What Are Some Good Quality "Budget" Rods?

Discussion in 'Fishing Rod Review' started by H2O Mellon, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    There are lots of people in my situation, full time worker, barely making it paycheck to paycheck sometimes. I ahve 3 small children & a wife who knows I spend too much $ on fishing tackle. Truth me told I have never caught a cat that probably could not have been landed on a cheap $10 rod, but have bought catfish specific rods that I've paid over $150 each for (St Croix Classic Cats). This winter I have decided that for now on I am going to fish with what I like & am comfortable with & not rely so much on what others say, etc.... Now with that being said Gator is currently making me a custom Flathead rod, which I cant wait t get! I personally think the rough conditions we fish for Flatheads from, espically from the bank, a good quality rod is a must, but for boat fishing or any type of Channel cat fishing I think good cheaper rods are easy to find. Below are my thoughts on rod selection for people looking to spend less than $25, please feel free to chime in. As Always good fishing to each of you this year.

    My #1 "Value" Rod:
    CABELAS KING CAT PRO- Normally these things were $40, but for several months Cabelas has been selling them for $20. I love these rods. They are two piece rods, which some people frown on (see my post on that). Side by side these rods feel alot like a St Croix Classic Cat. I have 4 of these rods and have Abu 6000's on 2 of them, 1 Abu 6500 & 1 Abu 7000 on one, yes even a 7000. The rods are rated for 1-5oz & 12-30 # test.

    Others You May Want To Check Out:
    SHAKESPEARE STURDY STIK-I think I paid $16 for my Sturdy stick. I was not expecting much when I received this rod. I was pleasantly surprised after fishing with it. It can handle big weights under very rough river conditions. If your a Shakesphere fan & need to stay under $20 this rod is for you. I have an Abu 6000 mounted on this rod.

    ABU GARCIA BRUTE
    I bought one of these Big rods from my local tackle shop a little over a year ago for $20 or $25, I cant honestely remember. I used this rod for a whil, then gave it away to a teenager just getting into catting. I didnt have any problems w/ this rod. I had an Abu 6000 on it & it felt great. I would have loved to battle a 30# Flattie on it.

    CABELAS KING CAT
    This is the regular rod, not the "Pro". I had one of these a couple years ago. This rod was/is priced @ $19.99. I had no problems w/ this rod. I think it would make a nice lake channel cat rod, however I would go with something a little better for fishing for Flatheads in rough conditions. I must say that while Cabelas are running the King Cat Pro's for $20 I would go w/ them over the rg rods anyday. That is not meant to be a knock on the reg rods at all, but more a compliment to the "Pro" rods.


    I am sure other good quality bargin rods are out let, lets here about them.
     
  2. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    I own 2 of the premier 10 ft. I had the one for 5 years now and cannot complain one bit about it. It has handled everything that I have caught. From 40# blues and flats to small channels. They have held up well thru all the punishment I have gave them. For the price they sure are a good rod.
     

  3. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I think the sturdy stik is a much better rod than the King Kat pro...I would not hesitate fishing for river flatheads with a sturdy stik..I cant say that with the King Kat pro.
     
  4. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    A sturdy stick is what I caught my biggest blue on. 65lbs from the ohio river. They are just a little to stiff for those slow pulling flatheads for me.
     
  5. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Im surprised nobody has mintioned the American Primer nite stick.I really like these rods and i plan on getting a few more,mybe even switch all my rods to the AP.
     
  6. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Whoops looks like someone did mintion the AP rods my mistake. :eek:
     
  7. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    They were mentioned in post #'s 2 & 3. I have heard good things about these rods comapred to only a couple negative things. Sound like they are worth the cost.
     
  8. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    a good rod under $25? ooh thats gonna be hard to find. i did however buy a couple rods from bass pro last winter for channel fishing in the river's around me. bought two 8' abu garcia "workhorse" trolling rods for $20 each. these are some really sweet rods for channels up to 15 to 20 lbs. they are kind of a lightweight but channels in my area rarely exceed 15 lbs so i wanted a rod that i could enjoy fishing with rather than just crankin them in. kinda resemble a shorter "predator" rod from cabellas. biggest fish i caught on it this year was a 19lb flat in some really heavy cuurent while i was channel fishing, i put it to the rod and it really suprised me.
     
  9. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    CABELAS KING CAT
    This is the regular rod, not the "Pro". I had one of these a couple years ago. This rod was/is priced @ $19.99. I had no problems w/ this rod. I think it would make a nice lake channel cat rod, however I would go with something a little better for fishing for Flatheads in rough conditions. I must say that while Cabelas are running the King Cat Pro's for $20 I would go w/ them over the rg rods anyday. That is not meant to be a knock on the reg rods at all, but more a compliment to the "Pro" rods.

    Is there a real different backbone to the pro over the reg rods? :confused: Or do you like it better for other reasons? I didn't see the pro models when I bought my reg king kat (wanted foam), all I seen were the sig series and the regs. Their diferences seemed to be cosmitic (foam-cork, ceramic-harloy, blue-white) with the same flex. I assumed they used the same blanks to make all them. Heck even the whuppin stick (cabelas brand same blank?) felt the same to me. Bythe way it should be on this list too.
     
  10. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    Oh yea the catfish ugly stick is great but its 27 and change.
     
  11. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.
    The original ugly stick is a good rod, although the black color isn't the best for night fishing, they will handle big fish well. If you go to my profile the flathead in that picture was caught on one. That ugly stick is one of my favorite rods for lake fishing because it will handle big cats but it's limber enough the 3 and 4lb channels are fun on it too.
     
  12. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    I think my reg King Kat was no way near as sturdy as the Pros, but thats just me. I do perfer the cork, but that reg Kin Kat will do you just fine. (I dont like the reels though..... dont like them @ all!!)
     
  13. stickthrower

    stickthrower New Member

    Messages:
    313
    State:
    Possum Kingdom Lk, TX
    ABU BRUTE RODS!

    For $20.00 you can't beat them. They are comparable to Ugly Stick Tiger 7'MH rods and just a good! I have two of them and have caught several big stergeon on them in the Columbia River with no complaints & they are big bad fighters. :)
     
  14. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    H2O
    Huh I'll have to look a the pros next time I'm there. I seen them last time I was there but I didn't check em out because I was looking for sinker molds. Maybe they would trade if I thought it would be worth it. What Leingth did you have, have now maybe their is a difference in umph in diff lengths? I bought-looking at 9'ers.
     
  15. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    All of my rods except for the mitchell setup and the shimano, are by shakespeare, even the baicaster setup and I have no problems or complaints about them. And they are not expensive at all. I fish on a budget, always have always will.
     
  16. the_nis

    the_nis Member

    Messages:
    360
    State:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    I have two Berkely Reflex rods and neither one has given me any problems whatsoever. Good deal for the money in my opinion.
     
  17. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I would have to say the "Ugly Cat" rods made by Ugly Stick. They are great rods! Esspecialy for the money!
     
  18. Rainman4u2

    Rainman4u2 Guest

    Mellon, you can get the AP rods in 1 or 2 piece. They are great rods, with great sensitivity, and back bone. I figures for $20 I'd try one out. I used a spinning reel on one with 30lb test Power Pro to "attempt" to pick up a 30lb grill. I had to tighten the drag to pick up the grill, and I didn't hear a single noise from the rod.

    Ray
     
  19. centralcalcat

    centralcalcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,163
    State:
    Marion, TX
    People overdo there channel rods ALOT. Personally for channels, if it is calm water I use no greater then 12lbs test (mostly 8-10lb test)I use med or med-light action rods. Most channels (at least around here) won't get much bigger then 10-15 lbs. Yes you have the occasional 20-25lber that is caught, btu even on a fish that large, if you play him right and let your rod and drag do the work you will be fine.

    My two main channel cat rods cost me a total of $50.00 One (my mst faithful) $20 and the other which I have grown to really like was $30 on clearance. I purchased them both at Wal-Mart and yes they are CHEAP rods. However over the last couple of years they have pulle din countless channels of various sizes not to mention a few stripers mixed in and a bunch of Bass.

    Now yes when fishing for larger fish or swift current you have to have better equipment, but if it is calm water and channels go cheaper, you will enjoy the fight more too.
     
  20. TNVOLCAT

    TNVOLCAT New Member

    Messages:
    946
    State:
    Tennessee
    Depends On Your Budget I Guess. I've Been Fishing Since I Was Old Enough To Hold A Rod And Reel In My Hands, And Have Always Used Ultra Lite To Med. Action Rods With Open Face Spinning Reels Or Spincasters At Usually A Very Low Budget That My Dad Bought Me. One Trip I Might Go Creek Fishing Or Pond Fishing With My Dad For Anything That Would Bite, And The Next Trip Might Be With My Paw Paw At His Place On The Tn.river Using Heavier Equipment Fishing For Cats. My Targeted Budget Has Always Been Around $30 Or Less For Rod And Reel Combo Once I Got Old Enough To Save My Money To Buy My Own. Over The Past Year Or Two I've Really Gotten Turned On To Targeting Trophy Sized Cats And The Rods And Reels Have Gotten Larger And More Expensive From When I Was A Little 10 Yr. Old. What I'm Getting At Is That Most Rods Seem Inexpensive To Me($20-$40) Compared To Most Heavy Fishing Reels. Like The Big Penns, Quantums, And Abu's That Will Cost You $100-$200 Bucks. My Wife Can't Understand Why The Rods Are Much Less Expensive. So Getting The Rods Is Easy For Me,its Trying To Sell Her The Idea Of Spending $100 On A Reel. So I Got On Ebay And Lucked Up Getting 2-quantum Irons And 1-penn 320 For Almost Half Price. And They Are All New Or Like New Cond. That Money Saved On The Reels Afforded Me To Get 2- New Big Cat M/h Rods From Catfish Conn. And 1-heavy Big Cat From A Local Tackle Shop. So I Figure I've Got $260 In $475 Worth Of Equipment. Not Bad! Just Depends On What You Want,i Guess!