Best Rod for Catfish: Top Picks and Expert Reviews

When selecting a fishing rod for catfish, it’s important to consider the size and species you’ll be targeting and the type of fishing technique you plan to use. 

Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the best rod for catfish:

Rod Power and Action: Catfish can vary greatly in size, from small-channel catfish to massive flatheads and blues. 

For larger catfish species, you’ll want a medium-heavy to heavy power rod that can handle the weight and power of these fish. 

The rod’s action can vary, but a moderate to moderate-fast action is often preferred as it balances sensitivity and power.

Length: Catfish rods typically range from 7 to 9 feet in length. Longer rods can provide better casting distance and control when fishing from the bank or boat.

Shorter rods are more manageable in tight spaces or when fishing from a kayak or smaller boat. 

Monofilament or braided fishing lines in the range of 

20 to 50-pound tests are often preferred for catfishing, depending on the size of the catfish species you’re targeting and the fishing environment.

Line Weight and Lure Weight: Check that the rod you plan to use is compatible with the line weight you plan to use. 

The weight and strength of catfish require heavier lines for fishing. 

The rod should also be capable of handling the weight of the lures or bait rigs you’ll be using.

Rod Material and Construction: Look for a rod made from sturdy materials such as fiberglass or a composite blend. 

These materials provide the strength and flexibility needed to battle large catfish. Reinforced guides and a strong rod blank are essential to prevent breakage.

Handle and Grip: A comfortable and durable handle is important, especially when battling big catfish. Cork and EVA foam handles are popular choices. 

Some catfish rods also come with extended foregrips to provide better leverage.

Reel Seat: Ensure the rod has a sturdy reel seat that can securely hold the size of the reel you plan to use.

Special Features: Some catfish rods have specialized features like glow-in-the-dark tips for night fishing, larger guides to accommodate heavier lines and knots, and even integrated bite indicators.

Brand and Price: Well-known fishing rod brands specializing in catfish gear often offer reliable options.

 While higher-priced rods can offer better quality and performance, there are also budget-friendly options that provide good value.

Try different rods before purchasing to see which feels most comfortable and suits your fishing style. 

Additionally, consider the specific catfish species you’re targeting, as different types of catfish may have slightly different angling requirements.

Best fishing rod for catfish

A fishing rod for catfish is a specialized type designed to handle the specific challenges and power of catfish angling. 

Catfish are known for their size, strength, and fighting abilities, so a dedicated catfish rod is built to provide the necessary strength, sensitivity, and durability to land these fish successfully. 

Best Rod for Catfish

Here are about two types of rods to catch catfish:

  • Catfish Casting Rods 
  • Catfish Spinning Rods 

Best casting rod for catfish

When looking for a casting rod for catfish, it’s important to consider the size and species of catfish you’ll be targeting, the fishing technique you plan to use, and your personal preferences. 

Here are some popular options for catfish casting rods that are often recommended for catfish angling:

Whisker Seeker Chad Ferguson Signature Series Casting Rod

Whisker Seeker Chad Ferguson Signature Series Casting Rod

The catfish fishing rod features an innovative S-Glass and carbon graphite composite blank construction, combining the strength benefits of glass with the lightness and sensitivity of graphite and carbon.

Its high visibility rod tip illuminates underwater surroundings, allowing clear observation of any activity when catfish are present. 

The revolutionary composite blank boasts a robust backbone for effortlessly reeling large catfish and a responsive tip for circle hooks or detecting delicate bites. 

With a length of 7’6″, the rod strikes a perfect balance between leverage over sizable catfish, optimal casting distance, and adaptability for various fishing techniques.

 Including full SS black one-piece guides, 10 on Casting and 8 on Spinning models, ensures seamless long-distance Casting and enduring durability with monofilament and braided lines.

 Equipped with heavily reinforced Graphite double-locking reel seats, the rod steadfastly secures reels without loosening or shifting during extended use.

 The extended handle and foregrip offer enhanced control over larger catfish, bottom bounce sinkers, or finesse fishing. 

This design facilitates comfortable handling and control during encounters with substantial catfish. 

Designed from a cork composite material, the handles emulate the feel of traditional cork while providing a reliable non-slip grip and unmatched durability.

The material effectively resists catfish slime and scales, ensuring a lasting appearance.

Furthermore, it stands up to weather conditions and prolonged use, avoiding the deterioration often seen in traditional cork.

 Despite being light enough for prolonged use, the rod remains robust enough to subdue even the most substantial catfish. 

The inclusion of a sizeable stainless steel hook tender offers convenience when required. 

The rod’s exceptional “Trophy Tuff” warranty surpasses other catfish rod warranties, underscoring the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality.

The rod boasts a versatile 10-50lb mono line rating, making it suitable for various angling situations.

B&M Silver Cat Elite Series Rods

B&M Silver Cat Elite Series Rods

Presenting the brand-new 7.5ft/1 piece Silver Cat Elite rod, expertly designed from E-glass composite material, delivering unparalleled strength and durability when reeling in colossal catfish. 

Tailored for suspended drifting and anchoring techniques, this rod for catfish boasts a non-parabolic action that seamlessly integrates a sturdy backbone with a swift tip, facilitating clearer bite detection. 

The distinctive action of this rod promises exceptional visibility and enhanced angling experiences. 

Noteworthy attributes of the Silver Cat Elite include a double-nut locking reel seat fashioned from aircraft-grade aluminum, a high-visibility tip tailored for night fishing scenarios, and a premium X-Grip handle that elevates grip and enhances the rod’s visual appeal. 

With a Medium-Heavy action and a line rating of 25-50, the Silver Cat Elite is a dynamic addition to any angler’s toolkit.

Ugly Stik Catfish Casting Rod

Ugly Stik Catfish Casting Rod

The Ugly Stik has introduced a dedicated series tailored exclusively for catfish angling. 

Each rod in the Ugly Stik lineup showcases the signature Ugly Stik Clear Tip technology, ensuring heightened sensitivity.

 Constructed using the formidable Ugly Tech framework, these rods exemplify resilience and longevity. 

At the same time, the Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides contribute to their robustness and prevent insert pop-outs. 

Characterized by medium-heavy actions, Ugly Stik Catfish rods boast a skillful fusion of graphite and fiberglass within the Ugly Tech construction, granting the rod both formidable strength and remarkable sensitivity. 

Integrating Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides elevates their durability quotient and eliminates the concern of inserting pop-outs during angling sessions. 

The Ugly Stik Clear Tip design remains pivotal, enhancing the rod’s strength and responsiveness. 

Furthermore, incorporating comfortable EVA grips with a rubber gimbal ensures a steady and ergonomic hold throughout your catfish pursuits. 

Backed by a robust 7-year rod warranty, the Ugly Stik Catfish series exemplifies a commitment to quality and durability, making it a trusted companion for catfish anglers of all levels.

Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Casting Rod

Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Casting Rod

 Okuma offers a range of casting rods in their Battle Cat series, designed to handle various catfish sizes and techniques.

 The Okuma Battle Cat Rod is your ultimate solution if you aim to hook a prize-worthy catfish. 

This top-tier rod is meticulously designed for dedicated anglers, boasting exceptional power and components built for long-lasting performance.

 Its convenient two-piece design ensures easy portability, making it a perfect companion for fishing adventures.

 With a casting weight capacity of 1-8 ounces and the ability to handle 15-60 pound lines, this catfish rod is versatile and capable of tackling various angling scenarios. 

Designed with E-Glass construction, the Okuma Battle Cat Rod showcases unmatched durability and resilience, ready to take on any challenge.

 Including double-foot welded stainless steel guides further reinforces its robustness, while the heavy-duty stainless steel hook keeper adds to its practicality.

 The rod’s graphite pipe reel seat features oversized anodized aluminum hoods, ensuring secure reel attachment and enhancing overall performance. 

Engineered for comfort, the rod incorporates an EVA fore grip that alleviates fatigue during extended fishing sessions, while the cork rear grip minimizes binding when placed in rod holders.

 Including durable, non-skid rubber gimbals on all models enhances stability during intense battles. 

The rod’s 2-piece blank construction, in the handle for a 1-piece feel, combines convenience with the strength required for challenging catches.

Enhancing visibility during night fishing, the rod features a fluorescent-wrapped indicator tip.

To top it all off, Okuma backs the Battle Cat Rod with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, assuring anglers of its enduring quality. 

For anglers seeking a combination of durability, power, and comfort, the Okuma Battle Cat Rod is an indispensable addition to your fishing arsenal.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Rod

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Rod

Global anglers consistently for Ugly Stik Bigwater rods to embrace the formidable big game fishing challenge. 

This series’s core lies in reliability, resilience, and lasting endurance.

 The Bigwater series showcases the robust Ugly Tech construction, meticulously blending graphite and fiberglass to produce a rod that stands strong while retaining sensitivity. 

Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides augment the rod’s exceptional durability while eliminating concerns about insert pop-outs. 

Complementing these features is the enduring Ugly Stik Clear Tip design, which bolsters strength while maintaining sensitivity. 

Enhancing the rod’s performance, Fuji reel seats ensure secure reel attachment, while comfortable EVA grips mitigate fatigue during extended fishing sessions.

Equipped with these enhancements, the NEW and improved Ugly Stik Bigwater Series equips anglers to triumph over any angling scenario, solidifying its reputation as the go-to choice for conquering challenging fishing experiences.

Team Catfish Thunder Cat Casting Rod

Team Catfish Thunder Cat Casting Rod

Ideal for catfish enthusiasts, no matter where you’re pursuing these aquatic giants, the Thunder Cat series offers a selection of professional-grade catfishing rods. 

This range has gained popularity among catfish anglers across the United States, with countless satisfied customers attesting to its quality.

The handles are thoughtfully designed with inlaid contouring grooves, providing optimal gripping exposure for improved control. 

Complementing the handle design are the high-visibility E-glass white blanks, exhibiting well-balanced Catfishing actions that cater to the needs of dedicated anglers.

 The Thunder Cat series focuses on durability and incorporates heavy-duty stainless steel pressed-in guides.

 These guides are reinforced to accommodate both braid and monofilament lines, making them suitable for various angling preferences. 

Including a robust saltwater-grade aluminum reel seat with dual locking nuts ensures that your reel stays firmly in place, even during the most demanding fights. 

Adding a touch of convenience, the series features custom oversized stainless steel snake guide hook keepers. 

These keepers are handy when managing your fishing rig while keeping your setup organized and readily accessible. 

With these features and benefits, the Thunder Cat series is a reliable and versatile choice for catfish anglers aiming to maximize their angling pursuits.

Fenwick Eagle Casting Rod

Fenwick Eagle Casting Rod

Fenwick’s rich legacy in rod building, the Fenwick Eagle rod series is a testament to its proven Classic Fenwick Actions, designed to target a wide array of species.

Designed from 24-Ton graphite and enriched by the cumulative expertise garnered over seventy years of experimentation and refinement, the Fenwick Eagle series expertly melds tradition with cutting-edge technology. 

Enriching casting performance while minimizing friction, the series features upgraded stainless steel guides enhanced with aluminum oxide inserts. 

Its blank-through construction and meticulously designed minimal reel seat contribute to efficiently transmitting even the most delicate nibbles. 

Embracing comfort and practicality, the series integrates premium cork and TAC grips, ensuring an ergonomic and secure hold during your angling ventures. 

An ergonomic and minimal reel seat further enhances the series, facilitating efficient sensitivity and control. 

Deeply rooted in Fenwick’s heritage, the series retains the timeless appeal of Classic Fenwick Actions, which is a testament to its original graphite rod pioneer status.

 A 5-year limited warranty attests to the brand’s commitment to quality and durability, ensuring anglers’ confidence in the Fenwick Eagle series.

St. Croix Mojo Cat Casting Rod

St. Croix Mojo Cat Casting Rod

Engineered and Designed with utmost dedication, the St. Croix Mojo Cat Rods set the bar for excellence. 

Meticulously designed, these rods showcase an ingenious fusion of super-premium 100% linear S-glass and premium SCII graphite, culminating in an unparalleled performance tailored for catfish anglers.

Customized for the ardent pursuit of channel, flathead, and blue catfish, the St. Croix Mojo Cat Rods exhibit a design optimized for devoted anglers. 

Embodying innovation, the rods feature Kigan Master Hand 3D guides, characterized by their robust, slim aluminum-oxide rings that enhance durability and performance.

Complementing the construction is a premium-grade cork handle, ensuring a comfortable and secure grip throughout your angling endeavors.

Ensuring aesthetics and durability, the rods are coated with two Flex Coat slow-cure finish layers, enhancing their visual appeal and safeguarding longevity.

Additionally, including a Kigan hook-keeper adds a practical touch, enabling convenient management of your fishing setup.

For casting models, the rods are equipped with Fuji ECS reel seats paired with black hoods, while spinning models feature Fuji DPS reel seats, again with black hoods. 

These reel seats contribute to the rods’ functionality and ensure secure reel attachment.

Eagle claw catclaw casting rod

Eagle claw catclaw casting rod

Eagle Claw has meticulously designed each of its specialty rods to excel in targeting specific fishing techniques or species.

 These rods are thoughtfully Designed with custom-tailored actions that prioritize user-friendly operation and deliver the exceptional performance that anglers have grown to associate with the Eagle Claw brand.

 Equipped with aluminum oxide guides, graphite reel seats, and resilient EVA foam handles, these rods offer enduring comfort during long fishing sessions and ensure a reliable grip. 

For downrigger rods, adding a slick butt facilitates quick and effortless removal from rod holders, enhancing convenience.

 The inclusion of a comfortable rubber handle knob further elevates the user experience. 

With a rod length of 8’0″, divided into 2 sections, these rods are optimally suited for various angling scenarios. 

The lure weight capacity ranges from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 oz., while the line weight covers 12 to 30 lbs. 

The Medium Heavy power of the rod pairs with a Medium taper and Moderate action, delivering versatility and optimal responsiveness. 

The yellow finish/plating lends a distinct aesthetic, while the glass blank ensures reliability and performance in freshwater conditions. 

Capable of targeting multi-species, these rods epitomize Eagle Claw’s commitment to catering to diverse angling needs.

Shimano catfish rods

Shimano catfish rods

Introducing the all-new Shimano fishing BeastMaster Static Catfish Rod range, a comprehensive lineup of rods designed to cater to the diverse demands of catfish angling. 

This series offers clear and distinct options tailored for various techniques, including lure, static, and fireball angling. 

Boasting HPC100 + Biofibre blanks, these rods exhibit unparalleled strength, making them capable of tackling the largest catfish across Europe. 

The range encompasses spinning and casting models, ensuring a suitable fit for every angler’s preference. 

Equipped with EVA grips, these rods provide a secure and firm hold during intense fish battles, a critical advantage in catfish angling. 

EVA also offers the convenience of easy cleaning after a rewarding day on the water. 

Seaguide stainless steel guides ensure smooth line movement through the guides, safeguarding your line from any potential damage. 

Incorporating cutting-edge technology, the Beastmaster Catfish range harnesses the power of HPC (High-Pressure Carbon) in its construction. 

Shimano’s High-Pressure Carbon process infuses the blanks with enhanced strength and responsiveness.

 The resin evenly permeated the carbon fiber matrix through controlled pressure during curing, resulting in consistently superior performance and heightened responsiveness.

 Delving into the specifications, these carp/specimen rods feature XT60 blank material and a Pac Bay sliding reel seat and are presented in a protective cloth bag.

The inclusion of Sea Guide guides contributes to an optimal line flow experience. 

The range offers a spectrum of lengths from 1.83m to 4.20m, catering to various angling situations.

With a weight of 394g, these two-sectioned rods feature 7 guides, exemplifying the meticulous engineering that goes into each rod. 

The Shimano Beastmaster Catfish range is a testament to the fusion of cutting-edge technology and dedicated craftsmanship, ensuring that catfish anglers have the tools they need to pursue their passion confidently.

Best spinning rod for catfish

When selecting a spinning rod for catfish, it’s important to consider the size of the catfish you’ll be targeting, the fishing technique you plan to use, and the specific features you’re looking for in a rod.

Here are a few catfish spinning rods that are often recommended for catfish:

Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod

The Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod series offers a dedicated and reliable angling experience. 

Embracing the signature Ugly Stik qualities, these rods are equipped with the Ugly Stik Clear Tip for heightened sensitivity, Ugly Tech construction ensuring ruggedness and longevity, and Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides for exceptional durability. 

Characterized by Medium Heavy actions, Ugly Stik Catfish rods incorporate the innovative Ugly Tech construction.

 This amalgamation of graphite and fiberglass culminates in a rod that excels in both strength and sensitivity, catering to the challenges posed by catfish angling.

Complementing this construction are the Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides that enhance the rod’s robustness and eliminate concerns about insert pop-outs. 

Ugly Stik Clear Tip design continues to shine, reinforcing the rod’s strength and responsiveness. 

Ensuring comfort during prolonged fishing sessions, the rods have comfortable EVA grips featuring a rubber gimbal for enhanced control. 

Backed by a confident 7-year rod warranty, the Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod series exemplifies a dedication to quality and longevity, making it an indispensable asset for catfish anglers seeking reliable performance.

Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod

Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod

 The unveiling of Battle Cat rods introduced dedicated trophy catfish anglers to a range of professional-grade rods characterized by robust inherent power, premium high-durability components, and meticulous custom rod maker manufacturing. 

Expanding upon this legacy in 2015, the Battle Cat series welcomes three new spinning models, elevating performance standards for enthusiasts who favor spinning reels. 

Designed in a convenient two-piece format, these rods are well-suited for travel and boast a rating for casting weights ranging from 1 to 8 ounces and accommodating line weights of 15 to 60 pounds.

Team Catfish Thunder Cat Spinning Rod

Team Catfish Thunder Cat Spinning Rod

Introducing the latest addition to Team Catfish’s arsenal, the Thunder Cat series of professional-grade catfishing rods is an exceptional choice for catfish enthusiasts regardless of their angling destinations. 

Over the years, Team Catfish has successfully delivered numerous catfishing rods, spreading happiness among customers across America. 

These Thunder Cat rods are steadfast companions in the battle against formidable catfish amidst challenging conditions like heavy cover or swift currents. 

Featuring long EVA anti-slip POWER FOAM handles equipped with inlaid contouring grooves, these rods guarantee maximum gripping exposure and unwavering control.

 Highlighted by high-visibility E-glass white blanks, these rods showcase finely balanced Catfishing actions that elevate your angling experience. 

Incorporating Heavy Duty stainless steel pressed-in guides, reinforced to accommodate both braid and monofilament lines, these rods guarantee resilience against the most demanding angling conditions. 

Equipped with a Heavy Duty saltwater-grade aluminum reel seat with dual locking nuts, these rods ensure secure and unwavering reel attachment. 

Further enhancing their utility, Thunder Cat rods feature custom oversized stainless steel snake guide hook keepers, providing a practical solution for managing your fishing rig.

Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod

Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod

The Fenwick Eagle spinning rod series, embodies the heritage-rich rod-building legacy of Fenwick, showcasing the time-tested Classic Fenwick Actions meticulously designed to cater to a wide spectrum of species. 

The Fenwick Eagle series seamlessly blends tradition with modern technology, constructed from 24-Ton graphite and drawing from seventy years of refined experimentation and expertise. 

Enhanced with upgraded stainless steel guides featuring aluminum oxide inserts, these rods offer elevated casting performance with reduced friction.

 The blank-through construction and the minimalist reel seat ensure that even the most delicate bites are transmitted effectively, underlining the series’ commitment to tradition and innovation.

Remember to match your spinning rod choice with a suitable spinning reel to handle your target line weight and catfish size. 

Additionally, consider the type of catfish you’ll pursue (e.g., smaller channel catfish or larger flatheads and blues) and your preferred fishing techniques (e.g., drifting, casting, or finesse fishing). 


Choosing the best fishing rod for catfish depends on several factors, including the size of the catfish you’re targeting, your preferred fishing techniques, and your personal preferences. 

Consider the size and species of catfish you plan to target. Like flatheads and blues, larger catfish require heavier rods with medium-heavy to heavy power ratings. 

Different fishing techniques require different rod characteristics, such as bottom fishing, drifting, Casting, or finesse fishing. Make sure the rod you choose matches your preferred technique. 

Choose a rod that can handle the line weight and lure weight you plan to use, keeping in mind the strength of the catfish you’re pursuing.

Catfish and carp anglers typically use medium-heavy to heavy power rods with lengths ranging from 7 to 12 feet, depending on the size of the fish and the fishing technique. 

These rods are designed to handle the strength and weight of these larger fish species. 

A 7 to 9 feet rod is commonly used for catfish fishing, balancing casting distance, and maneuverability.

 Catfish anglers typically use medium-heavy to heavy power rods with fast to moderate-fast actions for targeting catfish. 

The specific rod type depends on the catfish size, the fishing technique, and personal preferences.

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