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Buying Guide & Reviews

Our Top 3 Picks: Catfish Spinning Reels

by Mendel Yano 12 Aug 2022

The reels that you choose to fish for catfish is very much a mix of personal preference along with capability. As much as I love my 2000 size spinning reels for their lightweight design and compact size, they will do little against the monsters I see pulled in across the country tipping the scales in the twenty pound and up weights. I have chosen my top picks of catfish spinning reels below for the reasons listed. As a huge supporter one might guess that they are all KastKing reels and for the purpose of this article are all spinning reels based on my experience and what I have used here at the west coast.

3) KastKing Megatron Spinning Reel

Catfish spinning reel

Talk about power! For those that fish for catfish, you know that these beasts can be sluggish and heavy but when they want to pull, they can absolutely surprise you with some real power. The Megatron is the perfect reel for taking on some of the largest contenders. With sizes ranging from 2000 all the way to 6000, KastKing has you covered when fishing for all sizes. A couple of key features include a “powertrain” with components that are built to withstand even the toughest of fish. Comes stock with carbon fiber disc drag that can put out up to 30lbs of drag! One might be concerned at this point if there is a possibility that the reel frame will torque on the rod at that point. The engineers have you covered by building the Megatron with an aluminum frame that is still lightweight but with enough strength to resist a bent reel post or any side-to-side frame bending. Like many of the KastKing reels they overcompensate to keep the reel running smooth with 7+1 double shielded bearings throughout the reel. An incredible reel, I have one and take it if I am fishing for large cats or even while ocean fishing.

2) KastKing Spartacus II Spinning Reel

KastKing catfish spinning reel

We may differ here but for all those parents or people that take kids out to fish you will understand. Simply, the Spartacus II works and it works well. Super smooth reeling along with the durability that I have seen dropped and slid across the cement, even dunked in a bucket and it just performs. Tough while maintaining the smooth reeling and drag this reel is my favorite reel for working around a lake or having for fishing derbies where the fishing can get rather hectic and kids are involved. As if you need a bit more reasons, the bright silver and matte looking amazing with the bronze and red of the reel. My son gets so many compliments on just how fierce the reel looks I can’t recommend a reel more than the Spartacus II for best all-around use.

So now we have covered the spinning reels for the beasts in the water and what I feel is the more efficient, economical and if I have to say it the best-looking reel I own, so let’s talk about catfishing. Catfishing in many ways is a patience game. You bait your hook the best you know and use the knowledge you have to try and outsmart these bulky little buggers. I am sure many of us are familiar with rod bells. Those little indicators that clip on to the end of your rod to make a jingle when bit is used with so many types of fishing. While helpful, they provide no assistance and can actually get in the way when you are ready to set a hook. Other people use a bobber or something that hangs from the line. This type of indicator is great because if you are getting bit, the weight of the bobber provides a touch of resistance and the slack is taken up by the fish before it hits the rod and may feel the line. It works but like anything there is a downside. If the fish bites then swims towards the indicator it won’t always feed so the bobber shows a fish on the line. More common that that is wind takes the line and the bobber will be up but there is actually no fish on the line, just more slack on top or in the water. The next reel aimed to end this with some technology

1) KastKing Sharky III Bait feeder

Best castfish spinning reel

As if the Sharky III namesake was not enough of a seller for you, there are some other incredible features that this reel has that makes it my number one choice to catch catfish. For those who don’t know the Sharky III is one of the best selling reels that Kast King makes, I have four now and it is for good reason. The Sharky is known for its durability and its ability to be used both in salt and fresh water applications. Now many of the other KastKing reels now include sealed bearings that are vital for salt water but the bait feeder actually has 10+1 shielded bearings making it even more resistant to residue that damages the bearings of any reel. Some other attributes include the T-handle that helps get some extra cranking power along with the bait feeding system itself. For those that don’t know the bait feeder knob is at the bottom of the reel and acts as an indicator and drag for unattended reels. You can set the bait feeding resistance by turning the knob and switch the gear to engage the bait feeder using a large switch. When the fish bites they will take line, which will help set the hook with the resistance and provide the angler a clicking noise. Simply grab the reel and start turning the handle and the bait feeding system will click off and you will just be using a reel like any other. For those that have not used it before, it is so helpful and does not impede any smooth reeling that you would expect from KastKing. If that all was not enough, the reel actually comes with a second spool so you can load up different size lines for whatever kind of fishing you are doing.

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