Channel catfish or channel cats, are the most abundant of the species and with their excellent taste ad impressive sizes, they make an impressive catch. Choosing a fishing rod if you are targeting channel catfish will mean scouting through a host of products from different brands, with different specifications, and price points.
However, the ideal fishing rod for channel catfish should be exceptionally durable, lightweight, come in the right length, and should not cost a fortune.
Best Fishing Rods for Channel Catfish
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of the best five fishing rods for channel catfish that check all these boxes and stand out from the rest.
When it comes to affordability and quality, the GX2 from notable brand Ugly Stik outshines the competition by a far stretch. Furnished with a fiberglass and graphite composite blank, the GX2 offers increased sensitivity and backbone. Its grips are similarly firm and comfortable, constructed with lightweight EVA foam.
- Durable and very affordable.
- Sensitive fiberglass and graphite rod blank.
- 6-15lbs line weight test.
The B&M Silver Cat spinning rod is another novice-friendly fishing tackle for catfish. The rod is constructed with full fiberglass for maximum sensitivity and tensile strength, aluminum alloy guides with ceramic inserts and a glow-tip to enhance visibility during dim or nighttime settings. These rods are heavy-duty and suitable for catching big-game catfish.
- Non-slip nylon cord grip handle.
- Sensitive glow-in-the-dark tips for night fishing.
- Great for catching trophy cats on a budget.
The OKUMA Xpress baitcasting boat rod is a 7’ 3-pc medium-heavy rod with a sturdy graphite rod blank build, an easy disassembling structure and aluminum oxide inserts. It also provides a comfortable and firm EVA grip for smoother line weights reaching 60lbs.
- Lightweight graphite rod blank.
- 30-60lbs line weight rating.
- Portable, waterproof carry bag.
The HMG Dual Power Travel Casting Rod is a result of years of research and reinvention, featuring a lightweight, durable rod capable of bringing in medium to large-sized channel cats with relative ease. The carbon blanks are reinforced with carbon-braided threading for extra strength and backbone, stainless steel frames and aconite inserts.
- Fuji DPS guides.
- Triple-A grade cork handle.
- Lightweight and tough/durable.
This casting fishing rod is intended for serious anglers who are out for trophy-sized channels. The 6-foot fast-action St Croix Mojo Graphite fishing rod is equipped with high-strain, high-modulus SCIII carbon-graphite fiber blanks, IPC technology for zero transitional points, and aluminum oxide rings for better strength and sensitivity.
- 20-40lbs line weight.
- Lightweight, sensitive, and durable.
- Sturdy Fuji TCS reel seat with a Kigan hook-keeper.
Best Channel Catfish Fishing Rod Buying Guide
Most anglers, whether newbie or experienced, will have catfish under their radar at one point or the other. And with channel catfish, the most sought after of the species, choosing your rod should be done carefully to ensure it survives countless cycles or cast-reel-catch.
Having given you a rundown through the best fishing rods for channel catfish, we now take a look at some of the factors we considered before making our picks. With these, we reinforce your trust in these products and place you on a pedestal to make an informed choice that ticks with you.
When targeting channel catfish, a baitcasting or spinning rod is your most ideal choice. While channel catfish can grow to very impressive sizes, they average around the mid-size range and thus don’t require the logistics of large conventional rods. While both rod types are quite effective and impressive, baitcasting rods are most suited to anglers who have been in the game for a considerable amount of time. Spinning rods are simple to use, so if you are a budding angler who is new to fishing, they are definitely a better choice than their baitcasting counterparts.
When it comes to how long your rod should be, the most general range that anglers are known to use is between 6ft and 10 ft. However, for fishing channel catfish, the lengths that have been found to be most efficient are those that range between 7ft and 9ft. A rod that is 6ft long might be too short for some anglers, while a length of 10ft might be unsteady, especially for inexperienced anglers.
Rod Power and Action
The power of your fishing rod measures how much it bending strain it can handle. Rod power is classified from light to heavy, with heavy power rods being the most difficult to bend. Since channel catfish are decent fighters, the appropriate rod power should range from medium to heavy.
The action of your fishing rod is an indirect measure of its flexibility and plays an important role in your overall maneuverability. Rated as fast, moderate, and slow, the faster the rod action, the more you can engage your catch. Fast action rods bend towards the tip, medium action rods bend towards the mid-section, and slow action rods bend towards the bottom of the rod. When it comes to channel catfish, the best options are those with moderate to fast action, for great maneuverability.