The 5 Best Catfish Rods For 2024 And Right Meow

Catfish are a unique species, that require the right equipment. Here's our quick guide to the 5 best catfish rods that can help you haul big cats.

Best catfish rods of 2024
Here are the best catfish rods of 2024

Looking for the best catfish rods on the market?

In this article, we will review some of the best fishing rods on the market and help you decide which one is right for you. Catfish fishing can be a lot of fun, but it's important to use the right gear if you want to be successful. We'll discuss the best catfish rods and help you find the perfect one for your needs.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best catfish rod. First, think about the type of fishing you'll be doing. Are you going after big cats in open water, or smaller ones in rivers and streams? The size and strength of your rod should be matched to the size of fish you hope to catch. We'll go over that for you in this review.

How We Choose

We know that the only thing better than having the best rod for catfish fishing is the peace of mind that comes with it, knowing you don’t have to worry about your fishing gear.

Our team has read through thousands of user reviews and star ratings to come up with a list that makes it easier for you to decide what catfish rod to choose. Don’t bother spending lots of time reading over many many reviews, we’ve done it already and have come up with the top 5 catfish rods for you.

Read below for details and you can check the price on the one that you like.

So what are the 5 best catfish rods?

1. Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rods

Best All Around Catfish Rods

Ugly Sitk Catfish Rods

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Why We Love These

Ugly Stik catfish rods are a great choice for any fisherman looking to break away from the ordinary. With their tough, rugged design and stainless steel guides they can stand up against abuse or "stupid moments" that would break other rods. Plus these catfish rods come equipped with all of our favorite features like graphite/fiberglass construction, which makes them incredibly durable as well as being really light.

The Ugly Stik brand has been around since about...forever, and is a good name in the fishing world. There have been thousands and thousands of Ugly Stiks sold. The name comes from the fact that they were perceived as ugly when they were first made. Regardless, it's a brilliant brand play for a great fishing rod.

Here's What To Know

Legendary graphite-fiberglass construction that lasts
Medium-heavy action is great for battling medium to heavy cats
Available for casting or spinning, in 7 and 8-foot sizes
Super value for the price
If you break it you probably could crush diamonds, too
Ugly Stik clear tip design
Comfortable EVA grips with rubber gimbal
7 year rod warranty

2. Championship Catfish Rod

Best 2-Piece Catfish Rod

Championship Catfish Rod

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Why We Love These

There are a lot of different factors to consider when picking out the best catfish rod. You want an affordable rod that's durable and can handle the fight of a big fish. This 2-piece, 7' 6" fiberglass rod checks all those boxes, and is easy to transport. It's ruggedly built to withstand whatever a monster catfish can dish out. Plus, the smooth guides can withstand the abrasion of thick braided lines.

Its sensitive tip and heavy backbone on this medium-fast action rod make it great for self-setting circle hooks in big blues and flatheads, while still being able to handle smaller catfish. The 13" fighting handle tucks under your arm or into your side to transfer leverage through your entire body.

We like the Catfish Sumo Chop Stick guarantee. It's a LIFETIME warranty that covers anything you could do to break it, whether by accident, even on purpose, whatever. They'll replace it for just 50% of MSRP, and these rods are also warrantied against manufacturer defects for 30 days after purchase.

Here's What To Know

2-piece, 7' 6" fiberglass
Easy to transport
Low-profile double-footed stainless steel guides can withstand the abrasion of thick braided lines
Sensitive fluorescent tip, heavy backbone
EVA foam grip

3. Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod

Best Affordable Catfish Rod

Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod

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Why They're Great

The Berkley Big Game rod series is built for catching catfish. Big catfish. Strong fiberglass matched with durable components, like stainless steel guides, allow anglers to catch a wide range of freshwater and saltwater species, without breaking the budget in this affordable catfish rod. The Berkley Big Game rod series is one of the best catfish rods on the market and hard to beat for the price. It's our best affordable catfish rod.

Strong fiberglass construction and durable components make this a solid rod, without breaking the budget. The Berkley Big Game rod series is available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit any angler's needs. From light to heavy action, there's a Berkley Big Game rod that's perfect for every catfishing situation.

So whether you're after big blues or channel cats, the Berkley Big Game catfish fishing rod series has the perfect rod for the job.

Things To Know

X-veil high modulus blank
Fenwick custom ergonomic reel seat
Titanium guides with slim profile zirconium inserts
EVA and TAC split grip handle
Limited lifetime warranty
Fiberglass blank construction
Full EVA handles

4. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Best Catfish Rod And Reel Combo

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

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Why They're Great

The Catfish Commando Fishing Rod And Reel Combo, engineered for serious catfish anglers who demand unrelenting performance and power. Featuring a balanced 7’ medium heavy fishing rod with high density EVA handles and stainless steel guides the Catfish Commando series is designed for heavy duty applications.

And the reel features 2 stainless steel bearings, the powerful Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system and a 6 pin centrifugal brake for efficient casting control. Other notable features include a compact bent handle and drag star and a synchronized level wind system.

Things To Know

Baitcast fishing rod and spinning reel combo specially engineered for catfish angling
Engineered for smoothness with 2 stainless ball bearings
Superb clarity, excellent transparency for ultra-low visibility
6-pin centrifugal bracket applies consistent pressure for an exceptionally precise cast
Durable yet lightweight composite blank construction with bold styling
Line rating-15-30 pounds

5. BnM Silver Cat Elite Rod 7.5 ft 1 pc

The Choice For Best Catfish Rod In 2024

BnM Silver Cat Elite Catfish Rod

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Why They're Great

Silver Cat Elite is one of the best catfish rods in the market. It is made of E-glass composite material which makes it extremely strong and durable to handle big cats. This rod is designed for suspended drifting and anchoring.

It has a non-parabolic action that provides stiff backbone but with a faster tip to see strikes more clearly. This unique feature makes it easier for anglers to see when a fish hits their bait, which is essential for catching catfish.

Silver Cat Elite also comes with a one-year warranty, so you can be sure that it will last for a long time.

Things To Know

Double-locking reel seat made of aircraft grade aluminum
Hi-Vis tip- great for night fishing
Hi quality X-Grip providing extra grip under slippery conditions
E-glass fishing rod blank
One piece rod construction

You don't have to use your walleye or bass fishing rod for catfish, because if you're serious about catfishing, you'll want a dedicated catfish rod. Would a golfer use a driver for putting? It's the same concept.

Things To Consider

Power and Action

When it comes to catfish, you need a rod that can stand up to a fight. But you also need a rod that can cast a fair distance and has enough flex to allow the fish to set a circle hook. You also need to be able to detect a strike.

If you're looking for the best catfish spinning rod, medium power is your best bet. Medium-powered rods are common in both salt and freshwater, as they have the strength and backbone to muscle substantial fish. In shorter lengths and tough material like fiberglass, you'll find anglers using them to troll for tuna, wahoos, sailfish, sharks, and other large species.

You'll also see fishermen running medium-power rods for species like bass, pike, walleye, and--of course--catfish.


As any fisherman knows, the quality of your rod is essential to a successful day out on the water. But what many anglers don't realize is that the quality of your guides is just as important, if not more so. The guides are what protect your line from friction and distribute force evenly over the length of the blank, reducing stress on both line and rod.

Most experts recommend having one guide per foot of the rod, plus a guide at the rod tip, and when it comes to quality, you should never compromise. The best guides are securely attached, durable, and corrosion-resistant. And many fishing rods come with guide inserts to help reduce friction, otherwise it's typical that they're stainless steel.

So when you're choosing a catfish rod, make sure to pay close attention to the quality of the guides.


When it comes to best catfish rods, graphite is a popular blank material because it provides strength, stiffness, and light weight all in one. In general, a catfish rod with a higher diameter, or modulus number, is going to be stiffer than one with a lower number. Additionally, the best catfish rods tend to be very sensitive at the tip, and stiffer toward the handle. However, the downside to graphite is that it is brittle and under high stress, it's likely to crack or even break.

Fiberglass composite rods as catfish rods are a better option for monster cats because they're much tougher and can handle the fight better. Plus, they have just as good – if not better – sensitivity. So all in all, when you're on the hunt for the best catfish rod, be sure to keep an eye out for ones made with fiberglass.


Length of a catfish fishing rod is a big deal! It's no secret that the best catfish rods are usually on the longer side. After all, you want to be able to cast your line a good distance when you're fishing for catfish. And while shorter rods may be more accurate, they just don't have the same power as a longer rod. So if you're serious about landing a big one, go for a longer rod. It gives you room for your hands to get leverage when you're fighting a big one.


Any fishing rod needs to be comfortable. The best catfish rods have either an EVA foam or cork handle. The foam tends to be more comfortable, but it's not as tough as cork. We say for the handle, the same thing we say about most fishing rods, choose what you like.

A Catfish Rod Is For Catfish

In the past, anglers who wanted to catch catfish had to use rods made for other types of fish. But now, there are catfish-specific rods on the market that are built tough to handle even the strongest catfish. These rods are made from high-quality materials and feature insightful designs that make catfishing easier than ever. You don't have to use your walleye or bass fishing rod for catfish, because if you're serious about catfishing, you'll want a dedicated catfish rod. Would a golfer use a driver for putting? It's the same concept.

The Reel

Next, consider the type of reel you'll be using. Again, this should be based on the size of fish you're targeting. A big catfish will require a stronger reel than a smaller one. Finally, think about your budget. Catfish rods can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. By knowing what you need and want, you can narrow down your choices and pair the perfect rod and perfect reel for your catfishing adventures.

Best Catfish Rods FAQs

Catfish are one of the most popular sport fish in America, but it can be hard to know which rod is the best for catching them.

Not only are catfish a blast to catch, but they're also delicious. The problem is that there are so many different rods on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

We've compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about most catfish rods so that you can make an informed decision today. Our goal is to do the research so you don't have to.

What kind of rod is best for catfish?

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Catfish Rods

Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod

B'n'M Poles Silver Cat Elite

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Championship Catfish Rod

Can I use a surf rod for catfish?

Yes. A surf rod tends to be much longer than most spinning rods which helps with making longer casts on shore. It's good to place your casting rods in a rod holder or against a rod support until you have a strike. Surf rods would not be recommended if you're fishing from a boat, due to the rod's length.

What line is best for catfish?

Braided superline has its place in catfishing, for sure. Braided line has no stretch, so it sets hooks right now when you pull back on the rod. It has far less diameter, making it glide through the water easier when drifting or trolling. Braid also has no memory. It's stronger and more suitable to big fish.

What are bumping rods?

Bumping rods are a specialty rod optimized for light weight with a power and action that allows an angler to lift and control 3-ounce weights and bait in current up to 700 feet from the boat. They're great as catfish rods.

How far should you cast for catfish?

Casting 100 yards (300 feet) or more is typical for an experienced long-distance catter, achievable for most anglers with the right equipment, good guidance, and practice. Skilled casters abandon the more traditional catfishing rod-and-reel setups, relying on longer surf-style spinning or casting combos.

Do you need a leader for catching catfish?

Catfish leader line also serves as a “shock absorber” when a catfish strikes. This absorbs the force of aggressive strikes from big catfish. That shock absorption is important with mono and braid but due to the lack of stretch in braided fishing line you should always use a monofilament leader.

What is the pound leader for catfish?

A recommend catfish leader is 40 to 50 Lb clear monofilament leader or fluorocarbon leader. The heavier weight leader line helps serve as a shock absorber during aggressive strikes as well as additional abrasion resistance for the rough mouth of a catfish.

Do you use a bobber for catfish?

Most catfish anglers are aware of the effectiveness of slip bobbers or slip bobber rigs. They're much better adapted for many catfishing techniques, much more versatile and also easier to fish with.

Can I use a baitcaster for catfish?

If you're using spinning reels now because you “can't cast a baitcast fishing reel” you're wrong. You can cast with an open-faced bait cast reel, you just need to set the reel up correctly and spend a little time practicing. Bait Cast reels are preferred by most catfish anglers and without argument most widely used.

Should I fish on the bottom for catfish?

As versatile and effective as drift and float rigs often are, many catfishing situations call for live or dead bait still fished on the bottom. The most popular bottom rig for all species of catfish is the egg sinker slip rig.

Summary About The Best Catfish Rods of 2024

That’s it! You're much smarter now than you were a few minutes ago. Everything you really need to make an informed decision about purchasing your next catfish rod is here. Before you go, don’t forget to click the button below to search for the best prices on top affordable catfish rod – after all, a successful trip requires the right gear.

Tight lines with BIG cats,

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