, a 150-pound-test three-way wired swivel and a three-way bumping swivel. $5-$10; bnmpoles.com

KastKing KastPro Braid

This braid is made with super-tough Spectra fibers for high abrasion resistance, minimal stretch, great sensitivity and increased casting distance. Comes on a biodegradable BioSpool made from wheat waste, an industry first. Available in combat Green or Coastal Blue in 300-yard spools in a variety of pound test. $19-$23; eposeidon.com

Muddy River XL Bobbers

Big bobbers are needed for big baits. These foam models are available in 2- and 2 1/2-inch sizes in red and yellow. The 2-inch version can be used with 1 to 3 ounces of weight and can hold up to a 10-inch live bait. Use the 2 1/2-inch model with 1 to 4 ounces weight to suspend baits up to 2 pounds. Two included glowsticks provide night light. $7; hooksetterusa.com

Team Catfish Tube Rigs

Bait clings tightly and melts slowly on these super-sticky dip-bait tubes. Ready-to-use red and yellow rigs with 16-inch, 20-pound mono and a heavy-duty swivel. Hook choices: 2/0 Jackhammer J hooks, No. 6 Dead Red trebles or 2/0 Power Cam-Action hooks. $3; teamcatfish.com

ACCESSORIES

Frabill Power Stow Net

This big 40x44-inch net is strong enough to subdue big cats and has a telescoping handle for convenient stowing. Glass-filled nylon yoke provides superior durability, and knotless mesh reduces injuries to trophy fish for healthy releases. Built-in extension handle. $365; frabill.com

Plano Synergy Z-Series 3700

catfishDesigned to give unobstructed access to gear, Z-Series bags eliminate frustrating zipper failures with hook-and-loop closures and buckles. Features include water-resistant coating, fast-entry splash-resistant openings and waterproof base. Four easy-access pockets on sides, front and back. Includes five StowAway Utility Boxes ideal for separating tackle. $80; planomolding.com

Plano Technical Tackle Backpack

This backpack carries all needed tackle in one hands-free, worry-free package. Features failsafe zipperless design, waterproof fabric, storage pockets, tool holder, padded shoulder straps and four 3700 StowAway boxes to keep tackle sorted and secure. $90; planomolding.com

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife Combo

Cleaning catfish is a cinch with this cordless knife, which includes one cordless body, two lithium-ion batteries, 6- and 7 1/2-inch reciprocating blades and a wall charger in a padded storage case. Runs cool and smooth for 80 minutes per battery without power loss or slowdown. $150; rapala.com

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