How To Catch Big Catfish Part 3 - Catfishing Rods
Stacy and Andrew with Their Flathead Catfish
Catching Monster Catfish!
Let's quickly recap what was covered in
How To Catch Big Catfish Part 1
Where Is The Best Place To Catch A Trophy Catfish?
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Fish For Giant Catfish?
What Are The Best Months To Catch Trophy Catfish?
How To Catch Big Catfish Part 2
What Kind Of Tackle Do I Need To Land A Monster Catfish?
What Kind Of Line Will I Need?
What Hooks Should I Buy?
What Reels Are Recommended?
Ok, are you ready for more tips on how to catch big catfish?
Let's start out with Rods.
What Kind of Rod Will I Need to Catch Monster Catfish?
This is a list of Rods that work well for landing big catfish.
Let's just run through a little rod background before we get into the list of great possible catfish rods.
Action - this is how much the rod bends when pressure is put on the tip.
A fast action rod will only bend in the top third of the rod or less. The medium-moderate rod will bend in the top half of the rod. The slow action rod will begin bending in the lower third of the rod giving you lots of arc.
Power-Strength-Backbone - the lifting power of the rod. Medium, Medium-Heavy, and Heavy are rods strengths. Match your rod's power with your line weight. Too heavy a line on a lighter rod may snap your rod. This can be quite exciting, but then it is very hard to land the fish. The water you are fishing and the fish you are pursuing will determine the power of the rod you need.
There are many choices for good Catfishing Rods.
Rod Tips and Length
You can use anything from a Shakespeare Tiger Rod to a full on Deep Sea Tidewater rod. Some things you might want to consider when looking for your new catfish rod or just adding more to your catfishing arsenal:
How fast a tip will I need. If you are chasing monster cats you can get by with a little slower tip. You need the faster tips for shy bites, big blues and monster flatheads they tend to hit pretty hard, so the tip sensitivity is a little less critical. Fishing with large live baits on a fast tip gets a little crazy too. If you seem to always find the monster flatheads that are not hitting hard and just seem to be shy, you may want to get a little faster tip. When you have a live bream it will keep the tip jumping but it will usually have a rhythm to it. When it starts to really shake get ready, something has scared it and it is about to get bit!!!
The rod length will be important for two things, your casting distance and your ability to land big catfish .The longer the rod is, the farther you will be able to cast your baits. The length of your catfish fishing rod will also be very critical in determining how well you can land monster catfish.
The longer the rod, the easier it will be to get monster catfish in the boat. Catching a monster flathead or a big trophy blue catfish on a 7 foot rod will be much more difficult than catching them on an 8 foot or 9 foot fishing rod. The shortest catfish fishing rod most catfish guides use on their fishing trips are 7'-7'6". Many guides use rods that are 8', 8'6" or 9'.
Keeping Your Rods Clean
Even if you are a clean freak, it's nearly impossible to keep your catfishing rods clean. When you are baiting one rod and get a hit on another, do you take time to clean your hands or just grab the rod? Now there's bait slime on your rod and reel handle. Sometimes you will get catfish slime on your rods also. The rods are generally very durable, but it's still a good idea to clean them periodically. A slippery rod handle can be your enemy when you hook a monster cat.
Some rods that come highly recommended are the:
Eagle Claw Granger X Series Fishing Rods (Eagle Claw GRX) in the 8'6" rod with Medium Heavy or Heavy action
The Berkley Reflex catfishing rods in the 8'or 9' with the extra long handles are a good choice. They are very good for cats in the #20 to #50 range and bigger.
Quantum Big Cat rods in a medium-heavy and a heavy-heavy action have plenty of backbone for dragging monster cats out of deep cover.
Jim Moyer's famous "The Boss" rod comes in four different casting options. The two larger rods are a great choice for medium and large rivers and reservoirs.
These rods can put you on even footing with the Monster Blues and Giant Flatheads. They have the backbone you will need to pull these big cats out of their lairs of heavy stumps and timber. These rods tend to be a little pricey but are very high quality and well worth the money.
The Berkley Series One rod is a great choice if you can get your hands on one. It came in a 7' rod with the exclusive titanium SS 304 guide system. These titanium guides are said to be 20 times better than their ceramic counterparts. These rods are the real deal. With their solid brown blanks and capability of #80 test line and 16 ounces of weight, they are one of the monster catfishes worst enemy. Keep an eye on Ebay and you may snag one of these gems.
St. Croix Classic Cat rod is another legendary catfish rod. Originally priced at over $100, it wasn't the rod for everybody. This rod was one of the best catfish option rods ever to hit market. With up to #60 line capacity and the ability to handle anything from channel cats to the monster flatheads, this rod is the real deal. These rods are no longer available so watch Ebay, Ioffer and Craigslist to see if you can catch one of these classics from someone who must have quit fishing.
The Aurora Pro Cat made up of E-Glass and Graphite composite blanks. Denny Halgren, well-known catfish guru, designed this series of rods. They will handle line up to #50 and were available in a one or two section rod. Like the St. Croix Classic Cat these are no longer on the market, so sweep the secondary markets for these also.
Bass Pro's Cat Maxx is a recommended favorite of many catfishing enthusiasts. If you walk in Bass Pro or call the catalog line and ask for a rod to go after big catfish, this is the first rod most of them will recommend. This rod was developed exclusively by Bass Pro for those of us who love to chase monster cats, hence the name Cat Maxx. There are 2 live bait options, and rods range from 7'-11'. Rated for line up to #40 and baits up to 8 ounces, these are beefy heavy duty rods that will hold up under rugged flathead and big blue fishing. You can buy these right off the shelf for $70 or less. If for some reason they don't meet your expectations they are backed by Bass Pro's customer service.
The Shakespeare Big Water rod is in a class of light saltwater rods. These rods come in several options with a heavy blank through the handle, EVA foam grips and a quick taper tip. They will handle lines all the way up to #130 and 18 ounce weights. This is the heaviest of the options with others capable of using #50-80 line. They even offer the Tidewater in a roller option. These are the real deal "Beef Sticks". Whether you are in the big rivers like the James River or the stump lands of Santee - Cooper, if you are serious about landing giant cats Shakespeare has a rod for you.
More Rod Choices
There are more rod choices out there, and if you have one you highly recommend or have any advice and further insight on any of these, please feel free to comment on them.
Some possible rod and reel combos you might look at are:
One vote for the ultimate flathead combo is a Shimano Calcutta 700 on a ST Croix Classic cat rod. You will have to locate one of this rods but that is a really nice combo.
ABU 7000, Team up a Berkley E-cat with an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 and you are ready to tackle giant river flatheads. This same reel goes good with a Quantum Big Cat heavy action rod for big blues and flatheads.
You will see it all when you get around people chasing big trophy cats.
The Shimano TLD25 or OML 25 reel paired with a Shakespeare Big Water Rod makes a serious combo for tangling with the big cats.
For more information on How To Catch Big Catfish,
see more articles by Gone Fishin Club.
Bass Pro's Cat Maxx Rod Update
Bass Pro listened to their Pro Staff and made the tips faster on this series of rods so you could detect light bites better. They still have all the backbone you need just with a more sensitive tip. Monster cats don't always hit like a train and that subtle twitch on the rod end could be your next trophy blue.
How to Join the Gone Fishin Club
By joining Gone Fishin Club you become eligible to win a trip to Santee to chase Monsters Cats with Gary and the crew.
We also have drawings for other trips, magazine subscriptions, club logo hats and shirts.
So what are you waiting for, JOIN NOW! Did I mention it was FREE!
here is the link...................... JOIN GONE FISHIN CLUB
Another Rod Choice- A Custom Rod
If you are looking for a very good rod and reel combo and don't mind laying out a little bit more cash for it then take a look at the new John Jamison Bottom Bumper made by Tom Knox of the Rod Shop. This custom rod is a top-end rod designed for catfish anglers who demand a little more. It is a 7 foot graphite with a split core handle. It will handle up to 24 ounces for river fishing and fast moving water. Its tough enough for big cats but light enough to fish all day! I spoke with Tom at The Rod Shop and he said this rod is the best catfishing rod they have ever designed and built. The graphite rod is warrantied against manufacturers defects and if one of the guides breaks and you return the rod to them they will fix the eyes for you.
Catfishin the Gone Fishin Club Way!
One of my rods at night
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A great place I get some of my catfishing tackle and supplies is a site called Bottom Dwellers Tackle, you can check them out at Bottom Dwellers Tackle