Best Catfish Rods

Mark Johnson
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We’ll put the “cat” in catfishing. The best catfish rods are the ones that will catch the biggest catfish.

The catfish you catch will also tell you a lot about a catfishing rod. For example, if you are fishing with a spinnerbait, your rods may have some flex in them. However, if you slip a plug in the water, you want more backbone in your rod to get that fish to the boat.

We’ll show you what to look for in a rod so that you can make fishing trips successful.

Quantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting RodBest OverallQuantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting Rod

1. Quantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting Rod

Our rating: 9 / 10

Quantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting Rod

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  • High modulus carbon fiber blank
  • Suitable for medium to heavy line weights
  • High quality components
  • High sensitivity to detect bites
  • High action units
  • Uses state of the art hybrid chemistry resin process and premium high-modulus carbon fiber for the construction of the blank
  • Specialized craftsmanship on every product

The Quantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting Rod (1-Piece), 6-Feet 6-Inch is one of the best catfish rods made. Like all Quantum rods, each is designed and handcrafted in the United States, which is a sure fire investment in your fishing equipment.

Finely tuned arrow shaped guides allow for perfect line control and the high quality components offer you smooth performance. A fine fiber tip allows for superior sensitivity and allows you to detect bites from the curvature of the rod when using ultra light line weights.

This medium to heavy-weight rod is perfect if you require additional strength when reeling in big fish. This rod is rated for line weights 8 to 15 pounds. Other specs include a medium action, 6 feet, 6 inch length, and a 2 piece construction.

2. KastKing KastKat Catfish Rods,100% Linear S-Glass,Incredible Strength & Lifting Power

Our rating: 7 / 10

KastKing KastKat Catfish Rods,100% Linear S-Glass,Incredible Strength & Lifting Power

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  • Long & durable
  • Ergonomic design
  • Extremely light
  • Reel seats and guides

Casting for catfish doesn’t always mean reeling them in – it can also include baiting, setting hook, and playing. In that case, you need a rod that can stand up to the test and KastKing rods offer all the above. It is a casting rod, and that’s probably the only way you’ll be able to land fish weighing over 200 lbs.

They come with a unique design that is as much about the look as it is about the functionality of the fishing rod. They’re built with two fast-action S-glass rods and Fuji guide with stainless steel Double Foot guides and reel seats.

Plus the design makes them extremely light so your arms won’t get tired even after spending hours out in the water. These rods also have some really comfortable grips, and the build is good even though they’re not as strong as some of the other catfish fishing rods on the market. The price is right, though, for such a top-notch fishing rod.

3. B'n'M Silver Cat Magnum Casting Rod

Our rating: 6 / 10

B'n'M Silver Cat Magnum Casting Rod

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  • Lightweight
  • Sensitive
  • Good quality
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Handles fish well


  • Rod handles can break off
  • Not suitable for braided lines
  • Low tensile strength

When it comes to fishing rods, you want something that's sensitive so you can get the subtle bite of a catfish. At the same time though you want something that's sturdy enough to handle medium-sized catfish without breaking.

This depends on the line weight you choose. If you have a light line weight then a light rod is advisable. However, most anglers prefer a medium to heavy line for its added strength.

If you're new to fishing, it's important to consider a rod that has a good brand name and a good length. This is because there are many lower-priced alternatives on the market, but these often aren't good for fishing.

4. Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods

Our rating: 4 / 10

Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods

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  • Low quality price
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Variety of different models and sizes
  • Ideal for beginners


  • Long delivery time
  • Fishing line is on the cheap side

Our top pick is the Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, a great basic model for beginners to intermediate level fishers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best catfish rod?

This is a difficult question to answer because it involves a lot of variables like your fishing style, experience, skill level, and preferred type of fish. However, if we had to narrow it down to one, Then it would likely be the Daiwa BG Catfish. This is one of the best high-end catfish rods on the market and will be suitable for the serious catfish fisherman with a lot of experience and knowledge about proper catfish techniques.

Even though this is a top-of-the line catfish rod, it is still relatively affordable so it won't break the bank. This is where it really shines. Along with the other high-end rods listed in this section, you really don't need to worry about breaking the bank on a high-end rod. For many years, the only catfish rods available were extremely expensive. But now there are a few brands that offer high-end rods that won't break the bank.

What kind of rod do you use for catfish?

While any fish rod will work to catch catfish, the best fishing rod for catfish is the one that is appropriate for the fish you want to catch.

The biggest catfish typically are caught using trolling techniques with a deep-diving crankbait which you can buy in a variety of sizes and weights. According to the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) the current world-record channel catfish who weighed in at 113 pounds was caught using a 12-pound-test line. It is not unusual to see catfish over 50 pounds caught in the United States using this technique.

If you are using live bait, you need a rod that is sensitive enough to detect the light bites of smaller catfish. A bait casting rod isn’t sensitive enough for this task.

A center pin or spin fishing rod might be the best option for a light-line approach to fishing for catfish.

What is the best pound test line for catfish?

The best pound test line for catfish is 1-3 pounds. This is because the catfish’s bite is very subtle, thus the suspension on the rod can easily detect it. A test line that is too heavy and thick can get in the way of this sensitive suspension.

Some anglers use a test line as high as 8 pounds only to catch larger channel catfish in deep water, a technique known as noodling. The goal here is to suspend yourself above the channel catfish, and then teasing the catfish out from under the logs on the river bottom. Hopefully this gives you a better idea of how to pick the best pound test line for catfish.

What is the best depth to catch catfish?

The most common depth to catch catfish is between 10 inches and 20 inches. However, depending on the type of catfish and where you are fishing, a depth ranging from 9 inches to 50 inches may also be successful. In the northern part of the country, most anglers prefer to fish around the thermocline. This is an area in the water that is often marked by a dramatic temperature change.

The thermocline is very important because at this depth, the temperatures are often the same either side of the thermocline. In other words, the water in the thermocline is commonly warmer. Whether or not a thermocline exists depends on a few factors. First, it largely depends on the water source. If the lake or river is fed from a warm source, then the temperature will be warmer.


There are many types of catfish on the market. Some are wonderful to catch if you are a beginner, others can be a little more difficult to land, but a great challenge. Well, we've reviewed the top fishing rods for catfish (with some bonus suggestions) and you'll be on your way to reeling in the next big one with these assuring tips.

Our Recommendation

Quantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting RodBest OverallQuantum Fishing Graphex Medium/Heavy Casting Rod