As many of us started catfish we quickly found out that our current equipment was not suited for the situation. So we started researching what would be the best. We purchased longer bigger rods and then chose a reel. As you may have noticed the 6500/7000 are very popular, but why is that? I chose mine because when I was reading Channel Catfish Fever he mentioned that it was suited for the situation. Enough for me so I headed to the store and became a proud owner of a 6501 for $65.00. I have since added another. I ask because as I do more research I have seen that the Penn 9M is very similar to the abilities of the 6500 and holds more line.