Best Surf Fishing Rods 2023

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Surf Fishing Rods

What Are the Best Surf Fishing Rods?

Today I present you with an article that will surely be a great help when buying a surf rod. While experience and technique are essential to a successful fishing day, it is also true that the right gear makes the task much easier. The first thing to take care of is the fishing rod. Indecision when choosing a rod is a common problem for all anglers. And that prompted me to write this article. It is very important to have the right rod for the type of fishing we want to do. However, the number of options that determine whether a rod is suitable for us or not is huge, and this complicates the decision somewhat.

Our Selection 10 Best Rods for Surf Fishing

ImageProductBrandLink
St. Croix TSRS90M4 Triumph Surf 4-Piece Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Tape Handle, 9-feetSt. Croix RodsBuy on Amazon
UGSA12XH2STICABuy on Amazon
St. Croix Rods Mojo Surf Spinning RodSt. Croix RodsBuy on Amazon
Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods (Large, Black/Blue/Silver), 72 inchOKUMABuy on Amazon
PENN® Battalion™ Surf SpinningPENNBuy on Amazon
Tsunami Airwave Elite Spin Fishing Rod 2 Pc 11' 20-40 Lb TSAWESS-1102HTsunamiBuy on Amazon
DBLUE 11'4" L (15-30 lbs) Surf Conventional Rod Featuring FUJI Seat Titanium Graphite BlankDBlueBuy on Amazon
Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 4-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (Length: 11')FiblinkBuy on Amazon
Goture Surf Spinning Fishing Rod - 4 Piece Graphite Fishing Rod Portable Carbon Fiber Travel Surf Rod - 9ft Surf RodGotureBuy on Amazon
Ugly Stik Carbon Spinning Fishing Rod Red/Black, 7' Ultra Light - 2pcUgly StikBuy on Amazon

To save your work and make your life easier, I analyzed the top-selling surf rod models and came up with a list of 10 that I think are the best. Rods with excellent performance, good wear resistance, and, of course, the best performance/price ratio.

1# St Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod

St Croix Surf Spinning Rod

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I want to say that this is the best rod for surf fishing. The rod is based on high-quality SC-II graphite, which is characterized by increased strength properties. This includes guides with an aluminum oxide insert in a black steel frame. The unique St. Croix Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology allows you to create optimal forms using unique cores. After many years of work, St. Croix specialists have created an advanced technology for the automated process of curvilinear cutting of blanks.

This technology is called Taper Enhancement Technology (TET). To further increase the strength and durability of blanks, St. Croix specialists have developed a modern technology for impregnating carbon fiber with resinous compounds, called Fortified Resin System (FRS). The use of FRS made it possible to prevent micro-foaming of impregnating compositions during curing and to increase the strength of blanks by 33% compared to traditional impregnation methods.

Pros
  • Flexible

  • Increased strength

Cons
  • The case is too heavy. I couldn’t put it in my luggage

2# Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Tica UGSA Surf Fishing Rod

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I decided to buy this rod after hearing positive feedback from a friend of mine. He thinks this is the best surf rod in its price range. The blank is incredibly durable, responsive thanks to its material. It is made from TC3 high modulus graphite. The line runs smoothly through the guides. Fuji Hardloy ring guides prevent line tangling. You will have complete control of your rod thanks to the comfortable cork handle. Available in lengths from 8 to 12 feet.

Pros
  • Non-slip grip

  • This has the foldable hook keeper

Cons
  • This rod seemed to me quite heavy

3# St. Croix Mojo Surf Graphite Saltwater Spinning Fishing Rod

St. Croix Surf Fishing Rod

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If you value the high performance of a product but do not want to spend a fortune on it, then I advise you to pay close attention to this model. You will feel a superior rod in your hands: light, strong, and responsive like no other rod tested before. This accessory is made from the most popular material such as graphite fiber. You will feel comfortable gripping the X-WRAP handle. Even while fighting a huge fish, you will feel the maximum comfort. The model is equipped with lightweight surf guides with zirconium rings and black frames.

Pros
  • High-quality Fuji DPS reel seat with black hoods

  • Additional coating for fishing rod from damage

Cons
  • It is not available to all users due to the high enough price

4# Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods

Okuma Surf Fishing Rod

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This rod is specially designed for surf lovers. This equipment is moderately priced, but it combines a number of high-quality elements that make it a very high-performance piece of equipment at a much more reasonable price. It has high strength and sensitivity due to the graphite composite billet. You will feel any bites, but you will be able to make long casts. The model is equipped with double guides made of stainless steel, which ensures the movement of the line without getting stuck!

Pros
  • Lightweight construction

  • It stands up to harsh tests

Cons
  • I would recommend this model for beginners only. Professionals can find a better option on this list

5# PENN Battalion Surf Spinning

PENN Battalion Surf Spinning

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This is one of the most powerful inshore fishing rods available. The one-piece rod blank is made using high-quality carbon and composite materials, ideal for catching large marine fish such as tuna, cod. To make a tackle such as this surf rod, you had to have the highest qualifications in the coastal sea fishing profile. And therefore, the company actively uses the advice of famous fishing world champions.

A powerful, resilient blank will allow long-distance casting of a heavy sinker weighing 100-250 grams, often in a headwind or even worse rain. It has large LTS rings protected against corrosion. They will prolong the life of the braided lines and will not rust in the conditions of aggressive saltwater. It fits perfectly into the sophisticated American tackle design with a practical handle finished with durable EVA.

Pros
  • It takes up a minimum of space during transportation

  • Strong and resilient

Cons
  • To be honest, I couldn’t find any visible flaws

6# Tsunami Airwave Elite Spin Fishing Rod

Tsunami Airwave Spin Fishing Rod

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This model is universal for catching a predator on the shore. Thanks to this spinning rod, all kinds of ultralight lures can be used. It is made of high modulus Pro graphite. This model is characterized by lightness, elasticity, and the ability to withstand loads. The spinning rod has a super-fast action, the rod does not bend completely when attacking a predator. During the fight to play a large predator with an ultra-light rod, the tackle is loaded evenly, due to its balance. The set of this model includes wear-resistant and lightweight rings, a comfortable Fuji reel seat, an ergonomic handle made of dense microporous material.

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable

  • High-quality finish

Cons
  • This product is less durable than others

7# DBLUE Surf Conventional Rod

DBLUE Surf Conventional Rod

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Surf rod, thanks to which you can make extremely long casts with heavy lures. With this rod, your fishing will be very pleasant. Thin, light, fast action, reinforced with winding, wonderful guides, and interesting styling create a very modern tackle. It is made from titanium graphite. The EVA upper and lower handles will keep you comfortable throughout your fishing!

Pros
  • Sensitive design

  • The line does not get stuck in the guides

Cons
  • After a year of use, I noticed that the paint has worn off a little

8# Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Fiblink Surf Fishing Rod

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Combining power and lightness at a very competitive price. Low weight means, for example, throwing the line over long distances in an attempt to catch larger and valuable fish. Ideal for both beach and cliff fishing. Carbon fiber construction provides high sensitivity and durability. The guides are made from a mix of stainless steel and ceramic. This indicates their high quality, corrosion resistance. Plus, you’ll save yourself the trouble of fishing line.

Pros
  • Well balanced

  • High-quality guides

Cons
  • Slightly stiff

9# Goture Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Goture Surf Fishing Rod

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It is the ideal rod for advanced anglers. It achieves great launch distances due to its materials, but mostly if the right technique is applied. Thus, it is a product that gets all its characteristics in the hands of experts. With great resistance, power, and lightness. With the right presentation, you can even outperform your competitors by 25%. Always remember that adapting the rod to the person using it is the main benefit of getting the most out of it. The product is made from carbon fiber. It is equipped with a non-Slip rubber shrink tube handle for a comfortable pastime.

Pros
  • Maximum sensitivity

  • This ensures smooth casts

Cons
  • It has lower quality guides than other models

10# Ugly Stik Carbon Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Spinning Fishing Rod

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Due to its advantages, it more than meets the requirements of both beginners and more experienced fishermen. According to some users, the weight of the leads with which it responds best is in the range of 110 to 125 grams. The rod has a graphite tip that lets you know even the smallest fish bites. The guides are made of stainless steel. They can be used with any type of line.

Pros
  • Guides resist corrosion

  • Comfortable handles

Cons
  • It may seem too bulky to some

What is Surf Fishing?

When I first asked my son what surf fishing is, I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I heard his answer. He replied that it was surfboard fishing. Agree that it looks very funny in your head. In fact, surf fishing usually boils down to one basic principle. Fishing takes place in sea conditions without the use of a boat and from the shore. Fishing without a boat can save you money, as many who love the sport spend a lot on a vehicle that needs to be stored and maintained somewhere else.

The ability to move at ease on the beach gives the angler more freedom to enjoy. For many anglers, getting the fish out of the water by wading through the impact of the waves can be more thrilling than catching from the comfort of the boat.

What is a Surf Fishing Rod?

Surf rods are specially designed for coastal fishing, which has a number of features. Firstly, these are unfavorable conditions: strong wind, strong current or no current at all, scorching sun, saltwater. Secondly, sea fish are very fond of the bottom location, where there is something to eat, especially in the surf. Therefore, a rod for such fishing should be powerful, capable of long or even ultra-long casts, and work with heavy lures. A surf rod meets these requirements. Moreover, experienced fishermen use it not only for sea fishing but also for fishing in water bodies with difficult conditions.

Which to Choose?

The most experienced anglers using this special fishing technique usually carry at least 3 rods of different lengths, ranging from 3.80 to 5 meters. Thus, they can travel long different distances.

Surf rods can be:

  • Telescopic: They range in length from 390 to 450 centimeters and can be parabolic, peak, or progressive. They are the best selling ones.
  • Connecting rods: sleeve or split, ideal for incredibly long casts. These are very strong and precise rods.
  • Mixed: half of the barrel is telescopic and the other half is fixed. This is a model that has enjoyed extraordinary success for several years now.

Surf Rod Accessories

Choosing a good rod means not only focusing on the material of the structure and its type. Accessories also play a fundamental role:

  • Surf rod reels: For this technique, you can use fixed spool reels (recommended for newcomers to this fishing technique) as well as spinning reels (more difficult to handle). Both must have certain technical characteristics: maximum speed when casting and lifting; adjustable and stable friction; a system for easy coil change.
  • Rod Holder: surf rods are quite heavy and cannot be held in your hand for long. For this reason, we recommend very comfortable legs for setting your rod on the shore. They provide great stability.
  • Guides: The best surf rods are equipped with very strong double bridge guides.

Factors to Consider When Buying

Material

Usually, you have to choose between fiberglass and carbon. Lightweight is one of the priority factors in this decision.

Carbon is clearly the winner in this regard and is also better suited for beach fishing. It also wins at the price. And it has other benefits like faster startup recovery. Its use is becoming more common. Also, one of the main characteristics of carbon rods, which began to be produced in the 70s, is that they are both tough and lightweight.

But an important practical tip: carbon attracts lightning, so it is strongly discouraged during a thunderstorm.

Fiberglass is a common material. The production of this component began in the 1950s. It is a flexible material, and while the price of carbon tends to be higher, there are fiber models that can come close to or even surpass them. Fiberglass is optimal for starting and some anglers prefer it for heavier species.

Length

Usually, the most suitable lengths for this method are in the range of 4 to 5 meters. The size is due to the need to keep the line above the waves. For beginners, it is advisable not to exceed 4.5 meters, since beyond this measure they need more advanced fishing techniques. Other important parameters should be considered, such as the growth of the fisherman, since the main thing is to feel comfortable with the product. The goal is for the rod to be an extension of the arm.

Rod Action

In short, the action of the rod marks the high point of its elasticity. This parameter is expressed in grams. The smaller the amount, the more flexibility.

There are three main actions:

  • Parabolic. Also called slow. The rod curves from tip to base depending on the weight of the bitten fish. It is most suitable for the heaviest objects.
  • Semi-parabolic. The rods designed for this action are the most versatile. It is most suitable for training in fishing as its elasticity is suitable for all types of users.
  • Fast-acting. The rod only bends at the tip. They are usually very thin and long and are designed for catching small fish.

The first two are best for surf fishing, as long and precise casts prevail.  It is important that the rod used in this fishing can be fully curved. There are models that try to offer more versatility: neither too stiff nor too elastic.

Flexibility and Sensitivity

You need a rod that can bend without breaking. If, for example, you are reeling large fish, you must believe in the flexibility of your equipment. Also, look for super-sensitive gear that will give your rod durability.

FAQ

What's the difference between a regular rod and a surf one?
The difference between a regular fishing rod and a surf one is that the surf rod is designed for sea fishing, usually from the shore or from the pier. They are generally longer than most conventional rods, so they can be cast far.
When should I use the best saltwater surf fishing rods?
The best time to use a fishing rod is at sunset when the water starts to cool and fish emerge from the bottom to hunt. The tide can also be significant at noon. Watch the ebb and flow of currents. The fish is often found in the depression between the beach and the shallows or reef.
What are the benefits of using a surf rod?
The biggest benefit of using surf rods is the ability to fish from the shore, and this is an essential piece of equipment for surf fishing enthusiasts. Surf fishing rods are easy to operate and use, making them convenient for beginners, professionals, and kids alike. Surf rods are versatile because they can be used to catch big and small fish depending on the type of hooks, lures, or baits used on the rods.

Conclusion

Surf fishing is always a real pleasure for me. With patience, a relaxed spirit, you can catch coveted fish such as sea bass, sea bream, flounder, or halibut.  From my list, I want to highlight the St Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod, which is very suitable for beginners but also has features that will satisfy more experienced anglers. Everything at a fairly affordable price.

Tags: #best surf fishing rods / #best surf fishing rods and reels / #best rods for surf fishing / #best saltwater surf fishing rods / #best telescoping surf fishing rods / #what are the best surf fishing rods

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: FishReeler.com sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep FishReeler.com free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Xandor Sunqin
Xandor Sunqin
2 months ago

I completely agree that the level wind can have a huge impact on casting distance and can also be a pain when it comes to sand ruining it. That’s why I personally prefer to avoid it when trying to cast for distance. In my experience, the Squall Casting Special is a great reel that can handle the job well. Personally, I have the Fathom Casting Special and it’s been an excellent choice for me.

When it comes to distance casting, a longer rod is definitely one of the most important factors. However, it’s worth noting that Penn isn’t exactly known for making lightweight gear! That being said, if you can let me know your budget, I can definitely offer some pointers on which rod companies to look into. There are different tiers of rods available based on how much you’re willing to spend, and a custom rod might also be an option if you’re finding longer rods too unwieldy.

Lastly, it’s worth considering your technique. Practicing your technique can make a huge difference in your casting distance. I recommend watching some instructional videos online to get a better understanding of how to optimize your technique. Remember that the rod functions as a lever, and your hands act as both a point of force and a fulcrum. The hand at the butt of the rod should be pulled towards you, while the hand by the reel should be pushing forward. I’ve found that a lot of people struggle with this technique because they only push without pulling the butt of the rod toward them.

Neston Trasoqi
Neston Trasoqi
2 months ago

When it comes to choosing a rod for fishing, there are two major factors to consider. The first is whether you’ll be throwing chunks of bait or lures/plugs. If you’re using lures, it’s important to be able to cast repeatedly without wearing yourself out, so a shorter rod is usually necessary. Typically, a 9 to 10 ft rod is suitable for plugging in the surf with lures weighing 1 to 3.5 ounces. On the other hand, if you’re using chunks of bait, you can get away with using a longer rod, say 10 to 11 ft, since you don’t need to cast as frequently.

The second factor to consider is the distance you’ll be casting. If it feels like a 12 ft rod is overkill for the distance you need to cast, then it’s worth scaling back to a smaller size.

Speaking from my own experience, I find that a 12 ft rod is too big for my height, and I might return it for a smaller size. Alternatively, I’ve used it to drop baits from a kayak, which is also safe. Currently, I’ve been using an 11 ft rod, which is short and light for me, and I’m able to cast really far with it. Since I’m located in Texas, the fish are generally closer than you might think. I remember when I first got into surf fishing, I caught a red drum right off the shore using a 6’6″ rod and a 1 oz weight.

I think sometimes we get caught up in brand names and having the latest gear, but what’s most important is having reliable equipment that suits our needs. I’m definitely going to check out smaller rods for my own fishing needs.

Pranox Vanabella
Pranox Vanabella
2 months ago

When I’m out fishing for stripers, blues, and fluke in NJ, I never feel the need for a 12-foot rod. Personally, I use a heavy 10-foot rod with an 8000-size reel and 50lb braid for chunking, which is rated up to 8oz so I can use a 6oz lead. I also use a 10ft medium with a 5000-size reel for throwing artificial lures, and I have no issues getting the plugs over the sandbar. During the summer fluking season, I switch to a 10ft light rod with a 2500-size reel.

Some people tell me that conventional reels can cast further than spinning reels from the beach, but I haven’t seen this happen. I find spinning reels much easier to use, and I always check the weight of what I’m throwing if the distance is an issue.

For plugs, I prefer using a 9’6 Tsunami rod, as anything much bigger can wear you out in no time. When it comes to soaking bait, an 11ft rod should be more than enough. I also use waders to get out a little further.

Although I may have gone a bit big with my rod size, I suggest stripping the line off and returning it for the next size down. Don’t worry too much about buying name brands, as when you’re fishing as we do, you want the best equipment to avoid any failures. Overall, I believe you’re on the right track, and good luck out there!

Qupar Padosh
Qupar Padosh
2 months ago

I’ve been using a 9’6 M Tsunami Airwave Elite paired with a Penn Slammer lll 4500 for my fishing trips, and it’s been a great setup for me. The rod is lightweight enough to allow for casting all day without getting tired, yet it has a strong backbone to handle bigger fish like stripers and bluefish. 

As for the reel, some may find the 4500 a bit heavy, but it’s just right for my needs. It’s also sealed to protect against saltwater and sand, which is a plus. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a different reel, you can always go for a Daiwa BG.

Cyramus Martium
Cyramus Martium
2 months ago

When I first started putting together my ultra-light setup for striper fishing, I did a lot of online shopping since it was during the pandemic. I went by weight specs when choosing my gear and wasn’t too familiar with all the brands and preferences. I focused on the 1 to 1 1/2 oz range for lures and got a Dark Matter OB surf rod with a Fuego reel. But since I wanted something that could be dunked, I impulsively bought the VR50 reel when I saw it in a shop in late August.

I mainly fish by wading a sandbar just south of Boston and mostly catch schoolies. The VR50 is lightweight and can whip lures pretty far, which is great for my messed-up shoulders as I approach 50. I’m not sure how it will handle bigger fish yet, but I’m still learning and searching for those.

As I wanted to throw bigger lures, I got the 9-foot Black Hole striped bass special and paired it with a bailess VS150 reel I got for Christmas last year. I originally thought I would be fishing on boulders and beaches this year, but family obligations have kept me closer to home. I still prefer the VR50 as it’s easier for me to use and am considering the VR75 which has been recently released. I’ve also heard that Van Staal improved the gearing and internals on the VR50, which makes it even more appealing.

Brathran Junqa
Brathran Junqa
2 months ago

I’ve been doing some research on surf gear lately, and I must say, the more I look into it, the more confused I become. I see big brands like Penn and Okuma offering starter combos for as little as $50, $80, and $100, while also marketing high-end rigs that cost several hundred dollars. Some experienced anglers even believe that anything less than a custom rod and a multi-hundred dollar Avet reel is a waste of time.

However, I’ve also seen local fishermen catching fish with their budget-friendly Wallyworld specials. While I understand the concept of “you get what you pay for” to some extent, it’s hard to determine where the real value lies for a casual hobby fisherman like myself. Are the cheap combos from big box stores only meant to last for one season? And if so, where is the first and second tier of longevity and durability in surf gear? It’s a lot to consider and can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Transpono Andonlium
Transpono Andonlium
2 months ago

I’ve been surf fishing for a few years now, and if you’re just starting out, an 8 or 9ft rod is a good choice. I see that other commenters have recommended the Diawa BG reel, which I agree is a great choice, but if it’s too much for your budget, I would suggest starting with a Penn Fierce III combo. It’s a pretty solid combo that should run you around $100-120, and I’d recommend getting the size 5000 or 6000.

One thing to keep in mind is that salt and sand can be big enemies to your gear. Make sure to rinse your reel lightly with fresh water after every outing, and if it takes a good dunk or gets buried in the sand, it’s important to break it down and clean it soon after to prevent damage from those elements.

When it comes to line, I’d recommend spooling with a braid. Around 25-30lb test is good, but you can go stronger or weaker depending on your needs.

If you only plan to use one rig, I would suggest a pompano rig, also known as a dropper rig or high/low rig. You’ll want to get some pyramid sinkers, usually 3 or 4 oz, but it depends on how rough the surf is and if your bait is getting washed away. The weight goes on the end, and then there are 1 or 2 “drops” where the bait goes. If you make your own rigs, which is easy to do with some guidance from YouTube, I’d recommend using circle hooks in size 1 or 1/0.

As for bait, shrimp is always a good choice, fresh or frozen. Salted clam is great too but can be hard to find. Other options include squid, mullet, sand fleas, and Fish Bites, which are a cleaner option than real bait and can be just as effective. Always ask the bait shop what is biting and what bait they recommend.

In terms of technique, throw your rig out and set it in a sand spike. Try casting in front of or behind the sand bar or near any structure where you notice irregular wave patterns.

When it comes to lures, there are a lot of options depending on what you’re targeting. Some popular choices include spoons, diamond jigs, bucktails, gulp plastics, and topwater poppers.

If you’re targeting fish for eating on the east coast of the US, some popular options include pompano, whiting, flounder, and sea trout. If you’re looking for a good fight, sharks and rays are a great option, but be sure to use bigger hooks and chunks of fish and toss it out far.

Xandor Ordineta
Xandor Ordineta
2 months ago

I’ve been in the market for a surf fishing rod and have been researching various options. After looking at many brands, I found the H2O Xpress 12′ graphite rod for just $50 at Academy Sports. It seems like a great deal to try out a longer rod and see if it’s right for me. However, I also agree with the other commenters that your current 10′ Penn rod is of high quality and many other rods may be a downgrade.

I personally wouldn’t recommend the Ugly Stik as it can get the job done, but it won’t perform as well as other options. Instead, I’d suggest looking into the Airwave or Airwave Elite from Penn, which are very nice rods for the price. The Prevail is also a great option in its price range. Although I haven’t tried the Prevail II yet, I can’t imagine it being worse than its predecessor.

While these options may not be as good as Tsunami rods, they are still far better than the Spinfisher and Ugly Stik, in my opinion.

Fazus Gozelle
Fazus Gozelle
2 months ago

If you’re looking for a good rod and reel combo for general use, I would recommend a 9 or 10ft rod and a 5000-size reel. The reel size is important for line capacity, but keep in mind that the rod should be doing the work pulling in the fish, not the reel.

I personally prefer a reel that can hold about 300 yards or more of the line strength I plan on using, usually around 20-30lb. The Daiwa BG is a good option, and it’s compatible with the next size up in other brands. So a BG 4000 would be similar to a Penn 5000, just check the rated line capacity on the reel.

If you’re on a budget, rod, and reel combos can be a good choice. I’ve used both a Penn Fierce and a Spinfisher combo and they’ve held up great. The reel is usually the most expensive part, so don’t worry too much about the rod being cheap. Just make sure it’s a good length and has the right action for your needs.

Metorium Inqo
Metorium Inqo
2 months ago

Sure thing! When it comes to choosing the right rod and reel for surfcasting, it’s important to not overestimate the size of the reel you need or the braid power you require. For example, I personally surfcast with as low as 2500-3000 size reels, especially when using lures. 

With a 15 lb braid, you can actually land much bigger fish than people realize. In fact, I’ve reeled in 40+ inch redfish with a properly powered rod. Additionally, you may want to consider using the Spiderwire Ultracast braid, which is even thinner than the 15 lb braid, so you can pack more lines onto smaller reels.

If you’re on a budget of under $200, I would recommend looking at a BG 3000 reel and physically going into a store to pair it with a rod that is 8-10 feet in length. Make sure to hold the setup and ensure that it feels balanced, with neither the rod nor the reel overpowering the other in weight. 

Tsunami makes decent rods, though their reels aren’t great. A medium-heavy power rod that can handle 1-4 oz lures should suffice, and you can use heavier weights like frog tongue weights or sputniks in heavy surf conditions. 

The BG reels run a bit big, so you may appreciate having a lighter setup in the long run. This type of setup can also be used for jigging off a pier or casting lures in the surf. You’ll thank yourself later for choosing a lighter setup if you plan on casting repeatedly.

If you really get into surfcasting and have a larger budget later on, one of my favorite setups is a STAR rod VPR 9 foot paired with a Shimano Stradic 5000 size reel. 

Shimano does a great job of making well-sealed reels without the weight, but they do come at a higher cost. This setup is super light, can handle packing on the braid, and can cast a long distance while still being comfortable for all-day use. A strong, lightweight rod paired with a larger, ultra-light reel makes for a fun day of fishing.

Lucaaq Nardinia
Lucaaq Nardinia
2 months ago

I wouldn’t recommend selling back a fishing rod to a store. As for catching sharks from a pier, that’s certainly possible with the right gear.

I personally don’t have a good opinion of Ugly Stiks. I had a 10-foot Ugly Stik and a 10-foot Tsunami Trophy series a few years ago. The Ugly Stik is too soft and doesn’t load well under heavy weight when casting. While the Tsunami is a little better, I still think it’s worth spending the extra money on a higher-quality rod.

When it comes to rod length, a 15-foot rod is generally better than a 12-foot rod of the same blank. However, I’ve found that I can cast an 8-ounce bait payload further with my 12-foot or 13-foot extra heavy rods than I could with a 15-foot Ugly Stik. I hope that makes sense.

Anjoon Vansolfo
Anjoon Vansolfo
2 months ago

I personally use a Penn Squadron III 12′ heavy surf rod, which is an affordable option that works great. With this rod, I can cast a 5 oz sinker and bait pretty far, and it pairs well with a Daiwa BG4000 reel loaded with a 30 lb braid and a 25 lb mono shock leader. This setup can handle most fish I expect to catch, excluding sharks.

For a lighter and more sensitive option, I also enjoy using the Daiwa 10’6″ surf rod. Sometimes going too big can actually cause you to miss fish, so it’s important to choose a setup that’s appropriate for the size of fish you’re targeting.

While a 25000 reel with an 80 lb braid and a steel leader may be suitable for sharks or other toothy ocean fish, it’s not necessary for most fish you’ll encounter in the surf. So, unless you’re specifically targeting larger fish like sharks, you can save some money and go for a more affordable option like the Penn Squadron III and Daiwa BG4000.