1. Just purchased 2 8 ft. Heavy rippin lips off amazon and fished this past Saturday night for fathead. Partner and me each fished one and 8 ft. M H cat max each. After catching 35 10 12 6 3 realized none were caught on new rods. I don’t think we were able to detect a strike with the heavier rods sitting in holders. We use j hooks and pick up the rod at the first sign of a strike. After reading this I realize I may have gone to fast on the action.

    • Try using circle hooks ( the cats just about hook them selves.) I fish for what we call monster cats 50 lbs +. and good luck. : P

    • The one I had was a good rod and had plenty of power
      Just didn’t handle the riggers of rough river fishing. Snapped rod about mid-length setting hook on large channel cat below outlet. It had a good life, caught some good fish and paid like 50 bucks for it.

  2. You can keep your bait casting reels. Never have liked them, and never will. I will stick with my reliable Daiwa Emcast Sport 6000 spinning reels. They have never let me down, even when hauling in 20-30LB blues. Thank you for the tip regarding ceramic guides and braid, though. As much as I love my Cabela’s king kat rod, it looks like it is best that I retire it to small lake fishing. I only use Berkley big game for those lakes. I use braid, when fishing the Mississippi, and lately, at my favorite power plant lake. I will try to find a spinning version of one of the rods suggested listed, though a part of me wants longer than 10ft, for cast distance. The buoys, at that power plant lake I mentioned, have been moved out further, at my favorite spot. I am having trouble reaching where I used to cast, and really would rather not use more than a 4oz weight.

  3. Chad,

    In the late 90’s my dad and I started targeting trophy blues and on two separate occasions we were out gunned. The first time I had a heavy 7ft muskie rod with a penn 209 and 60lb line. The fish knew he was hooked but didn’t get to excited about the pressure I applied to it. After about 30 minutes of fighting my hook straightened out. The other time we had an offshore tuna rod with a penn 309 and 100lb line. This fish knew he was hooked and fought hard keeping it’s head down. After almost an hour the line broke and we never gained any line back on the reel we lost when it pulled. Both were below a damn with turbines going and we were on the bank. Any ideas how to change this around? After moving away in 1999 to join the Army it looks like I’m finally heading home and I’d really not like to repeat those losses. Thanks

  4. Hi Mr ferguson. I am looking for a rod and reel combo that can be used for off shore catfishing up here in Lake Erie. We have some good sized cats up here that include trophy blues and channels but I’m mainly seeking a rod that can be used for 10-20 lb channels and the occasional big flatty and blue cat. I usually run a Carolina or zero rig from Bank fishing in the lake but right now I’m using a rippin lips medium heavy with a Abu Garcia 6000 baitcaster. Since i wasn’t detecting bites on the rod because of it being so heavy I now use my bait clicker and I know this setup is not right. I’m looking for a combination that fits together more for my style of fishing. I’m trying to become a professional catfisherman and I study the fish, patterns, etc. And I’ve won some tournaments but I need your help here because I’m not use to using the circle hooks quite yet. Any suggestions on rod and reel combo. Oh, and I’m currently using 20lb mono fluorescent orange whisker seeker line. Which I’m sure you would say is fine. But yeah my rod and reel combo is being quite unforgiving lately, especially using these circle hooks. Please help me out 🙂 sincerely……. Your future competition.

  5. I would like to disagree on the guide lines of the spinning rods ,Because having to many guide lines can cause stiffness and flatness to the rod as well as making the rod heavier . That’s why some spinning rods like the ugly stik catfish spinning combo have single footed guides ,so that it keeps the rod at a decent weight as well as its sensitive action that also helps power in the lunkers . They don’t call the ugly stik ; the most powerful sensitive rod for a reason ! although sporting braid on the spinning rods can cause wear to the single guide lines as well as the inserts .

  6. I’m very interested in the Chad Ferguson Signature series Whisker Seeker rod for catfishing, but in the interest of saving money, I was hoping to find a rod with the capabilities of detecting small bites from small channel cats to landing upwards of 100lb sturgeon. Would this rod, and if not would any other rod, be suitable or do I need to fork up some extra dough for 2 rods?

  7. when I registered my whisker seeker catfish rod 7’6” mh , you had a 9’6” mh rod listed . do you sell sell the longer rod?

  8. Hi there,
    I’m going to the river amazon in February 2016.
    I was considering buying one of your whisker 2 piece rods at 7ft 6 inch,There are plainly some very big fish there but I don’t want to fish with a insensitive broomstick.
    Do you think this rod will deal with anything the Amazon is potentially able to chuck at me, understandably I want to be aware of even small fighting cats etc.
    What reel would you use…multiplier or fixed spool.
    Do you ship to the uk?

  9. Hello Chad. I have a medium heavy fast action titanium rod. I was wondering if you think that would be strong and flexible enough to bring in trophy flathead. I know that graphite is to weak and will not flex very far but I wasn’t sure about titanium rods. Thanks

  10. We are looking to upgrade our catfish inventory. What set up would you recommend for shore fishing for channels and blues?

  11. I was looking at your Whisker Seekers rod. Looks like a great product. Just one question, Should I go with the 7’6 M/H or the 9’6 Heavy? I fish from the bank and use pretty only circle hooks. What would you recommend?

  12. Have you tried the Berkley Tec Cat Hunter rods? I found a 8′ MH model in a store and I liked the feel a lot. It felt quite strong (I put it through the ringer as much as I would with any rod I don’t own or want to end up paying for) but it was surprisingly light.

  13. Will you be making the medium heavy rod in 9.5 foot for those of us who fished from the bank and don’t need the heavy action rod? Thanks for your time and all the knowledge

  14. Can you please make the MH in a two piece 9’6″ for us bank fishers who do not need or want a heavy action rod? Thank you for your time and knowledge as well.

  15. Hey Chad, I’m new to cat fishing. I fish mainly from a boat (bass). What do you recommend for starters? I’m debating between your 7’6″ heavy matched with a Garcia 6500 or the 9’6″ heavy with the Garcia 7000. Thanks for your help

  16. Chad,
    News to cat specific fishing. Thinking about the Abu Garcia ambassador c3 6500 catfish special and one of your rods. Will be fishing for blues and flatheads primarily with some channels form boats Android banks. My guess for a rod would be your MH 7.6ft rod? What do you think?

  17. Hey Chad I’m fishing a local catfish tournament this august, I was wondering in your opinion- what the best rod and reel for catching any size cat- small, medium, and big is, thank you!

  18. Hi Chad,

    First of all, great site with tons of information about catfish, it has become the go-to website for information.

    I’m fairly new to fishing catfish and got me a Cat Buster from BassPro, would say this would be ok or would you recommend yours instead?

    If yours is recommended, what is the reel it could be matched with?

  19. Hows it going chad just wanted to say thanks for all the things you have covered in your articles ive fished for catfish sense i was a kid and always used spinning reels and always just used the bait casters for bass and just all around lure fishing and a few times deep sea fishing but i got me a few bait casters for catfishing and damn does it make a big difference like i said just wanted to say thanks for all the great tips and tricks ill be ordering a few of your rods soon

  20. I like your info here on the site. I would like to purchase a couple of your books, But they a to expensive for me. I am a Vet and 100% disabled, so I have a very limited income. Do you know where I could purchase your books used at a good price.

    Thank you!

  21. I need some clarification. I read in one area that you only designed casting rods because you don’t like spinning outfits and wont design or put your name on (I forgot what exactly was said) a product you wont use. Then I saw that there is a Chad Ferguson MN spinning rod available from I’m not a fan of bait casters, ( I could birds nest a cane pole), and my hands don’t always work really good. I have said all of this to ask this and please be honest; Is the spinning rod of good quality and action and should I be happy with it or is it just a product to make money with? I realize this is a funny question but I have limited “fun” money and want to invest in a nice quality rod that I will be happy with for a long time. Thank you very much, Tracy Jones

  22. I am buying an Abu Garcia catfish 7000 c3 for the visibility at night and the “clicker” function for fishing from a kyak/canoe and shore. Also using braided 60lb test with a variety of weights in stinkers up to 8oz and I was wondering what what rod from the list would be a good choice because I do fish at night with no lights other than when I am baiting my circle hooks and want a rod that I can see in low light conditions without the use of glowsticks or anything like that.

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