Curious on what you see as the difference between the 12' official rod and the black widow? I had previously made the connection that they look like a black widow with a cork grip.
As for the black widow, misspent a few evenings several years back catching 5 to 10 lb catfish on one at a neighborhood pond. Probably landed 20 or so (most likely the same 4 or 5 fish over and over). The whole thing started with the kids catching bluegills - about the third time a catfish demolished a bluegill I had on the black widow I figured out I was fishing for the wrong species.
Came away with two impressions - amazement at catching that large a catfish on a fancy cane pole and the second being that it would truly suck to be a small bluegill in a pond with 5 to 10 lb catfish.