I don't use only pedal for drive (I use amp + BK Butler), but for hi-gain distortion I use a Big Muff on a clean amp.
Bassman's are stellar pedal platforms as the tend to tame the fizzyness of drive pedals. A Rat plus Bassman is a killer combo. The Benson will be a killer addition also. Check out Kingley if looking to add a tube D-style or Marshall-esque channel to the mix (depending on the pedal) - Being tube pedals they tend to feel more like a tube drive channel than a pedal.After 25 years of playing and gigging, I could have counted on one hand the projects where I went drive pedals into clean amps as opposed to using drive from the amp itself. It’s only recently that I’ve dedicated myself to trying for an upcoming project. I’m using a ‘91-ish Bassman ‘59 Reissue and a rotating cast of LPs (mostly).
My biggest challenge has been finding pedals that can go into a clean amp and still somewhat give me the feel, sound, response, etc…of plugging into the dirty channel of an amp like I’m used to doing. It’ll never be exactly the same, but I’m trying to get close.
That said, ones that are in contention right now for making the cut onto the board I’m enjoying (in no particular order) are my old ‘88 RAT, Maxon ROD 880, an ‘80s Marshall Guv’Nor and a ‘90s Marshall Shred Master. I have a Benson Preamp coming to try. A couple of those will make the cut, and I’ll likely have a TS of some kind and Klone (TBD) that would go in front to boost any of them.