Best Catfish Rods

Catfish Rods - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Catfish Rods

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Catfish Rods buying guide

All set to reel in a hungry meal for yourself? Any trouble? Opt for the durable catfish rods to lure the fish quickly.

These rods are uniquely built to handle catfish. The fish is quite stubborn and can give a lot of trouble if you don't use the right equipment.

Selecting a suitable requires proper knowledge of all the elements. You can find all the critical factors in a comprehensive buying guide.

You can skim through the pointers quickly and funnel down the best product. So without wasting any more time, let us start with a quick introduction and then move further.

What are Catfish rods, and why should you buy them?

A catfish rod has paramount importance as a fishing gear when it comes to catching catfish. It is a special type of species found in inland as well as the coast. Such rods are compatible with both saltwater and freshwater.

Catfish has cat-like whiskers, which is why it has got this unique name.

However, it is not easy to catch catfish because they are strong, stubborn, and resilient. Without having the proper skill and patience, you cannot get a good catch.

But before everything else, you will need a powerful catfish rod so that you can develop your fishing techniques to reel in a catfish efficiently.

If you want to win the battle, you must choose the best quality catfish with enough strength to deal with the big pull of the catfish.

Catfish Poles VS Catfish Rods

Primarily, you should keep in mind that a pole is slightly different from the rod. But the problem is that a large number of people are not aware of the difference.

It is not something unusual for the inexperienced fishermen to use "catfish poles" instead of rods. However, learning about differences will only help them to get the right one for better performance.

Usually, conventional materials are used to construct the rods. Graphite, Fiberglass, Kelvar, etc. are commonly used in designing the fishing rods. Sometimes, all these materials are combined to create a strong and powerful catfish rod.

Moreover, the rods can align the fishing line because of the eyes and guides. They also prevent tangling of the lines. Therefore, a catfish rod can be an ideal fishing gear for beginners.

On the other hand, different natural materials are used for making a catfish pole. Cane, reed or bamboo are the popular choices for designing the fishing poles.

Unlike a catfish rod, the pole does not have any special features, including the guides and eyes. The fishing line is directly tied to the catfish pole.

Catfish poles are considered as an essential fishing gear that you need to attach a string and hook to the stick to catch the catfish.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Catfish Rods


The length of the catfish rods has a great significance for getting a good catch. Catfishing requires a long rod because it helps in casting for long distances.

Also, a longer catfishing rod works with more sensitivity so that you can detect any strike. Having a long rod means that you will get more leverage to fight a strong catfish.

Now, the question is, what should be the length of a catfish rod to catch fish efficiently.

You can start with a 7-foot length rod that will help you to apply different techniques.

By using a 6'6" catfish rod, you are allowed to cast long distances in open water.

If you go for a range within 10-12', it will help you to make a long cast, but you will have less sensitivity. These rods can be appropriate for heavier and bigger fish. However, you will not get good results for small to medium-sized catfish.

For smaller catfish, a 7'6" to 8' long rod can be perfect for serving your purpose hassle-free.


  1. E-Glass and S-Glass

Catfish rods made up of E-Glass are incredibly durable. They are powerful and robust, so many catfish anglers prefer them for their fishing game.

However, these rods are heavyweight. They have a lack of sensitivity compared to other types of catfishing rods.

They are strong enough to withstand any abuse and hold up effectively.

S-Glass is superior to E-Glass in terms of strength. The rods designed with S-Glass are more durable than E-Glass but are lighter. Thus, they offer better sensitivity and enable you to hold the rod for a more extended period.

S-Glass is also costlier than E-Glass, so you cannot find them easily.

  1. Graphite

The lighter weight of the graphite material makes it more preferable to the anglers. They are incredibly sensitive, but you cannot expect more durability and power from graphite rods.

Generally, graphite rods are used in bass fishing. These lightweight rods allow you to hold them for an extended period, and you can perform any techniques required for your fishing.

With a graphite rod, you can feel the smallest strike, which is way better than the E-Glass.

However, graphite is prone to damage due to less durability. A graphite rod can break easily if it hits against a firm surface. Also, it is less powerful to hold up heavier catfish than the E-Glass rods.

  1. Carbon Fiber Rods

Carbon fiber comes up with the best features of both Graphite and E-Glass.

However, catfishing rods made up of carbon fiber are not so popular among the anglers. It will take some more time for the carbon fiber rods to become the catfish anglers' priority.

  1. Composite Rods

Composite catfishing rods are more expensive than any other type of rods. The price may go up to $700.

Usually, S-Glass and graphite are combined to create this composite material.

It has got sensitivity and less weight from graphite. Also, it is as strong as the glass materials to deal with a heavyweight catfish.


The power of the catfishing rods refers to their strength. It is difficult to fight the catfish because they are resilient and strong. So, without having a powerful catfish rod, you cannot win the battle quickly.

You can find rods with different power that ranges between heavy to ultra-light. You should remember that different techniques are required for other species. So, you must choose the rod carefully.

You will need extra power to catch larger and bigger catfish. By using a heavy power rod, you will get the strength and durability to reel in the catfish effectively.

You can go for a medium-heavy or medium rod to catch channel catfish.

You should also check the design of your catfish rod beforehand to make sure whether it is powerful enough to hold up a specific size.


Rod action is related to the flex of the catfish rods when a heavy load is applied on the rod.

If your catfish rod does not have any action, there will be a big chance that the rod will break into two pieces when it comes to struggling with a stronger catfish.

Slow action rods will bend majorly along the rod length. Also, the medium action rods can flex anywhere between the tip and middle of the rod. A fast action rod will always bend near the tip area.

But one thing you must bear in mind while choosing the action of the catfishing rods that you should consider your comfort in the first place.

If you are going to catch a giant catfish, you can go with a slow action rod, whereas you will need a fast action rod for a smaller cat.


As a matter of fact, the catfish rod handles are quite different from the regular fish rod handles. So, you must pay more attention, particularly to the handles, while scanning the catfish rods.

Though some catfishing rods are designed with cork handles, EVA foam is commonly used to cover the handles.

  1. Cork Handles

Cork is porous and tends to get slick when it comes in contact with shad slime or catfish slime. The slime and several other elements can fill up the pores with time, which may affect its durability. Also, Cork handles can get damaged easily.

  1. Composite Cork Handles

Composite cork material is relatively new in the market. It is a combination of cork and rubber that offer the look and feel of cork and is durable enough for long-lasting use.

So, if you are looking for a firmer grip, composite cork can be the right choice for you.

  1. Foam Handles

You can select foam handles for more comfort and durability. Therefore, they do not break or get damaged easily. You can get a firm grip even though the handles are wet.

Moreover, you are allowed to clean the handles and remove scales, slime, etc. without putting any extra effort.

  1. Paracord Handles

Paracord handles are designed with cordage, which is very useful for the catfishing rod handles. Besides fishing rods, they are also used in making the knife handles.

Paracord handles are incredibly durable and offer a great texture to the fishing rod handles. Also, they have a glossy shine.

However, the small grooves can be caked up with catfish slime and other substances, which is a significant disadvantage of using these rods.


You will find two styles of the catfish rods, including catfish baitcasting rods and catfish spinning rods. The common thing you will get in both of these styles is high performance. But there are some specific reasons why they are different from each other.

If you are a beginner or inexperienced catfish angler, you can look for the catfish spinning rods. They are perfect for small-sized catfish as they have lightweight fishing lines.

In contrast, skilled fishers will need catfish baitcasting rods to perform different fishing techniques with efficiency.

Typically, baitcasting rods are designed with a more massive fishing line that allows you to target bigger and stronger catfish without any problems.

Finally, it is very crucial to keep in mind that you can choose any style according to your personal preference, but you must have the same kind of reel for satisfactory performance.

Circle Hooks

It will be wise to pick up a catfish rod that has some flex near the tip so the tip of the rod can move comfortably. You will get better chances to use your techniques and skills during catfishing.

With the flexible tip, you can get more accurate information when the fish bites the line. Therefore, you will not miss any chance to have a good catch.

Similarly, the catfish rods having less flex in the tip is not appropriate for circle hooks. When the rod can bend near the tip and offers more flex, the circle hooks can work effectively.

However, it is solely your decision whether you want to have circle hooks or not, depending on the species and size of the catfish.

On this note, a moderately fast action catfish rod is more compatible with the circle hooks.

Line Guides

Line guides are commonly known as the eyes of the fishing rods. So, when you are about to buy the catfish rods, you should consider the line guides to make a better purchase.

These round pieces are mounted on the rods along with its length. If you are looking for a good quality fishing rod, you will see the line guides placed at a one-foot distance from each other.

It is needless to say that cheaper models do not have more eyes. So, if your aim is to get more eyes on your fishing rod, you should go for an expensive model.

Having more line guides on your catfishing rod will help to achieve better performance flawlessly.

Rod Tips

Another critical factor is the rod tips that you must check while buying the catfishing rod. Usually, catfish rods come up with a bright color that helps to detect the tip movement without any issue.

There are some typical colors like green, orange, and yellow used in the rod tips to increase their brightness. Some rods have added glow as well, which helps to improve their visibility at night.

The primary purpose of using this color is to make the rod tip more visible, so if you can detect the end clearly, you will not need to think about the color.

In case you want to avoid the glow, you can use a small light stick to see the end of the rod more clearly. The chemical light tip can glow brightly for an extended period.

A black-light can be a good option as well so that you can see the rod tip even if it is densely dark outside.

Reel Seats

Most of the anglers overlook the reel seats when they choose their catfish rods. But it is also very crucial for the rods to increase their performance.

If you are targeting a bigger catfish, you will need to struggle a lot with more strength and power. The rod has to tolerate much abuse. So, you must look for quality reel seats.

It will be better to choose heavy and durable reel seats to ensure that they can deal with all the struggles required to catch a large catfish.

You need to check the standard of the reel seats so that they can last long even after resisting a lot of abuse.


Color is all about your personal choice. Honestly, it does not have any great impact on your fishing game.

With a brighter color, you will get more visibility of the rod so you can identify every movement of the rod accurately.

Therefore, you can keep the color and cosmetics at the end of your list while making your purchase. It is suggested to pay more attention to those features which are related to the performance of the rods.

Types of Catfish

Usually, you can find three common types of catfish, including channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. The techniques of catching catfish change depending on the types of the species.

So at first, you should know about the types, and then you should consider the technique needed for your fishing.

  1. Channel Catfish

Channel catfish are attracted to smell so you can use stink baits, chicken livers, or shrimps to get your catch. With strong smells, they are easier to be convinced to bite the bait. Some anglers also use live baits, but they are not as effective as the stinky one.

You can find the channel baits in shallow water, so you need to pick up the right catfishing rod to get the cat.

For channel catfish, you should look for a 7' to 7'6" long graphite or E-Glass rod, which has a long handle. It will help you to manage the rod comfortably.

Also, make sure that the rod has medium power with moderate to fast action to perform efficiently.

  1. Blue Catfish

Blue catfish are more aggressive than channel catfish. Therefore, anglers are more likely to use live prey to catch the blue catfish.

However, oily baitfish can be the best option to feed blue catfish. They are commonly found in deep water. To withstand the struggle, you need a powerful catfish rod when it comes to catching a large blue catfish.

It is better to choose a rod that is lighter in weight but extremely sensitive. So, you must find a rod that has the proper balance of weight and sensitivity.

A stronger backbone with a softer grip is also required for the fishing rod. A 7' to 7'6" long rod having heavy or medium-heavy power and moderate fast action can be an ideal choice for the blue catfishing.

  1. Flathead Catfish

You cannot convince the flathead catfish with dead fish or chicken livers because they are inherent hunters. They are always attracted to something alive. So, it is essential to choose your road significantly.

You can use an extra-large shiner or heavy sucker. Thus, you will need a sturdy rod to handle the weight.

You will need some innovative techniques to get your catch quickly. That is why you will need a robust but more sensitive rod.

You can go for a 7' to 7'6" long catfishing rod, which is designed with E-Glass for more sensitivity. A medium-heavy or heavy power rod with moderate fast action will be perfect.

Just make sure that the handle is long enough to manage the rod comfortably. A stronger backbone with a softer tip will be an excellent addition to the rod.

Additional Pointers

  1. Reel

It will be wise to choose the reel type depending on the catfish rod style. If you look for the best reel-type without thinking of the rod style, you will never get the satisfactory performance you are looking for.

There are two different types of reels to match with catfish spinning rods and catfish baitcasting rods. You have to match the right reel with the correct rods. Otherwise, it will have a harmful impact on the functionality of the rod, and the rod will get damaged quickly.

Many anglers are likely to decide the reel type in advance according to their personal choice. So it isn't easy to pick up a reel-type as the best. You need to ensure whatever reel you are choosing that will match with the rod style properly.

  1. Lines

Besides reel, the line is also crucial for the catfish rods. Commonly, the monofilament line is used as it is strong and damage-proof. Also, it is inexpensive.

Beginners can start with this line because of its forgiving nature. But it creates more drag due to the thickness, which can be a significant drawback.

Braided fishing line is also trendy because it does not have any stretch, so you can easily set the hooks. It is costlier than the monofilament lines.

Furthermore, the fluorocarbon fishing lines can be the best choice for catfishing. They are stronger as well as more resistant to abrasions.

But one major downside is the high cost, which is why most anglers want to avoid this line even though it seems perfect to set catfish bait.


1. How to wash catfishing rods?

Once you are done with fishing, you should use fresh water to rinse it after removing the hooks and lures. It will help to remove dirt properly.

2. What are the tips for long-lasting rods?

1. You have to start treating your rods in an excellent way to increase longevity.

2. To ensure proper storage, remember to remove to the line and loosen up the drag.

3. Ensure suitable rod covers are added to preserve your rods while transporting.

3. Are the rods worth their value?

Yes, with a suitable rod, you can easily win the classic battle with the catfish. The rod is strong and delicate and allows you to reel in the bigger fish without any unnecessary hassle.

Final Verdict

With all the information on catfish rods under your possession, what are you waiting for? The rods are durable and provide you an edge while catching the catfish.

All you need is to arm yourself with a suitable rod. Read this extensive guide and sort out the best option for your expedition. / - © Copyright 2020