Best Catfish Rods

Best Catfish Rods in 2021 – Reliable and Capable To Catch Any Catfish

Catfish are not easy to catch; they’re fighters, they’re heavy, and they’re smart. You can’t pick the first rod you see and expect it to be able to withstand a catfish’s fight.

Because catfish are strong, they need a strong rod to be able to keep up with them. In order to find a fishing rod for catching catfish, there are a few factors that you need to take into consideration, like the rod’s power, length, materials, and so on.

Well, I’ve gone ahead and done just that. I gathered all the information that you’d need to know about each rod on this list and its pros and cons.

So, without further delay, here are my top picks for the best catfish rod in 2021.

List of the Best Catfish Rods:

  1. KastKing Perigee II – Best Overall
  2. Ugly Stik Catfish – Runner-Up
  3. Shakespeare Wild Cat – Best Affordable Catfish Rod
  4. Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Catfish Casting Rod
  5. Berkley Big Game – Best Catfish Spinning Rod
  6. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando – Best Catfish Rod and Reel Combo

Best Ice Fishing Rods in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Our Top Picks:

RodBlank’s MaterialPower Ratings
KastKing Perigee II2-ton carbon matrixUltra-light to Heavy
Ugly Stik CatfishGraphite and fiberglass compositeMedium-heavy
Shakespeare Wild CatTubular glassMedium-heavy
Ugly Stik GX2Graphite and fiberglass compositeMedium-light to heavy
Berkley Big GameFiberglassMedium and medium-heavy
Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Composite of materialsMedium-heavy

The 6 Best Catfish Rods in 2021

1. KastKing Perigee II – Best Overall

There are so many reasons why I love this rod so much that I don’t know where to start.

I guess I can start with its high-quality materials. The rod is made from a 24-ton carbon matrix that is manufactured with KastFlex technology. KastFlex provides the rod with high strength and durability.

Moreover, it also comes with fuji O-Ring guides that provide the angler with accuracy when casting. You will also enjoy its high-density EVA grip for comfort when holding the rod for extended periods of time.

What is truly special about this rod is its twin-tip models, which are models that come with two tips rather than one. For catfishing, I highly recommend the medium and medium-heavy model.

Another bonus to this rod is that it comes in both casting and spinning models to satisfy whichever technique you’re choosing to catfish with.

Furthermore, the rod comes in a wide variety of models for you to choose from, starting at ultra-light all the way to heavy power ratings and a huge variety of lengths starting at 4’6” to 7’6”. However, for catfishing, I mostly recommend staying around the medium and medium-heavy range as catfish are fighters.

Lastly, the rod mostly comes in two-piece configuration, but you will find some one-piece models among the long list of models so that you can choose whichever configuration you prefer.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Twin-tip models
  • Spinning and casting models
  • 1 and 2 piece configurations

Cons:

  • Prone to snapping under high resistance

Final Verdict

My top pick for the best catfish rod is the KastKing Perigee II. The rod is lightweight, durable, and affordable. Moreover, you’d have a wide selection of models to choose from, whether you’re looking for a spinning or casting rod. Lastly, it comes in twin-tips models, which means you’ll be getting two rods rather than one.

2. Ugly Stik Catfish – Runner-Up

Ugly Stik products are truly unmatched. They are known for being high-quality and affordable, which is a combination nobody can say no to.

The Catfish rod is made from a graphite and fiberglass composite using the Ugly Stik Technology which provides the rod with its lightweight and high sensitivity.

Furthermore, the rod’s guides are made using Ugly Tuff technology, which is a one-piece guide system made from stainless steel. The rod also comes with an EVA handle for comfort.

It comes in both casting and spinning models with 7’ or 8’ options of length. All the models come in a medium-heavy power rating, which is the optimum rating for catfish.

After all, this rod is designed specifically for catfish, so rest assured that it can handle catfish without any issues. Moreover, it comes with a clear-tip for accuracy when casting.

Regarding the casting models, the 7’ model comes in a one-piece configuration. In contrast, the 8’ comes in a two-piece configuration, which is not very clear in the official product description, so beware of what you’re purchasing.

Pros:

  • Clear-tip design
  • Affordable price
  • 7-year warranty

Cons:

  • Limited selection of models

Final Verdict

My runner-up for the best catfish rod is the Ugly Stik Catfish. If you know anything about fishing rods, you’d know the Ugly Stik products are known for their high-quality yet affordable price. The Catfish rod is durable, lightweight, and comes with a clear tip for accuracy when casting. You can’t go wrong with an Ugly Stik.

3. Shakespeare Wild Cat – Best Affordable Catfish Rod

My budget-pick for the best catfish rod is, undoubtedly, Shakespeare’s Wild Cat.

Besides being the best affordable catfish rod, Wild Cat is also the best heavy-duty catfish rod due to its tubular glass blank, which provides the rod with its high durability to be able to withstand catfish without a problem.

The rod also comes with stainless steel guides for casting accuracy, and an EVA handle for comfort when catfishing.

Furthermore, the rod comes in both spinning and casting styles. Sadly, though, each style comes with a limited choice of only one model.

However, each model has the optimum specs for catfishing, which are 7’ of length and a medium-heavy power rating. Unfortunately, though, both models only come in a 2-piece configuration.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Heavy-duty catfish rod
  • High-durability

Cons:

  • Limited selection of models

Final Verdict

Shakespeare’s Wild Cat is easily my budget-pick for the best catfish rod. The rod comes in the optimum length of 7’ for catfishing in a medium-heavy power rating. Moreover, it also comes in both spinning and casting styles. Lastly, it’s also my choice for the best heavy-duty catfish rod.

4. Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Catfish Casting Rod

Yet another Ugly Stik product, what can I say? They’re just that good.

You must have heard of the spinning GX2 combo, right? Well, I’m mostly focusing on the casting models here.

The GX2 casting models are made using Ugly Stik Technology, which is a composite of graphite and fiberglass to provide the rod with its lightweight and high durability.

Moreover, the rod comes with stainless steel guides. Much like the previous Ugly Stik product, the guides are made using the Ugly Tuff technology to ensure their durability. The rod also comes with an EVA handle that provides the angler with comfort.

What is special about the GX2 is that it comes in a wide variety of models with lengths starting at 5’6” to 7’6″ with power ratings ranging from medium-light to heavy.

However, for catfishing, I recommended going for a medium or a medium-heavy power rating. Lastly, the rod comes in both one-piece and two-piece configuration.

Pros:

  • 1 and 2 piece configurations
  • 7-year warranty
  • Clear-tip design
  • High durability

Cons:

  • Doesn’t feel very comfortable in the hand
  • The handle is a little too short

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for the best catfish casting rod, well, you’re looking at it. The GX2 is a popular rod in the fishing industry, and the casting version of it is of unmatched quality. In addition to being an affordable rod, it also comes with a clear-tip and high-quality guides for the best casting accuracy.

5. Berkley Big Game – Best Catfish Spinning Rod

Berkley is another big name in the fishing industry, and the Big Game rod is my top pick for the best catfish spinning rod.

It is made from fiberglass that provides the rod with its durability and flexibility. It also comes with stainless steel guides for casting accuracy and a full EVA grip that is comfortable to hold.

While the rod comes in both spinning and casting styles, I mostly recommend the spinning models because they are truly unmatched.

The spinning models come in lengths 7’ and 8’ with power ratings of medium and medium-heavy, respectively. However, both models only come in a two-piece configuration.

What is truly special about this rod, though, is that it comes with a lifetime warranty so you wouldn’t need to worry about any issues for a lifetime.

Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • High durability
  • Flexible
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Eyelets are a bit weak
  • A little on the heavier side

Final Verdict

Berkley Big Game is a very unique spinning catfish rod. It is durable, flexible, and affordable. In spite of being made from fiberglass, it is still comfortable to hold without wrist fatigue. Also, the rod comes with a lifetime warranty that guarantees that this rod will last you years undamaged.

6. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando – Best Catfish Rod and Reel Combo

It’s only fair to include the best catfish rod and reel combo in this list. My top pick for the best combo is the Abu Garcia Catfish.

Finding a good combo is not easy. Sometimes the rod is weak, or the reel is defective, but that’s far from the case when it comes to Abu Garcia Catfish Commando.

The rod is made from a composite of different materials, and its guides are made from stainless steel, which is a durable material that increases the casting accuracy. Moreover, its grip is made comfortable EVA that eliminates any wrist fatigue.

The rod comes in spinning and casting models, but I’ll mostly focus on the casting combo.

The casting rod comes in 7’ of length and a medium-heavy power rating, and together they make the perfect combination to catch any catfish.

Unfortunately, the rod only comes in a one-piece configuration, which is not very portable. Also, multiple users reported that the combo arrived damaged, which means that the packaging is weak and allows damage to reach the rod.

Pros:

  • High durability
  • Affordable price
  • The reel is durable and strong

Cons:

  • Only comes in a one-piece configuration
  • Limited selection of models
  • The tip is a little weak
  • The packaging is prone to damage

Final Verdict

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando is easily the best rod and reel combo that you can find today. The rod itself is lightweight, comfortable to hold, and durable. Not to mention, the combo comes at a very reasonable price considering the high-quality of both the rod and the reel.

How to Pick a Fishing Rod for Catfish

1. Power

Catfish are not the kind to give in easily. They can put up a fight that only a powerful rod can withstand. When catfishing, you shouldn’t go for a power rating less than medium. Furthermore, I’d recommend going for a medium-heavy power rating as it fits most catfish.

Keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to go for a power rating that’s too high, like extra-heavy or even heavy, as that will not allow you to feel the catfish’s bite.

2. Length

There’s no right or wrong when choosing the perfect length for your catfish rod. Generally, I recommend staying in the 6’ to 8’ territory because that’s not too long that the rod is hard to handle, neither is it too short that it takes away from the casting distance.

3. Materials

The most common materials that go into manufacturing fishing rods are graphite and fiberglass. Graphite is lightweight and sensitive, while fiberglass is a little heavier, but it adds durability to the rod that graphite alone cannot match.

4. Style

Choosing between spinning and casting styles depends on what you personally prefer.

However, if you’re new to the catfishing world, spinning rods are your best bet because they’re a little easier to use.

On the other hand, casting rods cover a much larger casting distance (duh), and expert anglers believe that they’re more fun to use than spinning rods.

You can learn more about choosing fishing rods in my Fishing Rod selection guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Kind of Rod is Used for Catfish?

Spinning and casting rods can both be used for catfish. However, each style has its own pros and cons.

If you’re new to the fishing world, you should opt for a spinning rod, as I’ve just mentioned in this article.

Can I Use a Surf Rod to Catch Catfish?

Yes, you can! Surf rods are great to use for catfishing as they provide that casting distance that you’re probably looking for when catfishing.

As long as the surf rod’s power rating matches the catfish’s, go for it.

What Is the Best Gear Ratio for Catfishing?

The best gear ratio for catfishing is around 5:1 and 6.5:1.

Final Thoughts

Catfish are fighters, and they require a fishing rod that can fight right back without taking any damage. For this reason, I’ve created this list of my top picks for the best catfish rod that you can find today.

My top pick is easily the KastKing Perigee II, which is a very popular rod. The rod comes in twin-tips models that are like two-rods in one. This feature really comes in handy when catfishing because you can easily swap between your medium and medium-heavy tips within seconds.

In second place is the Ugly Stik Catfish which you already know will be a durable rod because it’s an Ugly Stik. The rod is made from a graphite and fiberglass composite that contributes to the rod’s lightweight and strength in order to withstand catfish while still being comfortable to hold.

As for my budget-pick, it is the Shakespeare Wild Cat that offers lightweight as well as durability and sensitivity. Being on a budget is no longer a setback. If you’re looking for the best cheap catfish rod, this is the one for you.

Reliable Rods You Will Love (and Can Afford)

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