What's a good affordable setup?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by verrykerry, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. verrykerry

    verrykerry New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    Texas
    I have to admit, I'm just getting to a point in life where I want to specialize a bit in fishing and get my hands on some pictures of myself and a few trophy blues. I also have to admit I've never really bought a decent setup for cats, certainly not the big stuff you people catch. I've always been more of a walmart buyer and a bank fisherman (now a recent boat owner). I don't think much of the walmart stuff is going to hold up to the beating that these brutes surely provide.

    I've done a little research before I posted and found out I know next to nothing about equipment...

    For instance there are:

    Spinning rods
    Casting rods
    baitfish rods
    conventional rods
    surf rods
    offshore rods
    standup rods

    and the list goes on and that's not even touching on reels yet.

    Lets say I could scrape up a few hundred bucks for a combo and it would be the flagship star of my fishing equipment, what should I be looking for specifically. Throw some names and models numbers at me if you would and any information you think would be helpful, I love to learn.

    Much appreciated,
    Kerry

    PS. The avatar fish was caught by a neighbor and I got a pic with it before he put it in the freezer, I've never caught anything nearly that large from the bank of a lake.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    I would say the most common setup I see when I'm on the river or fishing tournys is a Ugly Stick Tiger rod with an Abu Garcia 6500c3. I would guess you would be in for about $130-150 new depending on where you bought it. This is really a great quality setup. You can land any catfish in the USA with this setup if you have good terminal equipment and know how to fish. The rods are sensitive enough for drifting and strong enough for pulling up the real hogs. Those Abus are rock solid and will last for years and will have no problem pulling in the hogs either. The only limitation on those reels is the line capacity. Most people get around this by using braided line with a smaller diameter. Penn also makes quality affordable reels. If you want to do some serious catting I would suggest using baitcasters.
     

  3. SouthGADan

    SouthGADan New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Lyons, GA
    $200 dollars is

    For reels, you'll want something reliable and holds plenty of line. The Abu Garcia 7000 series reels are very popular for going after the big ones, and they're fully capable of landing any catfish in North America. They run any where from $90 on up to around $200; just make sure you get one with levelwind. My local Wal-Mart has one under the glass case, so check yours if you want to buy there.

    As for rods, look for a casting rod in heavy or medium-heavy; and at least 7' long. Shakespear has several Ugly Stik models that fit the bill; the Ugly Stik Tigers are very popular around here, and they run about $60. Also, one of our sponsors, Tanglin' With Catfish, has put together an excellent 7'6" Medium-Heavy casting rod which runs at $65: http://www.tanglingwithcatfish.com/rod.html
    Keep in mind that rods are expensive to ship.

    These are just my suggestions; I'm sure some other, more knowledgeable guys will chime in.
     
  4. boyd79

    boyd79 New Member

    Messages:
    129
    State:
    illinois
    had my ugly stick tiger rods for 3years now the bwc 2202. best 130$ i ever spent. 6500 abu,s too 10000 big game reels u cant go wrong. i use 9000 big game reels for my big boys just for the extra line i can put on there. and some strong hooks. i used some eagle claw circle hooks last year but the tips would keep breaken off on big fish. went too 4x strong daiichi or gamakatsu hooks strongest hooks i can find.
     
  5. Motopro00

    Motopro00 New Member

    Messages:
    554
    State:
    Festus, Missouri
    welcome to the boc. I just got started targeting big cat fish. I have two set ups I been using with good luck. I have a m/h 8' berkley glowstick casting rod and a 7' m spinning berkely glowstick. I have two old abu garcia reels on each. I have power pro 65 pound braid on both. I fish off the bank. Since I started I caught 30,21,18,16 pound blue's on my bait caster set up with no problem.
     

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  6. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

    Messages:
    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    Very good questions Kerry & I am enjoying reading the recomendations. You will certainly fing BOC a good source of information. Have fun fishing, be respectful to our environment , & welcome to the BOC...tight lines. :cool2:
     
  7. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,569
    State:
    Alabama
    What part of Texas you from? You can go on post if you're near a military base go to the PX and get you a Penn CMH-902 (9ft spinning combo with 6000 reel for $79) or the CH-1002 (10ft Spinning Combo with 8000 reel for $89) I have caught plenty of big fish on them. Academy Sports has the Penn 320GT2 Baicaster for $70 then buy a 8 FT Berkely Glow stick for $30 bucks, Dont think you will find combos that can beat those 3 in the same price range new from a store with that performance. Or get you an Okuma Avenger 65 Baitfeeder for $55 and a Glow stick for $30. You can pick that combo up at Academy also :wink:
     
  8. katsandsuds

    katsandsuds New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    North Caro
    My perfered setup would be a shakespeare tiger rod, 7' M/H with a 7000 abu garcia winch. Problem is I don't have the $200 for that setup.

    I use mostly Berkely Big Game rods from walmart. They are normally $22, but I find them on sell now and again for $11. They are good for big fish, but I would not recomend them for channels. They are not as sensitive as the Tiger rods are at the tip, but they do have good backbone. As for reels, I have an array of Abu's (6000 series), Penn 209's, and a couple of Daiwa 6 series.

    If you keep your eyes open, you can pick up the Penn 209's for $50-60 new, and they have much better line capacity then the 6000 abu or daiwa 6H. The down side is they don't have a break system, so it takes a little practice casting to keep it from backlashing on you. They also don't cast as smoothly as the other reels, and they have a much lower gear ratio, but the upside is, they are very tough and will last forever, and the drag system is much better then the abu's. If you think the 209's are too large, you can look at the Penn 9, which is about the size of a 6600 abu.

    I fish mostly for Blues. I use 25lb mainline on my reels typically to help give me more line. I think 25lb line is more then strong enough for blues because they are more of an open water fish and will come to the surface when fighting. If you fish more for flats, then I will want to step up to the Penn 209's, Abu 7000 or above reels and use 40 or 50 lb main line. Flats are typically found more around cover, and fight hard to stay on the bottom and tangle you up. With a flat I think you need heavier tackle because you need to winch them out of the cover and off the bottom quickly. The biggest thing is find what you can trust and can afford. I can't justify $200 on a setup when I can get by with a $75 setup and can use the extra money in more setups, better electronics, or all the other things I would like to have for fishing.
     
  9. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,569
    State:
    Alabama
    Forgot about the Penn 209, they are a great reel. I was just in Texas 2 weeks ago and bought a 309 for $54 from Academy it was weird cause the 209 was $59 and they were regular priced, I have no idea why the 209 is more expensive than a 309. I have that 309 on a custom made Heavy action rod for $60 bucks, the guy gave me a lifetime warranty free replacement if I ever break the rod. It seems virtually indestructable. I reeled it with my whole spool of 300 yd 80LB Power Pro. I would put this combo pound for pound against any combo offered in stores for fresh water and for strength, drag and reliability I would be impressed if you could beat that brand new (not used) for $114. But If you need distance I would recommend abu reels or the Penn 320GT2 I recommended before. That Penn Captiva CH1002 combo I recommended before I have caught numerous 20, 30, 40 and 60 LB Catfish on that spinning combo and it doesnt sweat. There are so many different combos you can try with numerous recommendations from everyone on this site, but what I've found is take everyone's advice and take some chances with your own decisions. Some recommendations will fail you, some will be too much and some just right. You have to take advice and figure out what works for you in your fishing environment.
     
  10. verrykerry

    verrykerry New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    Texas
    I've checked out the Tiger rods online and the medium heavy looks like it will fit the bill, for the reel I really like the looks of the
    Abu Garcia® Ambassadeur® 7000C3i Round Baitcast Reel

    That I saw at:

    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/s...151001000_151000000_151001000_151-1-0#reviews

    but that reel may be just silly and too much for a beginner who's never even really used an open spool type reel before. I don't know about casting that thing. I was thinking more of drop fishing or drift fishing with a reel (not so much casting). I tend to obsess and throw too much money at things. I think I just talked myself into a cheaper Penn.

    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/s...01_2220_151001000_151000000_151001000_151-1-0

    Decisions Decisions

    Kerry
    PS Appreciate all the input so far... all good advice
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  11. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    well,everybodys a bit different on their tackle set-up,and alot of it depends on fishing style and how you go about the majority of it.

    If seriously targeting exclusivly big fish (50+ lbs.) then I would use a rod in a heavy action cause your going to want the backbone when pulling up a big fish,if fishing from the boat I would stick to 8foot and less rods just for handling ability in the boat,If fishing from shore get a longer rod for casting distance. Get rods that have the blank all the way through the handle,and have quality double footed guides.

    reels are a big selection,the 6500 and 7000 abu's are a proven cat medicine as are the penn reels in appropriate sizes. I prefer penns myself,but thats just a personal choice,the models with baitclickers are a have to have.

    Line depends to me on where you fish and how much weight you use and cast. Assuming you will fish some places where a large weight is going to be needed to hold big fresh baits where you put them,use a heavy mainline, 80 lb. braided line is my favorite,then the weight and hook can go on a leader of the appropriate size for what your doing, if I snag the line will always break near the hook or weight because the leader is always lighter than the mainline,keeping many yards of braid out of the water and on my reel where it belongs, you don't lose your mainline which is costly to replace all the time and your reels spool will stay full for when that big fish makes a hard run you won't run out of line,plus with the no stretch braid you can get a bait way out there and not have too worry about the hook not setting deep enough because of line stretch.

    Hooks,you can't go wrong with brands like gama,owner,etc. the team catfish hooks here seem pretty popular but I havn't used them yet myself so I can't say. I carry hook sizes from 2/0 to 15/0 regularly,use one big enough to hook the bait and leave enough hook to stick the fish,hook styles are more of a personal choice type thing,I like the tru-turns and other J-hooks,I don't care for circles,but they might work for you. kahle hooks are a great channel hook but I don't like them for big cats,again it's all personal in this department(If anybody wants to change my mind on what hooks I use send me a free pack and I'll try them:big_smile:)

    Weights are weights,use what you need to hold the bait where you need it,in current no-rolls are nice as a lighter weight will hold more than other styles,I make my own and have a bunch of different kinds.

    Swivels,no snap swivels for big fish,just a strong plain two eye swivel rated for the same as the mainline.

    Beads and other stuff can be picked up at a department stores craft section for a couple bucks for many years supply.

    That's about all you really need,maybe a couple big cat bobbers or pole floats in your tackle box.
     
  12. 7mmmag1

    7mmmag1 New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I have a few of those Ugly Stick Striper rods (white) in the 7 footers and they run about 30 bucks. Got 1 with a big South bend reel. Have reeled in a few 40 pound redfish, small sharks and stinrays with that set up. Have the other rods set up with trolling baitcasters. First year with the baitcasters but they seem to be doing good and hold a lot of line. One is a shakespeare and the other is a cabelas. I hear the Bass Pro CatMAxx is supposed to be good too
     
  13. SouthGADan

    SouthGADan New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Lyons, GA
    The Penn should suit you well. The Abu Garcia is no doubt nicer than that Penn, but it also has the price tag to show it. The Penn you're looking at will not cast as far as the Abu, but it will hold plenty of line, and should last you a long time if you don't abuse it. I wouldn't be worried about learning to use a baitcaster; I just learned to used one myself, and it's not so bad. Lots of folks on here use both reels, and, at this point, I think you'll be pretty happy whatever you choose. :wink:
     
  14. verrykerry

    verrykerry New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    Texas
     
  15. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    check out www.tanglingwithcatfish.com you can bet your bottom dollar these are top of the line and only 65.00 each .

    get you a new baitcaster . Abu Garcia , Penn , etc. Around 40 to 80 bucks .

    Now you have a bad a$$ set up and still have money left for a monster rod holder or two .
     
  16. lazer20

    lazer20 New Member

    Messages:
    50
    State:
    WV
    If you want a quality reel for a little cheaper price you could look in to the Shakespear Agility 400x. Its relitivly inexpensive (30-40$) holds up well to large cats and has a anti backlash pin if your not use to them yet. I've caught about 4 fish on mine weighting over 25 lbs. It handles well and is easy to take apart for maintnace. I rigged it with a 7-1/2 foot shakespear study stick (about 18-25$) This is a very good setup for a great price. I own alot of abu garcia equipment now, but started out with this till I decided to spend the extra money. I really like the baitcasters they seem to hold up alot better than the wal-mart tiger spinning rods(i bought and broke alot of those) goodluck hope this helps.
     
  17. motard1

    motard1 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    TEXAS
    Rod- Pro ANgler Tackle 7'6" available at http://proanglertackle.com/CatfishRod.htm
    Probably the best rod around,especially for the money. If you doubt it,pm me. I'll send you links about it. I know for a fact that one of these rods pulled in a 102# blue on the washita river on Texoma in April this year.

    Reel-Abu Garcia 6500c3,6600c4,or 7000c3. ALl of these are awesome. Or,if you can find them,the classic abu 6000.
     
  18. verrykerry

    verrykerry New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    Texas
    I ended up with a Ugly Stick Tiger Rod, like it, like everything about it. Feels like quality even before you put a reel on it.

    For the reel I ended up with an Abu Garcia 7000i. Put it all together and it's a whole lot of awesome. I'm on my way out now to drift fish with it for the first time and throw jugs till 1 or 2 am.

    Last night I hooked into a something huge and I thought i was pulling up a stump from 30 feet down and then it began to fight. I was about a minute into it and I dipped the cheap rod down to crank in some slack and he spit it. I never saw him. But he was gonna be a champion fish in the boat.

    Later last night I did hook and land a 21 lb. blue and I kept that one because the jugs in the shallow water weren't doing good getting the channel cats and I'm out of fish at home in the freezer.

    I'm glad I slowed my life down and rediscovered this hobby while I'm still young.

    Kerry
     
  19. brian88b

    brian88b Member

    Messages:
    593
    State:
    Fairdale, KY
    Hey just saw where you said "the jugs on the bank wern't doing any good for the channels" Dont underestimate the banks My buddies dad caught a 50#er few weeks ago 5 foot off the bank about 5 feet deep. And Sat. I was fishing not far off the bank and about 15 feet or so deep and was catching nice blues and channels and locked into a hog like you that got away. Posted about it called"old cliche' the one that got away" lol. But from what I understand the blues are cruising the banks alot especially early morn and late evening and night fattening up for winter I suppose. So dont count the shallows out :wink:
     
  20. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    Yeah, Definately do not forget the shallows. Fish a break and put rods deep, middle, and shallow. We caught a 66 pd blue out of our local lake which is a record. It was about 15 ft off the bank in 5 ft of water just before the drop into the channel. After being hooked he went for the channel but they come out and feed on ledges. They are ledge roaming fish.