Polyaniline/tailored carbon nanotubes composite (PANI/TCN) synthesized via situ polymerization of aniline monomer in the presence of tailored carbon nanotubes (TCN) is reported as electrode material for supercapacitors. The morphology, structure, and thermostability of the composite were characterized by scanning electron microscope, Fourier transform infrared, and thermogravimetric analysis. The electrochemical property of the resulting material was systematically studied using cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge–discharge. The results show that the short rod-like PANI dispersed well in the TCN with three-dimensional network structure. The as-prepared composite shows high specific capacitance and good cycling stability. A specific capacitance of 373.5 F g−1 at a current density of 0.5 A g−1 was achieved, which is much higher than that of pure PANI (324 F g−1). Meanwhile, the composite retains 61.7% capacity after 1000 cycles at a scan rate of 50 mV s−1. The enhanced specific capacitance and capacity retention indicates the potential of composite as a promising supercapacitor electrode material. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2014, 131, 39971.