For channels, I have been using Abu 5500 C3's and 5600 C4's with the Ugly Stik GX2 medium and medium heavy rods . However, last weekend I took a new setup that was the Ugly Stik Pro-Lite 6'0 medium heavy spinning rod with the Academy H20 Maxim spinning reel and really liked it. That setup with a full spool of Power Pro Slick 30lb braid was just under $100. Bought the reels online for 29 each and the rod was 37 at Wally World. . The 5500/5600 setups are around 170 each with braided line. The 6'0 medium heavy spinning rods were real easy to set the hook and had good backbone . For Blues , I use the white Ugly Stik 7'0 medium heavy rods with 6500/6600 Abu's. To each is own , this is what works for me. I don't think the Pro Angler rods are but just a few dollars more. Just nobody sells them close and I don't like to wait. Only been fishing a couple years now and have 42 catfish set-up's.