Fishing

The 10 Best Catfish Rods of 2020

Best Catfish Rod

Photo: midwestoutdoors.com

Catfish is a fierce and strong fish species that gives you intense fight while fishing. If you intend to catch one then only the best catfish rod can help you succeed. A product that has medium-heavy power and constructed with the strongest material.

This will also depend on the size of catfish you are preying on. You are suggested to not make an uninformed purchase because a lousy rod will sabotage your overall fishing experience.

Here we recommend some of the leading catfish rod models in our review. Make sure to carefully examine each one of it before hitting the buy button.

10 Best Catfish Rods – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

KastKing KatTech

1. KastKing KatTech (Best Overall)

  • 7’6” appropriately sized and durable construction
  • Comes with heavy power
  • Custom rubber cork handle
  • Chartreuse strike tip
Shakespeare 1366951 Ugly Stik

2. Shakespeare 1366951 Ugly Stik (Best Budget)

  • Most affordable product
  • EVA handle
  • 7’ length
  • 15 – 30 lbs line weight
BnM SCAT70S

3. BnM SCAT70S (Best for Money)

  • Rigid and durable construction
  • 7’ favourable length
  • Glow in dark tip
  • Very reasonably priced
Okuma 3823524-P

4. Okuma 3823524-P (Best Baitcasting)

  • 1 – 8 oz lure weight for baitcasting
  • Heavy power
  • Comfortable handle
  • Available in different sizes
Okuma 219087

5. Okuma 219087 (Best Heavy)

  • Comes with heavy power and high strength
  • Fluorescent wrapped tip
  • 2-piece blank construction
  • Available in 2 sizes
Shakespeare 1366955 Ugly Stik

6. Shakespeare 1366955 Ugly Stik (Best Catfish Rod & Reel Combo)

  • Comes in a combo of catfish rod and reel
  • Medium heavy-action spinning rod
  • 7’ length
  • Suitably priced
St. Croix SG_B011IXW4EC_US

7. St. Croix SG_B011IXW4EC_US (Most Durable)

  • SCII Graphite and S-Glass construction
  • Two coats of flex coat
  • Premium cork handle
  • Strong aluminum oxide rings
Abu Garcia AMBCC-6500/701MH

8. Abu Garcia AMBCC-6500/701MH (Most-Consistent)

  • Carbon Matrix drag system for more consistency
  • Bold styling
  • Composite blank construction
  • Comes in a reel and rod combo
Shakespeare 137901 Ugly Stik

9. Shakespeare 137901 Ugly Stik (Most Versatile)

  • Suitable for big water game fishing
  • Made of graphite and fiberglass
  • 6’6” length
  • Suitable for baitcasting
Shakespeare Ugly Stik 1366949

10. Shakespeare Ugly Stik 1366949 (Standard)

  • Comes in medium/heavy power
  • Clear tip for high sensitivity
  • EVA handle
  • 15 – 30 lbs line weight

PRODUCT

1. KastKing KatTech

(Best Overall)

KastKing KatTech
  • 7’6” appropriately sized and durable construction
  • Comes with heavy power
  • Custom rubber cork handle
  • Chartreuse strike tip

2. Shakespeare 1366951 Ugly Stik

(Best Budget)

Shakespeare 1366951 Ugly Stik
  • Most affordable product
  • EVA handle
  • 7’ length
  • 15 – 30 lbs line weight

3. BnM SCAT70S

(Best for Money)

BnM SCAT70S
  • Rigid and durable construction
  • 7’ favourable length
  • Glow in dark tip
  • Very reasonably priced

4. Okuma 3823524-P

(Best Baitcasting)

Okuma 3823524-P
  • 1 – 8 oz lure weight for baitcasting
  • Heavy power
  • Comfortable handle
  • Available in different sizes

5. Okuma 219087

(Best Heavy)

Okuma 219087
  • Comes with heavy power and high strength
  • Fluorescent wrapped tip
  • 2-piece blank construction
  • Available in 2 sizes

6. Shakespeare 1366955 Ugly Stik

(Best Catfish Rod & Reel Combo)

Shakespeare 1366955 Ugly Stik
  • Comes in a combo of catfish rod and reel
  • Medium heavy-action spinning rod
  • 7’ length
  • Suitably priced

7. St. Croix SG_B011IXW4EC_US

(Most Durable)

St. Croix SG_B011IXW4EC_US
  • SCII Graphite and S-Glass construction
  • Two coats of flex coat
  • Premium cork handle
  • Strong aluminum oxide rings

8. Abu Garcia AMBCC-6500/701MH

(Most-Consistent)

Abu Garcia AMBCC-6500/701MH
  • Carbon Matrix drag system for more consistency
  • Bold styling
  • Composite blank construction
  • Comes in a reel and rod combo

9. Shakespeare 137901 Ugly Stik

(Most Versatile)

Shakespeare 137901 Ugly Stik
  • Suitable for big water game fishing
  • Made of graphite and fiberglass
  • 6’6” length
  • Suitable for baitcasting

10. Shakespeare Ugly Stik 1366949

(Standard)​

Shakespeare Ugly Stik 1366949
  • Comes in medium/heavy power
  • Clear tip for high sensitivity
  • EVA handle
  • 15 – 30 lbs line weight

1. KastKing KatTech – Best Overall Catfish Rod

KastKing KatTech

Photo: KastKing

  • Power: Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet 6 inches

Among all the catfish rods we have listed, this is the best overall product as it comes in a suitable size of 7-feet 6-inches and made of the most promising composite material of graphite and linear S-glass.

The material makes it very lightweight and easy to manage. The length gives you enough scope to fish from river bank as well as the boat.

About the power, this product is fitting to target medium sized catfish due to heavy power. Also, the company uses Fuji double foot guide and Fuji reel seats that don’t fail even in the most intense situations. This product is very durable overall.

As far as the handle is concerned, it is made of custom rubber cork material. Your grip remains firm and comfortable throughout.

Another very interesting feature of this product is the chartreuse strike tip that immediately signals you as soon as the fish strikes. This product has got everything right expect that it’s a bit expensive and does not come with warranty.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable construction
  • Very firm and comfortable grip
  • Lightweight and easy to manage
  • Fuji reel seats and foot guide

Cons:

  • No warranty

2. Shakespeare 1366951 Ugly Stik – Best Budget Catfish Rod

Shakespeare 1366951 Ugly Stik

Photo: Ugly Stik

  • Power: Medium
  • Length: 7 feet

This product is especially for budget-buyers, the hobbyists and occasional fishers who want to undertake catfish for fun. This is the cheapest catfish rod as far as pricing is concerned. It comes with medium power and suitable for small catfish as the line weight is between 15 – 30-pounds.

The construction of this product is done with decent material and there are one-piece stainless-steel guides. The overall length of rid is 7-feet and since this is a one-piece rod, transporting it can be a but challenging.

The handle is made of very comfortable EVA material that will not tire your hand during the struggle. The rod action of this product is moderate fast so you cannot expect a lot of flexing.

Overall, this is a decent product but the limited flexing could be a problem for some users. Plus, stainless-steel material of guides will react after some time of usage.  

Pros:

  • Available on the most affordable price
  • EVA handle for comfortable grip
  • Comes with medium power

Cons:

  • One-piece rod difficult to transport
  • Does not have a lot of flexing
  • Stainless steel material can react after a while

3. BnM SCAT70S – Best Catfish Rod for the Money

BnM SCAT70S

Photo: BnM

  • Power: Medium
  • Length: 7 feet

For someone who doesn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on a catfish rod and yet desires best of the features, this model is the best product for money.

The construction of this rod is done with 100% fiberglass with ceramic inserts and aluminum oxide guides. None of these materials are oxidizable. Also, the combination of all these materials makes it very durable.

Furthermore, the rod comes in a favourable length of 7-feet and has medium power to tackle small catfish. There is a glowing dark tip that help you inspect even the lightest bites on the catfish rod.

To make the rod comfortable in holding, it comes with nylon cord grip. This is a great product expect that there is no warranty on the rod.

Pros:

  • Full value of money product with affordable pricing
  • Durability and rigidity ensured
  • Comes with nylon cord grip
  • Suitably sized of 7-feet

Cons:

  • No warranty

4. Okuma 3823524-P – Best Catfish Baitcasting Rod

Okuma 3823524-P

Photo: Okuma

  • Power: Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet 6 inches – 10 feet

This one is the best catfish baitcasting rod because unlike any other, this one comes with the lure weight of 1- 8-ounces. This means, that you can pick on large catfish with a visible lure of as high weight as 8-ounces.

Other strength related features of this model include heavy power and the line strength of 15 – 60-pounds. Also, you get flexibility of length from 7-feet 6-inches to 10-feet. There is immense versatility in this product.

The construction is done with E-glass material. Plus, there are stainless-steel guides. It is a bit stiff but work fine while in action. The handle too comes with EVA fore grip for comfort and cork rear-grip to reduce binding.

While the overall product is suitable but stainless-steel guides will demand high-maintenance, especially while using in saltwater.

Pros:

  • 1 – 8-ounces lure weight suitable for baitcasting
  • Versatility in size
  • Suitable for heavy catfish
  • Very comfortable and functional handle

Cons:

  • Stainless-steel guides need maintenance

5. Okuma 219087 – Best Heavy Catfish Rod

Okuma 219087

Photo: Okuma

  • Power: Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet 6 inches, 8 feet

This one is the best heavy catfish rod not singularly for heavy power but also due to the line weight of 15 – 60-pounds. This one is highly capable of catching heavy catfish.

The strength of the rod is also ensured with the E-glass construction. As far as casting is concerned, you can do that from a decent distance as this model comes in two length sizes of 7-feet 6-inches and 8-feet.

To make it more dependable, you get double foot welded stainless-steel guides. The rod comes in 2-piece but it joins in such a way that feel very firm in hand. With 2-piece construction, the transportation also becomes easy.

Furthermore, there is a fluorescent wrapped indicator tip which shows even the slightest bite marks on the catfish rod.

Again, just like the Okuma 3823524-P catfish rod, this one is also priced on the higher side.

Pros:

  • Comes with heavy power
  • High in strength
  • Double foot welded stainless-steel guides
  • Easy to transport

Cons:

  • Price on higher side

6. Shakespeare 1366955 Ugly Stik – Best Catfish Rod and Reel Combo

Shakespeare 1366955 Ugly Stik

Photo: Ugly Stik

  • Power: Medium/Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet

So, if you are searching for the best catfish rod and reel combo then consider this model for purchase. It is not only suitable for spinning but also equally suitable for conventional fishing as well.

The 7-feet length is decent enough with medium/heavy power to catch a medium sized catfish and bear the struggle. The aluminum spool makes it durable enough.

Furthermore, it comes with 50-size spinning reel with a ball-bearing and one-way clutch. Also, you get an anti-reverse bearing.

Talking about the drawback, this rod comes in one-piece which makes transporting a bit challenging. Other than that, it is a highly considerable product for purchase.

Pros:

  • Comes in a combo of rod and reel
  • Has anti-reverse bearing
  • Suitably priced
  • Medium/heavy strength

Cons:

  • One-piece construction makes it difficult to transport

7. St. Croix SG_B011IXW4EC_US – Most Durable Catfish Rod

St. Croix SG_B011IXW4EC_US

Photo: St. Croix

  • Power: Medium/Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet

The St. Croix catfish rod has the most durable construction done with SCII graphite and S-glass material. Both these materials unite and make a virtually unbreakable and premium composition for high-performance.

The 7-feet rod comes in power of medium/heavy and is coated with two coats of flex coats for slow action fishing. Furthermore, the aluminum oxide rings make it exceptionally strong and smooth in performance.

Also, it has got premium grade cork handle which is equally firm and comfortable. This product is dedicated for anglers, devoted channels and flatheads. The only drawback is its immensely high price.

Pros:

  • Most durable product
  • Very smooth performance
  • Premium-grade handle
  • Suitable for professionals

Cons:

  • Super expensive

8. Abu Garcia AMBCC-6500/701MH – Most-Consistent Catfish Rod

Abu Garcia AMBCC-6500/701MH

Photo: Abu Garcia

  • Power: Medium/Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet

The carbon matrix drag system of the rod makes it the most consistent catfish rod on the market. Then there is a 4-pin centrifugal brake that help in applying consistent pressure for precise casting.

This one comes in a combo of a rod and a reel. It has got bold styling and has composite blank construction for added durability and lightweight.  

The rod is smooth in operation with the 2 stainless-steel ball bearings. The handle is also very comfortable and gives you firm grip.

The tip is a bit disappointing as it is not very durable and will also not give away easily if there are any bite marks.

Pros:

  • Very consistent in performance
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Smooth in operation

Cons:

  • The tip could have been better

9. Shakespeare 137901 Ugly Stik – Most Versatile Catfish Rod

Shakespeare 137901 Ugly Stik

Photo: Ugly Stik

  • Power: Medium
  • Length: 6 feet 6 inches

From Ugly Stik family, this one is a versatile rod that is used for big water game fishing. That means, whether you want to catch tuna from the pacific or catfish from the South, this stick can be exceptionally useful.

The 6-feet 6-inches length of this model works great for variable usage of the rod to catch different kinds of fishes.

One of the biggest strengths is its construction material composition of fiberglass and graphite that don’t just give much-needed flex to the rod but is too stringent to make it virtually unbreakable.

It comes with medium power and has high tendency of baitcasting. This one is an extremely durable and functional product. Also, the handle is highly comfortable and praise-worthy. However, the one-piece construction makes it difficult to transport.

Pros:

  • Suitable for big water game fishing
  • Flexes very well
  • Durable
  • Very comfortable handle

Cons:

  • Difficult to transport

10. Shakespeare Ugly Stik 1366949 – Standard Catfish Rod

Shakespeare Ugly Stik 1366949

Photo: Ugly Stik

  • Power: Medium/Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet

This is a standard product from Ugly Stik that comes in medium/heavy power. The catfish rod is highly functional and made of superior material.

With its 7-feet size, you can expect to use the rod in different situations. There is clear tip for high sensitivity that indicates the presence of fish around the lure.

Furthermore, the strength of this rod can be evaluated from the line weight of 15 – 30-pounds, making it suitable for smaller catfish. Plus, the EVA handle makes it very comfortable to hold. This is a great product overall but because of one-piece construction, the carrying will be challenging.

Pros:

  • Comes in medium/heavy power
  • Suitably sized in 7-feet length
  • EVA handle for utmost comfort

Cons:

  • Carrying can be challenging

How to Buy the Best Catfish Rod

How to Buy the Best Catfish Rod

Let us help you with the evaluation criteria of finding the best rod for catfish.

1. Power

The power of a catfish rod signifies its strength which is usually measured in different categories like light, medium, medium/heavy, and heavy.

Before we go further, you need to know some important facts about catfish. Well, these are highly aggressive fishes and give you tough fight as you make an attempt to catch them.

Even the lightest catfish of as low as 1-pound in weight can cause a lot of hassle. Therefore, you need a rod that does not flex too much and can endure the fight effectively.

While the power is ranked in 4 prime categories but there is no brand that manufacture it in light power. It is not practically feasible for a light power rod to handle the struggle generated by catfish.

You will at least need medium/heavy strength for an average sized catfish. Some fine products like Okuma 219087 catfish rod give line strength of up to 60-pound with heavy power. Therefore, you can rely on this product to catch small to medium sized catfish.

One more thing, there are no specific rules of evaluating a catfish rod based on the power labelled by the manufacturer. So, you should always check for the line weight with the power feature to ensure the capability of the rod.

2. Frame Material

It is important to invest in a sturdy and durable frame. Well, the qualification is based on the material used in construction of this component.

Well, when you explore different products, you will come across a handful of material in the catfish rods. Let’s take a look at the materials with their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is among the most trusted materials when it comes to catfish rods. It is very durable and have the sturdiness the is required to stand up against catfish.

These days, the material is mostly blended with graphite material because fiberglass alone can make a rod too cumbersome and eventually it becomes very difficult to transport.

The best recommendation of product in fiberglass material is the BnM SCAT70S catfish rod.

Graphite

Graphite is also extremely strong material and has stiffer feel. It is because of the stiffness of rod that user can feel the vibration of fish very easily.

It is easy to tell when fish is lurking around the rod and about the potential bites. You can also find this material more widely used in combination of other materials like E-glass or fiberglass, etc.

A combination of graphite and fiberglass makes the rod very expensive. But on the plus side, it gives great efficiency and is very lightweight for transportation.

E-Glass

E-glass is also a form of fiberglass material. Some of its properties include sturdiness and firmness. These rods are very stiff and mostly available in 1-piece which makes transportation kind of an issue.

Another thing that makes it a less popular choice is lack of flexibility. These rods are very stiff and gives less scope of bending to catch the catfish effectively. However, the industry is making a lot of progress in covering up the shortcomings.

One of the best products made of this material is the Okuma 3823524-P catfish rod which is also one of the best-selling products on the market for its baitcasting qualities.  

Composite

The word composite is wide. It can be a combination of many materials. In catfish rods, you can find composite material made of graphite and fiberglass, or graphite and e-glass. Both materials are more or less same in strength and work decently.

Buying Advice

If you are a serious fisher then go with the composite material because you can spare some extra cash. However, for the hobbyists, the fiberglass catfish rods will do good.

3. Length

If you have followed this catfish rod review from the beginning then you must have seen different lengths of the rods.

Ideally, a 7-feet rod do good justice to the task. However, there are rods with length as much as 10-feet as well.

Your choice should depend on the distance from water from where you are casting. For example, if you are fishing from a boat, you will not need very large rod. But if you are fishing from river bank then a little extra length will do good for the task.

4. Action

The action of a rod refers to its flexibility. When the catfish will give you a fight, how much flex the rod will show before it breaks down is the action of a rod.

There are two categories in this context as well. A slow action rod will flex throughout their length while fast action rods will flex only from the tip.

The action will also depend on your comfort level of using a rod. The experienced anglers prefer using slow action rods as it gives them some room to fight back the catfish.

5. Handle

Lastly, most of your experience is impacted by the handle. If it is not comfortable then you will surely miss out on many potential catches.

Most of these rods come with EVA foam handle. Also, there are some models with cork handle material which makes it pretty comfortable to hold.

Conclusion

On concluding the catfish rod review, we give you some of the most significant recommendations that shouldn’t be missed.

The best overall product is the KastKing KatTech catfish rod which comes with heavy power and made of very promising material to help you catch the catfish effectively.

The second-best recommendation is the Okuma 219087 catfish rod due to its heavy power and line strength of up to 60-pounds. This rod is very dependable and trusted by the professionals.

All these products excel in good qualities. Take a look at these products and decide for the best one.

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