Question:

hi tiny

why do catfishermen use different lengths rods from 7 to 12 foot,even 6 foot i know on boat you do need shorter rods,but why on shore i see 10 to 12 foot rods,i use 7 to 9 med heavy action with 30 pound test should i go to 10 foot rods i have used 10 foot rods before also on reels i see fishermen using cast&spinning reels i use cast reels if i was to go to 10 foot rods should i get spinning for spinning holds more line also i am for first time i using gamakatsu octopus 7/0 hooks are this circle hooks or will package say circle hooks i am switching for 5/0 hooks

 

thanks james


Answer:

The only reason you'd need a longer rod is for casting distance ... if you need to cast further like down at the dam then you need a longer rod ... using heavy line on long rods defeats the purpose for them though ... when using a longer rod you go to lighter line and you can cast a lot further but you have to use a shock line. When I use surf rods I use 14 ft competition casting rods and I throw over 200 yards with those. I tie about 22 ft of 50 lb test on my mainline for a shock line ... that's for tieing the hook and sinker to and then 4 to 6 wraps on the reel ... once the shock line gets out of the guides then all you have left going through the guides during the cast is your mainline which should be about 15 lb test or smaller. 15 to 14 lb test on a surf rod will reel in most catfish but you have to have the drag set properly. My biggest bluecat on surf rods was 50.5 lbs and I was using 14 lb test USA1 shakespear line. The only reason for using long rods is to be able to get out to where the fish are like on the surf .. you need to be able to cast out to at least the third gut. A gut on the surf is ridges and valleys that are created by the oceanic current, waves and tide. Most of the fish are hanging out around the third gut so you need to be able to cast out that far. You can't cast a long ways with short rods. My boat rods are 6'3" muskie rods with 40 lb test Ande line. When you use short stiff rods like the ones I use it's best to go up in line size ... if you have rods that have a lot of give or are a limber rod like an ugly stick then you can use 25 lb test or even 20 lb test if you're using something like an Abu 6500c3 reel with a good drag on it and fishing an area that doesn't have much debris to get fouled on. What I'm mostly saying is the equipment should match the environment you're fishing ... if you're fishing an area that has a lot of debris and big catfish where you don't need to cast very far then short stiff rods with heavy line would be the best setup for that situation ... if you're fishing dams mostly then you need surf rods to get up to the dam which is usually 100+ yds from where you can stand ... casting distance is key at places like keystone dam so the best way to catch fish there is using a 14 ft surf rod. It's just common sense really ... you wouldn't want to use a 24" pipe wrench to work on a carberator ... now would you want to use pliers to try to tighten a 2" steel pipe joint. The tools must fit the job so this is what I'd plan on doing is accumulate different types of rods and reels to match the situation and don't just think that you gotta have longer rods for one reason or another or just because long rods are better than short rods because it's not like that ... you need both. Same with reels ... if you need to winch fish in then you need a winch reel like a Penn 209 like I use on the boat ... if you need casting distance then you want to go to a good casting reel like an abu Garcia 6500 or 7000c3 type reel ... if you're flathead fishing and need to let the fish run with the bait then you want a spinning reel ... but remember this ... spinning reels can't cast as far as baitcasters and spinning reels are hindered by heavy line ... you put heavy line on a spinning reel and cast it with smally guides on the rod and when the bait and sinker is going out the line slap sounds kinda like a weedeater hitting a fence post and won't cast very far like that ... spinning reels need smaller line and large guides on the rod so that they can cast normally ... spinning reels are more of a finesse type fishing reel. So get both and everything and then when you go fishing look over your collection and decide what would be best to take to the fishing hole you're going to.