Fishing for catfish is both fun and challenging. Depending on the type you'd want to catch, you'd want to make sure that you have the right kind of fishing gear with you. The Zebco Big Cat XT spincast fishing reel fits the bill with its nice combination of fishing tech and durability. And as a spincast, it offers something really nice for anglers - convenience! Coming from a reputable brand, this just may be your go-to fishing reel choice to get those catfish biting.
- A bit heavy
- Spincast ease of use
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Durable construction
- Excellent warranty coverage
- A bit heavy
- Spincast ease of use
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Durable construction
- Excellent warranty coverage
Zebco Big Cat XT Spincast Fishing Reel Technical Specifications and Features
- Construction: blended (combination of titanium-nitride, stainless steel, and ceramic parts)
- Gear Ratio: 2.6:1
- Reel Weight: 20 oz
Zebco Big Cat XT Details
Can using a spincast reel work wonders when catching catfish? Zebco defies all odds with this nice release - the Zebco Big Cat XT Spincast fishing reel may just be the right choice when you'd want to fish those pesky prey with ease. Let's learn more about this option below:
It's all in the expert craftsmanship that makes this choice a solid pick when it comes to durability. Composed of premium materials (a front cover made out of stainless steel, a spinner head coated with a titanium-nitride layer, and solid metal interior parts), the Zebco Big Cat is definitely a reel that'll withstand all sorts of elements and tension.
Zebco Big Cat XT Spincast Fishing Reel Tech and Enhancements
The innovative tech in this fishing reel bring in a whole new level of benefits that anglers of all skill levels can make the most out of:
Securing perky catch is assured with the Zebco Big Cat XT's anti-reverse technology. Smooth and reliable, once fish are hooked, you can rely on reeling them in with ease.
Placing more emphasis on retrieval, the 4 bearings components (made up of 3 durable bearings and a clutch part) are designed for an optimal pull motion (which is set at an impressive 19 inch retrieval rate). Additionally, the bearings are optimized to work ambidextrously, fitting to an angler's unique needs and orientation.
No need to fuss when setting up drag coordinates. A simple nudge on the dial adjustment feature allows anglers to experiment and get the right drag needed for the job.
Miscellaneous Zebco Big Cat XT Information
Make the most out of this fishing reel - these are some info-nuggets that you ought to know!
Can braided fishing lines be used with this fishing reel?
Although pre-spooled with a nice 25 lb. Zebco mono fishing line, anglers have the option to customize the line of their choice for this fishing reel. In fact, pro anglers attest to using 80 lbs braided lines, with performance still excellent. Just take note - the Zebco Big Cat XT spincast is designed and optimized for mono lines. ALthough it is possible to use braided lines, the abrasive factor of this line may cause internal wear of the fishing reel.
What is the maximum drag of this fishing reel?
The Zebco Big Cat XT has a maximum drag of 25 lbs., which should be more than enough when catching catfish!
Is this ambidextrous?
Yes - this fishing reel features interchangeable left or right hand retrieve settings, which should fit an angler's hand orientation. All it takes to switch the handle is a screwdriver - a quick and simple adjustment that anyone can easily do.
What are other minimal (but essential) features the Zebco Big Cat XT has?
Aside from the main fishing tech enhancements mentioned above, this reel has a nice bite alert to quickly let anglers spring into action. Additionally, the Zebco Big Cat XT spincast reel comes with a mounting kit for extra convenience.
Why this Fishing Reel is Recommended
Check out the main benefits of choosing the Zebco Big Cat XT:
A Legendary Brand
Zebco has been in the fishing business since 1954. Aside from its tried and tested processes in creating some of the best reels in the industry, the brand also constantly develops and innovates cutting-edge tech into its products. We even featured another of its products here - proof that anglers trust this brand in delivering what matters most during fishing trips!
Peace of Mind Assurance
Given the brand's craftsmanship, the Zebco Big Cat XT spincast reel actually comes with a 1 year warranty coverage. This works in material and workmanship defects, assuring you that using this reel places you in really good hands!
Simple does it best with this fishing reel type. No need to fuss with intricate details when casting and retrieving - making the Zebco Big Cat XT a beginner-friendly choice!
On the Other Hand, an Issue This Reel Has That You Have to Watch Out For
You may need to have this in mind before choosing this option:
A Bit Heavy
The Zebco Big Cat XT looks big - it also is heavier than most fishing reels out there! At 1.4 lbs., this fishing reel may be quite handy for smaller anglers. Pro anglers may also find the sensation really different, especially for those used to lighter spincast models. Still, the weight issue may be really minimal - you are getting a tougher and durable choice with this fishing reel!
Bonus: Zebco Big Cat XT Spincast Fishing Reel Quick Maintenance Hacks
Maximize the way on how to use this fishing reel - these nice pointers and miscellaneous information will help you learn more on this choice!
Spincast or Spinning Reel? Is There Any Difference?
Easily confused, these are actually two types of fishing reels! Knowing what a spinning reel and a spincast has to offer will help you choose the right gear you'll need on your next fishing trip!
What is a Spincast Reel?
Simple does it would be the best way to describe what a spincast reel is. Essentially, this type of fishing reel offers an easy-breezy function, with the angle simply pressing and holding down on the spool button. Releasing the button would release the line towards where the fishing rod is pointed. Pressing the button again stops the line. All in all, there really isn't much to think about when using this reel!
A common feature among spincast reels would be its metal casing which contains all the components. The mentioned button, which controls the line, is the main control mechanism. As it's seen on the Zebco Big Cat XT, a spincast fishing reel also has a drag adjustment feature, allowing anglers to set the right sensation they need when fishing.
What is a Spinning Reel?
On the other hand, a spinning reel offers more customization features. Unlike spincast types, a spinning reel often has all its components out in the open, for anglers to quickly set it up just the way they want it. Additionally, spinning reels are oriented to attach from the lower part of a fishing rod.
Why Use a Spincast Reel?
Of course, it all boils down to preference, but the Zebco Big Cat XT offers a really nice angle when it comes to fishing for catfish. The ease of use is a thrill to use, with no need to fret on making minute adjustments. The durability is an added bonus, making it a strong contender when facing all sorts of elements out in the wild. Specifically as well for the Zebco Big Cat XT would be its brand reputation - the company made sure that this option would something anglers of all skill levels can rely on!
How to Respool a Spincast Type Fishing Reel
Here's what you need to do to spool the Zebco Big Cat XT the proper way:
- Identify and check first the moving parts of the Zebco Big Cat XT.
- Check the horizontal spool just right under the metal cap.
- Check the pins that hold and guide the fishing line.
- Pressing the reel's button should let the pins retreat back into the spool part. This action should release the line.
- Disengaging the button should release the pins and grab onto the line.
- Next, open the spincaster to remove the old line.
- Do this by pressing the button for the pins to retreat back into the spool. This should let go of the line.
- Firmly grip the top of the reel and turn it. This should take off the cap.
- After the cap is off and the pins are retracted into the spool, simply pull the old line out. Make sure to do this until you reach the end of the fishing line.
- The end should let you see the line tied onto the spool. Use a pair of scissors to snip this end off.
- Prep your replacement fishing line once the old line is removed.
- Thread the new line to the top of the reel cap.
- Tie the new line with a basic overhand knot.
- At that same end (where the overhand knot is), tie a slipknot that will go over the spool. This should create a loop.
- Place the circular loop over the reel then firmly pull for the knot to lock in place.
- Once the knot is secured, use your scissors to trim off any excess line.
- Reinstall the cap back into the reel. Make sure to apply some pressure on the knot while doing this.
- Once the cap is on and the line is tied to the spool part, start reeling the handle in.
- Every now and then, stop and remove the cap to check how much line has been reeled in. You are doing this to prevent any overfilling of the fishing line.
- The right amount of line in the Zebcp Big Cat XT would be around 90% capacity.
- Once the spool is filled, press the button to let the new line out of the reel.
- Thread the line through the guides found on your fishing rod.
Quick Tips on How to Catch Catfish
These are some nice pointers to help you catch these fish!
Know Your Catfish
Knowing the types of catfish will help you prepare on the best way to fish!
Considered as the peskiest type to catch, the flathead catfish is hard to find and does put up a great fight once you manage to hook one! They're heavy, weighing around 100 lbs. to 120 lbs., often swim alone, and are mainly distinguished with its squarish head. Consider yourself a champ by simply being able to fish for one!
This type is of the smaller variety (weighing, at most, 20 lbs.) that anglers usually fish in quantity. They are usually found in almost all sorts of locations and swim in big schools.
These are the biggest catfish that you may find out during your fishing trips. Unlike the flathead, the blue catfish doesn't swim alone, and often lurk in deeper waters with a stronger current. A blue catfish is known for its size, which can weigh to a whopping 143 lbs.!
Know When to Fish for Catfish
It depends on which type you'd want to catch! If you're going for a flathead catfish, the best time would be at night, since this type is mostly nocturnal. Channel and blue seem to be available any time of the day, with the exception of a blue catfish often found in stronger water current conditions.
Know Your Bait
What's the best bait to go with your Zebco Big Cat XT? Again, it depends on the catfish type!
Blue Catfish Bait
Fresh or dead bait seems to have no difference - just make sure to match your chosen bait with the water's natural foliage to avoid spooking your catch!
Flathead Catfish Bait
Live bait is the way to go when trying to hook flathead catfish. This type often preys on bluegill and sunfish. If possible, try to catch your bait from the flathead catfish's location - this would simulate your prey's feeding habit!
Channel Catfish Bait
Owing to its size, a channel catfish usually scavenges. A stink bait will draw tons of this type in!
General Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Zebco Big Cat XT Fishing Reel
Keep your fishing reel in tip-top shape with these effective maintenance guidelines:
How to Condition a Fishing Reel's Line
The Zebco Big Cat XT is pres-spooled with a monofilament line. This type of fishing line tends to develop memory, which retains certain loops when wrapped around the spool. To reduce the amount of memory (which should result to a smoother line release), give some time for the line to relax in the water. Do some practice casts to relax the line!
Know the Right Amount of Line to Be Spooled Onto a Reel
As mentioned earlier, around 90% capacity of line is the recommended amount when spooling a fishing reel. A nice reminder to have in mind is to fill the spool with about 1/8th an inch of space left (from the actual fishing line to the spool lip). Make sure to constantly check by opening the cap of the Zebco Big Cat XT to check just how much line is spooled in!
Zebco Big Cat XT Cleaning Reminders
Just right after fishing, make sure to rinse the entire fishing reel (both interior and exterior parts) with fresh water. Once that's done, apply some oil or grease to lubricate the moving parts. Make sure to apply just the right amount of lubrication - too much will ruin the reel's performance.
These are some really nice sources to help you learn more about this fishing reel!
- Learn straight from the source - Zebco has a nice compilation of maintenance reminders to help you bring out the best out of your fishing reel.
- This Reddit thread recommends the Zebco Big Cat XT as a prized choice.
- The Fishing Expert actually includes the Zebco Big Cat XT as one of its top ten catfish reel options!