Best Catfish Reel

Best Catfish Reel

​Fishing reels meant for catching catfish are normally a matter of a big discussion and the area that fresh catfish fishermen waste a lot of money thus we have come up with this ultimate guide ​for the catfish reels to serve the purpose.

​Even with a small knowledge about the features you need in a good catfish reel and the requirements the reel comes with, you are most likely to save a lot of money, time and headaches at the long run. On that note, this guide will allow you to get a deep understanding of the ​catfish reels and the requirements for each.

​More so, it will let you know about the pros and cons of each reel so that when choosing any of the reels, you will have a prior knowledge about its weaknesses or strengths. That way, you can achieve the best with your reel.

​The guide will also put together the frequently asked questions that can help you get the answers to the major concerns about these types of reels. Hence, this is the great guide that you need to read before buying your catfish reel.


​Product Name




Abu Garcia C3-6500 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Baitcast Fishing Reel

​14.4 ounces


Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, 7 Feet, Medium Heavy Power

​1.4 pounds


Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel

​1.7 pounds


Shimano TEKOTA, Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel, 800

​2.6 pounds


Team Catfish Gold Ring Casting Reel

​1 pounds

7.5" x 5" x 3"​

Ready 2 Fish Catfish Spin Rod and Reel Combo

2.4 pounds

3" x 5" x 44"

Miss No Fish - MissNoFish - Portable Fishing Pole Holder That Sets a Hook- Perfect for Catfish Fishing - Best gift for Fisherman - Set it and forget it then reel in your catch

​1.9 pounds


Quantum Fishing Accurist 7.0:1 Baitcasting Fishing Reel, Right Hand



Penn 1259877 Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel, 6500LL

​2.1 pounds

​8" x 6" x 5"

Top 9 Best Catfish Reel Buyer's Guide & Review

​1.Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish reel

Abu Garcia C3-6500 Ambassadeur Catfish Special Round Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish reel is a round reel specifically made for catfish. It is made smooth with one roller bearing as well as three stainless ball bearings. Consistent and smooth drag is made possible by a Carbon Matrix drag system. The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish reel also has centrifugal brake facilitated by a 6-pin system. These brakes systems spread uniform pressure for an excellent precise cast. Another additional feature that Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish reel has is the feature that aids in dealing with hard-pulling fish.

These are the stretched bent cranking grips and power knob that gives extra torque. The reel is capable of dealing with big fish species such as big blues, channel cats, and other wild catfish species. It has a mono capacity of 320/12, braid capacity of 310/30, max drag of 15 lbs, a gear ratio of 5:3:1, 26 inches in a turn, a lure weight of 11.6 and a right-hand retrieve.

What we like

✅ The reel has a nice smooth retrieve because of the flawlessly arranged bearings that offer fluid operation.

What we didn't like

🚫 The reel is relatively expensive and may not be suitable for beginners who are out to try various reels.

​2.Abu Garcia Catfish Commando reel

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, 7 Feet, Medium Heavy Power

Just like the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish reel, this is also particularly designed for fishing catfish. It is made for softness and that is enhanced by the two stainless ball bearings. Like the other Abu Garcia Catfish reel, it is also has a Carbon Matrix drag system that brings about consistent and smooth drag that is important for angling such type of fish.

For a precise cast, this reel is made with a 4-pin centrifugal brake that distributes pressure fairly on it. The reel has a lightweight composite blank architecture with bold styling. The rod that comes with Abu Garcia Catfish Commando reel is 7 feet long and it a medium heavy power. This product's measurements are 86 x 7 x 4 inches.

What we like

✅ This reel and its combo give a fluid, relaxed feel that assists in minimizing tiredness because of the elongated inclined cranking arm and star wheel.

✅ The reel couples well with the composite blank rod, which has high-density EVA handles for adequate comfort and sensitivity. This is made possible by the elongated bent cranking arm.

What we didn't like

🚫 ​In case you are outside the United States, you will not have shipping privileges as this item is not available for international shipping.

​3.The Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel

Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel

The Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel is more like the other two (Abu Garcia Catfish Commando and Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish) reels but it has some few variations. It has one roller bearing and two stainless steel ball bearings that provide smooth performance. Like the other two reels, it has Carbon Matrix drag system that produces smooth, steady drag pressure transversing the whole drag range.

Additionally, it has prolonged bent arm for improved cranking ability. Regarding the brakes, this is similar to Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Catfish as it has 6-pin centrifugal brake that is meant to deliver regular brake pressure throughout the cast. To facilitate castability and line lay, the Abu Garcia C3 Catfish Special Round Reel has a synchronized level wind system. The reel 4.1:1 Gear Ratio, braid capacity of 420/40 and a mono capacity of 250/20. The reel handle position is on the right-hand side. The reel spool element is Aluminum and this reel also has the anti-reverse feature.

What we like

✅ The stretched bent arm with power knob allows anglers to have extra torque and control for hard pulling fish.

4. Shimano TEKOTA fishing reel

Shimano TEKOTA, Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel, 800

In case you are ready to get to the high end, this fishing reel for Catfish is a bomb-proof saltwater, super-smooth trolling reel that makes it the ultimate big catfish reel. It is worth noting that the Tekota is a line-counter level-wind reel that is built to stand up to catch fish in the 50lb+ series with ease. This Tekota has a threaded aluminum frame and a full metal as well as metal-backed graphite covers. More so, the reel feels amazingly solid in the hand when holding but still has that Shimano refinement and smoothness.

The Shimano TEKOTA fishing reel can spool 370yds of 40lb mono and deal it back out when it is under 24lbs of drag brake pressure. The entire controls that are in this reel are excellent. The clicker is loud and positive, and the clutch lever is comfortable to work in all situations. The TEK800 is compressed well to palm but robust enough to take on a 100lb blue cats. The handle is strong thus letting you bring in  33 inches of the line per crank. Everyone who has been fishing loves saltwater durability and power on their side while fighting huge catfish and this catfish reel is a top pick that can do well for that.

What we like

✅ ​It has saltwater toughness

✅ ​The Smooth 3-bearing action is good for cat fishing

What we didn't like

🚫 ​It is relatively expensive

​5.Team Catfish Gold Ring Reel

Team Catfish Gold Ring Casting Reel

Team Catfish Gold Ring Reel is a reel that would suit most conditions on rivers and lakes. In case you have been looking for then this is it. Team Catfish Ring reel Casts distant and feels smooth. The HI SPEED retrieval ratio for this reel is 6.1 to 1. The side plates are aluminium made. It also has a one-piece aluminium frame, an instant anti-reverse system as well as 5 bearing stainless steel system. Another significant feature of the Team Catfish Gold Ring Reel is the magnetic cast control that has a wind-age dial intended for big hard to cast baits.

The handle is of the heavy-duty power category. Its bait clicker that is a low profile type is shielded from the palm of your hand to make sure the clicker is never hurt by mistake. The reel foot is extra heavy with very large structure rivets. The handle has a soft power knot and it is an aluminium power class. Also, the reel has drive gears as well as the brass pinion.

What we like

✅ It is easy to cast with this reel.

What we didn't like

🚫 One customer observed that its design is an old version.

Ready 2 Fish Catfish Spin Rod and Reel Combo

The ready 2 fish catfish spin rod & reel combo comes with a watertight kit and tear-resistant wholly guided "How To Fish" instructions. The guide is meant to assist beginners but can also be an advantageous source to more experienced fishermen. More so, it includes well-drawn rigging leads which present comprehensive instructions for a buyer.

This combo has a color-coded ETS finish that resembles the combo making them simple to carry and keep track of. It has a 2-piece fibreglass rod having an EVA handle, chrome guides, graphite reel seat as well as an aluminium protectors and high clarity rod tip. The product's measurements are 3 X 5 X 44 inches and it has a pre-spooled ball bearing of size 55 spinning reel with aluminium spool attached to a 7 feet medium heavy action system.

What we like

✅ If you are a beginner, this will get you well started because of the guide that comes with it.

✅ It is easy to transport due to the color-coded ETS closure.

What we didn't like

🚫 It mostly suits beginners and the experienced anglers.

🚫 It can just be shipped within the United States.

7. MissNoFish Catfishing reel

Miss No Fish - MissNoFish - Portable Fishing Pole Holder That Sets a Hook- Perfect for Catfish Fishing - Best gift for Fisherman - Set it and forget it then reel in your catch

The MissNoFish Catfishing reel is set up that comprises a manageable Fishing pole holder which sets a hook and a bucket. It is set by the angler and whenever there is a bite, it triggers immediately and clasps the pole back. Setting it up can take less than one minute since there are no poles to hold onto the ground.

The setup is transferable since it closes onto any regular utility bucket. Again, once done, it snaps off again. The reliability of the reel and combo is guaranteed by the fact that is a heavy duty. The system has no that may snap, break, or injure. When the bucket is well loaded, it can be sufficient to hold even the big fish.

What we like

✅ It is simple to set because it does not require poles to hold on the ground.

✅ This does well in areas where you cannot find a holder such as a rock in the ground. You just need to add a load or fill in 5-gallon bucket, sit back and expect the sound.

What we didn't like

🚫 Every time you want to remove the Miss No Fish from my bucket, you will have to lift up on the different clips.

8. Quantum Accurist PT LP

Quantum Fishing Accurist 7.0:1 Baitcasting Fishing Reel, Right Hand

The Quantum Accurist PT LP Baitcast Reel has the round reel layout for effective power. A high-capacity aluminium spool enables you to load up with a huge line, and the mighty power arm maximizes revolution to assist you to overcome big cats, gar or stripers. With the reel is a rod that has heavy catfish operations in a long-lasting, ultra-powerful E glass blank for adjustable responsiveness and the ability to overcome even the biggest fish. The reel is selectable, loud and bites intelligent. Also, it has a high-capacity aluminium spool and a great power arm. On top of that is a Synchronous class wind Stainless steel reel foot.

The rod that comes with the Quantum Accurist PT LP Catfish reel has heavy catfish actions. It is made of tough Z-glass material. The guide frame is strong and double-footed and it is made of Abrasion-repellent ceramic. The handle is made comfortable by EVA grips. The reel seat is stainless and it is hooded. Its 7 feet rod and a gear ratio of 4:2:1 and a line capacity of 20/360.

What we like

✅ It has the capability of dealing with even the bigger fish.

What we didn't like

🚫 The combo is relatively expensive.

9. Penn Spinfisher V 6500LL Spinning Reel

Penn 1259877 Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel, 6500LL

The Penn 6500LL is a fishing reel that will do well on catfish. It is an elegant reel that is devised to manage the rigors of the saltwater angling with water-tight structure and over-built features. More so, it is not that heavy for fixing on a catfish rod. This 6500LL  has a complete metal body and rotor, a heavy-duty aluminum bail and a machined aluminum spool.

A complete metal lubricated materials and a total of 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings give regular, robust action. Since the spool is super line-set, there is no backing required for coiling on up to about 430yds of 30lb braid. While the HT-100 carbon drag is able to lay on 30lbs of stress, the reel has a speedy 5.6:1 retrieve that braces in 39 inches of the line for every turn.

This enables it to handle a lot of line when fishing deep or drifting baits. The line capacity marks on this Penn Spinfisher reel is good because they are so effective when free-lining bait. This is an amazing reel having a feel that is almost as powerful and sturdy as the best round reels. Actually, it is among the top pick for the catfish-capable reels.

What we like

✅ It has a waterproof shield

✅ It has a tough build and a great handle

What we didn't like

🚫 When it is fixed on shorter bulky rods, it becomes unbalanced

Buyer's Guide For The Best Catfish Reels

​There a number of things that you need to examine when choosing ​​your prefer catfish reel at the fair price. To assist you on these, below are some tips that will help you make the right decision before settling on any reel for your catfishing.

​i). Kind of Catfish.

​Learn the type of Catfish that you need to catch. There are some reels that are made for particular types of fishes. Understand your fish as well as your reel.

​ii). Matching the reel and rod.

​It is recommended that your rod should match with your reel. This is important so that the entire device performs excellently as a unit.

​iii). Quality of reel.

​Usually, go for quality reels that can endure a lot of weight and pressure. Note that normally catfish grow so large and that can put a lot of pressure on your reel. Choosing to purchase inexpensive model reels will just make you repair them many times because of wear and tear they are likely to undergo. This will, in turn, cost you more as compared to purchasing the quality ones in the first instance.

​iv). Gear ratio.

​Again, remember to check the gear ration of the reel that you intend to purchase. The gear ratio is the number of cycles that the spool will make during the individual full rotations of the handle. Don't forget the place that you will use it when selecting the gear ratio. The low gear ratios will do best for bottom fishing while high gear ratios are recommended for swift retrievals.

​v). Skill and level of expertise.

​Consider a reel that will go with your level of proficiency and skills. It is good to inquire that from the salesperson when you are planning to buy a reel. They will understand the best reel or even other tools that will fit your expertise and needs too.

​vi). Consider circumstances.

​Do a deep research on various types of reels and understand the one that will do best in every state. There are three major kinds of reels. These are the baitcasting reel, the bell reel and the spinning reel.

​vii). Rod and line compatibility.

​Remember to take into consideration the line and the rod you will use to ensure they are fit to the reel. For instance, a medium to a heavy rod that ranges from 7 to 9 feet in length plus a nice sturdy reel would do well with a 20-pound test line.

Additional information - (FAQ)

​How does the size of the catfish affect the type of reel that I need to choose?

​Recognize that the bigger cats can at times grow so large; above 50 pounds is so common. This implies that you should have a reel that can endure a lot of pressure originating from the massive load that is caused by the fish. Hence, the size of your catfish will always affect the kind of reel that you need to have.

​Does the environment of fishing influence the type of reel that I should have?

​It is normally recommended that you bear in your mind the place in which you will be doing the catfishing. Do a survey about the possible barriers that could disadvantage your line and end up damaging your reel. These factors will possibly make you pick a long-lasting reel.

​What the main types catfish reel that I need to select from and are they operated the same way?

​There are three varieties of fishing reels, bait cast reels, spin cast reels and spinning reels. The fundamental idea is the same, you turn a grip then the fishing line is dragged in and you catch fish. Apart from the basics, they are each distinct in many approaches.

​In case you have got the reels and the rods now, use it make it work as per the type of rod may require. Some reels may come with a guide that works for that particular reel. For instance, the Ready 2 use catfish reel comes with its user guide on how to use it and that will imply that when you follow those guides well, the chances of being successful with your catfishing is going to be higher.


Having a nice catfishing reel is a very critical factor to your fishing adventure and will so much improve your odds of being successful. On the other hand, not having the correct reel will like make you have a bit unpleasing happening. As a word of caution, you may believe that a reel, is just a reel. Well, that might sound correct according to some people. Nevertheless, neglecting recommendations for the right reel is not advisable if you are expecting to prosper in catfishing.

Some of the catfishing reels are costly and you do not need to spend your money on what might not work great. It is, therefore, worth mentioning that before spending your money anywhere, do a deep research on the best catfish reel. Take into account all the factors that might be distinct to you and go for the reel of your choice.

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