As some of you know, I was trying to decide on buying a used abu 6500c3, a Penn 209, or a Tidewater on sale at a pawnshop. Well, I finally broke down and bought a new Abu 6500c3. Now, I've mounted it on what I hope is a fine rod for my kind of fishing. The rod is an Ugly Stick 1120 Big Water 7 ft casting rod. Its the one with a trigger grip and is rated for up to 25 lb line. According to what I've read, its supposed to be good for up to 2 oz of weight, though I think it will take more. I have 20 lb Big Game, it was the free line that came with the real purchase. I picked the rod partly on information supplied by a friend and fellow catfisherman who used to be a sport fishing captain. The other reasons included that it fits in the rod holders on my kayak and it just felt right in my hands. Thought about the Tiger rod, but it won't fit into the rodholder. How does the new combo work, you ask? Its great. Initiated it the other day. The lake was high from 13" of rain and running swiftly toward the dam, so decided to bank fish. Manage 8 channel catfish at two different locations, both very different from each other. The first was a flooded flat where I launch my kayak. Caught 5 channels, three with the new rod. The largest was a 5 pounder, I could still feel the fight of the cat, but it made quick work. Also caught a three and four ponder on the rod, along with a couple of others on my other rods. It started raining, so headed for the house, rain stopped and I decided to fish a creek from a bridge. The creek dumps into the main lake not far from the bridge I used as my platform. The water was high and swift, caught three 3 lbers real quick, then the bite stopped. I'd say that was a decent workout for a new rod and reel set up. Both performed well. The 6500 casts easy and like a dream. The rod has real backbone and can whip most any catfish under 25 lbs, bigger if in open water. I'm happy and proud.