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Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders #14096878 08/16/21 03:07 PM
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I've only been playing in the blue cat drifting world for a couple of years, as I fish way too many bass tournaments, but what good entry/mid level combos are everyone using?

My rods now are a cross of some of my older 7'6" med/heavy to heavy bass rods that get the job done, but I am wanting to get 4 dedicated drifting rods.


Would like to keep the 7'6" length and stay with baitcasters. Leaning towards the old tried and true Abu 6500's but open to any other input.


Also, am looking for decent rod holders. I know there are a ton of varieties out there, but I'm sick of the cheap ones from Academy. Cant get the rods out quick enough sometimes and area a pain getting back in easily. (well its mainly my better half that gripes about it, I don't like it, but I just get by with it)


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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14096907 08/16/21 03:27 PM
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I have no affiliation with any rod, real, rod bar, or rod holder folks and my boat shows it. Rods are really a matter a preference. I have Whisker Seeker, B&M Silver Cat elites, Slimecats, madkatz, and Pro Anglers. All are the 7'6". I use them all and they all work fine. Reels... Okuma Classics, Abu 6500s, Penns, and Picsifun Chaos, ancient mariner. Rod holders... b-readys, smackdowns, and Monsters.

The picsifun reels have been doing well this year, same as the Okumas. I don't care much for the slower retrieval rate on the Okuma's however. Abu's are on the WS rods and don't get used as much as the others, but still work just fine, and I have nothing bad to say about that combo at all. Same with the Proangler's paired with ancient mariner. I don't use them as often as the other rod/reel combos, but they work now just as they have in the past. Actually, the WS rod combo's and Pro angler rod combo's get more use in the winter/spring when I'm anchored. If you like the ABU's, give the picsifun chaos 60 a shot.

I do like the Smackdown rod holders over the Monster 33/45's. Just seem better and are lower profile. Can't really compare the b-readys to the other 2 as they are completely different style. But I do like the breadys and have had them the longest. If you want something easily removable, I would recommend the adjustable bready's on risers posts.

Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14097086 08/16/21 05:26 PM
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Iโ€™ve run a wide variety of rods like Trent over the years and most med heavy rods will work for drifting. My current rods for drifting are Whisker Seeker and Warrior Cat both in MH. I prefer WS as they load up really good when you hang a fish.

For reels the Abu 6500 c3 is the standard for Catfishing and I still run a lot of them but I have been switching everything over to Shimano Tekota 600hga the last 3 yrs and they are a much better built reel and have the high gear ratio to get everything reeled up much quicker.

For planer boarding I have switched over my rods to Big Cat Fever trolling rods the last 2 yrs and they are easily my favorite over all others and itโ€™s not even close. They have a lot more flex which smooths out your pull dramatically and will get hung up 10 times less than all my other rods. 10 times less is not an exaggeration and anyone who planer boards know what a pain it is when you hang one up.

For rod holders Iโ€™ve used the Driftmaster Duos in heavy as well as BeeReadys down the side of the boat for years. I switched out the Driftmasters this spring to Monster 33-45s for trolling planer boards and love them. I like my BeaReadys for anchor fishing but hate them for drifting. I was going to try the smackdowns on my MulTBAR when it gets here since it has a 55 degree position for pulling planer boards which will help keep the line up out of the water.


Last edited by ๐Ÿ€El Gato Azul๐Ÿ€; 08/16/21 05:26 PM.

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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: ๐Ÿ€El Gato Azul๐Ÿ€] #14097201 08/16/21 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ๐Ÿ€El Gato Azul๐Ÿ€


For rod holders Iโ€™ve used the Driftmaster Duos in heavy as well as BeeReadys down the side of the boat for years. I switched out the Driftmasters this spring to Monster 33-45s for trolling planer boards and love them. I like my BeaReadys for anchor fishing but hate them for drifting. I was going to try the smackdowns on my MulTBAR when it gets here since it has a 55 degree position for pulling planer boards which will help keep the line up out of the water.



Why do you dislike them for drifting? I drift 99% of the time, and have started using the planer boards also.


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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14097362 08/16/21 08:58 PM
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Do y'all use braid or mono? What pound test?

Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: SangerCrappieMan] #14097374 08/16/21 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SangerCrappieMan
Do y'all use braid or mono? What pound test?

20-25 lb mono typically


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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14097378 08/16/21 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish Killer
Originally Posted by ๐Ÿ€El Gato Azul๐Ÿ€


For rod holders Iโ€™ve used the Driftmaster Duos in heavy as well as BeeReadys down the side of the boat for years. I switched out the Driftmasters this spring to Monster 33-45s for trolling planer boards and love them. I like my BeaReadys for anchor fishing but hate them for drifting. I was going to try the smackdowns on my MulTBAR when it gets here since it has a 55 degree position for pulling planer boards which will help keep the line up out of the water.



Why do you dislike them for drifting? I drift 99% of the time, and have started using the planer boards also.


Bea ready are adjustable and donโ€™t lock down good, the rods rock in the BeeReadys with every wave. Not good fir planer boarding when your trying to get a smooth pull. You canโ€™t put your rods in a 45ยฐ position in BeeReadys which 45ยฐ is much better for pulling planer boards. I like the beeready for anchoring cuz they are easily adjusted for the direction Iโ€™m casting to. Your planer boards will pull much better with a 45ยฐ Rod holder for trolling that it will a 30ยฐ Rod holder for drifting. You can take that to the bank!

Last edited by ๐Ÿ€El Gato Azul๐Ÿ€; 08/16/21 09:24 PM.

There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
texas Check out out my YouTube channel El Gato Azul TV texas
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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14097387 08/16/21 09:23 PM
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I use 30 lb mono for drifting and pulling boards. I like the stretch of mono and it helps give the bait a smother presentation for sure. I just recently started converting my anchor rods to Braid though so I can control big fish around timber better and hopefully be able to stop a giant when he heads for the timber to wrap you up and break you off. There are upsides snd downsides for both.


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
texas Check out out my YouTube channel El Gato Azul TV texas
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โš“๏ธโš“๏ธโš“๏ธโš“๏ธ Home of little boys holding big catfish! โš“๏ธโš“๏ธโš“๏ธโš“๏ธ
Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14097411 08/16/21 09:59 PM
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Starting out, I would go with the Shakespeare Ugly Sticks Catfish rods and CatMaxx reels from BPS. For rod holders, use Monster Rod holders (33-45's). Reels are loaded with 30lb mono with a 50lb leader. Catfish Sumo may have some deals on their stuff and I order my sinker sliders from them. Use circle hooks and learn how to tie a knotless snell knot. Right now, my biggest recurring expense for fishing gear are lead weights.


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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14097489 08/16/21 11:08 PM
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I am new to Cat Fishing as well, after also coming from Bass fishing.

I have various set ups, but the two new addition rod reel combo's I have are the Abu Ambassador C3's, a bit expensive at $150 each, but I LOVE the operation and they ooze quality. Best reels I have ever had for sure. Worth every penny.

For rods I use ugly sticks, great action, a bit heavy (who cares on a boat), but they are rock solid. They are Ugly Stick 7ft medium heavy and they are dirt cheap.

I love the set up for trolling/drifting but confess I don't cast them far.

I use all mono lines (I'm old and old school), 30 pound main and 50 pound leader, with round shark hooks.

I am planning to use them for Stripers up on Texoma as well.




Last edited by Texas Brit; 08/16/21 11:10 PM.

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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14098001 08/17/21 12:52 PM
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I have used the Cat Maxx reels (didn't care for them); Kast King Rovers 40s and 60s (good very inexpensive reel) and I'm now using the LEW's SpeedCast 600. I like the LEW's reel casts very smooth. I have used the ugly sticks, no complaints. I started out with the Shakespeare Wildcat rods and for $20 each you can't hardly go wrong. I have Warrior Cat MH now and I really like them. I use 65 pound braid main line and 80 pound mono leader. I'm looking at getting some BCF Hell Cat rods. They say they are out of the green for another 60 - 90 days. Gonna maybe pair it with a slimecat 6000 reel.

I'm also thinking about swapping out the braid for mono because I drag and drift a lot more than I anchor.

It's always something...


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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14098050 08/17/21 01:33 PM
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Pro Angler for the money, Chad's rod is pretty hard to beat, quality wise. I haven't felt a BCF but I'm sure that M action would be a mighty fine TX water rod.

Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14111416 08/28/21 02:44 PM
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I like spinning reels - Cabela's Salt Strikers were my go to but they were discontinued so it's Penn Fierce Now. I like Pro Angler and Rippin Lips 7'6" rods. 65 lb braid, 40 lb mono leaders.

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Fish Bite rod holders

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Last edited by BigPoppa007; 08/28/21 02:54 PM.

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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14111651 08/28/21 07:31 PM
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It's interesting reading all these posts based on experience with different gear, with so much experience and knowledge.

I have two set ups I bought specifically for the pursuit of catfish, and now decided to purchase two more rigs so that I can fish 4 rods off the back of my boat.

I decided to purchase two more Abu C3's, I really like them, and then decided on two Big Cat Fever rods per Chris (El Gato Azul) experience and the amazing videos on their site.

But nope.

You cannot buy any gear right now, as everything is out of stock and back ordered due to the Rona.

Dang!

soap


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Re: Rod and Reel combos and Rod holders [Re: Fish Killer] #14119945 09/05/21 10:20 AM
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I bought one of the BCF trolling rods and one of the Shimano Tekota 600 HGAs. That reel is built like no other reel I've ever used. I put the combo to use this weekend and right away pulling boards with it, you can see how the soft tip smooths out the pull. This is not an inexpensive combo but the quality is unmistakable. I thought it was a nice touch that BCF gives you a rod sock with the rod. I run 6 rods most of the time and 6 of these combos is pushing $2000. This is serious gear but it has the look and feel of something that will last generations. Shout out to El Gato Azul for turning me on to them...Thanks Chris.


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