Tackle setup for flats in timber

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Rtpcat, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    Hey members,
    I just wanted to let you all know that I got my biggest flathead this past week 33lber. I got her in at the head of a scour hole in a river. I was using 20lb line and had my drag was set pretty tight. She took considerable line on the initial run.

    So my question to you guys who catch big flats in logjams and treetops, what kind of setup do you use and how tight are the drags to keep the fish out of the timber??
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    7'6 Quantum Big Cat with a Shimano Calcutta 400.

    You may wanna beef up your line to 30 or even 40lb for insurance purposes. You don't ever want to break off and wonder, "How big was that fish?".

    Nice catch and congrats.
     

  3. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    I was using a bps 6'3 heavy action muskie rod, and an abu 7000. This is the first fish I have caught with this setup. I got the reel used and it was loaded with 20lb, but I am sure 30lb would be fine on it. Just got the feeling that if I had been fishing close to logs she would have swam into giving me grief.
     
  4. Tunastick

    Tunastick New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    North Carolina
    no reason to go over 30lb line other than for abrasion resistance, thicker line is tougher, because few reels commonly used for catfishing have drags that would go over 22lbs or so locked all the way down, I have personally checked over 20 7000 abu garcias on drag scales pulling on rods and most will go around 20-22lbs hammered down, which may not sound like alot but really is. I prefer the Ugly stick tiger light 15-40lb casting rod with a 7000c3 and stren original 30lb for most all big catfishing, that rod will pitch a big bluegill and a 4oz weight with ease and you can rip his lips with it
     
  5. Riverjake

    Riverjake New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    Joplin MO
    I target several log jams and heavy brush piles for flatheads. I currently use ABU 7000c's with Power Pro 80 pound test, Gamma Big River hooks and heavy action Big Cat or Tiger rods. I do have a stick that was custom made for flatheads that is my primary go to rod but a good quality heavy action off the shelf rod also works. My reason for the heavier setup is that I want to put alot of pressure on the fish to keep him from tangling me in the brushpile. This is a step above what I use for open water, where I spool with either Ande or Big Game mono in 30 and 40 pound test.

    This set up has worked for me for many years and I am probably to old and stubborn to change at this stage of the game.

    Hope this gives you another option to consider, it has served me well.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Dsage

    Dsage Active Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    My heavy timber set up is a Catfish Safari Flat Head rod with a Abu 9000 Big Game spooled with Power Pro 150lb. I like the extra security of the 150, plus with the drag tighen down I still can thumb the spool and turn there heads before they take me in to the jam more.
     
  7. CATFISHERMAN001

    CATFISHERMAN001 New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    ALABAMA
    Welcome to the BOC Tim. I use Calcutta 700 TE reels with 50lb mono and 100lb leaders. I keep my drag kind of loose and adjust as I am fighting the fish. I know lots of people here keep their drag tight so the fish doesn't take line out but I have the opposite philosophy. I want them to take line out so I can prepare myself for the hook set. I can adjust my drag as I am reeling. As for the fish getting back to the log jams, that's the reason we use such big test line, so it can handle the abuse of running up against such locations.
     
  8. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    i go lighter than most for flatheads. i use 7' reflex and ugly cat rods with abu 6000's. i use 50 and 60 pound power pro and 50# big game leaders. if a cat runs too long, i will press my thumb down on the spool and then gain as much line as i can. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. when you stick a fish, he knows where the cover is, and you can't always keep him out of it.
     
  9. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    Tunastick,
    20lbs of drag sounds like just about like all a person could hold, I had mine set probably at 5lbs and you have to brace the rod but against you to hold it for any amount of time. I guess with 30lb line you just about can't have it to tight unless your knots or terminal tackle give way. About what amount of pressure do you set yours at??
    I knew I could thumb it slow or stop the fish just thought I would ask other ways to do it.
    I have not caught many flats and most have been in open water near drops, I was just impressed with the power of a big flat, vs simular sized blues, which we normaly catch in more open water anyways.
    But I going to have to try some logsjams and treetops after this.
     
  10. Tunastick

    Tunastick New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    North Carolina
    I preset mine before every trip at 15lbs, fish them in freespool with clicker on, and set the hook with line tight, and rod pointing at fish to get the best hook set with big baits, big hooks and often big sinkers. Most fish over 30lbs will pull line out a little with 15lbs of drag on them at strike. I believe that I need near that much on the bigger baits and big hooks to get the hook in good with all the mono stretch, bows in the line even when it looks and feels tight to the fish, and big sinkers that may set in place while fish runs maybe back toward you and line feels like it is tight to the fish. I often use foot long carp when I can catch them with 10/0 eagle claw #84s and 4 to 6 oz sinkers with the big baits on a couple rods and 2 rods with bullheads on them, then a few more with med size pumpkins seed bream on them, then 2 smaller 6500s with cut bait to keep things interesting
     
  11. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    First of all congrats on the nice flathead catfish that you caught, I like fishing deep wholes of water, I have seen people catch flatties beside temberline and stuff like that but to me it seems like it would be hard to pull one in expecially because they will go under any cover to protect them self and make it difficult to pull them in, glad to hear you got a nice fish and I think this should be one heck of a year for the fishing. Keep us posted and let us know how you do from here on out.
     
  12. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    Thanks for the info, Tunastick

    Dsage, I had to lookup what an ABU9000 was, big setup with 150lb line.
    Kinda like take no prisoners...

    I finally got the pic to load to the avtar. learn something new everyday.
    :big_smile:
     
  13. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Davin welcome to the BOC.
     
  14. Dsage

    Dsage Active Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Tim it is a bit of over kill but alot of the place I hit have alot of timber and I like knowing that I can hammer it down and turn there heads from running in to the wood more. Here is a pic of one site that I hit at times. Up strean it gets real bad. :smile2:
     

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  15. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    Dsage,
    that really appears to be special circumstances.....

    I guess I might be fishing by a toothpick compared to that..:smile2:
     
  16. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    berkley big cat rods tidewater 30 reels 40# big game line. you need heavy line and rod to get them out of cover fast.