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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is a good set up for cat fishing in the Juniata and possibly Susquehanna? Rod, reel, line. For now I am using a 6 and also 6 1/2 foot medium action rods and spinning reels with 10 pound line. Will eventually upgrade.
 

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I use a 9ft rod just in case I need to fling a bait out there, I have 50lb braid on a baitrunning reel. I use just a basic fish finder rig I have a no roll sinker...usually 2 or 3oz barrel swivel 40lb mono about 18inches or so and then a 7/0 circle hook. I use a bigger hook in case anything big is in the area and it doesn't keep smaller cats from getting hooked either...that post I have up in here is a 6.5lb catty and that was with a 7/0 hook. My bait is usually 1 rod with a live sunnie and 1 rod with a cut 1 and 1 rod with a shrimp
 

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I'd go longer on the rod - min 8' - medium action spin...

Mainline - 30 lb braid or if mono - 14lb test

then barrel swivel,
then 10lb test tippet -

(in case you get snagged good, most times you only lose the hook & bait.

Catfish rig - slip sinkers (you can buy premade ones or look t up on google to see how they are constructed)..

CIRCLE HOOKS ---> = da bomb - the fish hook themselves and I never have any fish come unglued...

Good Luck - go hammer some Cats
 

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I have 2 catfish rods, 1 rod doubles has a heavy bass rod.

1.) 6ft Fenwick Eagle GT(the cheapest Fenwick) with a 4000 series Shimano Spyrex with 12lb Mono. I usually fish it with a 1oz slip sinker rig and a treble hook. I use the treble on this rod for dip/punch baits, old trout pieces, or chicken livers. The treble hook holds the bait well and hooking percentages are high when you set the hook promptly.

2.)6ft Ugly stick with an old Penn 720Z(great reel) with 20lb Mono P-Line Super-Strong. 20lb Mono is [censored] strong and the stretch really helps fighting big fish w/o a break off. I'm always fishing live bait(sunny or chubs) on this rod with a 6/0 circle hook.

I generally fish from a boat, so a 6ft rod is plenty, I don't need to cast far and long rods are a pain to deal with on a boat. Long rods have a benefit for shore fishermen.

Regarding braid, I still consider it a solution for a problem that doesn't exist when catfishing on the Susquehanna. Its expense doesn't justify the gains for catfishing. It's not fun to horse fish right into the boat with 40lb braid and I wouldn't know if there is a tree in the water I need to steer the fish away from. I can't see the bottom in a catfish hole on the river. Most of the structure is rock.
 

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I agree - braid has limited applications,,,

I rigged up a Pfleuger Pres for bass fishing - first time using braid - to yank bass & my expensive lures from lily pads and other muck...

Braid is nasty stuff to leave behind in water if you lose a line - will entangle & cut up an unsuspecting wader...

but - it casts a country mile - and it is almost impossible to get a bird's nest like mono...

I am impressed with the 30lb braid - with 10' rod I can cast into the middle of river if need be... I use longer rods - because I want to enjoy battling a big fish - not Bull One in with Short Stick - a.la. TV Pro Bass Clowns..

regarding stretch - there is none with braid - and IMO - I see no need for line stretch with cats or carp - esp if using circle hooks... Most important thing is to anchor your rod & adjust drag- if you leave it on a Y stick - so the brute fish don't drag the whole rig into the murky depths...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. I should have mentioned I do fish from a boat.
 

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Really depends what you are hoping to catch and how you fish.

A 12" bullhead and a 40+lb flathead are both catfish.

I fish from the shore so my gear is more like heavy surf gear. My smallest rod is 9ft and rigged with 300yds of 50lb braid. Have an 11ft with 300yds of 30lb mono (shark spooled my 65lb braid one night in the surf and didn't wanna pay for it again...lol).

Just bought a 10ft rod with 65lb braid.


From the bank I like a long rod for casting and keeping the line high and out of the water. Lots of snags...a longer rod helps keep it up away from some of it...

Braid va mono argument will go on forever probably. Both have their place. Pros and cons to each. I've been running the 50lb power pro for like 6-7 years. 3 of that was nearly every day in the surf for 6 months of the year. It's still going strong. So cost, I'd be about the same as mono that needs changed regularly IMO.


Hooks and leaders etc...depends on the fish. I run 50-65-80lb mono leaders and 8/0 circles. Big barrel swivel and a sinker on a slider.

Again..I'm targeting the biggest flathead swimming. I'm not interested in anything small. I can go trout fish if I wanna catch fish. I'd be happy with 1 or 2 hogs this summer. I know I'm not after the every day fish. I've tossed bait in the river that many would consider a meal for themselves lol.


Smaller cats...most regular"bass" sized gear aughta be fine...

I was spoiled living on the coast for 4 years and battling some big fish from the beach....targeting the biggest flatties I can find is as close as I can come in PA...
 

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After thinking more...and doing some observing...


If you're fishing a big river.... regular ole "bass gear" for small channels might not be a great idea...unless you have em and just wanna make due.


I watched a guy and kid the other day on a big river...Carolina rig with a small bullet sinker. Nearly every single cast was a snag.

A lot of snags in the river are caused by light weights rolling till they snag and short rods....

Short rod and limo rod can't sling what is needed. On a normal day on a big river I need at least 2-3oz to hold. High faster water and I'm slinging more...plus bait.

For a long while I made due. Couldn't handle big fish. And lot a lot of gear in snags. Now I've learned a bit....

Flatheads especially are notorious for running to a snag. Big gear is needed to out the breaks to them.

Kinda all goes back to suiting the gear to you're needs. Like I said, for me, I'm not after anything that can't swallow a small dog. Just not what I'm fishing for. I'm throwing baits that are big enough I'm not even getting small fish. That's fine by me. Just not my desire. I want the biggest fish in the river. If I have to fish all summer so be it. I'm determined lol.


Confidence and knowing and trusting your gear plays a big role. I surf fished heavily for a while and I targeted sharks with casted baits...you don't need a tuna rod to bring in a shark. But you have to have proper gear and know how to apply it..I practice catch and release as well so that's another reason to go heavy IMO. Less stress on the fish.
 
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