Coralville, IA – For catfish folks, choosing the right rod is serious business. But when catfishing is literally your business—as in, people pay you to find and catch ‘em—selecting sticks can be as important as surrounding yourself with loyal, professional employees.
At least, that’s the way popular catfish guide, Captain Brad Durick views things. “My SuperCat rods show up every day with their game-faces on,” he laughs.
A meticulous keeper of his catfishing records, Durick racked up some staggering statistics during a highly successful season on the Red River of the North—the undisputed king of trophy channel catfish streams. “From May until October, six SuperCat casting rods battled and beat over 14,000 pounds of catfish. That’s over 1,500 big channel catfish, with nearly a hundred from 20 to 26 pounds. Add in another 150 fish from the Canadian side of the river, and I figure my SuperCats have beat back around 8 tons of tough, mean Red River catfish.”
Other than a seemingly permanent layer of catfish slime, Durick’s rods suffered not a single meltdown, malfunction, or even so much as a hangnail.
“In close to 100 days on the river, these rods never took a play off,” Durick confirms. “We probably subjected them to more abuse in a single season than could many anglers in a lifetime. My clients and I aren’t exactly easy on equipment, either. Torqueing on rods in rod holders, wrenching hooks out of snags, dropping and stepping on them on the boat floor—it all happens daily. I’m amazed all my SuperCats are still alive and kicking.”
Beyond their undisputed toughness, Durick calls out the rods’ high-level performance. “I’ve become a big believer in S-Glass, and Rippin Lips was the first company to build catfish rods with this amazing material.”
Compared to traditional E-Glass, Durick says his S-Glass SuperCat rods flex more naturally, yet offer exceptional strength and backbone for battling bruiser catfish—including 20- to 30-pound channels, or trophy flatheads or blues. He also notes that S-Glass offers a higher modulus than E-Glass, translating to a lighter, more sensitive blank.
A full-time circle hook supporter, Durick fishes with rods in holders; he relies on the rod’s anatomy to signal a bite and solidly set the hook. “I need a sensitive rod tip that transmits the smallest bites, but it also needs to be soft enough so fish don’t feel the hook or reject the bait. At the same time, I need plenty of backbone to set the hook and fight the fish. A lot of rods are passable with circle hooks. But my 7’6” medium-action SuperCats are perfect.”
Offered in eight different lengths, actions and configurations (casting and spinning), Rippin Lips SuperCat rods ($36 to $85) sport S-Glass / Graphite composite blanks. EVA split-grip handles yield optimal balance for battling big fish. Extra hard, chrome-plated stainless steel guides hold up to mono as well as braid, and are wrapped and epoxy coated for extra durability. Glow-in-the-dark rod tips enhance nighttime visibility.
Durick’s super stats speak for themselves: One season. Fifteen hundred hard-pulling catfish. Eight tons of apex river predator; the biggest, toughest channel catfish on the planet. Six Rippin Lips SuperCat rods—each one alive, kicking and ready for the next