Best Catfish Rod | Our Buyer’s Guide

We know you’ll agree when we say that the best catfish rod is the most efficient way to improve technique. Don’t you think so?

The only problem here is finding the heavy duty catfish rods, isn’t it?

But don’t be disappointed. We’ve created a list of the current topmost catfish rods in the industry. After spending several hours researching and examining the best ones on the market, we’ve come up with seven excellent choices.

These catfish rods offer everything from maximum durability to easy maneuvering. Let’s find out what they are so you can buy your favorite right away!

Quick Comparison: Top 7 Best Catfish Rods

* Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see customer reviews and current prices on

best catfish rod

The best catfish rod: 7 popular picks

Before we begin, you should know that such type of rods is not created for catfish only. The majority of anglers end up buying one based on their preferred actions as well as rod sizes. Short and long along with light and heavy rods come with their unique advantages and disadvantages.

The catfish rod depends on your particular needs and requirements. But there are some that tend to rank higher than the majority in terms of performance. And they are the ones listed below.

1. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Rod & Reel Combo – The Most Reliable Catfish Rod

When we hear the name Abu Garcia, we know that it’s the most trusted manufacturer of the fishing equipment. And the Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Rod & Reel Combo also incites such feelings.

It comes with an excellent Carbon Matrix system along with two great ball bearings. These features are perfect for landing all types of catfish.

You will also be quite impressed with the wind system of the fishing rod. It is synchronized to improve cast accuracy and line lay. This gives you more precise and greater casting, doesn’t it?

So what’s the problem with the Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Rod? The only issue is that the rod cannot be used to target heavier catfish. But if you’re targeting smaller-sized fish, then the Abu Garcia is an ideal choice for you.

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Cast Rod & Reel Combo

We Like

  • The stainless steel guides are ideal for harsh conditions.
  • The handle is slightly bent to improve accessibility.

We Don't Like

  • The eyelets are not well constructed.
  • Not suitable for larger catfish.

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo Product Review

2. Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod – The Best Durable Catfish Rod (Editor's Choice)

The Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod is known for its superior strength and durability. The use of carbon fiber contributes to the solid construction of the rod. It is also responsible for maximizing strength and improving sensitivity.

Such a sturdy design will lead you to believe that the fishing rod has a heavy body. But that’s not the case. The rod’s graphite elements go a long way in keeping it lightweight. They also do an excellent job at maintaining a low level of fatigue.

The only problem is that the Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod’s bolt tends to break and slide. But this issue can be fixed by putting the bolt back in its place using force.

One tiny flaw like this can’t be a deal-breaker. Especially when the rod comes with optimally spaced line guides to offer excellent casting performance.

Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod

We Like

  • The EVA-equipped foam grip adds more comfort.
  • The rod’s line guides offer corrosion resistance.

We Don't Like

  • The handle produces a creaking noise.
  • The bolt keeps coming off quite often.

3. Shakespeare Two-Piece Medium Heavy Action Wild Cat Cast Rod – The Best Cost-Effective Catfish Rod

The phenomenal fishing rods of Shakespeare are popular for their history of superior performance. And the Shakespeare Two-Piece Medium Heavy Action Wild Cat Cast Rod is no different. This best catfish rod offers enhanced sensitivity. Such a quality makes it easier for you to feel every pull of the biting fish.

Built with stainless steel, the fishing rod provides the greatest durability. Another great feature of the Shakespeare Wild Cat Cast Rod is the addition of EVA grips. These are paired with remarkable rubber gimbal to place the rod firmly in your hands.

The only drawback is that the rod is a tad too heavy to work with. But it all seems worth it when you land a monster catfish.

Shakespeare Two-Piece Medium Heavy Action Wild Cat Cast Rod

We Like

  • The rod hands out incredible control as well as leverage.
  • The EVA grips offer maximum safety when targeting big catfish.

We Don't Like

  • The rod is bulky in weight.

Angling Basics with Shakespeare Starting Coarse Fishing Part 1 - Swim Selection

4. Okuma BC-C-762H Battle Cat Heavy 7-Feet 6-Inch Casting Rod – The Best Heavy Duty Catfish Rods

The Okuma BC-C-762H Battle Cat Heavy 7-Feet 6-Inch Casting Rod is considered to be the most innovative option. Built with E-glass, the rod offers optimal sensitivity with maximum durability. This means catching larger catfish will not be such a difficult task.

The best part about the Okuma Casting Rod is its fluorescent tip. Such a feature allows you to spot the tip of the rod even in the murkiest conditions. And do you what this means? It means that you can go catfishing at night as well.

Fishing rods aren’t supposed to split at the handle. Because what this does is add inconvenience when carrying the rod. And the Okuma Casting Rod has this particular flaw.

Okuma BC-C-762H Battle Cat Heavy 7-Feet 6-Inch Casting Rod

We Like

  • The tip is incredibly sensitive.
  • The pole has an unyielding quality.

We Don't Like

  • The design splits at the handle, which compromises portability.

Okuma Fishing Tackle

5. Zebco Catfish Fighter Spin Fishing Rod – The Best Long Cast Catfish Rod

The Zebco Catfish Fighter Spin Fishing Rod is one of those great two-piece spinning rods with long casts. They deliver a Medium Heavy (MH) action. What this means is that the rod is powerful and flexible enough without being overweight.

The best part about the Zebco Catfish Fighter Spin Fishing Rod is the long casting distance that it offers. You will also be glad to know that the rod has a unique Z-glass construction. Such a design makes the body more flexible than any graphite model.

The lack of reels is the only downside of the Zebco Catfish Fighter Spin Fishing Rod. But this doesn’t seem like such a huge concern now that you know what to expect.

Nevertheless, the manufacturer has made up for such a negligible flaw as well. And they have done so by building the rod with abundant backbone. Such a feature helps in exerting heavy-duty pressure when fighting large catfish.

Zebco Catfish Fighter Spin Fishing Rod

We Like

  • The pole is well constructed and sturdy enough.
  • The rod hands out maximum sensitivity.

We Don't Like

  • It doesn’t come with reels.

How to Catch Fish?

6. Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod with Glow Tip – The Strongest Catfish Rod

The thing that makes the Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod the best regarding strength is advanced fiberglass (S-glass). The use of this material makes the rod stiffer and stronger.

Only a few models have an S-glass instead of an E-glass design. And the Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod is among the few. The difference between the two is that the latter offers non-angling functionality. And the former is manufactured specifically for a fishing rod.

Such a high-quality and robust construction makes the rod more sensitive and smoother. Another great feature is the EVA grip handle. We all know how beneficial a better grip can be. You will also like the enhanced power of the rod. It makes the hook setting procedure easier to carry out.

The split design of the handle delivers the perfect balance when fighting big fish. But this feature can also prove to be quite a nuisance. The best way to deal with it is to wrap the handle with paracord.

Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod with Glow Tip

We Like

  • The guide wraps have an epoxy coating for better protection.
  • The glowing tip offers high visibility even during nighttime.

We Don't Like

  • The rod is a tad too light for Medium Heavy (MH) action.
  • It doesn’t come with a complete cork handle.

Here’s another catfish rod by the renowned fish equipment manufacturing brand Shakespeare. The company’s Ugly Stik collection consists of versatile rods suitable for landing all species of catfish. It means you can use the Shakespeare One-Piece Medium Heavy Action Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Rod to target monster catfish.

That’s not even the best part. The most striking feature is the combination of two valuable elements. The first being the Fuji graphite-equipped reel seats. And the second is the stainless steel cushioned hoods. What such a combination does is offer additional durability and sensitivity.

The component that you might not like is the rod’s inability to provide Medium Heavy (MH) action. The power is more Medium (M) than Medium Heavy (MH). But nevertheless, the rod does an excellent job at landing larger catfish.

Shakespeare One-Piece Medium Heavy Action Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Rod

We Like

  • It comes with reinforced fighting butts for better performance.
  • The graphite core and fiberglass structure add extra strength.

We Don't Like

  • It ranks low in terms of construction.
  • The power of the rod is medium, not medium heavy.

Angling Basics with Shakespeare: Starting Coarse Fishing Part 2 - How to Arrange your Tackle

The Ultimate Catfish Rod Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to selecting fishing rod especially for catfish, there are several factors to take into consideration. And most of them depend on your targeted species. Some of us like to work with small channel fish while others prefer the grand blue catfish. So what’s your target?

Honestly, it doesn’t matter. And do you know why? Because the catfish rods reviews discussed above include fishing rods built to handle all types of catfish.

best catfish rod

So how did we pick the good ones from the bad? By taking into account important features like rod and handle length, power, and rod material. So let’s get into the details of each factor, shall we?

The Proper Rod and Handle Length of the Best Catfish Rod

Let’s start with rod length. The majority of anglers choose to work with fishing rods as long as 7 feet. Catfish rods longer than that are also commonly used. But do you know why? It’s because a longer length offers additional leverage. This is useful when struggling with a big catfish. A longer rod also enables you to cover more area.

One of the most efficient catfishing techniques is casting baits for longer distances to cover a vast area from one spot. And this is something you can’t accomplish with a shorter length, right?

Ever heard of draft fishing? It is a technique that requires you to cast baits short distance. Then you slowly drag the bait across the river or lake. When using a longer catfish rod for such a technique, you allow the rod to extend from both the back and front of your boat. And when this happens, a larger area is covered with just one drift.

Now let’s talk about the catfish rod’s handle length. Anglers are more inclined towards fishing rods with longer handles. Because they too provide additional leverage. Longer handles also tend to make the process easier, especially when you want to land a huge catfish.

What is the Best Material for a Catfish Rod?

There are two types of materials used for the construction of catfish rods. These are E-glass and graphite. The former is more popular due to its durable and inexpensive qualities. It also offers tremendous power.

The only two disadvantages with E-glass are that it lacks sensitivity and is not lightweight. On the other hand, graphite catfish rods provide extra sensitivity. But they are not as durable as their e-glass counterparts. So they tend to break easily.

The Power of the Best Catfish Rod

The weight of the rod constitutes the power. And power is referred to as M (medium), H (heavy), ML (medium light), and MH (medium heavy). How much the catfish rod bends or the amount of force exerted for loading the rod depends on the power.

When it comes to catfishing, circle hooks seem to be popular. They do the job of catching catfish of all sizes and species. The performance of the circle hook depends on the fishing rod’s flexibility.

And you should know that a heavier catfish rod does not provide maximum flex. So keeping that in mind, it’s better to opt for a fishing rod with either an M or MH power.

best catfish rod

Wrapping it up

We hope the guide and all the seven catfish rods reviews helped you in finding the best catfish rod to work with. The activity is highly satisfying once you get it right. When that happens, you will start targeting larger catfish like a pro.

And there’s nothing more rewarding than landing a monster catfish. So it’s time to get started! All you need is the Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod. And why? Because it’s the ultimate winner of the list.

The Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod offers tons of strength. Thanks to the strong carbon fiber structure. The stainless steel equipped guides of the rod are corrosion resistant. This brings maximum durability to the table.

The addition of graphite elements provides enhanced sensitivity. They are also responsible for handing out flexibility and versatility. You will also be quite impressed with the spaced out, frictionless line flow of the rod.

Every little thing about the Entsport 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod is excellent in terms of performance. Even the EVA foam grips. They do a great job at improving control. What more could you have asked for, right?

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