Catfish Rods, Let's Talk

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by H2O Mellon, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I'm sure we've talked about this before, but what the heck it's winter time. I guess I've been catfishing for five years or so. Over that span I'd hate to think of how many cat rods I've had. To say 100 would not be over over estimating. Let's see, Shimano, Berkley, Pinnacle, American Spirit, Abu Garcia, Shimano, Moyer, Surge, Shakespeare, All Star, Mitchell, Quantum, Remmington (yes, that was my 1st Cat Rod), Cabelas, Bass Pro, Fenwick, St Croix and a couple custom rods too.

    One of the more popular former rods that I've never owned is a Berkley E-Cat. Catfish Connection will have them once again beginning in April of this year by the way.

    In the past I've had a bad habit of selling rods trying to find the perfect one for me or just for needing money. (Shut up DIP, Flathuner, Dink and Salmonid!! :) )

    Anyways, even though I've had I believe seven St Croix Classic Cats (down to only one now) I still look for them regularly. St Croix re-released the blanks this year, they are marketed as Extra Heavy Muskie Rods, using the SCII Graphite and Fiberglass compound (make sure its the compound and not just the SCII graphite). I think they retail for $190. Of corse these days, I'm looking for the used ones for half the original price. :)

    Out of everything I've tried I guess I'd say the Classic Cats are first, but man I like Fenwick Seahawks just as well. I only have one Fenwick Seahawk. I bought it for $40 from Fisherman's Qtrs in Dayton a few years back. It's been the only rod that I would not think of voluntarily selling. The model number is SHC701MH (7 foot-one piece), rated for 15-60 # and 3-8 oz. I think if I could find 10 of these rods I'd buy all ten and sell my other, even more expensive rods. They have such a great "feel" to them. They also handle fish very nicely.

    Growing up I used to laugh at my dad for using Shakespeare equipment. I worked my way up to the Hunting & Fishing Manager at the local Sporting Goods store when I was 19 or so. I was into Bass fishing and all that other kind fo fishing. It it wasn't a $100+ Shimano, Team Diawa or low profile Abu reel on a St Croix rod I wasn't going to use it. That's 100% true. I used to get killer discounts through St Croix for selling so many of their rods. Heck, once the store closed I had a possible connection with St Croix's warehouse in WI for a job. I didn't pursue it since I was so young and lived at home. Anyways, you get the picture, it had to be a "high quality, high priced" item for me to use it. What a dream world I lived in then. :p Over the last two years I have bought more Shakespeare Ugly Stick Tiger Rods than anything else. I have the regular Tigers in MH ($60), a Tiger Lite ($65) as well as a couple Custom Tigers ($70). So now that I have a family, a job and bills, I live in reality and know price and style are not what I no longer look for. I love the Tigers for fishing out of the boat. The Tiger Lite is great for both Channels and Flatheads, which is something that's hard to find. The Custom Tigers are overkill for Channels but I really like them for Blues (even though I haven't gotten into a ton of Blues yet). The MH Tigers are perfect for Flaheads, good for Blues and still okay for Channels as they are not quite as overkill as the Customs.

    So in order I guess I'd have to say that my favorite Cat rods are:

    #1.) Fenwick Seahawk
    #2.) St Croix Classic Cat (real close to #1)
    #3.) Shakespeare Ugly Stick Tiger Lite
    #4.) Shakespeare Ugly Stick Tiger
    #5.) Shakespeare Ugly Stick Custom Tiger

    (yes dad would be proud that 3 of my top 5 are Shakespeare.) :p :)

    Let's hear it from others, what are your favorites?
  2. Umm I got these pretty sweet St. Croix rods from a member on this site for a good price....I am pretty fond of those...haha

    I am also a fan of the BPS Catmaxx I have 5 of those as well. I have not liked the ugly sticks, however I have not tried the tigers out yet, so maybe that could change when/if I try one out.

  3. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Fishdealer can not post about Catfish Rods, especially St Croix Rods! :) ;)
  4. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    being a broke college graduate with no job, and having a degree in a field where there are no jobs on the market right now really limits what expenditures you make for the month...

    so even though I don't own any of them, the fenwick seahawks and the shakespeare tiger rods are supreme fishing rod for big cats... just love them (I would love to have st croix rods, but I can think of at least 2 bills, possible 3 that I can pay a month with $190), my next 2 favorites that I own would have to be between the berkley reflex w/cork handle and the berkley glow stick... good all-around channel rods that can handle the bulldog runs of a flatty or the screaming banshee hauls of a blue... not a typical lineup for a flathead addicted fisherman, but economical isn't my favorite word nor how I like to spend my money on fishing equipment... but alas, I can say they are all paired with abu garcia baitcasters, may be able to sacrifice rod quality but you can never sacrifice reel quality!!!
  5. fisherman5567

    fisherman5567 Fishin Everyday

    I have to say ugly stik all the way. I dont have too much experience with any other rods but...i have never had an ugly stik fail me. my next purchases are going to be Penn reels on ugly stik tiger (not sure which tiger yet).
  6. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    Since I started using long rods 12ft...I can even cast a short rod anymore.

    I love the way a long rod handles a large fish, the rod takes most of the fight, practically all you use the reel for is to retreve line.

    I have no need for expensive rods.

    I will pay 150 bucks for a reel, but not for a rod.

    If I could find a 40 dollar reel that does the job as good as my 40 dollar amercian spirit nitestiks a might try them.

    But the favorite rod I own is a 12 ft ugly stik big water extra heavy action, rated for up to 24ounces...Yes I said that right 24 ounces of weight.

    If you knew the spots I fish you would no why a big long rod is important.

    But I also love the nite sticks.
  7. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    Jack have you ever used the master custom striker rods?
  8. But they are sooo nice...hahaha
  9. I just fish for Channels...I use medium to med heavy uglysticks for catfishing. I'm just now getting into it more the last year. I'm sure at some point I'll want to get nicer rods but this seems to work for me so far.
  10. I just started really getting into cats last year doing all the neocats tourney's. I use a 9' Ugly Stik MH with an Okuma reel, and my other is a 8.5Berkley Big Game with a BPS Cat Maxx reel. They both do great but I prefer the Ugly Stik for use with lighter rigs. The Berkley Can sling some serious lead!
  11. Predator225

    Predator225 Predator225

    Mellon, I couldn't agree with you more about the Tiger rods from a boat. My biggest flathead (56lbs), and most of the blues I have caught came on a Tiger rod, and handled big fish beautifully. For just general all-round flathead fishing, I just can NOT part with my Quantum Big Cats. I have yet to check out the Catmaxx rods, but I have been told they are pretty similar, and the Quantum's seem to be getting harder to find in my area.
    I also agree with Jack about not spending $150 for a cat rod, especially with the abuse (weather, travelling a mile through brush) we sometimes put them through.
  12. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Oh yea I wanted to also say that I fish Circle hooks 90% of the time, so when I pick out a rod, I keep that in mind.
  13. For Flatheads
    1. Catmaxx or Quantum big Cat
    2. Eagle Claw Granger Ocean II

    For Channels
    1. Ugly Stik Catfish Rod
    2. Berkley Big Game

    All Rods 7-8ft, Med Hvy-Hvy Action...ALWAYS Abu Reels, But I have become fond of the Okuma Classic Pro Levelwind reels for lake fishing, and Penns of course!
  14. tcba1987

    tcba1987 Tuscarawas River Angler

    Shakespeare Ugly Stick Catfish Rods are all i use .........i have a few of the Cheapo Berkley Big Game Rods too !!
  15. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    brian, I know of a few big fish caught on those berkly big game rods.

    But I have had them in my hands and looked them over, they seem like junk to me, do you agree? Not ment to offend, just wanted your opnion?
  16. Jack, I have used those rods for channels before I found the Ugly Stik Catfish rods... They seemed to be decent for channels, but I agree I wouldnt wanna use one to haul in a 40-50lb Flathead...I know of guys catching cats up to about 30lbs on those rods...I know you didnt ask me, BUT...IMO they are a decent rod for $20 but you might as well take the extra $10 and get an ugly stik catfish rod...

    My dad uses the Berkley Big Games with Zebco 733 Hawg reels and loves them, but he also isnt fishing for Trophy Flatheads...
  17. i have a berkly big game and a ugly stick catfish rod, with shakesspear catera round baitcast reels, i dont have all the money in the world to go and spend on nicer rod and reels especially now being a single father, but they get the job done, ive fought some nice sized fish and i do prefer the ugly stick over the berkly, now i have been looking at the american night sticks, for one it seems alot of catfisherman like these rods, two there inexpensive, reel wise i am looking at trying the abu bcx, its alot cheaper than the other abu's and is more in my price range for spending, yeah equipment does matter alot when your fishing for bigger fish, but ive always been a firm beleiver just cause you have that nicer equipment doesnt mean you can use it to its full potential unless youve started at the bottom and worked your way up understanding why this will improve this and that, which is what alot of todays fishermen and ladies seem to not understand and jump from basic rod and reels that will get the job done, to full on $100 plus reels and $80+ rods, in my opinion if you cant get it done with the cheaper stuff and learn to manage and fight a fish with less, how can you do it with more? jmo and experiences
  18. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Right now Catfish Connection is selling the 6600BCX 2009 reels for $45. I have one and they seem fine. Other than being made in China I think they seem just as good as regular Red 6000.
  19. tcba1987

    tcba1987 Tuscarawas River Angler

    Youve gotto watch the new 6600bcx the button in them sometimes sticks dad and i both have them and we have both had the button stick and the reel gets stuck in free spool and the button wont pop up .........if you press it down a few times and keep clicking the handle over it ALWAYS pops back up but im kinda leary of buying another one !!!
  20. i have a similar problem with my shakesspears, but it seems to be more of a gearing hang up, so i always back the handle off a tad and it pops right up, thanks for the bcx.