As strong as the weakest link. That would be a good way to describe your catfish rig. Unfortunately, some catfish anglers find the weakest link the hard way – they lose a big fish. I have seen this happen to many times over the past couple of years.
With a little bit of caution and careful handling of your equipment you can eliminate the problem for the most part. Carrying your stuff to and from the water is a good place to start. Rough handling can be very hard on your gear especially, your fishing line. Many anglers ask why I travel with my rods in the upright position. My main reason is the fact that I don’t want my rod tips to touch or especially rub on anything!
If you throw your rods in the back of your truck, or in your boat, and if the tips rub at any point, you are damaging your line and really taking away from its quality and breaking strength.
I also check all of my leaders the night before the fishing trip. Between rocks, timber, and even the catfishes’ mouths, your leaders can be damaged. If I feel the slightest nick or burr, I immediately tie on another leader.
Think about it. We have to tie on swivels, hooks, sinkers, etc. Be mindful of your fishing line and don’t tie on those other components in a way that makes the whole rig weaker. Take care of your line and it will pay you pack with better performance, when it counts. I’ve lost big fish and I’ve seen guys lose huge fish due to line quality. Don’t be that guy!