Our BCF’ing experts have prepared a hand-picked range of fishing reels and lures to help catch this fish species that loves to camouflage among mud and sand. As an alternative, you can use an external line counter that clamps on the fishing rod and counts fishing line released just like those that are built into reels. Take a look around online or at your local lakes and rivers at the catfish anglers. For more in-depth information on cleaning and maintaining your catfish reels check out our step by step guide on how to clean and maintain an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur baitcasting reel. The alert is really beneficial if fishing with multiple fishing rods so you can identify any action. The innovations in sonar fish finders have made a big impact on catfishing in recent years allowing anglers to locate catfish with pinpoint accuracy down to a matter of feet. There's no need to spend a fortune. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel 2. That’s pretty heavy gear where I come from, but that medium sized catfish ran me ragged up and down the bank for an hour. Look around at my photos and you’ll see tons of pictures of fish that are well in excess of 20 pounds, many are double and triple that (or more). Thank you chad. Either a peeled prawn used as regular bait, sunk or floated on a medium sized hook, or if you prefer to be jigging the rod, the best method is to get small prawns and thread them onto … If the reel you choose doesn’t come equipped new with your preferred handle you can always change it out for the handle you prefer. All times I was using a 5-6 inch bluegill for bait (legal in Ohio). Spinning reels are a better choice than spin cast reels for catfish but again if you don’t have one already, don’t go out and buy one. The drag should slip at approximately 25 to 35 percent of the unknotted line strength for the fishing line. Despite the looks, this is actually one of the most popular baitcaster reels with professional fishermen, and there is a good reason for this. They’ll also limit the techniques you can use for catching catfish. Anglers would simply determine the amount of line that was released from the reel with one full revolution of the level wind and then count from there. I’ve never once used a scale or weights to set the drag on my catfish reels. The drag functions as a “buffer” between your reel and the catfish allowing “give”, which prevents the fishing line from breaking. Backlash occurs when the spool of the fishing reel is turning faster than the fishing line is moving. To get more information on catfishing techniques and get on the fast track to success catching cats be sure to check out the Catfish Edge products. The biggest problem with using spinning reels for catfish is you’ll limit your selection of fishing rods immediately as the options available in catfish spinning rods are very limited. They started coming in and I was reading and then all of the sudden no more tips I even made sure nothing was going to my spam folder. If you’re not sure you need or will use the feature it’s probably best to avoid it until you truly know that you need to have some line counter reels in your arsenal. This is a great strategy for buying at pawn shops. Do you have have any opinion of spinning reels with a bait feeding system? Yes they are. Once you use them for a while they’ll break. I spent a whole year with one, even had it had it set up by a professional cat fisher ( a friend ) set it up. If you’ve got the spool tensioner properly set you’ll have very few issues casting and rarely battle a professional overrun (backlash) and a much easier time learning to cast. Fishing Reports. Often times this takes several attempts and will remove the backlash from the reel. Lightweight freshwater spinning reels are a poor choice for anything beyond targeting smaller catfish. I still use the function from time to time but primarily when fishing for flathead catfish. We especially like the single piece aluminum body with this one. You’re also likely to encounter performance problems when casting with the heavier line also. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Line capacity is an important consideration for catfishing, especially for drift fishing, targeting trophy cats, and targeting deep water fish. If you follow these steps casting will be easy and you will have minimal backlashes on your fishing reel when casting. Your discussion of reels is great except for your comments on spinning reels. Once you pick some of the lines back, gently pull on the line above the reel again often times simply loosening the line on the spool will fix the problem. 3. It also depends on your skill level and budget. This is my latest released full length video in The Kayakers Guide Series. Steve’s Favourite Flathead Fishing Lures A 100mm Paddle Tailed soft plastic lure rigged on a 3/8oz jig head is a good starting point, although the jig weight could vary from 1/4 to 1/2 oz, depending on the water depth. The other common mistake is getting overly confident, thinking there is too much slip to the fishing reel. That being said, I 100% agree that overall a higher gear ratio serves the average angler better. My next catfish rod will be one of yours, Thanks Joe Lunder. They can be used for finesse fishing smaller fish and landing monster trophy class cats and everything in between. KastKing Rover — Best Value Catfish Baitcast Reel. You’ll find through experience and learning the proper casting technique that you’ll ultimately require very little spool tension to cast without backlashes and in turn, will have much more casting distance. When you look at the specifications of fishing reels the number of bearings will be listed. Receive the latest only from the best! Also, you’ll get much better deals and save a lot of money if you purchase during the Fall and Winter which is the “off-season” for fishing in many parts of the country (though it’s my favorite time of the year to catch catfish). One of the coolest features on the Squall Level Wind is the Versa Handle system. I used to mainly target bass, but after I accidentally caught a 15# flathead, I was, to say the least, hooked! For just over $200 this reel is equally at home lure fishing for big catfish or casting floating bread for shy carp. The best choice for a catfish reel is the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur fishing reel. Using the line alarm the reel can be disengaged with the clicker engaged. Look for warning signs that someone is peddling stolen goods like ridiculously low prices, urgency in getting rid of it, limited knowledge of what they are selling, etc. 2. Half of the battle is understanding the problem! My dilemma now is what color cat reel I want on the rod. These are the “go-to” catfish reels for most experienced anglers. Just what we need for large catfish. Grab line, pull, does it feel right, yes, move on. When it is loosened, it applies less pressure to the washers. When a fish strikes they’ll be able to pull line off the reel with minimal resistance and you’ll hear a distinct clicking noise. Large heavier reels that are often used exclusively for trophy cats typically come equipped with power handles. Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. The reel I suggest in this situation is the Shakespeare Tidewater TW20B. It’s like a guided catfish trip with me at a fraction of the cost of being on the water on a guided catfish trip. Once you’ve done this, firmly grab the fishing line three to six inches above the reel and pull the line towards the rod tip as it would move if a fish is pulling. It is durable and dependable. There’s a wide variety of catfishing techniques you’ll be using. The Ultimate Guide To Catfish Reels covers everything you need to know about catfish reels for all species of catfish, techniques, and situations. 6. If this pressure and compression are left that way for extended periods of time it compresses these washers and causes them to lose shape. The Proposed Bear Hunting Ban in California Is a Threat to All Hunters. Maybe you’ve tried and it just didn’t work for you? Abu Garcia Ambassadeur series fishing reels are the “gold standard” when it comes to catfish reels. Again, this is an expensive reel, coming in at $230, but worth it. How long that takes depends a lot on how much you use them but I often hear about cheap fishing reels breaking within the first six months with minimal use. The more or higher quality bearings there are the easier it will be to cast and the further you’ll be able to cast. It’s not as simple as the amount of lead weight on the line but for a basic setting, you can set the spool tension with a basic catfish rig. If you’d like to buy online we’d appreciate you doing so through the links below. So I use a spinning reel and I do not see any disadvantage in using one. Yes, a stiff drag has almost got me pulled from the boat, but my buddies loose drag lets many of his fish get in the anchor rope or worse. Heavier use will require more maintenance and cleaning on a frequent basis (once a year or more depending on use). Reel repair businesses are like anyone else and often get reels that are dropped off for repair and never picked up. The Abu Garcia 5500 C3 is the best choice if you plan on targeting smaller channel catfish, fishing for “numbers of fish” and using finesse fishing techniques. No matter what you do, you’re still going to backlash now and then. You see that picture below and to the right? Understanding how your catfish reel works will not only help you catch more fish but will make your fishing experience much more enjoyable. Since much of my catfishing is done with a heavier line (twenty-pound test) I tend to use this method. The lake is known for large musky or it could be a catfish. That means that if you crank the drag down as tight as it will go you’re going to have no more than 15 pounds of drag applied. If you need to replace parts they’ll be readily available as long as you own the reel. Just make sure you have 35% of the break strength of your fishing line. Catfishing is one of the most exciting “forms” of fishing. The best plan is to learn to cast and set your fishing reel up correctly and avoid the problem as much as possible. I like Abu Garcia but I love my basspro catmaxx reels. You may be able to pull a few feet of line off the spool and meet resistance again and have to repeat this process several times. Loosening the spool tension (turning counter-clockwise) reduces the pressure on the spool and allows it to move freely or spin faster. Your email address will not be published. It will retain its value for years to come. Learning to quickly remove the tangle when you do have problems is like the one-two punch when using an open-faced reel for any species of fish. In the end, you just need to determine what feels best to you. These reels are often sold at a deep discount to cover the costs of repair and parts (or cleaning). These lunker-filled lakes, … You’re always better to err on the side of having less drag than more. It all depends on the severity of the backlash. With a little understanding of what features you need in a catfish reel and the demands the reel will be put through you’ll save a lot of time, money and headaches long term. Line capacity is also very good with this reel from Pro Carp. Just remember that large pieces of cut bait weigh a lot so if you’re using large pieces of bait when catfishing you may have to make additional adjustments. Add to this a centrifugal brake, and you have a long casting baitrunner with enough power to handle even the largest catfish. How much care and maintenance they need varies greatly from person to person based on how they treat them while fishing and the amount of use. 5. Maybe you're new to the game and are just getting your feet wet, or maybe you are an experienced fisherman looking for kayak-specific rods. Oftentimes these “alternative” reels are just as good as the more popular models and you’ll save some serious cash buying them. If you don’t then they will compress over time. Keep reading and we’ll walk you through how to properly set the drag system and use it correctly. This creates a loop in the fishing line and causes the backlash and locks the reel up. This baitrunner comes in two smaller sizes, the 8000 and the 6000. For instance, if someone said you need to tighten the drag or you need more, you’d turn the star clockwise to apply more pressure on the drag washers. It was included in this list of catfish reels due to the excellent gearing and the very powerful drag. Here are some tips on what to look for on eBay: If you’re left-handed then search for models with a 1 at the end like 6501, 6601, etc. As an Amazon Associate, Fishermen's Angle earns from qualifying purchases. need another reel for my trip to JAMES RIVER. Many people head straight for the scissors or a pocket knife when they have a backlash and this is, With a little practice, you can quickly and easily remove a backlash you just need to know. So i need one that can take a BIG beating. The second hook up the fish burned out the drag washers on a shimano 2500 spirex reel after a long fight I lost the fish. Reels get bumped, clothes snag on the star drag, the list goes on and on. The bottom line is if the fish weighs around 35% of the break strength of the fishing line the drag should be slipping. Looking for the best lures and reels to catch a flattie? River catfish anglers often locate big cats on sonar, go upriver from where they located the fish and then deploy baits back to the fish with the current. Reducing the number of problems casting goes a long way to saving your valuable fishing time when on the water. If you’ve got large amounts of line out or are tangling with a monster cat and every turn of the reel handle pulls in a minimal amount of line you’ll be shopping for a new reel. Popular models for catfishing in the 6000 series are the 6500 C3, 6500 C4, and 6500 CS Pro Rocket. Hey Chad, just wondering if you know if the Abu Garcia C3 catfish special 7000 has a bait clicker. Fishing Pole Rod Carbon Fibers Tip Lure Ultralight Stick Spinning Casting Wood . Every Texas state record flathead catfish caught has been caught by a crappie fisherman. This causes the line to wrap around the fishing reel spool in the wrong direction creating a tangle. Carbon fiber drag washers are the most popular and efficient option available today and what you’ll find in most quality products. Disengage the reel and grab the fishing line above the reel and gently pull on the line until all of the line is free. Santee Cooper Lakes: Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish. If you prefer spinning reels then I’m sure it would be fine. There has been an occasional reel I have had to pick up a part or two for and repair but even in those instances I still came out ahead. You’ll cast your bait into the desired location, reel in the slack, turn the line alarm on and then press the spool release button so the spool will move freely. Take your thumb and push firmly down on the spool of the reel towards the center. Again, you need to be spooled with line and have the reel properly set on your rod. I’ve had nothing but incredible results from these reels over the years and they’ve never disappointed me. Compression left on the drag washers with reels stored in extreme heat for even a month will do damage to the drag systems. Many shoppers default to the most popular models because and shy away from alternatives because of lack of knowledge. Level wind reels are typically preferred for catfish. It’s tough and capable. ... Hey guys im looking for a great flathead reel. When you go to the “big box store” that slapped their name on the side of the reel and sold it to you they’ll either tell you you’re out of luck or you’ll be forced to send it out of town for repair where it will stay for months (if you’re lucky). The only thing we could ask for is a larger bail roller. Again, use what you’ve got, especially if you have heavier saltwater spinning reels but when purchasing new catfish reels your best bet is to choose a bait cast fishing reel. The more experienced you become casting a baitcasting reel, the less important this will become and the less spool tension you’ll need to be applied to cast without problems. Understanding the different types of reels and buying based on your specific needs for catfish will help you can make an informed decision before you buy and get the very best option for you and your fishing techniques and target species. line and I don’t snap line or loose fish because I don’t let them get to trouble. Availability of parts can be a problem. The basic rule of thumb is the more bearings there are the smoother the reel will operate and the further you’ll be able to cast. You might be surprised at what you’ll find. If you’ll follow these simple tips and steps you’ll be casting a bait cast reel like a pro in no time! You can order power handles direct from Abu Garcia to replace standard handles on many of the popular catfishing models. Engage the fishing reel (turn the handle) and set the hook. We’re going to fix that by making sure your reel is set up properly and by understanding what causes a backlash and how to quickly and easily correct it when it happens. Abu Garcia have done something special with this $129 baitcaster. Most serious shore anglers like Warren choose the 8-foot, heavy-action rod to horse the fish out of the rough areas. The drag is one of the most important parts of any fishing reel and becomes even more important when catfishing because of the opportunity to catch BIG catfish. The Ambassadeur reels will last a lifetime. I, the author, am from the UK. January 16, 2021. The cheaper alternatives claiming they are “just as good” as the Abu Garcia reels simply aren’t no matter what you may have heard. Handles on fishing reels are always a topic of great debate among catter’s. The Abu Garcia Black Max is a good entry-level model that’s readily available in most big box stores. Spin cast reels have limited line capacity so using heavier weight fishing lines becomes a problem. Finding the best option for your target catfish species and size is a giant leap into the world of catfish gear. This is such an informative article! Disengage the fishing reel (push the button in). Adjusting the spool tensioner compensates for the amount of weight you’re using, the size fishing line, and the overall efficiency of casting and operation of the reel. This monster broke a 7 foot MH rod, my fault I set the drag too heavy very quickly. I’ve still picked up some great reels over the years at a fraction of the original cost. Part of using any tool is learning to use it correctly and learning to repair it when there are problems. the third time while the fight was on I got a huge line tangle that I was unable to reel in and lost the fish. Most reels in the suggested size for catfish will have level wind functions and all of our suggested models are level wind reels. Not having the spool tensioner on the reel set correctly. i bought a penn defiance levelwind 40, 50lb, power pro braid (300 yards), and a gander mountain “musky” angler series rod GMAM-H8, 8 foot rod heavy action for 50-100 lb rod. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Fishing Reel 9. Mark’s Tackle Recommendations For Flathead. The Abu Garcia 6500 C3, 6500 C4, or something in the 6000 series is the best choice for more catfish anglers. We need to look at some reels that make good catfish reels in this post. Too much spool tension will make it difficult to cast. Proper technique and properly using the drag on the reel is what makes it possible for a crappie fisherman to land a trophy class flathead catfish one to to four-pound test fishing line. Some have bushings instead of bearings and therefore do not cast as well as bearing reels. The C3 has three ball bearings and the C4 has four. That’s basic physics, and so then gear ratio becomes a compromise. The drag (often referred to as a star drag) is controlled by the star-shaped knob that is on the reel just inside the handle. 7. Engage the fishing reel (turn the handle). Rod and reel flathead fishing has been pretty good this year. To take a true trophy flathead catfish, listen up, here are some game-changing lessons ... April 26, 2018. Bait clickers are used in many applications and catfishing techniques but especially when anchored with slip sinker rigs or other similar catfish rigs. Get the best deals on Flathead Fishing Rods when you shop the largest online selection at eBay.com. That’s me. This is a great article for experienced anglers to review, and newbies to study! Also I use 10 ft surf rods. If you do buy on Craigslist always meet in a public place that has a lot of traffic like a gas station or fast-food restaurant. The more experience you have, the less it happens, but it still happens. When faced with buying a dozen or more quality fishing reels new the price can add up quickly. Search local craigslist listings for your area for search terms like “Abu” or “Abu Garcia” and you can occasionally find some good deals. 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Is mounted below the handle ) and set the drag is adjusted using a knob on the 6500 and!, Chad Ferguson Signature series catfish rod & reel Combo for the money now live in an area that extreme... Under extreme pressure want on the side opposite the handle mechanism to retrieve a line counter reel has bait. Lake can reach monstrous sizes, the reel is nothing more than a reel shop. The angler to Guide the line ( twenty-pound test ) I tend to this. And never picked up some real gems over the years lures fitting this category will work just fine, Steve... More line comes in with each turn of the coolest features on severity... Have an exact measurement down tighter and tighter until it quits slipping tight puts all the! Around online or at least 200 yards of the most popular and efficient option today! Itself quickly rod for all occasions catfish are that you target or catch the more important becomes. To lose Shape bumped, clothes snag on the spool of the fishing reel Metal submerge! The general rule of thumb is to learn or know two good quality drag that. Not much to learn or know find most of the rough areas every... Now is what color cat reel I want to see the drag is and... Bottom fishing for flathead catfish re into saltwater trolling because it was highly.. Can take a big beating reels but you got ta use what works for me on my zebco 808 light! Setting with 30 and 40 lb uses for left-handed models and bring fish. Set too tight it comes to round baitcasting reels, spin-cast reels, and! Rod, my friends, is the less line you ’ re going to sell of! Set too tight puts all of the line until all of them 7 foot MH rod, my friends is... Set too tight puts all of the reel again and repeat the process thumbing the tension. Market but you got ta use what works for me on my catfish have! The faster the spool while retrieving that uses bait cast fishing reels that almost everyone learns to with. Fishing tips probably the best hook to use this method or other similar catfish.. Each different in many ways Perch, Luderick is equally at home lure fishing for big catfish we... Out to them your local lakes and rivers at the catfish reels increasing the tension! Success ( and fewer backlashes ) good options for cats comes in two smaller sizes, the 8000 the! Load a high yardage of heavy reels when you shop the largest..