When I started posting some recent videos like the Catfishing Quick Tips introduction video and some of my recent GoPro Hero camera videos people spotted my arsenal of Team Catfish Thunder Cat catfish rods in the background of some of these videos and I immediately started getting questions about these rods.
I started covering catfish rods here on the site quite some time ago but have yet to even scratch the surface of fishing rods for catfish. For years I have been using salmon and steelhead rods for catfish like the Ugly Stik Salmon Rods and switching over to the Team Catfish Thunder Cat catfish rods was a major shift for me. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a catfish rod and finding a single fishing rod that will work for all species of cats and in all applications is in my opinion, difficult.
*Note: If you want some background information on these fishing rods listen to Episode 11 of Catfishing Radio where I interviewed Jeff Williams . You should also listen to the podcast on choosing a catfish rod as well.
Team Catfish Thunder Cat Catfish Rod Review
When Jeff Williams first sent me a few Thunder Cat Catfish Rods it was the first time I had ever seen them in person. I had some clients who fish with me who were raving about them and talking about how much they liked them but had never actually laid eyes on them. Knowing Jeff and the other Team Catfish products I was confident that the Thunder Cat Catfish Rods were an excellent quality fishing rod, the bigger question was whether or not they were a good fit for my catfishing techniques I use when fishing clients with North Texas Catfish Guide Service.
Some of the basics I look for in a rod include:
It must have a long handle
It must be durable
It must have good quality eyes on it and I prefer nothing with ceramic inserts
It must have a tip soft enough for catfishing with circle hooks
Weight of the fishing rod is a major factor for me
I prefer something capable of fishing for blue catfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish
I was immediately impressed when I put my hands on the Thunder Cat’s for the first time. As I expected they are a solid built fishing rod and without a doubt are built from quality components. They are also a very nice looking fishing rod (though a rod looks like has absolutely no bearing in my decision on what to use). I really like the yellow on these and have taken a real liking to bright yellow (check out my yellow boat wrap).
The rods have all of the features and components and features I look for including the long handle, a tip soft enough for circle hooks and everything else already listed. The eyes on these rods and stainless steel reinforced eyes and are without a doubt the most solid rod eyes I have seen in a very long time.
The only hesitations I had initially about switching to the Thunder Cat rods were:
Going from using an 8’6” salmon and steelhead setup to a 7’6 inch. Having grown so accustomed to the longer gear losing a foot of length could be a major adjustment.
They were heavier (in weight) than what I have been using
They had a much heavier tip and backbone than what I have been using
With all that in mind, for years I would switch rods during the Fall and Winter months and go with a heavier fishing rod for catching winter trophy blues and would then switch back to the lighter weight rods in the Spring and Summer (not that the lighter weight rods cannot handle the big cats, because they can).
I have some theories I want to put to the test this winter and early Spring about trophy blue cats and decided a heavier fishing rod would be more fitting so I decided to make the plunge and switch to the Team Catfish Thunder Cat catfish rods and have been very happy with them.
I have used the rods for a couple of months now and have caught enough blue catfish (big and small with them) to feel confident in them, their durability and performance. I have these rods paired with Abu Garcia 6500 C3 fishing reels which are my “go to” catfish reels (you can learn more in choosing a catfish reel and also in the podcast on choosing a catfish reel).
They perform well using a variety of techniques including drift fishing or anchored fishing and are sensitive enough they will land 1 to 10 lb blues with circle hooks fishing with threadfin shad or gizzard shad but also have plenty of backbone for hauling in those big fish.
The Bottom Line On Team Catfish Thunder Cat Catfish Rods
OK, so enough with the ramblings, at the end of the day, what you care about is whether or not these rods are good or not, right?
Well built quality fishing rod
Great rod for a great price
They look great and are durable
All the features most catfish anglers look for. Long handle, sensitive tip for circle hooks and good stainless steel eyes
Blue Cats – A great choice
Trophy Blue Cats – A great choice
Flathead Catfish – A great choice
Channel Catfish – May be too heavy for fishing for some anglers preferences for fishing for channel cat or “finesse” techniques
If your looking for a fishing rod for blue or flathead catfish then they would be an excellent edition to your catfish tackle and gear and are an excellent value for the price.
These rods are e-glass rods so they are heavier (but also more durable) than graphite rods but part of that comes with a trade off in some loss of sensitivity. If you are a channel catfish angler who primarily fishes with prepared baits like the Sudden Impact Fiber Bait or other punch baits using tackle like the Secret Channel Catfish Rig then these rods might be too heavy for your preferences.
I will be using the Thunder Cat Catfish Rods through the Fall and Winter for fishing for blue catfish and trophy blue catfish!
To purchase the Team Catfish Thunder Cat Catfish rods visit the Team Catfish website.
To get more information check out our tutorial on Catfish Rods or better yet just click here get the FREE eBook Catfish Gear 101 that covers everything you need to know about choosing a catfish rod and reel and setting them up for success.
*Disclaimer, I am a Pro Staff Member through North Texas Catfish Guide Service with Team Catfish Tackle and they are also an advertiser on Catfishing Radio. I received no compensation or reimbursement for the review of this product and my professional affiliation with this company has no bearing in my opinions of this product.