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How WFT is taking advantage of ‘purring’ catfish market


The catfish market is purring. What was once a specialist arm of predator fishing is attracting more and more anglers intrigued by the prospect of hauling huge specimens from rivers and lakes all over Europe.

And the slow-down in carp fishing sales in some countries has given the industry a valuable alternative sector on which to focus.

But you have to know what you are doing. The tackle for taming fish that could weigh hundreds of pounds is not for pussies. Rods and reels have to be extremely robust to persuade a hard-fighting ‘cat’ to the bank or boat.

World Fishing Tackle (WFT) has been making catfish gear for more than a decade, but the rise in interest has prompted the German manufacturer to expand its line in the past year.

With the Rhine on his doorstep and Italy’s River Po and Spain’s River Ebro – along with the big catfish lakes in France – within easy reach, Managing Director Christian Dibisch says it was an easy decision to make. And, it turns out, a profitable one.

Having decided to focus firstly on reels, WFT now has four new Catbuster models available – the 3000, the 2000, the 8500 and the BC. And in the past few months, WFT’s reel sales have eclipsed fishing line as its biggest selling tackle category.

“These new reels have really hit the mark with catfish anglers,” he reports. “As you would expect from catfish reels, they are incredibly robust, as strong as Japanese reels but a lot less money to buy. We are well positioned in a market that I think will go from strength to strength as big-fish anglers continue to look for new challenges.”

And with WFT’s KG Strong line making the perfect partner for the Catbuster range, Dibisch has scored a double whammy in the market.

Each of the four new reels are designed for different purposes. The full metal 3000 model is aimed at bank fishing, with outsized proportions to match the quarry. These include a huge stainless steel drive wheel and pinion, a carbon drag system with 30kg drag power, monster ball bearings ten times the size of those used in normal reels and a large handle arm and T grip. The aluminium spool also has ample line capacity, taking 350m of 60kg CAT line.

The 2000 is another full metal, bank-fishing model with 30kg drag power, but has a little less line capacity of 270m of 60KG CAT, while the 8500 is essentially a spinning model with a protective coating on the aluminium spool to safeguard against repeated casting.

The baitcasting model, or BC, is designed for fishing short distances, for instance from a boat or belly boat. It uses the same aluminium die-cast frame as WFT’s B-Sea Giant but has more robust gearing and an improved drag power of 14kg plus. Line is released by a flip button and an adjustable power crank adds power to the retrieve.

All these reels are included in WFT’s 2024 catalogue, the print version of which is available for free.

T: +49 2841 650206
E: info@world-fishing-tackle.de

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