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CatMaxx Reel Review

Catmaxx ReelCatmaxx Reel Review – Catmaxx CMX-3 Round Baitcast Reel

I have received a couple of questions by email about the Catmaxx reel over the last few weeks and whether the Catmaxx Reel was a good fishing reel, so I put together a review of the Catmaxx reel.

I used these reels exclusively for about 2 years.

I was first attracted to the Catmaxx because they were one of the few products on the market that were round baitcasters that had large line capacity and also had a thumb bar. They were appealing to me because they were considerably cheaper than the Abu Garcia’s that I had been using.

I purchased 1 or 2 of these from Bass Pro Shops and started fishing with them using punch bait over soured wheat towards the end  of the summer one year and was really pleased with them overall. They casted well, were smooth and had a good smooth drag.

I had been using the Abu Garcia 6500C3, 6600CB and the Rocket. After fishing with the Catmaxx for smaller fish for a few months I decided to get some more and try my hand with them for trophy blue catfish, so I purchased several more.

I think I ultimately ended up with a fleet of 8 or 10 of these and  I fished with them for a long time on my guided fishing trips.

They were good reels and I did not have any issues with them at all for quite some time. I am very hard on fishing tackle and rods and reels so I was very happy with how well they held

Then I started having some problems with them. They were normal problems that you have with fishing reels when you put them through heavy use (I probably use fishing reels more in one month than most people do in several years). There were random issues with them like bait clickers (line alarms) breaking and the pawls wearing out but overall I was still very pleased with them.

The biggest issue was Bass Pro Shops didn’t stock parts locally, and none of the local reel repair places stocked parts either.

The reels had to be shipped back to Bass Pro Shop’s reel repair facility or you had to order the Catmaxx reel parts from them.

Bass Pro Shop did go above and beyond to take care of me and make sure I was satisfied when I complained about them not having the parts locally. The local manager of the Bass Pro Shop had the parts overnighted to me the first time free of charge so I could get them fixed and get back to fishing.

I ultimately quit using these reels and went back to my Abu Garcia 6500C3 reels because of the lack of availability of parts. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these to a casual angler who is using them for weekend fishing but if you are using them for heavy long term use then you should find another reel.

Product Links

Bass Pro Shops CatMaxx CMX-3 Round Baitcast Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Classic Round Baitcast Reels

To get more information on catfish reels click here to check out our tutorials and other reviews. You’ll find more information on a wide range of topics on catfish reels.

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. Hello. I just received one of the 8 1/2′ Ugly Stik Steelhead rods you recommended. I see why you like it. I also ordered an Abu Garcia Alphamar 12 reel for the rod. Makes a nice combo. I plan to use it for some surf and pier fishing at the coast as well as catfishing.

    I am impressed by the whole outfit and was wondering if you’ve tried the Alphamar 12.


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