Best Catfish Rods Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Are you a thrill-seeker whose perfect moment is derived from the pleasure of going out on the water and catfishing? Then you understand that nothing beats the delight of connecting with nature, tuning in to the stir of the breeze, listening to the tweeting birds, and taking in the fortifying outside air while you fish.
On the contrary, should your equipment be a letdown, you are sure to frown all day. To get the most out of your fishing expeditions, you need a well-made catfish rod to transform your fishing and keep you on top your game.
However, with the many sellers putting forward advertisements to convince you, we are aware of how overwhelming it is to identify the best catfish rod for newbies and veterans alike. For this reason, we have highlighted the best catfish fishing rods money can buy.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Various sizes are available
Includes casting and spinning rods
10 Best Catfish Rods
1. KastKing Perigee II
Various sizes are available
Includes casting and spinning rods
The tip may break easily break easily
KastKing is a name that needs no introduction in the fishing industry. The company designed this piece with a solid build, ergonomic design, and beautiful look all at an easily achievable price point. This fishing rod is a versatile tool that is a pleasure to use, appealing to look at and offers real value for money.
Ease of Use
The ergonomic handles are built for comfortable, ensuring your hands remain fatigue-free even after hundreds of casts. These are also lightweight and convenient to carry all day. Expect a strong backbone that can accommodate big fish and enhance the sensitivity to detect even the subtlest of bites. Thanks to the Kasting power transition system (PTS) spigot joints in the twin-tips, the power passes across the entire fishing rod blank smoothly
The fishing and the two twin-tip rods are products of 24-Tin carbon fiber with matrix KastFlex technology. This assures you of high strength and power, impressive sensitivity and accuracy, and long-lived service for ages. The reel seats are made of premium quality graphite while the grips are crafted from high-density EVA promising prolonged use. The makers also included renowned Fuji O-Ring line guides.
Cost and Value
KastKing made this one a favorite with budget shoppers in mind. At about half of what it's premium competitors cost, this piece delivers like the very best of them. The best part is that for the price of a single piece, you get 2 twin-tip spinning rods, and bait casting ones that come with 2-rod tips each. The company has high confidence in this product and backs it up with a lifetime warranty on the twin top ends.
2. St. Croix Mojo
Different length options are available
5-year manufacturer’s warranty
Coated with attractive flex Coat finish
Different power variants are available
The St. Croix Mojo will take your catfishing skills to the most elite levels. It is a sturdy piece with useful features that will make the fishing highly productive and fun. Not just that, the appearance is also top class with a bright color that sets it aside from other mediocre catfish rods.
The company coined this piece by blending SCII graphite with linear S-glass tom come up with a robust one that can stand up to wearing, breaking, cracking and more. There is nothing as a solid fishing one, all they do is resist breakage, and this one is perfect at it.
It is characterized by ample lifting power, impressive strength, and convenient flexing of the tip. The rings made of aluminum oxide are dedicated to eliminating line friction when large catfish are pulling.
This is a product you can enjoy fishing with all day without feeling tired thanks to the premium-grade cork handle. The ergonomic handle provides a secure grip even when your hands are wet or a heavy load. The heel is held firmly and securely in place by the Fuji ECS reel seats with black hoods.
In addition to that, the manufacturer included a Kigan hook keeper, which allows you to attach large hooks. The company produces this casting rod in different lengths and power, so you are free to choose what suits you.
Cost and Value
The St. Croix Mojo is not the cheapest pick the market has to offer, but it is still well worth the sacrifice. After all, don’t they say that you spend your money where you spend your time? However, if we were to take price tag out of the equation, it is a solid piece that delivers as advertised and will surpass your expectation.
You will also want to know that the company backs this with a 5-year warranty.
3. Ugly Stik
Highly sensitive to bites
Flexible with large bending angles
Comes with a hook keeper
Limits users to catfishing
You only get one rod
If you have been waiting for a price drop in this category then here you go. This is a beginner catfish-casting rod that is a perfect getaway plan from your boring life indoors and gets extra adrenaline rash catfishing. It is an excellent choice for medium to heavy power and moderate fast action, making it ideal for catfishing. The central sweet spot is the price. Try as hard as you might, and it is hard to beat this level of quality for the price point.
This one is sturdy and feels strong and robust in your hands. The Ugly Tech construction is effective in enhancing the lifting power and longevity. It is still lightweight and comfortable to hold for long hours.
The makers were wise to include 8 Ugly TUFF one-piece stainless steel guides that can hold up to decades of severe abuse. It is worth mentioning that it has a line rating of 15 – 30 lbs making it perfect for big cats.
It is a 7' medium heavy option. It sports a simple design with conspicuous details, making it look as good as it functions. The comfort and ease of handling you enjoy from the EVA grips with rubber gimbal is unmatched.
You cannot help but notice the bright tip design that will help you in visually detecting even the slightest of strikes. Also included is a conventional reel seat that secures the reel in place.
Cost and Value
The manufacturer had budget shoppers in mind and offered this rod at a favorable price. Buyers are also sure to enjoy Ugly Stiks’ 7-year warranty. It may not be the best there is, but for the price, it is a genuine bargain.
4. Bass Pro Shops CatMaxx
The white color eases visibility at night
Comes with an audible bait clicker
Powerful brass gear with a high gear ratio
Comfortable in the hands
Lacks a hook keeper
There is no index finger holder
Bass Pro seems to have realized what most anglers want in a catfish rod and managed to hit the sweet spot with this highly functional one. This well-designed pick is dedicated to executing its functions with unquestionable strength and functionality. Your extraordinary personality deserves a befitting equally splendid piece that will add luxury to functionality, and this good-looking one is a decent choice.
The manufacturer used a blend of E-glass and carbon to make the blanks adding to their strength and ability to take a severe beating for a considerable amount of time. It comes with Pac Bay® DPL guides that are snag resistant and reinforced to withstand strong pulling. The cushiony EVA handle includes a crosshatched shrink-wrap grip and a flared rubber butt, which add to comfort when handling and gives the user more control.
Whether you are new to catfishing tools or a veteran who has had a fair share of poorly made fishing tools, the Catmax brought this piece is sure to impress you. The company boasts substantial experience that it applies in this catfish rod. Essential features like the magnetic braking system that is externally adjustable make it a go-to option for any serious angler. You will also find a 4 bearing system which includes Powerlock instant anti-reverse. Other features we noted are the high strength brass gearing and Teflon a 6-disc drag stack that is stainless.
Cost and Value
It is well suited for its price point. You get exactly what you pay for. Catmaxx offers the rod and a reel combo, so you have all you need to set out into this exciting venture.
5. Bass Pro Shops Cat Buster
Different length options available
Various power options are available
The package includes 2 rods
If the convenient price clause of this one got you here, be comforted for it delivers just right. The Cat Buster spinning rod checks many boxes from what you may require out of a catfish rod. Such a fishing rod should be the first tool of trade when you decide to go fishing.
The tubular blanks are made of industrial grade fiberglass that makes it highly durable to stand up to intense use for ages. In a bid to do away with line abrasion and cut friction down, the company also fitted aluminum oxide guide inserts. Additionally, you will find a graphite reel seat that pair with the stainless steel holds to ensure the reels are locked in place.
The aesthetic value that meets your eyes when you see this rod is impressive. It is brightly colored with a visible white finish that makes it stand out in any setup. The finish makes it easy to notice strikes when night fishing. The convenient handle enhances your grip and allows for precise casting at your discretion. It is designed for fast action. However, you can choose the length and power that is well suited for you from the varied available options.
Cost and Value
We must reckon that this is one of the cheapest options the market has to offer. It is a wise choice for newbies who want to set out into this exciting venture without blistering their wallets. The best part is that you get 2 rods in the package.
6. Rippin Lips Super Cat
The package includes 2 pieces
Glow tip enhances sensitivity
High power for hooking large cats
Bulky and uncomfortable to carry
While most users like simplicity when it comes to kitchen tools, we also know that many people like multi-functional tools. The company combines E-Glass, S-Glass, and graphite to make a highly durable blank that can hold up to rough use. This ensures a lightweight piece that is comfortable to use.
Ease of Use
As you would wish, the EVA split grip handle feels comfortable when you embrace it and giving you superb balance and control when battling big cats and sensitivity. It was fair of the makers to include a glowing tip to ensure that you notice every bite even in poorly lit conditions. You will also find stainless steel guides with ceramic guide inserts and guide wrap that are coated with epoxy to make them sturdy and durable.
Catfish rods are considered as purely functional equipment. However, thanks to today's endless styles, the Rippin Lips Super Cat Spinning Rod sports modern design, conspicuous red color, and attractive details. This makes it an artistic and trendy way to add style and elegance, fun, and excitement to your fishing hobby. The 8-foot spinning catfish product is designed for heavy power application with a line rating of over 50 Lbs and is perfect for big channels, blues, and flatheads.
Cost and Value
This is your best bet if you want a premium quality-spinning rod without drilling a hole in your pocket. It is an excellent choice for a novice who wants to upgrade their catfishing gear and elevate their catfishing skills to the next level.
7. Okuma Battle Cat
The package has two spinning rods
Comes in multiple size options
Includes a hook keeper
Has a high casting weight
We now introduce you to the Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rods. We cannot deny the premium aspect in play here. Okuma took time to create this catfish spinning tool with your best interest in mind. It is a heavenly combination of functional features, superior construction, and outstanding durability.
If you prefer spinning rods, then this is your best shot. The blank is a product of tough E-glass that can defy breaks, wear and cracking, and deliver long-lived service. The rods are designed for heavy power and have a casting weight of 15 – 65 Lbs, which cares for all sizes of catfish. Expect food welded and stainless steel guides. A massive duty hook keeper made of stainless still lets you change the hook easily.
Ease of Use
The Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod feels comfortable every time it rests on your palms. Its EVA cushioning keeps your arms from being tired even after fishing for a whole day and ensures of a firm grip of the equipment at all times. What's more, cork rear grips are included to provide minimal binding in the holders. It is highly lightweight, portable, and easy to carry around even when traveling. Perfect for those rare moments when you come across a prime fishing spot as you travel.
Cost and Value
It is among priciest unit in our list, meaning there must be something that justifies these extra bucks. Inside the package, you will get two pieces of spinning ones, making it ideal if you intend to go catfishing with a dear one.
Includes two catfish rods
A one year warranty covers it
Return exchange and Money-Back Guarantee
White color makes it easy to notice bites
A little pricey
Although the price point is on the lower end of the scale and easy to achieve, the extra quality and performance of the LurEra Catfish Casting Rod still justify every penny you are required to pay. These work well as far as catfishing goes and looks good too.
The durable yet sensitive blank is crafted from top quality 30 Ton carbon fiber that can stand up to intense use. There is a robust yet lightweight plastic reel seat that securely locks the reel in position. To eliminate friction and protect the line, the makers added stainless guides and ceramic inserts.
Ease of Use
To give you leverage when battling monster fish, these feature camouflage color EVA handles with high-density rubberwood base that enhances your grip and gives you better control. The 7-foot ones have six guides. The manufacturer recommends this piece for heavy power and fast action with a line weight of 50 – 80 Lbs. and lure weight of 1 – 4 Oz.
Cost and Value
Do not let the low price of this entry deceive you. It is among the most affordable in our shortlist but delivers unquestionably, making it a decent investment. The manufacturer stands by this product with a 1-year warranty. In case of defects or dissatisfactions, the company promises a hassle-free return-exchange or money-back guarantee.
9. Shakespeare Catch More
Pre-loaded tackle box
Ready to use immediately
Comes with everything you need
Reel may face a strange direction
A good one does not guarantee a large catch, of course, but including this piece in your fishing gear adds a great deal to the ultimate quality. The Shakespeare Catch More is popular not just for its sturdy construction and practical features but because it's a great choice for the beginner fisherman. If you have children that you'd like to share the joy of fishing with, you're going to want to invest in this product.
If you are excited to get on the lake and start fishing, you're going to love how easy this product is to set-up. In fact, it requires no installation process at all. It's ready to be used straight out of the box.
Everything You Need
In addition to being ready to use immediately after purchase, this product comes with everything you or your child needs to get straight to fishing. It arrives with the rod, of course, but also a reel and tackle that is specially chosen for catfish.
Cost and Value
The Shakespeare Catch More is an excellent balance between quality and value. It features exceptional add-ons that make it fun and convenient to get out on the lake and start fishing.
10. H.T. Enterprises Ol Whisker Rod
Several size options available
The price is easily achievable
lightweight and comfortable to carry
Comes with a trigger handle
Difficult to notice bites
The sensitivity is low
If simplicity, affordability, and elegance is anything to go by, the H.T. Enterprises Ol Whisker Catfish Rod should be your favorite. It represents nothing less than a revolution in what can be achieved when usefulness meets style. The catfishing rod provides more functions than meets the eye; it is designed to help you demonstrate your catfishing talent with ease.
You are sure to make a statement with this rod thanks to the incorporated details. The fishing rod is intensely featherweight allowing you to catfish all day without feeling fatigued. You are free to go for the size variant that works for you from the multiple options available.
Ease of Use
Like other premium quality catfish rods, this one features an ergonomic grip handle with convenient cushioning to enhance comfort and control. It comes with ceramic guides and guide inserts that can withstand abrasion and wear.
Cost and Value
It is high time you cast out the old and outdated catfishing equipment and get this capable unit. At an inexpensive price, you enjoy all the features you expect out of a catfishing rod without having to lose an arm or leg. You also get an additional trigger handle with every purchase adding to the value for money.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The material used for the construction dictates its strength and durability as well. Make sure what you take home is made from the best materials that can stand up to intense use and lightweight enough to make it comfortable to carry. E-glass and S-Glass options have a robust backbone that can take a beating but bulky and less sensitive.
On the other hand, graphite products are light, more sensitive, but they are not durable and are prone to breaking and also less powerful and less sensitive. In addition to that, carbon fiber combines the properties of E-Glass and graphite to make the best on the market. Carbon fiber styles are new to the market and cost more than the others. Look out for products made of durable metal to ensure durability and firm support.
If you care about looks, look for options with colorful hues and attractive details to display your fashionable side. Nevertheless, this should not be at the expense of performance. Brightly colored styles also make it easy to notice slight bites, especially if the environment is not well lit. Catfish are very aggressive, for this reason, ensure the one you choose has at least 25 lbs of the line for the best results.
The length varies from 6 – 12 feet. Longer styles provide better casting distance and enhance your accuracy. Longer roads allow you to cast far away from you with more accuracy. This helps you target fish within a larger radius. Longer options also give you better control, especially if you are dealing with giant catfish.
Long styles are, however, heavier and lack sensitivity. If you are targeting small catfish, we recommend using a short rod. They work well in small garden lakes, rivers, and ponds while longer ones will be handy when you decide to explore the open waters and make longer cats.
Consider models that come with line guides. These transfer vibrations through the rod to your hand when fish make bites. They distribute stress through the entire rod to ensure smooth and accurate long casts.
Features like fluorescent or glow tips enhance visibility allowing you to notice and monitor any slight bites. Reel seats secure the reel to the road. The line guides should be adequate in number and spaced appropriately for the best casting distance and to prevent the line from touching the blank. Guides that have been wrapped will prevent damage to the blank when weight and pressure are on the maximum.
Ease of Use
Catfish handles have different designs than ordinary styles. The handles are longer for more power and leverage and mainly made from foam or cork. Foam handles are the most common courtesy of their comfortable and firm grip and durability. Ensure the handle is ergonomic to ensure comfort and enhanced grip.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Ensure it does not strike against walls, rocks, and other hard surfaces. Always carry it horizontally with the tip facing backward. It should not lean against a wall for long since this may result in bending. To clean it, dip a sponge in warm soapy water and wipe gently. Rinse with warm water before leaving it to dry.
Always be careful when handling catfish. They have sharp dorsal and pectoral fins with jagged edges. When they feel threatened, glands secrete a toxic protein from that can mutilate a person. If the cat is big, use the spines to pin the fish to the ground when working on it. Electric catfish have an electrogenic organ that produces an electrifying shock of up to 400 volts. This can be deadly to human beings.
Other Factors to Consider
The product you eventually decide to purchase should be workable with the type of catfish you are targeting. If you intend to fish for channel catfish, it is advisable to go for graphite options since they have some draws over E-glass. They are more sensitive in such conditions. However, if you want blue and flathead catfish, E-glass or S-glass styles will give you the additional power and durability to battle the larger fish.
The weight is determined by its power. The power refers to the weight and pulling strength of the backbone of the rods’ strength and ability to fight. These products have different weights, such as Ultralight, light, medium, and heavy. Bigger fish require more power. The medium channel is the most suited power for channel catfish and medium heavy for blue and flathead catfish.
Action is the degree that the product is engineered to bend and determines the sensitivity. They range in three action levels; slow, moderate, and fast. The size of your target fish will determine the action. Fast action protects the casting baits from swimming off when casting.
Ensure the weight is properly balanced between the reel and rod to add to your comfort and convenience when fishing.
The type you will choose should depend on whether you intend to do shore fishing, channel catfishing, or blue and flathead catfishing. If you plan to go for larger catfish, choose a long and solidly built product. Smaller fish require shorter rods. On the other hand, if you want all sizes of catfish, look out for a medium sized style that will not compromise with your fishing in every situation.
While the market provides for premium quality yet affordable options, some can cost a fortune. Ensure what you settle for is within your budget range and the best compromise between quality and value.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Who needs one of these?
Any catfish angler requires a specific tool for this job. Catfishing is an enjoyable exercise that is done by countless people across the globe, ranging from hobbyists to professionals who make a living from it. There are 3 types of catfish anglers; the first group chooses quantity over quality and target numbers. The second group is the trophy hunters who target quality over quantity and require advanced gear to catch blues, flatheads, and channels.
q: What is the difference between a catfish rod and pole?
Both catfish rods are used for the same purpose. What sets them apart is that while a rod is made of an artificial composite material like carbon fiber, graphite, or fiberglass, poles are made from natural elements like reeds, bamboo, or cane.
q: What are 2-piece styles?
Two-piece styles comprise of two parts and have a joint in the middle that separates them. This saves the manufacturer money on packaging, shipment, and storage. It is easier to carry a 2 piece in the car, especially if it is longer than 8 feet. Most options that are longer than 8 feet come in 2 pieces.
q: How long should it be?
The length depends on the type and size of fish, fishing techniques, and personal preference. The general recommended height is 7 – 10 feet. If you intend to go for smaller fish, consider sticking to the lower end of this range — anglers who want nothing less than monstrous catfish can go for longer styles.
q: What is the difference between spinning and casting products?
Spinning styles come with large eyelets that face downwards and have the reel under the rod. Your main hand holds the rod while the other holds the reel. Spinning styles are ideal for beginners and feature simple reeling mechanism. Casting options have smaller eyelets facing upwards and the reel on top. They have a more advanced mechanism and are more substantial, making them great if you are targeting larger fish. Another difference between the two types of roads is that while spinning styles require a spinning reel, casting styles will demand a casting reel to function.
q: When is the best time to catfish?
Catfish hibernate during the day and hunt at night. That said, it is advisable to go catfishing when night falls. The best time of the year to catfish is immediately before winter. Catfish are less active when the water becomes cold. Around spring all through to summer, then the water levels rise and the water warms up. the fish start feeding will become active again and begin feeding.