Best Catfish Rods 2024 – The Best Rods For Catfish (Review & Guide)

Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Afsar

Catfish is one of the popular types of fish for being tasty panfish. They are strong, runs like a tiger, and are delicious when cooked. Since catfishes are tough to catch with regular fishing rods, you need special types of catfish rods to catch them. Our primary target of this post is to share the rod that is suitable to catch catfishes. Many anglers love to catch catfishes for entertainment, but most newbies fail at one thing; choosing the best rods for catching catfish. Unlike most fishes, catfish will fight hard, and they will try their best to escape. That’s why you’ll need a rod that’s capable of holding it and allowing you to stow that goddamn enormous catfish in your fish cooler.

Best Catfish Rods 2024

Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Combo

A lot of angler loves the Ugly Stik series from Shakespeare. If you are into catfishing, you will love this one too. This ugly stik catfish spinning combo is specifically made for catching catfishes. The clear tip offers great sensibility with high accuracy. The tough construction of this catfish rod provides better durability and helps you with stainless steel guides. The only thing you can complain about this rod is it’s a one-piece design. However, you need to remember that you are getting a combo at a very reasonable price.

Best catfish rod and reel combo

Notable Features:

  • Tough construction and design offer high-durability
  • One-piece stainless steel guides
  • Competitive price
  • Clear tip used
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Berkley Big Game Casting Fishing Rod

Berkley is a household name when it comes to fishing rods. Big Gam Casting rods by Berkley has been used by thousands of anglers to catch big monster catfishes. As the name suggests, the Big Game series rods are designed to catch big fishes. Berkley Big Game casting rod uses a blank fiberglass blank construction, making it great to use to catch catfishes.

You will find stainless steel guide frames with aluminum oxide inserts. This particular model is 7″ long and has a medium-heavy cast action. Full rubberized shrink-wrapped handles ensure that you can hold on to them with comfort. You can tell from the picture that this is a two-piece catfishing rod, making it easy to transport. One thing that I can assure you is that the value you would get for the price is high.

Notable Features:

  • Great value for the price
  • Fiberglass blank construction
  • The stainless steel guide frame has aluminum oxide inserts
  • Full rubberized shrink wrapped handles offer great comfort
  • Medium-heavy action
  • 7″ long
  • Two-pieces design
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Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod

Berkley’s big game spinning fishing rod is one of the most popular catfishing rods out there that can handle a lot of different types of fish species. Pure Fish, the manufacturer of this catfishing rod, claims this series to be best used for big fish. Big Game spinning rod uses black, white, and red colors to create a stunning rod.

It comes with a strong tubular fiberglass blank construction, x-veil high modulus blank, stainless steel guide frame with titanium oxide inserts, TAC split full EVA handles, and more. The EVA handles are quite comfortable, and just make it easy to use the catfish rod.

This catfish rod comes with a moderate fast rod action and has a row power of medium-heavy. It is 8″ long and comes in two pieces. Since it is designed to tackle big fish, we can recommend this fishing rod for catching catfish.

Rod Blank: Tubular Fiberglass
Rod Action: Moderate Fast
Rod Power: Medium-Heavy
Line Rating: 12-30lb
Lure Rating: 1-4
Number of guides with tip: 6

Notable Features:

  • X-veil high modulus blank
  • Available in different packages
  • Fenwick custom ergonomic reel seat
  • EVA & TAC split grip handle provides great comfort
  • Available in black, white, and red color
  • 8″ medium heavy 2PC
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Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Combo

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Combo

Abu Garcia is a popular fishing rod and reel manufacturer founded in Sweden. This catfishing rod comes with stainless steel ball-bearing to provide a much smoother operation when in use. Unlike most traditional catfishing rods, this one comes with an ergonomic design, which can be unpleasant if you are into regular rods only. Equipped with a Carbon Matrix Hybrid Drag system, you will have a smooth and reliable drag performance.

Abu Garcia used durable composite blank construction to make this catfish rod. Catfish commando combo comes with lots of other features like the synchronized level wind system which improves the line lay and stability. The high-density EVA used provides an amazing sensitivity with high durability. Since this is designed for catfishes only, serious catfish anglers would love its performance.

Notable Features:

  • Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system offers smoother and more reliable drag performance
  • Consistent brake pressure with the 6-pin centrifugal brake
  • Smooth operation, thanks to the two stainless steel ball-bearing
  • Competitive price for a combo
  • Durable composite blank construction to handle big catfishes
  • Ergonomic design with a compact bent handle
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Fire Stik 7’6″ Catfish Casting Rod | Casting Fishing Striper

Are you looking for a catfish casting rod that won’t disappoint you? Fire Stik’s 7’6″ catfish rod is designed to be beautiful and strong at the same time. This medium-heavy catfish rod has a length of 7’6″. It uses a two-piece design to make it travel-friendly. Rock-solid E-Glass and Graphite composite construction is used to make the blank of the rod. This composite construction ensures that this catfish pole is lightweight but strong enough to pull big fish from the water. According to the manufacturer, this catfish rod can handle a 40lb flathead catfish with ease. There are not many catfish rods at such low prices to tackle that type of big fish. Considering all the features, I can confirm that this is one of the toughest catfish rods on the market.

Notable Features:

  • 7’6″ long
  • Stylish design
  • Non-Ceramic & never-fail stainless guides
  • IM7 graphite
  • 304 solid stainless line guides
  • Medium-heavy action
  • Two-piece design
  • E-Glass and graphite
  • Lure weight: 1-5 oz
  • Line Weight: 20-40 lb
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BnM Silver at Magnum Cast Rod MAG75Cn

If you are looking for a one-piece catfish rod for sale, you need to check BnM’s Silver Cat. Unlike most other catfish rods, this one comes with a one-piece design. It is 7.5ft long with nine stainless steel guides to hold the line. 90% carbon and 10% fiberglass construction ensures high durability. Also, the aluminum reel seat ensures high durability. You will find the traditional cork handle in this catfish pole. BnM claims that this catfish pole was designed to be their pro staff for catching the monster fishes.

Notable Features:

  • 90% carbon and 10% fiberglass
  • Extra-long cork handles
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Aluminum reel seat
  • Nine guides
  • Made to catch big fishes
  • 50 lb test line capacity
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Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod

Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod

Famous John Jamison designs this rod for catfish. Super Cat casting rod is a great rod from the SuperCat series with a great design and build quality. Unlike most catfish rods, this one ditched E-glass and used S-glass blanks fiberglass to keep it lightweight and stronger. Since E-glass was intended for non-fishing purposes, S-Glass is solely designed for fishing rods only.

This rod is made of one part, which might drive away people who love things that take less space. However, other features with a decent price are good to make the decision on it. The custom EVA split grip handle can let you fight big catfishes with the right balance. Considering all the features, this is one of the best catfish rods on the market.

Notable Features:

  • High-quality raw materials used
  • Lightweight and Durable S-Glass blanks
  • Split grip design used for bump casting
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Medium-heavy casting
  • Able to handle big catfishes
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219087 Okuma Battle Cat 2pc – Heavy Casting Rod

This is undoubtedly one of the best catfish rods you can find on the market. Okuma Battle Cat is a heavy casting rod mainly used for catfishing. Okuma Battle Cat rod is made of durable E-Glass rod blank (construction) with high-quality materials. For better grip and comfort, it uses EVA Foregrip which helps when you are fighting big catfishes.

The two-piece blank construction allows it to store easily with less space. There are other features like the Fluorescent wrapped indicator tip, stainless steel guides, stainless steel hook, and mode. If you love fishing at the night, the Fluorescent wrapped indicator tip will let you have improved visibility at night. The length of the rod is 7 foot 6 inches while the line weight is 15-60lbs.

Notable Features:

  • Competitive price
  • Extremely durable E-Glass rod blank construction
  • The Cork butt section helps lessen binding when fishing in rod holders
  • Graphite Pipe reel seat used
  • 2 piece blank design for easy transportation and maintenance
  • Fluorescent wrapped indicator tip helps fishing at night
  • Heavy action
  • Stainless steel guides
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Shakespeare Wild Cat Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Wild Cat Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Wild Cat spinning rod is designed to catch monster catfishes. This catfishing rod comes with a 7″ length with high-quality materials. The two-piece design helps most users to transport them easily with less storage. The high-strength 2-piece tubular glass blanks offer a tough feel to the user. Also, the rod power of Shakespeare’s Wild Cat is medium-heavy.

The comfortable EVA handles come very handy when you are catching that big catfish. Packed with lots of features, a lot of newbies use this rod for its low price. In a nutshell, this is the best cheap catfish rod you can find on the market.

Notable Features:

  • Two-piece design to save space and easy transportation
  • Comfortable EVA handles
  • Medium-heavy rod power
  • Extremely cheap
  • The orange tip is used for better visibility
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How To Choose The Best Catfish Rods?

Catfishing is a fascinating and popular form of fishing that requires not only skill but also the right equipment. One crucial piece of this equipment is your fishing rod, designed to handle a catfish’s strength, weight, and fighting power. However, with many available options, it can be overwhelming to decide which is the best for you. Here’s a comprehensive guide on buying the best catfish rods to ensure an exciting and successful fishing experience.

Understand Your Target Species

Each species of catfish has unique behaviors and characteristics that impact the gear required to catch them.

  • Channel Catfish: These are the most popular among anglers due to their wide distribution and the fact that they are easier to catch. They typically weigh between 2-15 pounds but can occasionally reach 30 pounds.
  • Blue Catfish: These are the largest species of catfish in North America, often weighing between 20-40 pounds and can grow up to 100 pounds. They are strong, aggressive fighters, requiring heavier gear.
  • Flathead Catfish: These catfish are also large and strong, typically weighing between 20-40 pounds, with some specimens exceeding 100 pounds. They are often found in structures like fallen trees or rock piles, which might require specific tactics and rod features.

By identifying the species you are targeting, you can choose a rod matching that species’ typical weight and fighting behavior, maximizing your efficiency and success.

Rod Power

Rod power, or the rod’s weight rating, is related to the rod’s stiffness and lifting power. A rod with too little power will bend excessively under the weight of a large catfish, making it difficult to control and potentially leading to breakage. Conversely, a rod with too much power won’t bend enough, reducing casting distance and increasing the chance of the line breaking when a catfish strikes.

  • Medium power rods are best suited for channel catfish, as they offer the right balance of flexibility for casting and stiffness for reeling in these smaller, less aggressive fish.
  • Medium-Heavy power rods are a versatile option that can handle larger channel catfish and smaller blue and flathead catfish.
  • Heavy power rods are designed for targeting large blue and flathead catfish. They are stiffer and offer more lifting power to handle these powerful fish.

Rod Length

The length of your rod can influence casting distance and accuracy, as well as your ability to control a hooked catfish.

  • Shorter rods (7-8 feet) provide more control, making them ideal for precise casts to specific locations, like underneath overhanging trees or among submerged structures where catfish often hide. They’re also easier to handle in small boats or crowded fishing areas.
  • Longer rods (8-9 feet) allow you to cast further, which is beneficial when fishing in large open waters where catfish might be spread out. These rods also offer more leverage when fighting a large catfish, making it easier to control the fish and steer it away from obstacles.

Rod Action

Rod action refers to where the bend occurs along the length of the rod when pressure is applied at the tip.

  • Fast action rods bend primarily in the upper third, near the tip. This action allows for longer casts and better sensitivity, meaning you can feel even small nibbles more easily. However, they might not provide as much control over a fighting catfish.
  • Moderate action rods bend in the upper half. They offer a balance between casting distance and control, making them a versatile choice for a variety of catfish species and fishing conditions. These rods also have more flex, which can absorb sudden pulls or lunges from a large catfish, reducing the chance of the line breaking.


The material of your rod greatly influences its durability, sensitivity, and weight, all of which affect your fishing experience.

  • Fiberglass: These rods are known for their toughness and durability. They are less likely to break even under high stress, making them suitable for heavy-duty catfishing. However, they are generally heavier and less sensitive compared to graphite rods, so they might not be the best for detecting light bites.
  • Graphite: These rods are lighter and more sensitive, allowing you to feel the slightest nibble at the end of your line. This can be especially useful when fishing for smaller or less aggressive catfish species. However, graphite rods tend to be more brittle, meaning they can break if mishandled or if they’re used to catch catfish that exceed their weight rating.
  • Composite: These rods are made from a mix of fiberglass and graphite, aiming to offer the best of both worlds. They’re designed to be durable and robust like fiberglass rods, while also being lighter and more sensitive like graphite rods.


The handle or grip of the fishing rod is where you hold the rod, so it needs to be comfortable for extended periods.

  • Cork: This material is lightweight and provides a warm, soft grip. It also offers a decent amount of sensitivity, allowing you to feel more of what’s happening on the line. However, cork handles may deteriorate faster than EVA foam, especially if frequently exposed to water and sun.
  • EVA Foam: This material is durable, lightweight, and water-resistant. It offers a comfortable grip, even in wet conditions, and tends to last longer than cork. However, it might not provide the same level of sensitivity as a cork handle.

Reel Seat

The reel seat is where the reel attaches to the rod. A quality reel seat is crucial because it holds the reel firmly in place, allowing you to control your line effectively.

  • Quality Construction: The reel seat should be sturdy and made from corrosion-resistant materials. It should firmly hold the reel without wobbling or loosening over time.
  • Comfort: It should feel comfortable in your hands, with no sharp edges or protrusions that might dig into your hand.
  • Size: Make sure the reel seat fits your chosen reel. Too large, and the reel may wobble or fall out; too small, and the reel won’t fit at all.


The guides or line guides are the loops that lead the line from the reel to the tip of the rod. They affect casting distance, accuracy, and the overall performance of the rod.

  • Material: Ceramic or metal guides with ceramic inserts are typically the best for catfishing. They are smooth and reduce friction as the line moves, allowing for longer casts. They’re also durable enough to withstand the strain of a big catfish pulling on the line.
  • Alignment: The guides should be aligned perfectly along the spine of the rod. Misaligned guides can lead to reduced casting accuracy and even damage the rod.
  • Spacing: Proper spacing ensures the rod bends uniformly when under pressure. If the guides are too far apart, it can create “flat spots” where the rod doesn’t bend, potentially leading to breakages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Catfish Catching?

  • What kind of bait is best for catfish? Different types of catfish prefer different types of bait. Channel catfish are fond of prepared baits, also known as stink baits, which are often cheese or meat-based. Blue catfish respond well to cut bait like herring, shad, or skipjack. Flathead catfish prefer live bait, such as small sunfish or perch.
  • Where can I find catfish in a lake or river? Catfish are usually found in deeper, darker parts of the water during the day. They like to stay near the bottom, often in areas with structures like fallen trees, logs, or rock formations. During the night, they move into shallower waters to feed.
  • What is the best time to fish for catfish? Catfish are more active during cooler parts of the day. Therefore, early morning and late evening are generally the best times to fish for catfish. They are also nocturnal, so nighttime can be an excellent time to catch them, especially in the summer.
  • What kind of gear do I need to catch catfish? Medium to heavy-duty rod and reel setups are typically recommended for catfish due to their size and strength. You’ll also need suitable line strength, catfish hooks, sinkers, and bait. A good pair of fishing gloves can protect your hands from catfish spines.
  • Is it necessary to use a bobber when fishing for catfish? It’s not necessary, but it can be useful. Bobbers can help indicate when a fish is biting, especially when fishing in deeper water. However, a sliding sinker rig without a bobber may be more appropriate if you’re fishing near the bottom.
  • What should I do once I’ve caught a catfish? Be careful when handling catfish as they have sharp spines on their pectoral and dorsal fins. If you plan on releasing the catfish, make sure to handle it gently to minimize stress and potential injury.
  • How can I distinguish between different species of catfish? The three most common types of catfish in the U.S are the Channel, Blue, and Flathead catfish. Channel catfish have a smaller head and a forked tail, while Flatheads have a flat, wide head and a square tail. Blue catfish are similar to Channel catfish but can grow significantly larger.
  • Do I need a license to fish for catfish? In most regions, a fishing license is required for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. The exact regulations depend on the area and sometimes the specific body of water. Always check local regulations before fishing.
  • What’s the best method to clean and prepare catfish for cooking? To clean a catfish, you’ll need to remove the skin, head, and entrails. Many people also prefer to remove the “mud vein” (a dark line along the fish’s back) as it can give the fish a stronger, muddier taste. After it’s cleaned, the catfish can be filleted, battered, and fried, or prepared in a variety of other ways.
  • How big can catfish get? Catfish can vary greatly in size based on species and age. Channel catfish typically reach sizes of 2-4 pounds, Blue catfish can reach over 100 pounds, and Flathead catfish can also reach over 100 pounds. The world record for a catfish catch is a Mekong giant catfish, caught in Thailand, that weighed 646 pounds.

Final Verdict

I hope this article will help you to choose the best catfish rods for your next journey. Since most of the mentioned catfish rods are cheap or reasonably priced, most anglers won’t find them tough to buy. If you clearly followed the article, you will have the necessary pieces of information to choose the one for you. However, if you are still struggling to decide, I would suggest you choose the Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod for its reasonable price and features. If you don’t want to break but still want to enjoy the party, you can check the Shakespeare Wild Cat Casting Rod. If you are looking for a catfish rod and reel combo, check the Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Combo and Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Combo. You can leave comments with your favorite catfish rods if you want.

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