14 Best Catfish Spinning Reel Reviews and Ultimate Buying Guide

Have you been avoiding catfish on your fishing trips? Do you want to catch a catfish to help get over your unease? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Catfish are temperamental, feisty little things. Unlike many other species of fish, they can put up a long fight before you catch them. While this makes them more exciting to catch, it also takes time, skill, and patience.

It also takes a good reel that can withstand the fight with the catfish. Moreover, catfish can weigh up to almost a hundred pounds! You definitely need the best catfish spinning reel to catch something that huge.

This guide is meant for those who are looking for a spinning reel for catfish. Whether you are new to catching catfish, or you just need to replace a rod you already have, these reviews are for you. We spent hours studying the top reels and found the best ones you can get.

Besides reviews, we also compiled a buying guide that will help you choose the right spinning reel. We also answer questions you may have had about these kinds of reels.

Now that we got the pleasantries out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the matter!

What are the Common Issues with Spinning Reels for Catfish?

So what’s the big deal with special spinning reels for catfishing? Perhaps you are wondering why you even need the best reel for catfish. After all, any reel should do, right?

Since catfish are so large and energetic, catching them takes finesse. You need the perfect equipment and the best spinning reel for monster catfish. When using a weak or subpar reel you might face these problems:

  • Limited range of rods for catfishing
  • Reaching down and under the rod can feel awkward
  • Inadequate selection of heavy reels
  • Many of the reels need to be replaced frequently
  • Reel parts may be unavailable
  • Just a few options for reel clicker

On the other hand, the right kind of spinning reel has a number of benefits including:

  • Easier to use
  • They are pretty affordable
  • No backlash or tangles
  • Good for lightweight line and lures
  • Easier to cast near the shoreline
  • Comfortably switch left and right-hand orientations
  • Easily add more line capacity with an additional reel

What are the Different Types of Catfish Reels?

Since there are many different kinds of ways to snag a catfish, your rod, reel, and equipment all determine how easily you can catch the fish. 

In particular, you can use different reels when fishing. There are 3 main kinds of reels: spinning, spin-cast, and bait cast.

Spinning Reels:

Spinning reels are a solid choice that spin cast reels for catfish. The best catfish reels will cover your needs for a very long time.

These reels have a wire bale across the top that you flick back and forth while casting. It is an alternative to baitcasting reels and many anglers find this the most comfortable when catfishing. Be aware that lightweight reels are only suited for smaller catfish.

Heavier saltwater spinning reels are a great fit in lots of ways since they’re bigger. They are more suited to handling weighted fishing lines, generally have good drag systems and heavier features for light saltwater fishing.

However, spinning reels for catfish have the drawback of a limited pool of compatible fishing rods.

Spin Cast Reels:

Spin cast reels are the most common and basic fishing reels. They are generally used by beginners and people learning how to fish. It works pretty simply as well. Just push a button, cast the line and reel it in, and voila! You’re fishing with a spinning reel.

These reels work best for basic fishing or catching smaller fish. It works particularly well for getting channel catfish. However, anything greater than casting a bait off the side of the boat or shore will be difficult for this kind of reel.

Bait Cast Reels:

These are the most widely used reels when catfishing, or catching larger fish. Professional fishermen or those with lots of experience fishing tend to use these most often when fishing.

These are the most popular catfish reels for experienced anglers. This is because they work for all species of catfish and all sorts of fishing techniques. Moreover, you can use them for finesse fishing smaller fish and landing monster-sized catfish.

They are also available in a range of prices and designs. Best of all, they are the least expensive models and will have all the features you need for catfishing.

The Best Catfishing Reels: Our Top Picks

Don’t have the time to go through all the entries of our reviews? No problem! We’ve highlighted our favorite and best casting reels for your convenience right here!

  1. Editor’s Pick: Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel
  2. Versatile Performance: Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
  3. Small and Light: SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reels
  4. Budget Pick: Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
  5. Baitcasting Combo: Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Top 14 Catfish Spinning Reels Reviews

Let’s move onto the catfish spinning reel reviews. Our reviews will focus on reel construction, build, material, and performance. We also talk about what we liked and disliked about each of the reels, as well as why we recommend them in particular.

Editor’s Pick01. Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel
If we could suggest a good catfish spinning reel that you should pick
without a second thought, it’s this one. And after just one use, you will
realize it is worth
01. its weight in gold.
02. Excellent for deep-sea fishing.
03. Solid value for money.
9.9Check Price
Runner
Up
02. Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel
Pretty much everyone interested in fishing has heard of this brand. And
this reel may be the very best baitcasting reel for catfish because of how
strong it is. If you’re planning on landing a monster catfish, you should
give this one a go.
01. Long casting distance.
02. Very smooth reeling.
03. Strong and durable build.
9.8Check Price
Versatile
Performance
03. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
Are you a pro angler? If so, you’re going to get along very well with this
reel. Besides having a very solid build, the reel feels intuitive in your
hands and can handle a big fish without any issue.
Compact and lightweight body.
Reel works smoothly
Comes in 5 models.
9.7Check Price
Durable Model04. Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel
If you want the best reel for big catfish that balances durability and range,
look no further than this one. Want to cast further than ever before and
land your greatest catch? The Penn reel has your back!
01. Ideal for catching medium and large fish.
02. Smooth and effortless drag.
03. Includes superline spool.
9.6Check Price
Budget Pick05. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
This company has been well known for its quality reels. This particular
model is both powerful and affordable. Best of all, it is well protected
from the salt in the seawater and won’t rust easily.
01. Can accommodate braided fishing lines.
02. Operates quickly and smoothly.
03. Powerful and smooth drag.
9.5Check Price
Mid-Range Pick06. SHIMANO Socorro Spinning Reels
Looking for a basic, no-nonsense reel that isn’t difficult to operate? We got
the reel for you! It works well and is robust in construction. As a result, it
will last a while, especially when taken care of.
01. Great power and durability.
02. Excellent gear alignment.
03. Powerful carbon drag mechanism.
9.4Check Price
Smooth
Operation
07. PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel
Want a powerful, sleek reel that works like a dream? This Penn
spinning reel is a work of beauty; with the construction of stainless
steel, aluminum, and graphite. The design makes it a joy to fish with.
01. Can handle rough and heavy use.
02. Easy to use and clean.
03. Carbon drag is smooth and strong.
9.3Check Price
Long-Lasting
Model
08. Daiwa SSaltist Spinning Reel
This is one of the best saltwater reels you can find. If you want a reel
that will last for ages and perform reliably every single time, this is the
one to reach for. These features make it the best catfish line for spinning
reel, especially for inshore fishing.
01. The gearing system is very efficient.
02. The aluminum body is durable and powerful.
03. Magsealed design protects it from salt.
9.2Check Price
Heavy-Duty
Use
09. Penn Fierce Live Liner Spinning Fishing Reel
This strong reel packs quite a punch and comes in a variety of sizes,
from 1000 to 8000. It is heavy-duty without being very heavy and
is quite the match for large and energetic catfish. This spinning reel
will become a favorite in no time at all!
01. Adjustable drag makes it easy for beginners.
02. The spinning reel system makes it very versatile.
03. Comes in a number of models and sizes.
9.1Check Price
Powerful and
Fast
10. Piscifun Flame Light Weight Ultra-Smooth Spinning Fishing Reels
Want a reel that makes heads turn? This particular model will draw
attention, while further impressing with its smooth and flawless
performance. It is the pinnacle of elegant design and exceptional ability.
01. Comes in different sizes.
02. Triple drag washers improve efficiency.
03. Contemporary lightweight design.
9.0Check Price
Rod and Reel
Combo
11. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel-Fishing Rod Combos
Want to up your fishing game? This lightweight rod can take you from
amateur to seasoned pro after just a couple of uses. The frame is a
narrow graphite design and is easy to wield, making it an easy-to-use
catfish spinning rod and reel combo.
01. Slim and lightweight design.
02. Lots of drag power.
03. Can be used in saltwater.
8.9Check Price
Small and
Light
12. SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reels
If you want a reel that’s easy on the eyes, lightweight, and packed with
features? This is one of the best options for experienced anglers as it
has exceptional power and operates very smoothly.
01. Has lots of useful features that make fishing easy.
02. Smooth and frictionless casting.
03. Gear durability keeps the reel well-aligned.
8.8Check Price
Baitcasting
Combo
13. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
If you have a habit or career that involves catching lots of catfish, it’s
worth investing in some special equipment. And you will find fewer
options better than this sleek, sophisticated Abu Garcia catfish combo?
01. Sturdy and long-lasting.
02. Thick and substantial, yet lightweight.
03. Precise and perfect casting.
8.7Check Price
For Huge Fish14. Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
Although this rod looks plain and rugged, it has quite refined features and
works amazingly well for catfish. It is a lot more than just a beginner rod;
it is something every serious fisher should keep in their arsenal.
01. Has EVA grips for easy use.
02. Powerful and tackles larger fish.
03. Well balanced and inexpensive.
8.6Check Price

01. Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel (Editor’s Pick)

If we could suggest a good catfish spinning reel that you should pick without a second thought, it’s this one. And after just one use, you will realize it is worth its weight in gold.

Made from a composite material that is sturdy and reliable. The material is resistant to rusting and corrosion, so you can use it for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Besides that, it functions smoothly and is easy to use.

It features an On/Off automatic trip bait feeding system and even includes a secondary drag system for bait fishing. The Multi-disc oiled felt drag system is also a plus as the fish can feed on the bait without feeling any resistance.

Moreover, it has 6+1 ball bearings along with an anti-reverse roller bearing. As a result, you can remain in absolute control when casting and reeling in your lines. 

You adjust the tension on the line at all times, which lets you hook and land fish without any effort. Also, this reel is suitable for all sizes of catfish you are likely to encounter.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 7.4 inches x 6.6 inches x 4.7 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Okuma Fishing Tackle Corp.

Pros:

  • Good for beginners.
  • Excellent for deep-sea fishing.
  • Solid value for money.
  • Smooth and reliable performance.

Cons:

  • The switch between the two drags may get stuck and lock up the reel.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a basic but very effective reel that everyone will be comfortable using. It feels reliably weighted and supple when used with your road and is easy to operate in both shallow and deep water.

What makes this reel impressive is how durable and powerfully built it is. Drag adjustments are effortless and salt water doesn’t make a dent in it. For its price, we can’t imagine a better reel for catfish.

02. Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel (Runner Up)

Pretty much everyone interested in fishing has heard of this brand. And this reel may be the very best baitcasting reel for catfish because of how strong it is. If you’re planning on landing a monster catfish, you should give this one a go.

It is also suited for large fish in deep water conditions. This reel comes in 2 sizes or options: 6500 and 7000. The 6500 size has 3 stainless steel ball bearings+1 roller bearing. 

On the other hand, the 7000 size includes 2 stainless steel ball bearings+1 roller bearing. This is the one to get if you want a stronger reel.

They both have long bent cranking handles and oversized power knobs, resulting in lots of torque and leverage when wrangling bigger fish. 

Moreover, it has a carbon matrix system that is smooth and dependable, and a 6-pin centrifugal brake gives you precision when casting. The coordinated level wind system helps with casting and line lay as well.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 0.37 inches
  • Weight: 0.39 kilograms
  • Manufacturer: Abu Garcia

Pros:

  • Long casting distance.
  • Very smooth reeling.
  • Strong and durable build.
  • Will last for ages.

Cons:

  • May need additional lubrication.

Why We Recommend It:

The powerfully built reel is going to last you for years. It is meant for serious catfish anglers, as you can catch a range of fish of different sizes. 

This reel also works well for shore and vessel fishing, making it pretty versatile. If you’ve had dreams of catching a 10 or 20-pound catfish, this is the reel for you.

03. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel (Versatile Performance)

Are you a pro angler? If so, you’re going to get along very well with this reel. Besides having a very solid build, the reel feels intuitive in your hands and can handle a big fish without any issue.

It is very well manufactured and has a metal body, aluminum handle, bail wire, and spool. As a result, the design is compact as well as strong and durable.  

Moreover, it has an 8 bearing system that makes operation almost effortless. What really sets this reel apart, however, is the computerized balancing rotor.

The aluminum construction makes it suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. We also love the excellent drag performance it offers, thanks to the multi-disc design. 

It has 7 ball bearings along with a bearing for anti-reversing support. The roller button and rolling gear allows instant stopping and prevents slippage.

This reel comes in a couple of different size models and you can choose the size depending on your needs. The larger the model the larger fish it can catch and the greater the casting distance. However, it can’t catch catfish over 15 pounds.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.32 kilograms
  • Manufacturer: Okuma

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight body.
  • Reel works smoothly
  • A computerized bearing mechanism gives support and good drag.
  • Comes in 5 models.

Cons:

  • It can be hard to use in stormy weather as it is so light.

Why We Recommend It:

Although we found the 15-pound limit rather limiting, we can’t deny the smooth performance this reel gives. The reel feels totally natural in your hands, especially after you get used to it. Casting and reeling in your catch will feel instinctive and easy no matter what you catch.

The durable nature also makes it easy to deal with any catfish putting up a fight. It also guarantees that your reel will work for a very long time.

04. Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel (Durable Model)

If you want the best reel for big catfish that balances durability and range, look no further than this one. 

Want to cast further than ever before and land your greatest catch? The Penn reel has your back!

The full metal body helps it operate quite efficiently under heavy pressure. All the parts are metallic and it also has heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, making it heavy and durable. This also makes it a good choice for use during windy and stormy weather.

Moreover, the carbon fiber system provides powerful drag and seamless performance. It also adds to the sturdiness of the reel. The anti-reverse feature gets rid of back play, prevents tangles and in general, makes casting easier for anglers.

But that’s not all. Five stainless steel ball bearings boost continuous drag and the retrieval process. Also, they are completely sealed, so the saltwater won’t corrode them. 

Furthermore, the Battle II comes with a superline spool that lets you know how much of the line you have left on the reel spool.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 3.53 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Penn

Pros:

  • Very sturdy and long-lasting.
  • Ideal for catching medium and large fish.
  • Smooth and effortless drag.
  • Includes superline spool feature.

Cons:

  • Rather heavy.
  • Not completely sealed.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a great option for all kinds of anglers and fishing enthusiasts. It is also good for landing large catfish and the weight can withstand fighting with particularly feisty ones. Also, it is easy enough to use for both newbies and experienced anglers alike.

In short, this reel is reliable, durable, and performs smoothly and efficiently. We were impressed by the drag it provided and the attractive design. These features make it one of the best reels out there.

05. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel (Budget Pick)

This company has been well known for its quality reels. This particular model is both powerful and affordable. Best of all, it is well protected from the salt in the seawater and won’t rust easily.

Besides being sealed, the black anodized machined aluminum housing and handle all make this reel sturdy and increases its longevity. Besides this, the waterproof drag system makes your casting and reeling super smooth and effortless.

The handy spool lays line easily and this prevents it from tangling when you’re out on the water. Furthermore, the bail opens easily and locks in solid on hooksets, which makes it a good choice for catching and retrieving fish in deeper waters.

This reel is also attractive and detailed and looks a lot like a higher-end device. It feels great in your hands, even when dealing with larger fish. The reel is also easy to adjust and you can easily make corrections when fishing.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.8 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Daiwa

Pros:

  • Can accommodate braided fishing lines.
  • Operates quickly and smoothly.
  • Very affordable price point.
  • Powerful and smooth drag.

Cons:

  • Although the body is protected from the saltwater, the spool is only painted.

Why We Recommend It:

If you want to try out a reel before committing to a pricier one, this is a great one. Between its performance and strength, it truly is the best budget catfish spinning reel. 

The high-quality reel is also long-lasting, and heavy-duty. It can withstand saltwater fishing and can easily catch larger catfish.

Besides this, it also looks great as the reel is sleek and attractive. It will turn you into a fishing pro in no time at all!

06. SHIMANO Socorro Spinning Reels (Mid-Range Pick)

Looking for a basic, no-nonsense reel that isn’t difficult to operate? We got the reel for you! It works well and is robust in construction. As a result, it will last a while, especially when taken care of.

Like other Shimano reels, this one also has Hagane cold-forged gearing which results in a smooth and seamless gearing system. This cold forging process enables the gears to be a lot more precise and efficient.

It has two bearings; one on each end of the pinion gear to support it so that the gears stay aligned.  Furthermore, the 4+1 bearing system makes retrieval much easier. However, the bearings aren’t sealed, so it needs to be maintained carefully.

Shimano uses a Cross Carbon Drag washer in this reel which offers a smooth drag from the time you feel pressure on it, right till retrieving and landing your catch.  This design is unique to the brand. 

Simply speaking, the cross-carbon drag has a hatch pattern on it that provides for a strong and smooth drag that is needed when fighting larger, stronger catfish.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.9 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Shimano

Pros:

  • Works both on and offshore.
  • Great power and durability.
  • Excellent gear alignment.
  • Powerful carbon drag mechanism.

Cons:

  • Bail wire is flimsy and stiff.

Why We Recommend It:

If you’ve worked with Shimano equipment before, you will find this reel easy to use. It is also a good choice for people who are used to fishing, especially catching catfish. While it may seem like a basic reel, it is steady and reliable and gets the job done well.

Also, it isn’t too expensive so it does require a little upkeep. Since it is one of the sturdiest catfish reels for sale, you can use it for more exciting things like surfcasting.

07. PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel (Smooth Operation)

Want a powerful, sleek reel that works like a dream? This Penn spinning reel is a work of beauty; with the construction of stainless steel, aluminum, and graphite. The design makes it a joy to fish with.

It has HT 100 carbon fiber drag washers that make casting and retrieval much easier and facilitates a smooth operation. The attractive reel is lightweight and resistant to corrosion due to the graphite and aluminum body.

But the sealed ball bearing system is what we love most about the reel. Besides working seamlessly, it is protected from the salt in the seawater. As a result, the reel is resistant to corrosion, making it last a long time.

Besides this, the bearings are well lubricated, making the retrieval simple. Moreover, the oscillation gearing is slow and steady; this improves the process of laying the line while minimizing the chances of the line twisting and tangling.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Penn

Pros:

  • Affordable price point.
  • Can handle rough and heavy use.
  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Carbon drag is smooth and strong.

Cons:

  • It can be too small for some.

Why We Recommend It:

If you like a reel with a smooth performance, you are going to have a good time with this one. Although it is on the smaller side, the reel is still very powerful. 

Unlike many other reels, it is easy to use and clean. The protected ball bearings last for ages, so the reel works well even in saltwater conditions.

Moreover, it is attractive and looks much fancier than it really is. The easy-to-use reel is also suitable for beginners and inexperienced fishers.

08. Daiwa SSaltist Spinning Reel (Long Lasting Model)

This is one of the best saltwater reels you can find. If you want a reel that will last for ages and perform reliably every single time, this is the one to reach for. These features make it the best catfish line for spinning reel, especially for inshore fishing.

Moreover, it also works well for different kinds of fishing vessels and surf casting as well. Smooth and versatile, this lightweight reel won’t let you down. The body of the reel is made from aluminum and has a carbon fiber air rotor.

There is a digitally cut DigiGear gearing system, a waterproof carbon fiber MagSealed drag system, and the 6 + 1 bearing system keeps everything operating efficiently even when reeling in the largest of catfish.

The MagSealed construction resists salt and grime very well. The seal protects the inner components very well, and this makes the reel work properly for such a long time, without any issue.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 5.1 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Daiwa

Pros:

  • The reel is exceptionally smooth.
  • The gearing system is very efficient.
  • The aluminum body is durable and powerful.
  • Magsealed design protects it from salt.

Cons:

  • The roller bearing is not protected.

Why We Recommend It:

Like all Daiwa reels, this one is lightweight and comfortable to use. This one in particular has a powerful system that is sealed and well protected from salt water, making it suitable for regular use.

If you dislike heavy reels, you will enjoy how light and natural this one feels. However, it is also durable and has a substantial heft to it, making it balanced and very well designed.

09. Penn Fierce Live Liner Spinning Fishing Reel (Heavy-Duty Use)

This strong reel packs quite a punch and comes in a variety of sizes, from 1000 to 8000. It is heavy-duty without being very heavy and is quite the match for large and energetic catfish. This spinning reel will become a favorite in no time at all!

The drag on the reel is strong and allows you to adjust it whenever needed. This is made easy with quick access at the reel’s top dial. This also allows for smooth casting and effortless retrieval.

Furthermore, the entire body and a side plate of the reel is constructed from metal, lending its durability and strength. There are 4 stainless steel bearings, and one anti-reverse roller bearing that gives you absolute control over the catch.

This spinning reel design allows you to cast with various baits and tackle designs. Since the reel is lightweight yet strong, it can handle larger fish with ease. Best of all, it needs little maintenance and can be used for years on end without any significant wear or tear.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 9 x 8.2 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 1.53 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Penn

Pros:

  • Adjustable drag makes it easy for beginners.
  • The spinning reel system makes it very versatile.
  • Comes in a number of models and sizes.
  • Needs little maintenance.

Cons:

  • The reel isn’t completely sealed.

Why We Recommend It:

Because the device is so strong, it can catch the biggest catfish out there with the least effort or maneuvering on your part. 

The strong drag washers will also let you handle any other feisty fish you meet onshore or near the shore. This reel has the best of all worlds; smooth performance, total control, powerful action, and longevity.

10. Piscifun Flame Lightweight Ultra-Smooth Spinning Fishing Reels (Powerful and Fast)

Want a reel that makes heads turn? This particular model will draw attention, while further impressing with its smooth and flawless performance. It is the pinnacle of elegant design and exceptional ability.

Whether you are a professional angler or not, you are bound to love how well the reel operates. The quality 9+1 ball bearing and roller system is designed to give you complete control over retrieving your fish. Also, it has triple drag washers that maximize power.

Moreover, the balanced rotors result in an even line lay, while the special spool is always braid-ready and easy to manage. It doesn’t tangle easily either. 

The bails are pretty substantial and can be a little overwhelming for younger fishers. As a whole, the design is great for intermediate and advanced anglers.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 5.39 x 3.86 inches
  • Weight: 1.036 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Piscifun

Pros:

  • Comes in different sizes.
  • Triple drag washers improve efficiency.
  • The spool won’t tangle.
  • Contemporary lightweight design.

Cons:

  • Limited casting distance.

Why We Recommend It:

The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel meets most of our expectations for getting a top-notch spinning reel at an affordable price. 

This reel has some issues with the short casting distance but is a good pick for amateurs and professionals. We also like the click the reel gives off when you cast your line properly.

Because the line doesn’t get tangled easily, you will have trouble wrangled with giant catfish. It also suits several fishing scenarios and is easy to handle in stormy weather.

11. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel/Fishing Rod Combo (Rod and Reel Combo)

Want to up your fishing game? This lightweight rod can take you from amateur to seasoned pro after just a couple of uses. 

The frame is a narrow graphite design and is easy to wield, making it an easy-to-use catfish spinning rod and reel combo.

It is one of the best pieces of equipment if you go fishing often, no matter what you choose to fish. It comes in two different models which have different sizes. This rod is special because it is also a solid option for ice fishing.

Moreover, it has an excellent drag system, with drag power up to just over 17 pounds. It also comes with a 9+1 ball bearing system with sturdy stainless-steel balls, giving it an easy retrieval system. The reel also works well in stormy conditions and can put up with hard use.

This reel has a hardened metal shaft, seamless mesh drive gear, and precisely machined pinion gear that lets you fight with larger fish. There is also an attractive finish and quality spool that is easy to use.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 45.5 x 6 x 4.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.34 kilograms
  • Manufacturer: KastKing

Pros:

  • Slim and lightweight design.
  • Lots of drag power.
  • Can be used in saltwater.
  • Not too expensive.

Cons:

  • Ball bearings could be smoother.

Why We Recommend It:

This gorgeous combo is the perfect addition to your fishing gear. The 5.2:1 gear ratio works smoothly and suits most fishing needs. 

The reel has different models, from 2000 to longer 5000 rods. Besides this, the reel features 10 stainless steel ball bearings including anti-corrosion features. 

Features like the shielded ball bearings, anodized aluminum spool, and slender graphite frame will make your fishing almost effortless.

12. SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reels (Small and Light)

If you want a reel that’s easy on the eyes, lightweight, and packed with features? This is one of the best options for experienced anglers as it has exceptional power and operates very smoothly.

It has a gravity-free body that is designed to keep the reel’s center of gravity close to the rod. This reduces the heft of the rod and prevents your hands from getting fatigued, especially when catching larger fish or fishing for longer times.

It also has a Hagane body that makes the reel run effortlessly, even in saltwater. The cold forge technology also makes the reel a lot more powerful, without weighing it down. 

Another great feature of this reel is the X-Ship gear durability. This supports the pinion gear on both sides of the bearings which keeps the parts perfectly aligned with the drive gear.

Because of this, there is no flexing and gears that will remain in place even when landing an unexpectedly large catfish. Since there is very little friction, you can use the reel to cast over larger distances.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 0.838 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Shimano

Pros:

  • Has lots of useful features that make fishing easy.
  • Smooth and frictionless casting.
  • Gear durability keeps the reel well-aligned.
  • Not too expensive.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have an anti-reverse switch.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a nice and basic affordable spinning reel that works in both salt and freshwater. While it doesn’t have many fancy or ultra-modern features, it is still very useful and is easy to work with. 

It is reliable and performs decently well. This makes it a good back-up option when you go fishing.

13. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo (Baitcasting Combo)

If you have a habit or career that involves catching lots of catfish, it’s worth investing in some special equipment. And you will find fewer options better than this sleek, sophisticated Abu Garcia catfish combo?

This bait cast fishing rod and reel combo have been specially designed for catching catfish. It has next-level smoothness when casting and retrieving your catch. 

This is due to the stainless-steel ball bearings. There is a lot of clarity which makes it easy to use on foggy mornings with low visibility.

It also has a 6-pin centrifugal bracket that applies consistent pressure on the line, which gives it a super precise cast, no matter what. It is durable, but lightweight and is easy to use due to the composite construction that gives it strength.

The visibility and precise casting make it a good choice when fishing in bad weather. It is also a good choice for new anglers as the spinning reel with a bait clicker will let you know when your line has been cast.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 88 x 6 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Abu Garcia

Pros:

  • Sturdy and long-lasting.
  • Thick and substantial, yet lightweight.
  • Precise and perfect casting.

Cons:

  • Rod is on the smaller side.

Why We Recommend It:

This rod will allow you to cast with the least effort and works beautifully, especially when catching small and medium catfish. The combo works really well and you can easily catch a 12-pound fish without breaking a sweat. 

Although the rod is pretty small, it is still easy to control and is even a good choice for younger or smaller anglers.

14. Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo (For Huge Fish)

Although this rod looks plain and rugged, it has quite refined features and works amazingly well for catfish. It is a lot more than just a beginner rod; it is something every serious fisher should keep in their arsenal.

It uses a combination of fiberglass and high modulus graphite. The Gx2 is different from previous models because it uses an increase in graphite. This has twofold benefits–it makes the rod and reel much stronger and increases its sensitivity.

The combo is also compatible with an assortment of fishing lines including monofilament, fluorocarbon, and even braided lines. There are smooth running guides that enable the line to run smoothly while casting over large distances.

Moreover, the tip of the rod is clear which is very strong and sensitive. The handles all feature EVA handle grips that are very durable and allow you to hand the rod even when your hands are wet.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 36 x 4 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Pure Fishing

Pros:

  • The combo is durable and sensitive.
  • Has EVA grips for easy use.
  • Powerful and tackles larger fish.
  • Well balanced and inexpensive.

Cons:

  • Not great for finesse fishing.
  • Casting isn’t perfect.

Why We Recommend It:

We liked this rod and reel combo because it is pretty efficient and the rod is designed for almost every fishing scenario that you can think that you might end up in. 

It is also a good rod for beginners as it is sturdy and can handle rough use. All in all, it is a good option, whether you want a primary rod or a backup one.

How to Choose the Best Catfish Spinning Reel

Wondering which one of these spinning reels will work best for you? Here a couple of things that you should think about first when selecting the right reel for your fishing needs.

Construction:

This may be the most important aspect of your reel. The stronger construction, the longer your reel will last. Choose something that is constructed from composite fiberglass, aluminum, or graphite as these deliver the most durability.

Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel, Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel, and the Daiwa SSaltist Spinning Reel are all models that are well built and solidly designed.

Drag:

Drag is important with any reel, especially when dealing with aggressive catfish. It allows you to control how the line reacts when the fish tries to escape. 

The correct drag will prevent the fish from spooling your line or damaging your reel so it is important to select the best drag possible.

Most high-end reels use carbon washers and these are the best ones out there. We suggest getting something like the SHIMANO Socorro Spinning Reels or the PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel for the best results.

Handle:

People often overlook the handle when selecting reels. However, a good handle is necessary when retrieving long cast lines or working with very large fish. You should get a reel that has a decently large handle as it gives you better control. 

For example, the Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel and Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel are both good contenders and have solid handles.

Price:

Nobody wants to spend too much on reels, especially if you are on a budget. Affordable reels are also a good option if you like using different reels on different fishing trips. Having a few backup reels is also a good idea. 

You can try out reels like the Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel, and Piscifun Flame Lightweight Ultra-Smooth Spinning Fishing Reels without spending too much money.

FAQ

Still have questions about these spinning reels? We answer questions people frequently have about spinning reels for catfish.

01.What Size Spinning Reel for Catfish Should I Get?

While spinning reels in size 10 or 20 can land big catfish in the hands of an experienced angler, most fishermen prefer 30/300-size or larger. 

To stay safe, get something like the PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel or Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder Reel as they come in a good size that balances strength with usability.

02.What’s a Good Catfish Bait?

Worms are the classic bait for catfish and you can’t go wrong with them. You can also try getting shad or minnows, as well as any kind of meat from your freezer. You can even buy catfish bait or use more potent things like fish guts and liver to attract hungry catfish.

03.What is the Best Time to Catch Catfish in a Channel?

The best time to do so is one hour before sunset to 2 hours after sunrise during warmer weather. In winter, you should aim for a window from late morning until right before sunset.

04.What are the Best Rod and Reel Combos for Catfish?

If you are looking for a reel that comes with a rod as well, we suggest going for the Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo or the KastKing Centron Spinning Reel-Fishing Rod Combos.

In a Nutshell

Fishing for catfish can be one of the most exciting experiences, especially if you are a new angler. These fish are quick and aggressive and some can end up being over 20 pounds.

This makes the experience of catching them all the more interesting. For the most satisfying fishing trip, you must pack your best catfish spinning reel.

The ones listed here will last for a long time, catch large and powerful fish, and work perfectly in all kinds of fishing conditions. The only question that remains is this: which reel will you get for your next fishing trip?

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