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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked one of these up for testing as I was looking for a good catfishing Rod/Reel to add to my arsenal of gear to take on bruiser sized catfish which I target on a regular basis. Just about any rod is capable of handling the pan sized to 10 pounders, but I am usually targeting and hooking up on fish that are at a minum 20 pounds and often times in the 30-40 pound range which demands some pretty rugged gear!

Heres the specs on the model I got...

Shakespeare Uglystik Catfish

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Model: UCCA110170
Length: 7'0"
Design: 1 Piece
Action: Medium-Heavy
Line: 15-30 lbs test line
Cost: 29.97-32.97

The rod is white which is great since most of my fishing is at night and often from my Kayak, making it easy to detect subtle bites despite the beefiness of the rod in dim lighting from the moon or LED's. While a 2 piece construction would have been nice in most cases I definitely wanted the ruggedness of 1 piece construction, cuase while fishing from a kayak at night, the last thing I want is a surprise when the line goes slack and my 2 piece rod desides to come a part just before the fish decides to make another run! I chose the 7 ft model over the 6.5 foot model as I fish from a 13 foot kayak and I need the ability to guide a fish around the nose of my Kayak. This is crucial because if I cant keep a large fish like this at the 10-2 o'clock position, Im going to end up taking an unplanned swim! What I like best about this rod is the fairly "fast action" tip on he last foot or so of the rod making it pretty sensitive, but yet the rest of the rod provides plenty of back bone to turn and control a large fish on a hard run.

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Shakespeare Tidewater TW30L

Construction: Graphite 1 piece frame and side plates
Drag: Multi-Disk Star Drag System rated at 20 lbs
Bearings: 1 Stainless Steel
Bait Clicker: Yes
Level Wind: Yes
Cost: 36.97

I paired this rod with a Shakespeare TW30L which is about a 3/0 sized reel that holds 250 yards or so of 30lbs test line although the drag is only rated for 20 lbs. It seems to be a good balance of line capacity, drag capacity to wear down a big Cat but still managable enough to cast big baits a pretty fair distance with a little practice. It features a level wind which makes putting line back on the reel level and hassel free. The same level wind feature will also limit your ability to cast long distances but thats not an issue for this type of fishing unless your on a dock or shore. The huge meaty handle makes wenching line in against a determined fish pretty easy. Not the highest quality reel, and only has one bearing, but its rugged enough to pick the check up! So while it doesnt stack up to my Shimano TLD's with lever drags...its a fraction of the price and just about as servicable.

The verdict...

My combo cost me in the neighborhood of 60 bucks a combo and I have three of them. I have tested them out from February 2013 till October 2013. While I got skunked a few nights this season most nights I was able to bring 4-5 fish in the 15 lbs plus class to the side of my Yak on 90% of my outings. Looking back at my catch log that I keep, I took 89 catfish over 20 lbs this past season including one Flathead that tipped the scales at 77 lbs! That incidently was the only one that broke the 50 lbs barrier this season. The rod and reel combo performed really well and for the money I am not sure I could beat this budget priced combo. If your looking for a Big Cat rig, this one is well worth your consideration.

Disclaimer: Pics included here are not mine and were taken from the internet and belong to the originating owners!
 

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I am always amazed at the expense someone will go through to catch a fish.
If that hasn't already been said then I claim it as a "montana rancher" original!
 
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My kind of post! I love your set up. We don't really have the monster cats in South Florida, but I have always wondered if you would just use a set up like my heavy duty ocean gear to haul up one of those beasts.
 

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I am always amazed at the expense someone will go through to catch a fish.
If that hasn't already been said then I claim it as a "montana rancher" original!
The amount of money I have spent on fishing gear would make you loose your mind. Everyone has a hobby, and you can't fault a man for spending too much of his money on it. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My kind of post! I love your set up. We don't really have the monster cats in South Florida, but I have always wondered if you would just use a set up like my heavy duty ocean gear to haul up one of those beasts.
Don't think that sorta gear would be optimal but it would work. The rods are built a little differently and the reels on the medium to medium light side though would work very well. Those types of reels have the line capacity sometimes needed especially if your on shore or a dock and the drag systems are superior to anything normally used in Fresh Water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am always amazed at the expense someone will go through to catch a fish.
If that hasn't already been said then I claim it as a "montana rancher" original!
Bro', not even gonna entertain a second post like this, this week. BTW...if you think that's outrageous, I have a couple of SW rigs that are well over a grand and cost about 100 bucks just to put line on them every season!
 

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Well, I have seen and reeled in a twenty pounder, on the Mighty Mississippi, directly under the Helena Arkansas bridge, and that tackle combo would be great. The price of that rig is easily offset by the price of a few great fish fries. MMMMMMMMM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I have seen and reeled in a twenty pounder, on the Mighty Mississippi, directly under the Helena Arkansas bridge, and that tackle combo would be great. The price of that rig is easily offset by the price of a few great fish fries. MMMMMMMMM.
I know and that's exactly what I thought too. Which is why after my long search for the optimal (cost VS ability) Big Catfish set up had been found for the moment I posted a review for those who might be like minded. This set up can be had from just about any Wally World super store in the nation, at least in the southern parts anyways. It held up well to a long hard season and is none the less for wear and tear. My only complaint is that I wished this reel came with a bit heavier drag system. For those fishing from a Kayak or other small boat like I do, this aint a real issue. For the shore locked guys, it might pose a few complications on a long running fish near cover.
 

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That's a nice rig. I've got some similar. My go to rigs for working cats and lots of other fish where I use live or dead bait always comes to me grabbing one of the spinning rods. I've caught more big fish on an Ugly Stick rod and Daiwa BG20 than I care to remember. Spending money on good fishing rigs is money well spent to me. For shtf and normal everyday, fishing is food, food is life.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spending money on good fishing rigs is money well spent to me. For shtf and normal everyday, fishing is food, food is life.
I couldn't agree with you more Fuzzee. That's why we do it. Its even better when my "tools" can double as recreation and survival gear both as the situation dictates and eating well, is always a good thing!
 

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If you think that rig is expensive you don't want to know what I spent on my back-packing pole and real.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know...in 1992 I had a custom built to specs 5 1/5 foot Sabre Rod blank built into a stand up rod and had a Shimano TTS50W lever drag reel put on it and I am sure I have a bout 2k in gear only just on the rod/reel combo. Today that rig is by no means top of the line although that Rod would be tough to beat. But man have I slayed some big brusiers with that, especially when I was stationed in Diego Garcia in 94-95. Great gear while not neccissary, always makes the fishing experience a lot more fun! In fact I just put together what I think may prove to be an awesome Crappie killer rig. Im anxiously looking forward to giving it a good work out here as soon as the water hits the 59 degree mark, so stand by for a report on that one too.
 
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