coastalfreak

Best Intro Catfishing Setup/Tackle

18 posts in this topic

Hello again y'all, 

 

I am looking for a cheap setup to get into Channel Catfishing/Bullhead Fishing. Of course, I looked at all the Ugly Stik Combos, the Shakespeare Tigers, etc. 

 

But I think these are overkill for the type of catfish I will be catching. I really don't plan on targeting anything over 5-6 pounds. 

 

Will my Zebco 33 or my Bass Spinning setup work with a 3/4 oz weight, a 1/0-4/0 circle hook, and some chicken liver or small bluegill chunks? I'm fishing in lakes, so no true currents. 

 

Thanks!!!

Kevin

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Yes.   

Ya know those Med action 6' rods that you accidentally snip 2-4" off in the car door?   

 

Voila.  Catfish rod.

 

Thats what we do.  

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

20 hours ago, coastalfreak said:

Hello again y'all, 

 

I am looking for a cheap setup to get into Channel Catfishing/Bullhead Fishing. Of course, I looked at all the Ugly Stik Combos, the Shakespeare Tigers, etc. 

 

But I think these are overkill for the type of catfish I will be catching. I really don't plan on targeting anything over 5-6 pounds. 

 

Will my Zebco 33 or my Bass Spinning setup work with a 3/4 oz weight, a 1/0-4/0 circle hook, and some chicken liver or small bluegill chunks? I'm fishing in lakes, so no true currents. 

 

Thanks!!!

Kevin

 

Yes, your set ups will function fine, but you may find yourself some what undergunned.

 

Plenty of guys get into catfishing and they only plan on catching a few small cats like you. I will point out that channel catfish are not limited in size like bass and walleye are where 15lbs is a life time fish and a highly unlikely catch. You may target 5lb fish, but even in small waters channel catfish can reach incredible sizes and the largest channel catfish in smaller bodies of water are your largest apex predator. In areas where these fish are not pursued by serious anglers, trophy populations are largely untouched.

 

I bring this up not to convince you to buy different gear, I just want you to be aware that you can focus on small fish, but just be prepared for the possiblity of a monster or monsters.

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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Regarding any Uglystik (specifically the white Uglystik Catfish rods which are not overkill for what you want), I will tell you now that there are way better options on the market for catfish specific rods that are the same price or cheaper. If you don't mind spending more, there are even more and even better options.

 

I used to be an Uglystik fan until I was convinced that the other options available were much more enjoyably to use and not that much less durable do long as you don't abuse the rods.

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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Just to give you an idea of what the perfect channel catfish set-up might consist of I will tell you what I use.

 

My rods are a pair of 8ft St. Croix medium power Mojo Catfish rods. These are the best channel catfish rods in the world in my book; light, crisp, just enough give in the tip to handle hard bites and larger fish, but with enough backbone to steer fish away from snags. These rods don't numb a fight like a glass rod will, they allow you to enjoy fighting the fish.

 

I pair these rods with Penn Clash 4000s loaded with 20lb braid as a main line, topped with long 30lb mono abrasion leaders to protect the braid, ending in a 1ft 20lb mono bite leader attached to the 30lb mono with a swivel.

 

20190503_204854.jpg.7420bcf0af79e194bdef219380a1b553.jpg

 

The set up is much like a standard inshore saltwater set up, it can handle a wide range of fish sizes including large fish, but it does not kill the fun of catching small fish.

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14 hours ago, Beastly Backlash said:

Just to give you an idea of what the perfect channel catfish set-up might consist of ...

 

 

...instead of helping him with that "I am looking for a cheap setup to get into Channel Catfishing/Bullhead Fishin" request?

   Nice gear BB, but I doubt the OP's idea of a budget cat rod is a $150-200 St.Croix.

 

OP:
$40 will get you a "Rippin Lips Super Cat" 7.6 med/heavy casting rod in the great electronic jungle of Amazon.

This thing will do everything right for, even if not as sensitive and well polished as many other (and more expensive) rods will.  

Pair it with a decent reel, and you're good to go for your 5lb and up cats.  It will handle it all.

 

Where you should probably spend a bit more (but how can we recommend anything specific without an actual budget amount?) is a reel for it.  Most will handle your 5lbs, but the day you get into that unexpected biggie you may find yourself overpowered.

You'll wish for a reel that can stop a fat cat, and your rod of choice will be meaningless (as long as it doesn't break), if you have your brakes maxed out yet the fish is still stripping line like it's nothing.

 

I'd suggest the old tested and true Abu (I use the C4-6601), but I realize that it ain't a budget reel at all. 

Give us a base line of $$ and I'm sure ppl will chime in with recommendations for that specific figure.

-99
 

Edited by 99ways2die

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2 hours ago, 99ways2die said:

...instead of helping him with that "I am looking for a cheap setup to get into Channel Catfishing/Bullhead Fishin" request?

   Nice gear BB, but I doubt the OP's idea of a budget cat rod is a $150-200 St.Croix.

 

OP:
$40 will get you a "Rippin Lips Super Cat" 7.6 med/heavy casting rod in the great electronic jungle of Amazon.

This thing will do everything right for, even if not as sensitive and well polished as many other (and more expensive) rods will.  

Pair it with a decent reel, and you're good to go for your 5lb and up cats.  It will handle it all.

 

Where you should probably spend a bit more (but how can we recommend anything specific without an actual budget amount?) is a reel for it.  Most will handle your 5lbs, but the day you get into that unexpected biggie you may find yourself overpowered.

You'll wish for a reel that can stop a fat cat, and your rod of choice will be meaningless (as long as it doesn't break), if you have your brakes maxed out yet the fish is still stripping line like it's nothing.

 

I'd suggest the old tested and true Abu (I use the C4-6601), but I realize that it ain't a budget reel at all. 

Give us a base line of $$ and I'm sure ppl will chime in with recommendations for that specific figure.

-99
 

 

I was providing an example of what a channel catfish set-up that is neither to light or too heavy should look like, that is all. Take what you want from my attempt at providing an example.

 

From my experience people either use too heavy of an outfit or too light of an outfit for channel catfish, it has only been recently (within the past few years) that well designed channel catfish rods have been produced that provide the power to handle larger channels and smaller channels alike without killing the fun of the fight. Before that your inshore saltwater rods were honestly the best rod choices for getting performance and enjoyment from channel catfish fishing.

 

Not knowing how cheap the OP wanted to stay, I just provided an example of what the best channel catfish rod was in my experience so he would have an idea of what kind of rods he could consider as he may have a few inshore rods or crank bait rods in his arsenal that might be similar to the example I provided vs using the two outfits he already mentioned.

 

Personally, if I were trying to stay budget conscious I would still stick with a composite and use a rod like the Whisker Seeker 7ft 6in MH or the 8ft Okuma Record Chaser MH, while both rods are a tad heavier then the Mojos I prefer using, they are still light in comparison to glass rods, they cast further then comparable power glass rods, and they provide more feel during the fight due to their increased sensitivity which does make them more enjoyable to use. A used Abu C3, whether it is 4500, 5500, or 6500 are all going to make excellent choices for channel catfish and they are great values; given the choice I prefer to stay small and light so I would go with a 4500C3 or 5500C3.

 

 

But, getting back to your recommendation of the 7ft 6in Rippin Lips ML rod, it is the best choice for cheapest budget rod I know of, but I have had no first hand experience with the rod and I prefer not to speak about gear I have not used myself. I am glad you brought that rod up though.

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Thank you guys! I forgot to mention that I do have a brand new Abu Garcia C4 that I planned on using for inshore fishing and heavy bass fishing. I believe it is a 4600, but I will double check later. How are B and M Catfish rods?

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7 hours ago, coastalfreak said:

Thank you guys! I forgot to mention that I do have a brand new Abu Garcia C4 that I planned on using for inshore fishing and heavy bass fishing. I believe it is a 4600, but I will double check later. How are B and M Catfish rods?

 

Well, that would make a perfect channel cat reel.

 

I have a buddy who owns a BnM rod, but it is a heavy powered rod, not something to use for channels. It is good quality though.

Edited by Beastly Backlash

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Most $50 and less rods will be of the same similar quality, glass blanks with similar components.  $50-90 will get you into TwC (brand) quality, and going above $100 will get you into BB's club.  Nothing wrong with either category (I own one from each as well)...as long as they do their job.

 

Go slow (especially on a budget) then spend your $$$ next time on a better rod/combo once you learn the craft, fall in love with it, and really care about the finer details of cat-fishing then.

I'm sure we've all done this before where we bought "the best" equipment only to have it sitting collecting dust or not have it make a damn difference b/c we don't know any better anyway!

 

A smile on your face with that $20 rod and a great catch will be worth so much more than a selfie with top notch equipment in a supermarket fish isle.

:p

-99

Edited by 99ways2die

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4 hours ago, 99ways2die said:

Most $50 and less rods will be of the same similar quality, glass blanks with similar components.  $50-90 will get you into TwC (brand) quality, and going above $100 will get you into BB's club.  Nothing wrong with either category (I own one from each as well)...as long as they do their job.

 

Go slow (especially on a budget) then spend your $$$ next time on a better rod/combo once you learn the craft, fall in love with it, and really care about the finer details of cat-fishing then.

I'm sure we've all done this before where we bought "the best" equipment only to have it sitting collecting dust or not have it make a damn difference b/c we don't know any better anyway!

 

A smile on your face with that $20 rod and a great catch will be worth so much more than a selfie with top notch equipment in a supermarket fish isle.

:p

-99

Couldn't of said that last part better myself! I think I'm just going to stick with a sub 50 rod for the time being. Thanks all!

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A medium heavy cast/ spinning outfit would work, as would the cheapest flipping stick you can find in the catalogs/racks, go with the lighter powered versions.

Edited by spoonplugger1

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