Is this a good rod and reel setup for catfish?

I have a Zebco 888 spooled with 25 pound test line with a one piece 6’6” ugly stik reel. I mainly fish for large catfish in rivers and creeks.

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6 thoughts on “Is this a good rod and reel setup for catfish?

  1. You know the best is tie a one gallon milk carton to the 25 pound test line, with a piece of liver on it. Leave it over night, and the catfish will be on there.

    They are not like sports fish.

    oh, and tie the milk carton to a tree otherwise they will swim off with it.

    I had to go swim half way into the lake to get the carton to bring him in.

  2. Well, my honest answer would be no for the reel. I’ve never been a fan of spincast reels myself. I’m sure times have changed, but when I was a kid, all of the spincasts were very poorly made, and wouldn’t consistently handle anything bigger than a small Bass. I did look at that 888 reel just now, and it is about 35 bucks at Honestly, any reel in that price range isn’t going to be of good quality.

    If I were you, I would look into spinning reels, or baitcasting reels, if you’re familiar with them. You can find a fairly decent quality spinning reel for 60 bucks if you are patient. Do keep in mind, you need a fairly good sized spinning reel for Catfishing.

    As for your rod, it’s fine in my opinion. The Ugly Stiks are cheap, but they are damn near indestructible, and will handle bigger fish. I wouldn’t use one for anything other than Catfish, but again, I think they are fine for Catfishing.

  3. sure.
    the 888 is a big strong reel and will work fine.
    it will cast better if you drop down to 20lb line.
    and the use of a wire leader is ill advised. just use your mono with a sliding sinker, hook tied right at the end, with only a plastic bead between your hook and egg sinker. no leader.

  4. Well it depends on your style. Milkjug man is totally wrong. Catfish are definitely a sports fish… They fight super hard and will leave your heart thumping.
    As far as your equipment goes- use what you are comfortable with. I personally use 12 pound cajun line on a 300$ quantum setup. But I use enough drag where i can handle 20 lb channel catfish with 6lb line if I want. Then again I use #10 minnow hooks for all fishing, and i hardly ever miss with them.

  5. Trent that sounds like you have a good strong set up there and that should do the trick.

    I use a Heavy Rod 6 1/2 to 7ft in length with a 17 lb test and 20 lb steel leader, but do not p[ut the Hook eye through the leader or the Cat fish will snap the swivel. I put a small steel ring on the swivel and attach the hook to the ring not the swivel and this way when you hook the big daddy, he has to say his prayers, because he will be baptized in grease.

  6. The 6’6″ Ugly Stik is a solid choice. The Zebco 888 seems like a good spincasting reel as well, but I find that I don’t really care for catching big cats on spincasters.

    You’re right to use 25 lb test if you’re going after big river cats, but if you can’t get the casting distance you want, you have a few options:

    Spool the reel with smaller test. You can fight a cat with smaller line, but it’s going to take longer.
    Get a longer rod. I’ve used up to 9′ when shore fishing for big cats in hard to reach spots.
    Get a baitcasting reel. Any metal construction round baitcaster (not tear dropped like the bass ones) will serve you well in casting and reeling if you learn how to use it. These generally handle line big enough for saltwater fishing as well with ease.

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