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Best Fishing Rods for Catching Catfish

Selecting the best fishing rod for catfish doesn’t have to be tricky. You can begin by thinking about what size catfish you’re trying to catch.

person holding a large catfish

You’ll want a rod that can handle the possible tug of war you’ll be getting yourself into, and then consider features. 

If you’re looking at catfish of the smaller variety for dinner, meaning less than five pounds (2.3kg), get an ultralight, light, or short spinning rod with a compatible reek.

For larger catfish, trophy blue cats, or flatheads weighing about fifty pounds (22.7kg), the rod has to be much longer and made from durable materials. A nine to twelve-foot (2.7-3.7m) casting or spinning rod should do, as long as it has excellent grip. 

We’ve assembled a list with various lengths, actions, and materials available, so you’ll always be equipped. 

Top 10 Catfish Rods 

  1. B’n’M Silver Cat Elite Rod
  2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Carbon Catfish Rod
  3. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
  4. Berkley Shock Rods
  5. Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rods
  6. Team Catfish Thunder 7’6 MH Action 2pc Spinning Rod
  7. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Casting
  8. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Fishing Rod
  9. Okuma Record Chaser Signature Series Catfish Rod
  10. Championship Catfish Rod

B’n’M Silver Cat Elite Rod

This top-of-the-line rod is designed for anglers who need durability and extra strength. The rod also contains an E-glass composite blank.

 B'n'M Silver Cat Elite Rod

This setup will allow you to hone in on catfish weighing up to 100 lbs or more and give you the confidence that your rod can take the beating.

The tight reel-to-rod connection is maintained thanks to an aircraft-grade aluminum double nut living reel seat, even with a hard-pulling catfish attached.

Even though the backbone is stiff, this fishing pole also has a faster tip to enable you to see it bending clearly at the end of the rod once an eager catfish takes the bait.

Type: Spinning
Length: 7.5 ft
Power: Medium to Heavy
Line weight: 25-50 lbs
Gear ratio: 7.2:1

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Carbon Catfish Rod

The Ugly Stik Catfish Rod has a special combination of fiberglass and graphite, which allows them to stand up to nearby use.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Carbon Catfish Rod

Moreover, the strength is concentrated in the fiberglass tip, so you don’t have to worry about the fishing rod’s tip snapping off because of a wayward catfish. What’s more, there’s a seven-year warranty to protect your purchase. 

Each rod has Ugly Tuff line guides, and they are made from a single piece of stainless steel.

This specific design prevents the ceramic guide inserts from dislodging. Moreover, the EVA handles provide you with fish-fighting comfort with the ability to cast lines all day long.

Type: Casting or Spinning
Length: 7-8 ft
Power: Medium to heavy
Line weight: 15-30 lbs
Gear ratio: 5.1:1

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

Amazon product

The KastKing Perigee II is a powerful S-glass and graphite rod with non-slip grips designed to aid professional anglers in capturing massive catfish.

a kastking perigree II fishing rod for catfish

Fortunately, these rods are just as well for casual anglers who endeavor to land more manageable catfish.

Impressively, this rod also has an oversized fighting butt and a large foregrip for extra leverage when you’re wrestling a giant catfish, trying to get it back to the dinner table.

Moreover, the chartreuse strike indicator is easy to see in lowlight conditions. The low friction Fuji silicon-carbide line guides are very smooth and hard, and they resist grooving when heavy braided lines are used.

Type: Casting or Spinning
Length: 7-9 ft
Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy or Heavy
Line weight: 15-30, 20-40 or 30-60 lbs
Gear ratio: 6.4:1

Berkley Shock Rods

Typically, catfish anglers use braided lines, which helps to bring fish out of the weeds where the bigger catfish often stay.

Often, these braided lines create grooves inline guides, which weakens the line and the rod. All these factors can lead to you losing fish.

The Berkley Shock Rods eliminate these problems. The rod features a high-quality, 24-ton multi-modulus carbon composite blank construction for starters.

Moreover, there’s a unique shock-absorbing tip designed to account for the lack of stretch when braided lines are used.

Furthermore, the guides are stainless steel, and they have titanium-oxide inserts; this makes them resistant to line grooving and cracking.

Type: Casting or Spinning
Length: 6-7.6 ft
Power: Medium to Heavy
Line weight: 8-17 lbs or 12-25 lbs
Gear ratio: 7.1:1

Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rods

These rods are equipped with two-piece blank construction, locked into the handles, giving it the strength of one piece.

an okuma battle cat catfish rod

Moreover, the rods are made of an E-glass, making them heavy and reliable. This rod also comes with guides that are made up of double-reinforced stainless steel guides.

Furthermore, the Battle Cat rods are specially designed for large anglers, and the custom handle system accounts for all of this.

The EVA foregrip is comfortable. Binding in rod holders has significantly reduced thanks to the full cork rear grip. Lastly, these rods are outfitted with rod tips that are fluorescent orange to easily detect strikes during the night.

Type: Casting
Length: 7.6 ft
Power: Medium-Heavy
Line weight: 15-60 lbs
Gear ratio: 6.4:1

Team Catfish Thunder 7’6 MH Action 2pc Spinning Rod

The Team Catfish Thunder rod has durability and sensitivity in one. The rod has a soft tip that enables easy detection of catfish when they nibble at the bait.

team catfish thunder catfish rods

Moreover, the power foam handle is long and will keep you from losing your grip. Furthermore, the tapered end cap prevents the rod from becoming wedged in a rod holder during the worst possible moment.

The rods are white with black and yellow wraps. This color scheme is highly visible in lowlight conditions and at night.

The braided stainless-steel line guides can stand up to anything. Moreover, the graphite is fortified with a stainless steel band to give you the confidence that your rod won’t fold under pressure.

Type: Casting
Length: 7.6 ft
Power: Medium
Line weight: 8-25 lbs
Gear ratio: 6.2:1

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Casting

The Catfish Commando Casting Combo from Abu Garcia is for the anglers that mean serious business. For power and performance, look no further.

an abu garcia catfishing rod

The guides are stainless steel, and the Catfish Commando was designed to withstand intense conditions. It has dual stainless steel bearings and the Carbon Matrix drag system for optimal performance once the catfish bites.

You get efficient control when casting with a six-pin centrifugal brake, a compact and convenient bent handle, and blank composite construction for smooth handling.

The lightweight design and bold style make this model one of the best fishing rods for catfish available today. 

Type: Casting
Length: 7 ft
Power: Medium to Heavy
Line weight: 15-30 lbs
Gear ratio: 5.1:1

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Fishing Rod

Shakespeare Ugly Stik has been making quality fishing equipment for years. These rods are built for success, and their durability is incredible.

a shakespeare ugly stik tiger catfish rod

The stainless steel construction, along with the graphite core and the outer layer of E-glass, allows for a solid backbone to accompany the fast action. 

Reviews mention that Ugly Sticks have you covered when it comes to all variations of fishing applications, from the length, power, and special features.

You get rods with two lengths and several different power ratings. Most of the models they offer are seven feet in length, but you can also get the eight-foot model.

Type: Casting
Length: 7 ft
Power: Medium to Heavy
Line weight: 15-30 lbs
Gear ratio: 4.9:1

OKUMA Record Chaser Signature Series Catfish Rod

Developed with Kirk Kirkland, world record holder and expert angler, the Okuma Record Chaser is a premier casting rod that homes the strength and power you need to reel in a heavy hitter.

an okuma record chaser catfish fishing rod

It has a 24-ton carbon blank that gives durability and is ultra-responsive to getting that trophy catfish. It has Okuma’s flex reinforcement system with advanced tip technology. 

That allows for three times the lifting power and strength that you would get from a standard rod if you find your cat is putting up a fight. It has titanium oxide inserts within the stainless steel guides for even more strength when using a braided line.

The EVA foam grips are comfortable and allow you to fish for extended periods. This rod also comes with a medium to heavy (moderate) action and a one-year limited warranty. 

Type: Casting
Length: 7 ft
Power: Medium to Heavy
Line weight: 15-30 lbs
Gear ratio: 7.2:1

Championship Catfish Rod

Amazon product

The Championship Catfish Rod makes it easy to pull in monster catfish thanks to the rugged construction and medium to heavy power.

a championship catfish rod

It is nearly eight feet long with a fiberglass rod and is still lightweight enough to transport easily. The double-reinforced steel guides aren’t bulky and in the way. They have a low profile but are still sturdy enough to avoid erosion from braided lines. 

This medium-fast action rod also has high visibility and a sensitive tip to see well during the day or night, and it has a durable backbone. The EVA foam grips are easy to clean, and the fiberglass finish doesn’t rust.

The fighting handle can tuck away under your arm for more leverage when trying to reel in the catfish. You also get a lifetime warranty with the rod if it breaks, whether accidental or on purpose.

Type: Spinning
Length: 7 ft
Power: Medium to Heavy
Line weight: 10-50 lbs
Gear ratio: 7.2:1

Final Thoughts

Nothing beats a durable rod that holds up to the boisterous ways of a heavy catfish. The listed rods come in different lengths and strengths, and they have medium to fast actions for the most part.

These rods also come at different price points to give consumers a choice to find a quality rod that suits their needs.

The best fishing rod for catfish will depend on what you want to accomplish on the water, but any of the choices on the list are battle-tested and durable. Just make sure to use the right bait!

Rocco Smith

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