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7 Best Catfish Rods in 2023 [Expert Reviewed + Buyer Guide]

Today, we’re going to discuss something that’s as easy as pie – the best catfish rods. 

Yep, we’re talking about the kind of fishing rods that make catching catfish a piece of cake.

Imagine you’re at the edge of a tranquil lake, a fishing rod in your hand. 

You’re not fumbling around with a so-so rod; you’ve got the best tool for the job, just like a superhero with the perfect gadget.

But wait, what’s a catfish rod, you ask? Well, 

A catfish rod is a unique stick you use for catching catfish. These are those slimy, whisker-faced swimmers who like to play hide and seek in the water.

Now, if you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, you’ll want the perfect rod to reel in the big ones. 

So, let’s dive in and find the ideal catfish rod for you!

Best Catfish Rods in 2023

  1. St Croix Mojo Cat Spinning Rod
  2. Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Fishing Rod
  3. Eagle Claw Catclaw Casting Rod
  4. Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod
  5. B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum Casting Rod
  6. Ugly Stik Catfish Special Casting Fishing Rod
  7. Championship Catfish Rod

1. St Croix Mojo Cat Spinning Rod

If you’re an angler devoted to the pursuit of channel, flathead, and blue catfish, the St Croix Mojo Cat Spinning Rod is a game-changer.

This rod is crafted from a dynamic blend of premium quality SCII graphite and linear S-glass, specially designed to meet the needs of catfish enthusiasts.

Key Features:

  • Premium Materials: Crafted with a unique blend of SCII graphite and S-glass, this rod is built to last and perform.
  • Superior Guides: Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum-oxide rings and black frames ensure smooth casting and durability.
  • Reel Seat: Fuji DPS reel seat with a black hood on spinning models offers secure reel attachment.
  • Comfortable Grip: The premium-grade cork handle provides a comfortable and ergonomic grip, reducing fatigue during long fishing sessions.
  • Catfish Specialist: Designed for channel, flathead, and blue catfish, this rod is tailor-made for catfish enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Durable Construction
  • Smooth Casting
  • Comfortable Handling

Cons

  • Price Range
  • Specific Use

In conclusion, the St Croix Mojo Cat Spinning Rod is a top-notch choice for catfish enthusiasts, with its premium materials, smooth casting, and comfortable handling. While it’s not the most budget-friendly option, it’s a worthy investment for those who are serious about their catfish angling.

So, if you’re on the hunt for one of the best catfish rods, the St Croix Mojo should be on your list of considerations.

2. Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Fishing Rod

Meet the Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Fishing Rod, a rod designed specifically for catfish enthusiasts. 

It’s a balance of sensitivity and durability, brought to you by the creators of the world’s #1 rod series. 

This 7′ catfish rod is built to tackle what’s next with its 15-30lb line rating, medium-heavy power, and moderate fast action.

Key Features:

  • Tough and Sensitive: This rod boasts Ugly Stik’s Clear Tip design for legendary strength and sensitivity.
  • Durable Build: Made from a mix of graphite and fiberglass, it’s both lighter and incredibly strong.
  • Worry-Free Warranty: Backed by a 7-year warranty, offering peace of mind you won’t find elsewhere.
  • Corrosion-Resistant Guides: Equipped with six one-piece stainless steel guides for durability and corrosion resistance.
  • Comfortable Handling: The conventional reel seat and Type-B EVA rod handle offer comfort and stability.

Pros

  • Strong and Sensitive
  • Durable Construction
  • 7-Year Warranty

Cons

  • Two-Piece Design
  • Specific Use

In a nutshell, the Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Fishing Rod is a solid choice for catfish anglers, with its strength, sensitivity, and durable construction. The 7-year warranty is a bonus that adds to its appeal.

However, keep in mind that it’s best suited for catfish fishing and may not be the best rod for redfish or other types of fishing.

3. Eagle Claw Catclaw Casting Rod

Introducing the Eagle Claw Catclaw Casting Rod, a reliable fishing companion. 

This fishing equipment hails from China and is designed for anglers seeking an efficient and straightforward solution to their fishing needs. 

With dimensions of 3.556 L x 5.08 W x 127 H (in centimeters) and a lightweight package of 0.068 kilograms, it’s built for convenience.

Key Features:

  • Simple and Functional: This rod provides anglers with a straightforward and practical tool for their fishing adventures.
  • Compact Design: With compact dimensions and a lightweight package, it’s easy to carry and transport.
  • Quality from China: Originating from China, it offers a budget-friendly option without compromising on performance.

Pros

  • Simplicity
  • Portability
  • Budget-Friendly

Cons

  • Limited Features
  • Not for Heavy-Duty Use

In summary, the Eagle Claw Catclaw Casting Rod is an uncomplicated and budget-friendly fishing equipment option that’s perfect for anglers seeking straightforward solutions. It’s a portable choice for various fishing adventures, though it may not be the best rod for redfish or other heavy-duty applications due to its limited features.

4. Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod

The Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod is all about power and durability. Crafted with robust e-glass rod blanks, this fishing companion offers the strength you need. 

It comes with an EVA fore grip for added comfort and a cork rear grip to reduce binding in rod holders. 

With double foot welded stainless steel guides and a heavy-duty stainless steel hook keeper, it’s a reliable choice for anglers.

Key Features:

  • Robust E-Glass Blanks: These blanks provide the power and durability needed for handling big catfish.
  • Comfortable Grip: With an EVA fore grip and cork rear grip, it offers both comfort and functionality.
  • Stainless Steel Guides: The double foot welded stainless steel guides ensure smooth line management.
  • Hook Keeper: The heavy-duty stainless steel hook keeper adds convenience to your fishing experience.

Pros

  • Powerful and Durable
  • Comfortable Handling
  • Convenient Features

Cons

  • Weight
  • Not for All Anglers

In conclusion, the Okuma Battle Cat Catfish Spinning Rod is a powerful and durable choice for catfish enthusiasts. With comfortable grips and convenient features, it makes your fishing experience enjoyable. However, its weight and specialized design mean it might not be the top choice for anglers seeking the best redfish rods or versatile options.

5. B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum Casting Rod

The B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum Casting Rod is designed to impress catfish anglers. Crafted with precision, this medium-action rod offers a sensitive tip for better control. 

Its unique features include a no-slip nylon cord grip and a glow-in-the-dark tip, making it a standout choice for night fishing. Constructed from 100% fiberglass, it’s built to last.

Key Features:

  • No-Slip Grip: The no-slip nylon cord grip ensures you have a firm hold on your rod even in wet conditions.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Tip: The tip of this rod glows in the dark, enhancing visibility during nighttime fishing.
  • Fiberglass Build: Made entirely of fiberglass, it offers durability and flexibility.
  • Precision Guides: Aluminum oxide guides with ceramic inserts provide smooth line management.

Pros

  • Enhanced Grip
  • Nighttime Fishing
  • Durable Construction
  • Specialized for Catfish

Cons

  • Medium Action

In summary, the B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum Casting Rod is a reliable choice for catfish anglers, with its enhanced grip, glow-in-the-dark tip, and sturdy fiberglass build. However, its medium action might limit its use for certain fishing scenarios, and it’s primarily designed for catfish enthusiasts rather than being the best rod for redfish or other species.

6. Ugly Stik Catfish Special Casting Fishing Rod

The Ugly Stik Catfish Special Casting Fishing Rod is a powerful yet sensitive rod crafted with Ugly Tech construction, blending graphite and fiberglass. 

This combination creates a reliable and sturdy fishing companion. 

With Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides, Ugly Stik Clear Tip technology, and full rubberized shrink-wrapped handles, it’s designed for durability, sensitivity, and comfortable use. 

Plus, it’s backed by a reassuring 7-year rod warranty.

Key Features:

  • Ugly Tech Construction: A blend of graphite and fiberglass ensures strength and sensitivity.
  • Ugly Tuff Guides: One-piece stainless steel guides offer maximum durability and prevent insert pop-outs.
  • Clear Tip Technology: The Ugly Stik Clear Tip provides extra strength where you need it and is highly sensitive to even the lightest strikes.
  • Comfortable Handle: Full rubberized shrink-wrapped handles make for a comfortable and secure grip.
  • Warranty: A 7-year rod warranty gives you peace of mind.

Pros

  • Strength and Sensitivity
  • Durable Guides
  • Comfortable Grip

Cons

  • Heavier than Some

In conclusion, the Ugly Stik Catfish Special Casting Fishing Rod offers a winning combination of strength, sensitivity, and durability. With its comfortable grip and warranty, it’s a reliable choice for anglers. While it may not be the absolute best rod for redfish, it’s versatile enough to handle various fishing scenarios, making it a great all-around option.

7. Championship Catfish Rod

The Championship Catfish Rod is your ultimate companion for catfishing. This medium-heavy, 2-piece, 7′ 6″ fiberglass rod is built to tackle monster catfish. 

Its double-footed stainless steel guides are low-profile and can withstand thick braided lines. 

The glossy fiberglass finish is easy to clean, and it comes with a high-visibility fluorescent tip for easy bite detection.

Key Features:

  • Rugged Build: Designed for fighting large catfish, this rod can take on the challenge.
  • Versatile Use: It’s suitable for everyone, from beginners to seasoned catfish anglers.
  • Easy Maintenance: The EVA foam grip and glossy finish make it easy to clean after a day of catfishing.
  • Lifetime Warranty: Backed by a lifetime warranty that covers almost anything, ensuring your investment is secure.

Pros

  • Powerful Performance
  • Durable Design
  • Versatile Use

Cons

To sum it up, the Championship Catfish Rod is a powerful and reliable tool for catfish anglers, with a durable build, easy maintenance, and a lifetime warranty to back it up. 

While it may not be the most compact choice, it’s a versatile option that’s sure to become your go-to pole for big catfish. 

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, this rod has everything you need to confidently tackle catfishing.

Buyer’s Guide: Top Catfish Rods

When you’re on the hunt for the best catfish rods, several key features and factors can make a significant difference in your fishing experience. 

Here’s a detailed buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision and select the perfect rod for your catfishing adventures.

1. Rod Material:

The material of your catfish rod is a crucial consideration. Catfish rods typically come in fiberglass or graphite, and some even use a combination of both. 

Fiberglass rods are known for their strength and durability, making them ideal for tackling large catfish. 

They can handle the weight and power of these fish without breaking a sweat. On the other hand, graphite rods offer more sensitivity, allowing you to feel even the slightest nibble. They’re great for detecting when catfish are biting, which is essential for a successful fishing trip.

2. Rod Length:

The length of your catfish rod plays a significant role in your fishing experience. Longer rods, around 7 to 8 feet, are excellent for casting your line further and covering a larger area. 

They also provide more leverage when you’re fighting big catfish. On the other hand, shorter rods, around 6 to 7 feet, are better for fishing in tight spaces or from a boat. 

The length you choose should depend on your preferred fishing style and the environment you’ll be fishing in.

3. Power and Action:

Catfish rods come in various power and action ratings, and it’s important to understand what these terms mean. Power refers to the rod’s ability to handle heavy loads. 

For catfishing, a medium-heavy to heavy power rod is ideal, as it can handle the strength of catfish without breaking. Action, on the other hand, describes where the rod bends. 

Fast-action rods bend closer to the tip, making them more sensitive and better for quick hook sets. Medium to medium-fast action rods are great for catfishing, as they provide a balance between sensitivity and the ability to handle heavy loads.

4. Handle and Grip:

The handle and grip of your catfish rod should offer comfort and control during long fishing sessions. 

Look for a handle with materials like EVA foam or cork, as they provide a comfortable and non-slip grip. 

Some catfish rods even feature rubberized shrink-wrapped handles, making them easy to clean after handling slimy catfish. 

Additionally, consider the handle’s length, as a longer handle can provide more leverage when fighting larger catfish.

5. Reel Seat and Guides:

A sturdy reel seat and high-quality guides are essential for a catfish rod. Look for a reel seat that securely holds your fishing reel in place. 

Stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts are a good choice, as they offer smooth line management and can withstand the abrasion of thick braided lines. 

The number of guides can also affect the performance of the rod, with more guides typically providing better support for the line.

6. Warranty and Brand Reputation:

Finally, consider the warranty and brand reputation when choosing your catfish rod. A warranty gives you peace of mind, ensuring that your investment is protected. 

Reputable brands often have a history of producing high-quality fishing equipment. 

You can also read reviews and seek recommendations from experienced catfish anglers to get an idea of which brands and models are highly regarded.

In conclusion, finding the best catfish rod involves considering the material, length, power, action, handle, reel seat, guides, warranty, and brand reputation. 

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select a rod that suits your catfishing style and helps you reel in those big catfish. 

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, the right catfish rod will significantly enhance your fishing adventures. Happy fishing!

FAQs

What is the best material for a catfish rod, fiberglass, or graphite?

The best material for a catfish rod depends on your preference. Fiberglass is durable and has more flex, while graphite offers increased sensitivity.

How do I choose the right rod length for catfishing?

Choose a catfish rod length around 7 to 8 feet for versatility, providing a balance of casting distance and control.

What power and action ratings should I look for in a catfish rod?

Opt for a medium to medium-heavy power catfish rod with a moderate to moderate-fast action for versatile catfishing applications.

Are longer handles better for catfish rods, and why?

Longer handles can be better for catfish rods, as they provide more leverage when fighting larger catfish, helping you control and land them more effectively.

Can you recommend any reputable brands known for top-quality catfish rods?

Reputable brands known for top-quality catfish rods include Ugly Stik, Shakespeare, Abu Garcia, and Whisker Seeker.

My Verdict

When it comes to the best catfish fishing rods, one stands out as a top pick – the St Croix Mojo Cat Spinning Rod. Its blend of premium SCII graphite and S-glass, along with Kigan Master Hand 3D guides, makes it a stellar choice for catfish enthusiasts.

However, it’s important to note that all the other fishing rods discussed in this article are also excellent options, each with its unique strengths. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a great catfishing experience.