Sometimes, targeting a new species can make you feel like you’re relearning how to fish all over again. You may find yourself asking the same questions repeatedly, like, what tackle box setup is best? Or, what rigs should I use? We know at times, catfishing can feel like an entirely different sport. So, we want to make things easier for you by ensuring we provide you with the best catfish tackle on the market.

Now, let’s take a look at the 17 items you should be carrying in your tackle box for catfishing.

17 Best Catfish Tackle To Carry

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo

    Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo

The Abu Garcia Catfish Commando casting rod and reel combo against a white background.
    Abu Garcia's Catfish Commando combo comes with their medium-heavy casting rod and signature 6500 size reel.

First, when buying tackle, you want to make sure you have a high-quality rod, or two, or three. For instance, Abu Garcia’s Catfish Commando is one of the best value casting combos on the market. They are a well-known brand for their high-quality and durable products amongst catfish anglers.

For example, Abu Garcia’s Catfish Commando features a heavy-duty composite blank so that you can take on monster fish. Furthermore, the Commando is a single-piece rod with a nice and rigid backbone. Then, the included reel is very high quality, built with a carbon matrix drag system. Additionally, the 6500 casting reel will improve your castability and prevent backlash with its 6-pin centrifugal brake.

If you would like more guidance on buying catfish rods, please review our buyer’s guide.

Frabill Trophy Haul Fishing Net

    Frabill Trophy Haul Fishing Net

Frabill Trophy Haul fishing net against a white background.
    The Frabill Trophy Haul Fishing net will assist you in bringing in big fish. It has a hoop size of 18” x 21” and a net depth of 14”.

Next, another essential item catfish anglers should carry is a heavy-duty fishing net. Catfish are fighters both in and out of the water, so you will need a reliable net to land them. Hence, we recommend this Frabill Fishing net that anglers have trusted since 1938.

Additionally, a catfish’s spine will unlikely get caught in the webbing because this net features a tangle-free material. Also, the built-in LED lights on the net’s rim will make it a perfect item to take night fishing.

Eagle Claw Assorted Catfish Hooks

    Eagle Claw Assorted Catfish Hooks

Eagle Claw's catfish hook assortment against a white background.
    These assorted catfish hooks are great for beginner catfish anglers trying to get themselves set up.

Then, another critical piece in a catfish angler’s tackle box that you shouldn’t overlook is a quality set of hooks. This assorted kit by Eagle Claw is a perfect option for new catfish anglers. For instance, the set comes with various sized circle hooks, offset hooks, and treble hooks for holding soft baits. The assortment has a total of 67 high-grade, durable, and sharp catfish hooks.

Would you like to learn more about selecting the right catfish hooks for your application? Then, please check out our review of the best catfish hooks.

Foam Peg Floats

    Comal Foam Peg Floats

Comal's foam peg floats with a quarter against a white background.
    These slotted peg floats by Comal tackle are perfect for catfishing!

Comal tackle makes some excellent peg floats, perfect for suspended rigs like the Santee Cooper. For instance, Comal offers this item in various sizes from 1.5” to 3” in length. Plus, they come in a pack of 25, equipping you with backup floats to carry in case your leader line breaks. Also, you can buy them in a color of your choosing, from bright green, pink, orange, red, or yellow.

Rattling Peg Floats

    Catfish Sumo Rattling Peg Floats

Catfish Sumo rattling peg floats, one of the best pieces of catfish tackle, against a white background.
    This rattling float by Catfish Sumo will make your rig more attractive to catfish by appealing to multiple senses.

Or, if you would like to add some more pizzazz to your presentation, catfish go nuts over these rattling peg floats by Catfish Sumo. Often, catfish anglers will rely on heavily-scented baits to lure in feeding cats. However, when a scent isn’t enough, using something like this rattling float can help attract even timid fish.

Lead Sinker Weights

    Dr. Fish No Roll Sinkers

Dr. Fish's no-roll sinkers against a white background.
    These no-roll sinkers by Dr. Fish are ideal for catfishing on the bottom, and they come in a pack of 5. Additionally, these weights are available in multiple sizes, from 1 to 5 oz.

Next, lead sinkers are another critical item to carry when you go catfishing. Often, anglers will target catfish by fishing in deep water channels or a muddy bottom. So, we recommend having lead sinkers in various weights and styles so you can apply each one to the body of water you’re fishing.

For example, these no-roll sinkers by Dr. Fish are excellent for when you’re using a Carolina or Santee Cooper rig. Other styles of lead sinkers that would be good for catfishing are:


    Dr. Fish 3 Way Swivels

Dr. Fish 3-way swivels catfish tackle against a white background.
    These three-way swivels by Dr. Fish are durable and come in various sizes and quantities to meet your fishing needs.

Then, another essential item catfishers should carry in their tackle box is a variety of swivels. We recommend attaching swivels to your main line so that you can switch out rigs more efficiently. Here is a list of common swivel styles used for catfishing:

Often, a famous catfish rig anglers will use is the three-way rig. So, we like these three-way swivels by Dr. Fish because they feature a durable stainless-steel material.


    Thkfish Slip-Bobbers

Slip-bobbers against a white background.
    Thkfish’s slip bobbers are an important piece of tackle for all anglers. These bobbers are both light and sensitive, which makes it easy to detect fish.

Next, bobber fishing is a classic technique amongst catfish anglers. So, if you’re looking for a quality slip-bobber, then check out these bobbers by Thkfish. These slip-bobbers have high-visibility colors painted at the top, so you can easily see them in the water. Additionally, their slender design makes them easier to cast further distances for when you’re bank fishing.

Fishing Beads

    QualyQualy Fishing Beads

QualyQualy fishing beads against a white background.
    This pack of assorted fishing beads by QualyQualy is perfect for fishing for all types of fish.

Another often overlooked piece of tackle is fishing beads. For instance, fishing beads are a great way to protect your knots when using lead weights on your rig. Specifically, threading a bead between your weight and your swivel will keep the sinker from fraying or loosening your knot.

Rubber Bobber Stoppers

    Mimilure Rubber Bobber Stoppers

Mimilure rubber bobber stoppers against a white background.
    These bobber stoppers by Mimilure are easy to use and are more durable than the string ones.

Mimilure’s bobber stoppers are a fantastic thing to carry in your tackle box for when you’re catfishing with bobbers. For instance, these rubber stops will enable you to adjust your bobber’s depth on your line easily. Mimilure has three sizes available, from small to large, so that you can thread them onto virtually any line material.

Fishing Line

    Berkley FireLine Fused Braid

Berkley's FireLine fused braid against a white background.
    This spool of Fireline fused braid is more abrasive-resistant than other braided lines, and you can cast it far distances.

Next, a spool of fishing line is an essential item you must have to catfish. When selecting a fishing line, each type has its own set of perks and drawbacks. So, for catfishing, we recommend using a quality braid, like Berkley’s Fireline. This fused braid by Berkley is super abrasive-resistant, easy to cast, and sensitive.

Braided Nylon Twine

    Ironclad Bank Line Tarred Nylon Braided Twine

Ironclad's tarred nylon braided twine against a white background.
    This multi-purpose braided nylon twine by Ironclad is perfect for anglers who are catfishing with trotlines, limb lines, or diddy poles.

This next item is specific to catfish anglers who plan to set trotlines, limb lines, juglines, or diddy poles. Ironclad’s multi-purpose braided nylon is a solid line to use for all those applications mentioned above. For instance, this nylon braid has a tensile strength of 100 to 350-pounds. Additionally, Ironclad’s line is treated, making it resistant to abrasion, moisture, rot, and UV light.

Magic Bait Trotline Clips

    Magic Bait Trotline Clips

Magic Bait's trotline clips, a nice piece of catfish tackle, against a white background.
    These clips by Magic Bait are a great tool to have for catfishers running long trotlines.

Then, when used correctly, trotline clips can be an easy and efficient way to tie your drop lines to your main line. We recommend these trotline clips by Magic Bait because they’re sturdy and straightforward to use. Plus, Magic Bait modeled these clips after the longline clips used by commercial fishermen. So, you can be confident that they’ll be able to hold trophy-sized cats.

Crawford Catfish Noodles

    Crawford Catfish Noodles

Crawford's catfish noodles against a white background.
    These high-quality catfish noodles by Crawford are made right here in the United States. These noodles are a good idea for anglers looking to get into jugging.

Another fun way to target catfish is by throwing out a jugline. So, if you don’t have the materials or the know-how to make some yourself, these noodles by Crawford work great. For instance, their noodles are made of a closed-cell PE foam material, making them very UV and weather resistant. In addition, they come pre-rigged with a 3-foot long braided line, lead sinker, and 4/0 hook.

Deep-Diving Crankbaits

    Strike King KVD Crankbait

Strike King KVD crankbait against a white background.
    KVD’s deep-diving Crankbaits work well for both bass and catfish anglers.

Or, if you like a challenge, you can target feisty pre and post-spawn cats by using deep-diving crankbaits like these by KVD. We recommend getting a crankbait with a shad pattern for catfish since they’re natural forage for cats.

Team Catfish Sudden Impact Fiber Bait

    Team Catfish Sudden Impact

Team Catfish's Sudden Impact fiber-enriched catfish bait against a white background.
    Team Catfish’s Sudden Impact is a fibrous punch bait that will send channel catfish into a feeding frenzy.

Next, another critical item catfish anglers should carry a good quality and stinky punch or dough bait. For example, we recommend picking up a jar of Team Catfish’s Sudden Impact fiber bait. This bait exceeds the stink factor needed to attract lurking channel cats, and you won’t lose it while casting. Plus, you can use this punch bait on a bare treble hook, so there is no need to use a soft bait holder.

Fillet Knife

    Rapala Fillet Knife

Rapala fillet knife, sheath, and sharpener against a white background.
    Rapala’s fillet knife is sharp and flexible, and it comes in a black sheath that you can slide onto your belt.

Last but not least, the final item you should always have in your tackle box is a sharp fillet knife. Emphasis on “sharp” as catfish have a thick leathery skin that’s hard to cut. So, we recommend adding a fine fillet knife to your collection like this 9-inch Rapala one. Its soft grip makes it easy to handle even if it gets wet.

Don’t Forget These 17 Items on Your Next Catfishing Trip!

To conclude, having the correct tackle for catfishing will help you land more fish consistently. In addition to bringing the right gear, you should also pack or catch quality bait as well. For more information on the best catfish bait, check out this article.

So, what do you think is the best catfish tackle anglers should carry? Please, let us know in the comments below. Do you think your fishing buddy should add one of these items to their tackle box? If so, then please share this article with them.