Catfishing Baitcasters Reels – Buyer’s Guide

Catfishing Baitcasters Reels – Buyer’s Guide. Catfish are widely regarded as one of the world’s most sought-after freshwater fish for a variety of reasons. They have been known to grow to enormous sizes and are one of the most tenacious freshwater animals on the planet.

They are regarded as a ‘heavyweight’ fish by rod and reel fisherman the globe over, with only the most proficient fishing aficionados daring to pursue them.

When it comes to choosing a reel designed primarily for catfishing, there are a few critical elements to consider.

Indeed, many of the same considerations you might make when selecting a bass fishing reel or a reel for another species of fish simply do not apply when it comes to catfish reels.

Catfishing Baitcasters Reels – Critical Points 

In most cases, these reels will come with their own set of quality indicators designed to ensure that you have the performance capabilities necessary to contend with a massive, trophy catfish. Here are some of the most critical points to consider while shopping for a catfish reel.

  • One of the most critical factors to consider when looking for the best reels for catfish is the precise type or style of reel. As most anglers are aware, when it comes to catfishing or pursuing nearly any other kind of fish, one can select between a spin-cast reel, a spinning reel, or a baitcasting reel.
  • Each reel-type will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages, or pros and cons. Understanding and evaluating the many positive and negative characteristics of these reels is the first step in your quest to locate the best reel for catfishing.
  • Baitcasting reels are widely regarded as the best option for serious catfish anglers. This is because baitcasting reels enable anglers to use extremely heavy lines of all types, as well as make extremely accurate casts out to substantial distances. Simply said, there are numerous reasons why experienced anglers should seek out baitcasting reels rather than spinning or spin cast models.

Consider the Following When Purchasing a Catfish Reel

Here are some of the most critical traits and performance capabilities to consider while shopping for the best catfish reels.

While some of these factors are more critical than others, you should evaluate each one if you want to locate the greatest potential reel for your catfishing escapades.

System of Drag

The drag mechanism of the reel is regarded as the most critical performance element that is sometimes disregarded by anglers wanting to purchase a reel that appears to be a good bargain and may be supplied at an acceptable price.

The highest-quality reels will feature a strong drag system, as catfish are renowned for being one of the most difficult-pulling fish in the world’s waterways.

These freshwater colossi have no issue ripping apart a badly constructed drag system, which can damage your reel and result in you losing the fish.

A decent drag system enables you to grapple with the catfish and keep solid contact with it while gradually wearing it down.

If the catfish can pull harder than the drag can provide, the line can easily snap or the drag can be stripped away. Consider a drag system constructed of high-quality materials, such as solid metal drag washers—not plastic or another material.


Another critical element to remember when shopping for the best catfish reels is to opt for one that is constructed of high-quality material that will resist cracking or breaking under strain.

The best catfish reels are constructed from extremely resistant, durable materials that are frequently heavier than other forms of building material.

While most reels are promoted as being ‘lightweight,’ this is not a necessary feature for catfish reels. Indeed, anglers would be wise to purchase a reel with solid aluminum or other metal housing and side plates, as this will ensure that the reel does not break or crack in the same way that graphite is prone to do.

Stainless steel is another excellent material for reel construction since it ensures that you are not as vulnerable as you would be with weaker, lighter material.

Bear in mind that when it comes to catfishing, you’re going to be dealing with extremely large fish, and any company that advertises its reel as being lighter than the competition should be approached with caution.

Line Capacity

In extreme instances, catfish have been known to rip hundreds of feet of line in a matter of minutes. One of the most important features that seasoned catfish fishermen look for in a quality catfishing reel is the amount of line that the reel can accommodate on the spool.

This is a point that can create some confusion when deciding between a reel that can handle significantly more lines and one that is specifically intended to accommodate heavier lines, which is more appropriate for catfishing.

Keep an eye on the reel’s capacity while using a heavier line, which should be at least 12 to 20 pounds in most circumstances.

Anything less than this pound test rating will simply not hold a candle to the trophy catfish that inhabit the lakes and rivers of North America and other parts of the planet.

Gears Ratio

Another major area of disagreement amongst several of the fishing industry’s leading brands that are deemed well-suited for catfishing is the gear ratio. This value varies significantly between the numerous types of reels, as well as the size and other factors at play.

The gear ratio simply refers to the number of spool rotations obtained when the reel’s handle is fully rotated. When catfishing, it’s best to use a gear ratio slightly greater than that of most other reels.

This allows you to crank in more line with each handle turn, which can be a significant advantage for anglers locked in a tense struggle with a hard-pulling fish that constantly makes hard and fast runs away from your boat or position, forcing you to make up ground through patience and relying on your reel to do its job.


As with most other types of reels, when it comes to selecting the best catfish reels, you’ll want to get a model with a large number of ball bearings. In general, the more ball bearings a reel contains, the smoother its casting and retrieving movement on the water will be.

Anglers fishing for catfish is unlikely to undertake as much casting as they do while fishing for other species.

This means that you’ll want to look for and concentrate on a reel that reels the line in smoothly. Additionally, pay attention to the material used to manufacture the ball bearings, as poorly constructed ball bearings almost always result in a wobbly or uneven sensation when reeling in the line.

Dimensions and Weight

The final factor to consider when shopping for the best catfishing reels is the product’s size and weight. Given that you’re going after larger, heavier fish, it’s unnecessary to have a lightweight reel, since this will prove to be more of a hindrance than an advantage.

The reel must be large enough to accommodate a substantial amount of heavier fishing line, as the tiny diameter light line is ineffective against giant, heavy catfish. Consider a larger reel capable of handling heavier lines to give yourself the best potential edge on the water when fishing for catfish.

It’s also unnecessary to worry about the reel’s weight, as you’re unlikely to be casting your outfit out as frequently as you would for anything like largemouth bass or pike. Occasionally, a heavier reel constructed of stainless steel or aluminum will provide the most benefit when pursuing catfish.


A high-quality catfish baitcaster reel will surely supply you with some unique characteristics not seen on most anglers’ reels. Bear in mind that catching some of these gigantic, trophy-sized cats will require a reel that is both large and sturdy enough to withstand the challenge.

With the topics covered in this buyer’s guide and our list of the top ten catfish reels, you should have everything you need to become a seasoned catfishing expert.

Spread the love

Leave A Comment