How to Buy the Best Catfish Rod – All You Should Know

Hello my fishing friends,

Since you are reading this article, you are probably ready to fight hard with the most popular sports fish all over the US. If you have not tried catfish fishing before, please do, and you will not regret it. Consequently, we searched the net looking for the most burning query related to catfishing.

Firstly, we figured out that the majority of anglers have no idea how to choose the best catfish rod. There is a wide variety of rods on the market, and today we are here to help you with your choice. Afterward, we published five reviews to help you find the best catfish rod on the market now.

What is a catfish?

First of all, before talking about the catfish rod, it is important to mention some useful information about the fish. Just to make things clear the name “catfish” refers to various fish species. Thus, it is not a single fish.

Today, we will talk about the most popular catfish species the blue catfish, the channel catfish and the flathead catfish.

Blue Catfish

The blue catfish lives in lakes and rivers of the Northern States of the US. Furthermore, you can find them near river estuaries and waters with high levels of salinity. Surprisingly, they are really big fish, and they can reach even 150 lbs.

Blue Catfish

Image source: Tennessee Aquarium

However, the average weight of blue catfish is 70 lbs. Generally speaking, they are not aggressive, but they are strong. For this reason, your catfish rod must be able to withstand them.

Channel Catfish

This fish loves shallow waters and moving waters. You can find them all over the US. This indisputable giant has a well-developed sense of smell, and it hunts during the night. This fish feeds on microorganisms, small fish and insects.

Channel Catfish

Image source: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources –

Consequently, it would be a good idea to use worms, little shrimps or insects as bait. The channel catfish can reach the weight of 20 lbs. And the average weight is 8 lbs. For this fish, you will need a good flexible rod.

Flathead Catfish

The flathead catfish usually lives in warm freshwaters, but you can find them also in northern States. Aggressiveness is one of its main characteristics, and it feeds on little fish. However, many anglers have seen flathead catfish feeding on carps!

Flathead Catfish

Image source: MDC Discover Nature

Fish or fish pieces are the best bait. Additionally, these catfish species like areas with lush vegetation and weed bottoms to hide. The flathead catfish fishing rod must have specifications similar to the blue catfish rod.

Useful Advice

You can go catfish fishing whether from a boat or the shore. If you are fishing from the shore, you should choose a flexible catfish rod to perform better casts. Another fact that you should take into consideration is that you have to choose the rod depending on the target fish size.

Furthermore, you should be careful before you choose your rod. There are many rods on the market with the logo “catfish rod, ” but many of them are unsuitable for our purpose.

For instance, there are several rods on the market made by a famous brand, and they advertise the rods as the ideal inshore catfish rods. However, we took a closer look at these rods and realized that they had Roller guides.

Roller guides are unsuitable for shore fishing. Consequently, you must read the specifications carefully without being carried away from the marketing tricks.

How to Choose the Best Catfish Rod-Features and Specifications

This section will present you essential features you have to look for in the best catfish rod. If you follow the guidelines one by one, you will surely face not a single problem.

Rod Lbs.

As we mentioned above, the lbs. of your rod depend on the size of the target fish. Consequently, there are two general rules you have to follow. The first is that the lbs. of your rod must be the weight of your fish/2.

Rod Lbs

Image source: In-Fisherman

Furthermore, you do not have to worry as the fishing reel will tire out the fish, so your rod will not break.

The second rule is that all catfish species need different rod lbs.

Blue Catfish 20-40 lbs.
Channel Catfish 5-20 lbs.
Flathead Catfish 15-35 lbs.

Rod Length

Many factors affect the length of the rod. First and foremost, we should make things clear that when we are talking about shore fishing, we exclusively refer to the casting technique. For this reason, it would be a good idea to select a flexible and long rod to perform longer casts.

Moreover, if you are using a multiplier reel, you should have a long rod because they cannot release easily line.

Rod Length

Image source: YouTube

As far as bottom fishing is concerned, you can use shorter catfish rods because long casts are not necessary here.

Consequently, if you are going to fish from the shore or a boat in shallow waters, the ideal length is 6,6 – 7,4 feet. For the bottom fishing technique, the perfect length is 6 – 7 feet.

Multiple- or One-Piece Rod?

After searching many fishing blogs, we realized that many anglers have this concern. Multiple piece rods tend to absorb the tension and pressure on the tip. Consequently, rod manufacturers try to make them durable and able to withstand hard fish strikes.

The majority of long catfish rods consist of many pieces to be portable.

On the other hand, one-piece rods have a solid body which absorbs all the energy, and they are better for bottom fishing.

Handle Length

The length of the handle plays an important role because it affects not only your convenience but also your casts. For the casting technique, you will need a rod with a long handle to do better and longer casts.


The most common materials are graphite, E-glass, and carbon. Each material has some specific features.


Graphite is a light and flexible material which gives you the opportunity to hold the rod for many hours. The flexibility will make you able to “feel” the fish bites, and you will have a better sense of your rig. However, it is not durable enough so the rods made of graphite cannot cope with big heavy fish.


Image source: Grandt Rods

The best catfish rod, especially for the channel catfish, is made of graphite just because it is a lethargic fish and you have to act quickly if you feel a bite.



Image source: Pinterest

This material is durable and hard. However, e-glass rods surely lack in flexibility. Most anglers would agree that they are unsuitable for bottom fishing. Generally speaking, it would be a good idea to use them for casting from the shore.

Moreover, they are quite heavy and we recommend them for bigger fish like the blue catfish.


In this case, the carbon material will give you many advantages as it is not only a flexible material but also really durable. We recommend a carbon rod for all catfish species.

Top 5 best catfish rod reviews

1.Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod with Glow Tip, 7-Feet 6-Inch/Medium-Heavy

Surprisingly, Rippin Lips used a rare blank material which is called S-Glass. Due to the nice sturdy constructions it will give you many advantages for catfish fishing. This 6 feet and 7 inch buddy will be your best companion.


  • Strong blank: The S-Glass blank has all the positive characteristics of fiberglass, and it combines them with sensitivity. Furthermore, it is saltwater and rust resistant.

Features and Specifications

  • Super Grip: If you take a closer look the cat series rod utilizes three EVA foam handles for better casts. Moreover, the EVA grip on the butt of the rod gives you extra comfort and stability.
  • Glow Tip: Obviously, some catfish species are night active. Rippin Lips knows that so they equipped the tip with a glowing material.
  • Power: Medium Heavy Power to fight bigger fish
  • Guides: Epoxy Coated guides


  • Ultra-Strong material
  • Good Power
  • Suitable for night fishing


  • No ceramic inserts in the guides
  • No carry case

Final Verdict

Finally, it is an affordable catfish rod which has many positive characteristics. Obviously, it is durable, but the guides are not the best. However, it is a good choice if you do not want to spend a fortune on a simple rod.

2.219087 Okuma Battle Cat 2pc Heavy 7' 6in Casting Rod BC-C-762H

Okuma is a leading company in constructing roads for every purpose, and she will surely not disappoint you. This two pieces heavy duty rod differentiates from other rods because it combines smoothness with sturdiness. The incredible line weight will surprise you.


  • Guides: The stainless steel guides are double foot welded and which means that the angle is slightly curved to release line quickly. Moreover, the stainless steel material will make them last a lifetime.

Features and Specifications

  • Length: 7 feet and 6 inch
  • Line Weight: 15-60 lbs.
  • Weight: 17 oz.
  • Power: Heavy
  • Action: Medium Fast


  • Stiff guides
  • Incredible line weight
  • Nice Design


  • Maybe a little expensive
  • MH power would be better

Final Verdict

Undoubtedly, this rod deserves a place on the list with the top catfish rods. All the features are designed to shine with a wide variety of lures. Furthermore, it is obvious that it can handle big trophy fish.

Okuma always knows the modern fishing needs and tries to construct rods for all purposes.

3.Shakespeare Wild Cat Casting Rod

Catfish are very popular battle fish all over the US. This rod has a fiberglass body which makes it durable. Shakespeare named this rod “Wild Cat” just because it can fight aggressive fish. It is a good choice, and it will lift you up to the victory!


  • Guides: The double footed guides are made of stainless steel. This material makes it suitable for saltwater catfish fishing. Double footed means that the ring of the guide has a forward angle. Thus, the line glides easily like butter.
  • Orange Tip: The tip is orange so you can see it if you are going to fish when it becomes dark.

Features and Specifications

  • Number of Guides: 6
  • Grip: Soft Eva Foam
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Length: 7 feet. This length is ideal for casting


  • Ideal Casting Rod
  • Affordable
  • Strong Guides


  • The reel seat is too low
  • Not enough flexible

Final Verdict

Many anglers say that this is the best catfish rod as it offers many advantages and it comes in two pieces for easy transportation. After testing this rod, we have to say that it is an ideal choice for that price.

4.Shakespeare One-Piece Medium Action Ugly Stik Tiger Spinning Rod, 7-Feet

First of all, if you are an obsessed catfish angler, this rod is design for you. Specifically, it features a one-piece solid body which can cope with high pressure. Moreover, Shakespeare tried to incorporate some special features to give you a smooth and relaxed fishing experience.


  • Fuji Reel Seat: The reel seat is made of graphite, and the hoods are crafted of stainless steel. Both lightweight and durable.

Features and Specifications

  • Length: 7 feet. Ideal for Spinning or Casting
  • Action: Medium Action


  • Affordable
  • Able to fight big fish
  • The Reel Seat will hold the reel steady, and the hoods are saltwater resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Portable


  • Few Guides
  • Could have fast action as it is designed not only for casting but also for spinning

Final Verdict

To sum up, this is a simple rod with unique features. If we could sum up the description in two words, we could say SIMPLE DURABLE. These two words are enough.

The majority of anglers suppose that it can fight big catfish. Especially if you pair it with a good reel with high max drag.

5.Denali Rods 7' 6

The Denali Rod has the perfect combination to withstand every strong strike whether you are fishing for blue or flathead catfish. Denali launched this model recently and brought it to us with many extraordinary features. The rod expertly meets all catfish fishing expectations and it comes with a unique “fighting” handle.


  • Length: With a length of 7 feet and 6 inches, Denali managed to make it flexible and durable at the same time.
  • Handle: The handle has three grips made of EVA foam. The grip is durable and will face no problems with the weather conditions. EVA foam is better than cork because it can fight all the elements of nature.

Features and Specifications

  • Action: Medium Action especially good for spinning
  • Material: E-Glass blank
  • Guides: 9 Never fail guides
  • Line Weight: 10-20 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1-3 oz.
  • Handle Length: 14”


  • Lightweight rod
  • Unique Handle ideal for big fish fighting
  • High line weight


  • The hoods of the reel seat are not stainless steel
  • The non-ceramic guides could be responsible for a line twist
  • Maybe expensive

Final Verdict

Finally, Denali knows how to construct fishing rods. Catfish fishing needs special tools, and this is a tool that is really efficient. Since you are looking for a durable and flexible rod, this is the best choice.

Let’s go Catfish Fishing!

Are you ready for the most exciting experience of your life? Are you ready to fight with an indisputable giant? If the answer is yes you only have to do one thing. Grab your best catfish rod and hit the road!

Catfish fishing is a demanding fishing technique. Two things play here a significant role. Skills and good tools. We are here to help you with the selection of your tools. As far skills are concerned, you will earn them through practice.

Thank you for reading and if you like the article feel free to share it or leave a message in the comment box.