Beginners, you need to read this!

Discussion in 'Mac Byrum's Catfish University' started by Mac-b, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    So, you want to fish, but you don't want to spend some big bucks up front to get your feet wet. Well, you don't have to have the $85 reel and the $39.95 rod, plus tax to buy what you need as a beginner. What I am going to share with you is not hearsay, but from my own experience.

    I started off with two Zebco combo's, lined with ten pound test fishing line. On weekends, which was the only time I could fish, I caught more than my share of channel cats and small blues than you can shake a stick at. Matter of fact, on several occasions, I caught enough catfish on my Zebco's to feed a dozen adults, plus their children, at the campground that I stayed at on LKN. My bait of choice back then was night crawlers and fresh shrimp. One day I happen upon some nice striper's and they took my night crawlers into their mouths and the fight was on, all on my Zebco 33. Later, I purchased two Zepco 808 and started fishing for large striper's and this reel, with it's 20 pound test line held up like a champ.

    Zebco now has quite a list of reels and combo's that you can buy for almost any kind of fresh water fishing you want to do. I will now offer a list of these products and how you can use them.

    Zebco 11 can be used for catching bream/blue gills, crappie and white perch.

    Zebco 33 can do all the above, plus you can handle larger fish up to ten pounds with your drag set properly.

    Zebco Pro Staff 888 replaced the 808 and it can handle some nice size cats and striper's. It has 20 pound test line.

    Zebco Red Rhino 3 has 12 pound test line. I have not used this one, so I will not offer any comments.

    Zebco Hawg 733 has 20 pound test line and can be used for catfishing, bassin and other larger fish.

    Zebco 44 Classic has 8 pound test line and can be used for bait fish and other small fish.

    Zebco One Classics has 14 pound test line and I have not used this one.

    Zebco 404 Classic has 15 pound test line and I have not used this one.

    In my tackle room, I still have my Zebco 33's, my 808's and my Zebco Hawg. Plus I have two new Zebco 11's that I purchased last year. Some of my Zebco's are over 40 years old and they still work as they were intended to do.

    There are other low cost reels and combo's on the market, but since I have not used them, I did not think it would be fair to comment about them. You can find Zebco products at all Sporting Goods Stores and at all the major retail outlet. Your best bet is to buy a Zebco Combo (rod and reel priced as one item).

    After all this verbiage, the bottom line is that you can fish without a lot of expense in the beginning if you so desire. If you decide that fishing is not your thing, then you are not out of a lot of money. But, if you decide that fishing is your cup of tea, then you can move up to more pricey gear and save your Zebco's for other duties, such as catching bait and white perch. It would not surprise me if a high percentage of the BOC membership started off with a Zebco Combo or something similar.

    The current North Carolina record for a channel cat (20 some pounds) was caught on a Zebco Combo (Barbee series/Pink in color). I swear!

    Give it a try, you might like our sport.
    Randync and festus like this.
  2. Randync

    Randync Member

    North Carolina
    Thank you Mac. I am a beginner at really going after cats. I fished a lot with my kids and we went after panfish cause they easy to catch and kept the kids entertained. Kids grown up now and I am wanting to target bigger cats. Baitcasters suck the fun out of fishing for me. I set several world backlash records when I had one. People keep telling me you HAVE to use a baitcaster to catch big cats. I would be perfectly happy to catch a 20 pounder. I have fished with Zebco 33's for 40 years. I think I will get a 888 and just enjoy fishing with it.