Monday, October 1, 2012

New Catfish Gear, Quantum BigCat Rods, Abu Garcia 7000IHSN, and St. Croix Premier Rods

Quantum BigCat Rods

Last month I made the mistake of using my rod to break my line when I got snagged. The rod was a 7' Medium Heavy power, Shakeshpere Ugly Stik Tiger paired with an Abu Garcia 7000ic3 spooled with 40 pound Berkley Big Game monofilament. I gave the rod a few hard tugs and I heard a crack, Rylan and Amanda looked at me as to see what had happened. As it turns out, Ugly Stik Tigers are not unbreakable. The epoxy near the tip of the rod had splintered, I then gave the rod a few hard tugs and the line finally broke. Assuming the rod was still in working order, I continued to use it.

A few days later Kip from Catfish Freaks, , and his friend Joey came down and fished with me one evening. Kip used that very same Ugly Stik Tiger and snagged it up and finally finished it off. A few days later I bought an older used Abu Garcia 7000 from my local bait store, so I had two reels without rods. This only meant one thing, that I needed two new flathead rods. After talking to a few guys on Catfish Freaks, I found that two of the most favored flathead rod choices were Shakesphere Ugly Stik Tigers and Quantum Big Cats. Since I had broken the Tiger, I decided to go with the Quantum Big Cat, still being sold from Catfish Connection. The rod is only sold in 7'10" one piece, Heavy power, fast action, with a line rating of 20-50lb test, and a lure weight of 3 to 12 ounces.

When I pulled the rods out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the craftsmanship of the eyes. They had inserts, which I typically don't like because I have had issues with other catfish rods. However each eyelet was connected at three different points to the rod and they were extremely thick braces (which will help to prevent the eyes from getting bent or crushed)....oh and they looked awesome finished in flat black paint too. Not like a hungry flathead will care, but I do like my rods to look nice.
I paired the BigCat rods with an Abu Garcia 7000ic3 and a 7000ics.

Abu Garcia 7000IHSN and St. Croix Rod

Since I had got new rods and a new (used) reel, Amanda decided to buy a few new catfish set-ups for herself. Last Christmas she found a few reels that she wanted, specifically an Abu Garcia 7000IHSN. She wanted to have a larger spool capacity than her Abu Garcia 6000's, and something smaller than a 7000. The only Abu Garcia that fit that criteria was the HSN Big Game model.

From that point we had to decide what rod was best fit for her, and by we I mean that I had to ask around to see what rods she would like. She knew she wanted a rod between 7'10" and 9', slightly slower tip than a Catfish Series Ugly Stik, and Medium Heavy power. After having a long discussion/s with Jordan (Skyline1506 of, I told Amanda that the rods she needed were Surge Trophy Cats from Tombstone Tackle. So we placed an order for two of them from Catfish Connection. The very next morning I received a call from CatfishConnection in which they told me that they were out of Surge rods. So I broke the news to Amanda and we began looking for rods again.

It just so happens that we ventured into the bait store the next evening and she began looking through the rods. She began to gravitate towards the St. Croix rods, so I warned her that the price of those rods were a little steep. She began talking to TJ, a friend that helps to run the bait store, and he showed her a pamphlet of St. Croix rods. After a few minutes of discussing her options, she ordered two St. Croix Premier Rods. The rods she ordered were 8', Medium Heavy power, Fast action, with a line rating of 20-50lb test, and a lure weight of 3/4 to 3 ounces.

A few days later they arrived, and the first thing I noticed was the metallic flaked black paint. Sparkly paint is right up Amanda's alley. Since I noticed the eyes on the Quantum BigCat rod first, I closely inspected the St. Croix rod.

The eyes did not have inserts which I like, but they were significantly thinner than the eyes on the Quantum BigCat and only made contact with the rod twice. The thinner eyes will be more prone to getting bent while getting beat around the boat, or in the back of the car, but then again St. Croix rods have a great warranty, so she should be fine. However if one of my Quantum BigCats break I can buy 3 more before I reach the price tag of a single St. Croix Rod.

Above is Amanda's finished combo, in which a single combo costs nearly as much as the boat we fish out of.....but that's a discussion for another time.


  1. hey man where can I buy one of those big cat rods?

    1., That's where I bought mine from. They are great big fish rods.