Editor’s Note: This feature runs in the July-August issue of Game & Fish Magazines, on newsstands now.Subscribe here.
The days when catfish anglers just grabbed their cheapest old rod and sat on a bucket to wait for fish to come by are rapidly fading into the past.
Catfish are some of the largest, toughest freshwater fish, and manufacturers are using the latest technology to build rod-and-reel combos designed specifically for the heavy-duty requirements of big cats.
Here are some of the newest and best.
This beefed-up combo features a super-tough E-glass rod with nearly indestructible line guides and a medium-heavy reel built with a titanium-nitride-plated, stainless-steel spinnerhead commonly used on cutting tools to add durability and reduce friction. $40
Using braided lines for catfishing? You’ll want a Shock Rod. Each has a shock-absorbing tip to accommodate braid’s lack of stretch and stainless steel/titanium oxide guides to resist line grooving and cracking. Eight spinning models, nine casting. $50
Designed for suspended drifting and anchoring, this 7 1/2-foot rod has a stiff backbone but faster tip to see bites more clearly. E-glass composite for extreme strength, a hi-vis tip, double-nut locking reel seat and X-Grip handle. $75
These powerful graphite/S-glass rods were designed to help tournament anglers land big cats. Each has a large foregrip and oversized fighting butt for leverage, Fuji guides with SiC rings and chartreuse strike-indicator tip. Spinning and casting models. $70-$90
This series is custom-made for big-cat action. Features include 7-foot, medium-heavy rods with EVA handles and stainless guides, Carbon Matrix hybrid drags and an Everlast bail system on spinning models. $80 (spinning), $100 (baitcast)