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Catfish Gear & Accessories Rods

Top 10 Catfish Rods

by Cory Schmidt   |  April 29th, 2014 10

It was a scene of pure agony. And of eventual ecstasy.

Parked along a dark riverbank one night many years back, friends and I had just settled in for what was sure to be an epic evening chasing channel cats. Everything was right—new moon, warm southerly breeze, baitfish flipping in the shallows—until a singular sudden event turned everything, well, weird.

Propped on a flimsy forked stick, my brand new Ugly Stick seemed ready for action. Meanwhile, as we kicked back on the dewy grass, swapping stories, a sudden strange clink-zzt-splash! brought our flashlight beams sharply to bear on our forked sticks. Sickeningly, I noticed mine was folded over in the sand, and no longer clutched its rod. No!!!

I was soon groping along, feeling for glass and graphite in the muddy shallows, on the verge of diving into the drink, when Keith’s rod thumped twice, and started to jump. Just before his combo nearly launched lakeside, too, Keith snatched it up and threw a deep arc into the blank. “Man, there’s a lot of weight here,” I recall him remarking. “Feels big, but . . . sort of weird.”

Soon enough, standing there in a foot of water, I was amazed when a colossal channel cat rolled into the net, three lines protruding mysteriously from its muscular jaws. Keith extracted his hook first, before going to work on a second, which looked oddly familiar. Rigs, line and sinkers seemed to be coming from all directions. And upon removing the second hook and rig, we realized it had to be mine. So retrieving the line hand-over-hand, I soon clutched a rod tip and then, amazingly, the whole recognizable outfit was back in my muddy paws. Yes!!!

As Keith reveled in his big catfish catch, and I in my recaptured Ugly Stik, our buddy Matt had managed to grapple the third line and now held in his hands a very expensive—and more or less mint—rod and reel combo, which was attached to a still-intact plastic worm. “That’s one hungry fish,” someone remarked. And for the next hour, we laughed like 5-year-olds.

Never caught another catfish that night. But it didn’t matter. The outing would live on in our minds and memories, forever—Attack of the Cat Burglar, and fortunes lost, restored and then some.

Here’s hoping you’ll hang on to your favorite catfish rods tight, next time the catfish burglar comes a callin’.

  • Jason Huggins

    I have 3 of the bottom dwellers branded catfight take down edition rods. So far this year I have landed a handful of teens and a 43 lb. These have came out of the Mississippi river where these rods excell. I would put these against any rod listed above, and well above a couple of those listed just based on quality alone. I spent a lot of time and effort searching for that one do it all rod that could land a century mark fish or a 5lb. Bottomdwellerstackle.com is where these rods can be found. Tight lines ! CPR for the future anglers!

    • Chuck Davidson

      They Didn’t Do Very Good Research If They Missed Out On The Catfight Takedown Rod. I Have 4 With Penn Fathoms. Totally The Best I’ve Ever Used.

  • Steven Hise

    I use the glowsticks for bank poles but when im in my boat i use surge rods one of the best rods ive used ive landed a 75lber with them i also use blackhorse custom rods caught a 81lber on one of these with abu 7000 series real and 150lb braided line using charlie brown hooks tangling with catfish is another good brand as welk as mustad hooks

  • John

    I have 4 ugly stiks med heavy 6’6….30lb mono and penn BBtl 8000 reels….this is what I refer to as my big cat rods

  • matt

    8′ ugly stick tiger w/ abu Garcia 7000 20lb Berkley armor coated line. Slip weight, palomar knot to a barrel swivel, 20lb leader tied with palomar knot tied to either a gamagatzu circle hook or treble hook. Amazing set up in my opinion.

  • THE PRO

    FOR THE MONEY KUNNAN AND DIAWA 6 FT 40LB CLASS 5 STAR RODS ARE GOOD QUANTIUM CAT FISH RODS ON THE REAL FOR THE MONEY I HAD A GUY MAKE ME SOME RODS 7’6 80 LB CLASS STAINLESS STEEL GUIDES DOUBLE FOOT CUSTOM WRAP FOOT COST $ 300. A SET BUT THERE REALLY NICE

  • scott

    These “Top Ten” lists crack me up. While there are several top rods on there, I feel that this is more of a top ten of the sites advertisers. How can you put a $200 St. Croix and a $20 Eagle Claw rod on the same list? Instead of a review, it sounds more like a company’s catalog description. I have used Ugly Stiks, and now Team Catfish Thundercats, can’t go wrong with either one. Tight lines all.

  • Kenneth Price

    Wait till They hold one of mine for a day of fishing,,, I know of them all and have fished with the best of them even the custom rods, have designed one of them and got stabbed in the back in the process, But by and far I am glad to see these rateings, because my new design has been in one guys hands and for the first time out, in the first tournament, he placed second all alone on the boat with my new MONSTER CAT series.. So I am glad they were on his boat and people will see and hear more of these rods in the future as they gather in the hands of those who really want a catfish rod,t hat does what its said to do…. CATCH FISH..

  • CatHunter001

    ProAngler and Meat Hunter should be in top 5.

  • Jeremy

    I just use a few of the Whisker Seeker Tackle Chad Ferguson Signature Series rods matched up with Abu C3 6500’s……couldn’t ask for a better pairing.

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