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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Catfishing Reels #13390938 01/02/20 10:46 PM
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lilBr. Offline OP
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I am wanting to get some cat fishing specific rods/reels. I have been reading, and it looks like if going to target the bigger fish, then one needs a heavy duty reel. I have been seeing a lot on the Abu round reels 6500 series. Just wanting some feedback from people for their thoughts. I want a level wind/bait cast style rather than spinning. Then the bigger problem is I would like a left hand retrieve. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13391054 01/03/20 12:19 AM
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The Swiss made Abu's in 6500 series will handle any catfish in fresh water just fine. You will be looking at the 6501 series. There are better reels out there but at a much higher price. I'm still using some Abu's that are nearing 30 years old. Parts are still available and nearly anyone in the reel repair business can fix them in the event they need service.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13391219 01/03/20 03:17 AM
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I use Abu 6500 for about everything in freshwater. I have them on 6’6” ugly stiks. I catch 1/4 pound sunfish to 50 fish with them in freshwater and saltwater. If you are looking for left hand reels, I would look on EBay.

Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13391473 01/03/20 02:08 PM
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Academy has left handed reels or can order them for you.




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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13391526 01/03/20 02:41 PM
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The Swiss Made Abu 6500c3 is the standard in catfishing reels to which all others are measured. The left hand model is the 6501 and you can get em at Catfish Connection for cheap.


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13392008 01/03/20 11:11 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions, I had read about Abu 6500 series. I was able to find a couple of new ones on Ebay for what I hope was a good price if they are the correct ones. I am leaning towards the Whisker seeker rods, but going to do more research this weekend. Any info on rods would be appreciated as well.

Thanks.

Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13392416 01/04/20 01:03 PM
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I have a bunch of Whisker Seekers and my favorite is the new FMJ in Med Heavy. I don’t like the Silicone Carbide guides on the WS V1 because they pop out and get lost but the newer GFX and the FMJ have stainless guides which I prefer. Never met someone who owns a Whisker Seeker that doesn’t love em. I’ve been running mine with Shimano Tecota 500 and 600 reels and they make a hell of a combo! texas


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13392486 01/04/20 02:49 PM
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Don't mean to burst your bubble or anything, but the fish don't know what reel you're using. Even "catfish specific" reel are nothing more that general reels that have a catfish sticker slapped on the side.

It's really--pun intended--about the bait, hook and line. Everything else is simply designed to help you manage the bait hook and line.

It isn't like if you buy an Abu or Shimano that has a striper sticker that he catfish won't bite because the reel doesn't have a catfish sticker on it.

I have an older Abu 6500 c3 that be a great way to see if that's the reel you want. I'll give it to you if you're willing to pay the shipping. Let me know.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13392514 01/04/20 03:13 PM
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Willie and Gato both make very good points.
Something I’ve noticed, across the years and a variety of experiences, is that equipment that serves experts and highly experienced people very well, does not help beginners and casual users very much (and it’s very expensive).
I’d go with inexpensive (not cheap junk, though) equipment, to start with. As your experience grows, then get the “really good” stuff. You’ll appreciate the quality difference so much more, once you’ve taught yourself what you like best.


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: WillieRip] #13392551 01/04/20 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WillieRip
Don't mean to burst your bubble or anything, but the fish don't know what reel you're using. Even "catfish specific" reel are nothing more that general reels that have a catfish sticker slapped on the side.

It's really--pun intended--about the bait, hook and line. Everything else is simply designed to help you manage the bait hook and line.

It isn't like if you buy an Abu or Shimano that has a striper sticker that he catfish won't bite because the reel doesn't have a catfish sticker on it.

I have an older Abu 6500 c3 that be a great way to see if that's the reel you want. I'll give it to you if you're willing to pay the shipping. Let me know.


That’s a heck of a deal right there Damon! It’s true that the fish don’t know what reel you’re using but the fisherman certainly does. I fish with a lot of guys who run the regular 6500c3 and they do a great job. The catfish specific reels usually come with power handles for cranking in big fish and the striper reels come with regular handles for retrieving lures. Power handles aren’t necessary but they sure are nice especially in the winter when cranking in toads and wearing gloves. I have power handles on all my catfish reels but they aren’t necessary and are my personal preference..None of this gear is absolutely necessary but it sure makes things a lot easier running certain equipment for certain types of catfishing. texas


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13392836 01/04/20 10:34 PM
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I would say that many reel have power handles that are not catfish specific. They use the mall the time in saltwater. Again the power handle only does one thing: help you manage the line better. My point wasn't one of necessity of preference. It was simply each person makes the decision on how best to manage the line, hook and bait. Striper or catfish sticker on the side doesn't matter.

The question that has to be answered is: How effective/efficiently will this reel help me manage the line, hook and bait? Once that question is answered, it doesn't matter who made it, what it comes with, or what sticker they put on the side. My point is a mindset issue, not a personal preference or necessity.

The reason you use a power handle is because it helps you manage the line better than a standard handle: faster retrieve and more leverage/comfort when fighting the fish. It's an issue of line management. Those are the same reasons saltwater fishermen use the same reel. Sturgeon guys, salmon guys, any "big" fish or technique that has the same line management requirements will need the same type reel.

I would argue that before you buy any set of reels, be sure that you can explain why that reel's design or technical specification will either help or hurt your line management needs, fishing methods, processes and procedures. I'd much rather see someone go through the thought process instead of buying a bunch of gear just because it says catfish on the side. That same thought process is needed when you fish anyway, but many fishermen just buy gear just to buy gear and don't have an extra fish to show for it.

Last edited by WillieRip; 01/04/20 10:48 PM.

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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13392895 01/04/20 11:49 PM
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He asked for a catfish specific reel and the Abu 6500c3 is by far the most popular catfishing reel. He also said he was targeting bigger fish so I recommended the power handles. If you want to save a buck then get the ones that already have the power handle. Which ones are those?? The abus that are made for catfish have the power handles already installed so you don’t waste your money adding them after the fact like a lot of guys do. I switched to tekota saltwater trolling reels on my boat so I have no loyalty to Abu. They just make a heck of a catfishing reel and if your gonna go after bigger fish then get the one with power handles.


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393013 01/05/20 01:29 AM
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I’ve read through the entire thread. The gentleman is asking a solid question seeking advice from those with catfish experience. I agree the Abu 55-6500 have been the general standard for many years(not only for cats) but very well suited for cats! I only have 3 but much more prefer my Penns.
I really enjoy and respect your posts Damon but you’ve not offered an opinion on preferred reels to the gentleman. I’m curious myself what you prefer. Maybe I’ll give your preferred reels a try! Thanks for posting! cheers


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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393126 01/05/20 02:43 AM
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I Like Spinning - Used to get Cabelas Salt Strikers but Bass Pro Screwed that up - getting Penn Fierce Now. I like the Big, Wide cranking power handles and braid Bird's Nest SUCKS on a baitcaster..........and Spinning are Cheaper $.

6000 Series - https://www.amazon.com/Penn-Fierce-3000-Spinning-Fishing/dp/B011LVCQKI

I like Pro Angler and Rippin Lips SuperCat rods - I like stainless or chrome wire eyelets - don’t like inserts as they always crack and cut your line or fall out........ 65 lb braid..........40-50 lb mono leaders.
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Last edited by BigPoppa007; 01/05/20 04:08 AM.

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Re: Catfishing Reels [Re: lilBr.] #13393165 01/05/20 03:20 AM
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Looks like MH Rippin' Lips Supercat is Sold Out - they say they have a shipment coming Next Month............

https://rippinlips.net/?fbclid=IwAR0FB9jFbx4_KhECnZuuqNtjpXzG1n3p74CJPslbE7S7MxSwIGNMZWLzWcI

https://rippinlips.net/products/medium-heavy

BassPro Catmaxx Spinning Reels are Pretty Good - I’ve had 2 for about 8 years Now

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/bass-pro-shops-catmaxx-spinning-reel

Last edited by BigPoppa007; 01/05/20 04:10 AM.

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