Top 10 Best Surf Fishing Rods Of 2023 | Tested And Reviewed

A well planned surf fishing tour can be ruined because you have selected a low quality rod besides spending extra bucks from your pocket. Let me tell you a secret about surf fishing. Do you know that 50% of the success in surf fishing depends upon choosing the best surf fishing rods? Whether your answer is yes or no, in both cases, this article will provide you with a detailed review of quality surf rods on the market and all the nitty gritty about beach fishing. 

Best Surf Fishing Rods

I still remember those days when I was nube in surf fishing. I was trying my best to catch my first trophy fish for a while, but all in vain. After time had passed, I realized my selection of surf gear had never been up to the PAR. But during these hard times, I experienced many things about surf fishing, including how to select the best rod for surf fishing. Based on my experience, I have compiled a list of rods I have tested thoroughly.


PENN Carnage III

PENN Carnage III Spinning Fishing Rod

  • Comfortable grip
  • Length: 11 feet
  • Reel Seat: Fuji DPS
  • Lightweight
Shimano Tiralejo

Shimano Tiralejo Spinning Fishing Rod

  • Material: Graphite
  • Length: 9.6-12 Feet
  • 70/30 split grip
  • Lightweight
Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

  • Length: 10 Feet
  • Lure Weight: 1-5 oz
  • Easy to work
  • Material: Carbon Fiber

Let’s find out how we have tested these rods. Later, we will review each of them and guide you about surf fishing.

How I Tested the Best Surf Fishing Rods

Every surf rod has some unique characteristic, a rod can be the best for me but not for you because of personal preferences. Some rods are specifically designed for certain conditions and tactics where they perform amazingly. Still, they will go out of the list when tested to a different condition. Hence, choosing the best comes with something other than testing a single rod. I have been into surf fishing for years and purchased several rods to test by myself. While testing these rods, I had a critical approach toward the features of the surf rod, build quality, material, strength, flexibility, and style.

How I Tested the Best Surf Fishing Rods

Does it mean that an expensive rod will be the best one?

No, it doesn’t. As mentioned earlier, the rod’s quality depends upon factors other than the price. So, while testing the rod, I was always asking myself some questions about the rod, and those were.

  • How sensitive is the rod, and can it feel even a little bite?
  • Is it strong enough to handle a big fish?
  • Does it fit well in hand? (Is the handle grip comfortable enough?)
  • How does the rod behave while casting and retrieving?

To know the efficiency and comfortability of the rod, I was figuring out each rod against these points. Furthermore, I referred to my seasoned fisherman friends to avoid biases toward any particular brand and to seek their valuable input as per their experience.


Best Surf Fishing Rods: Reviews & Recommendations

After we have gone through the selection details and a little overview of surf rods, let’s review the best selected rods of 2023 out of many in the market.

Here is the list

Image Product Feature Price
Top Pick
 

PENN Carnage III

1. PENN Carnage III
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Power: Medium-heavy
  • Length: 11 feet
Check Price
Croix Seage
2. Croix Seage
  • Length: 7- to 10 Feet
  • Lure Weight: 2- to 6-ounce
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
Check Price
Okuma Rockaway SP
3.Okuma Rockaway SP
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Power: Medium
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
Check Price
St. Croix Avid Series Surf Casting Rod
4.St. Croix Avid Series Surf Casting Rod
  • Lure Weight: 6-16 oz
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Line Weight: 20-60 lbs
Check Price
Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod
5. Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod
  • Reel Seat: Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods
  • Handle Material: Cork Tape 
  • Line Weight: 8-20 lbs
Check Price
Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
6. Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Length: 10 Feet
  • Line Weight: 12-30 lbs
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
Check Price
Penn Battalion II Surf Spinning Rod
7. Penn Battalion II Surf Spinning Rod
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Line Weight: 12-20LB
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
Check Price
Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod
8.Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod
  • Length: 9 – 11 feet
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Handle Material: Non slip rubber shrink tube
Check Price
Shimano Tiralejo
9.Shimano Tiralejo
  • Action: Moderate Fast – Fast
  • Material: Graphite
  • Reel Seat: Fuji Reel Seat
Check Price
Penn Squadron III Surf Conventional Rod
10.Penn Squadron III Surf Conventional Rod
  • Length: 10 -12 Feet
  • Lure Weight: 4 Ounces
  • Power: Medium – Heavy
Check Price

1- PENN Carnage III Best Medium Weight Conventional

PENN Carnage III
  • Length: 11 feet
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Lure Weight: 2- to 6-ounce
  • Guides: Fuji K SIC /SS
  • Reel Seat: Fuji DPS 
  • Line Weight: 20 to 40-pound test
  • Power: Medium-heavy
  • Material: S3SL Carbon and Fiberglass Blank
  • Handle Material: Hypalon/Rubber Shrink Tube

Every angler’s dream is to have the best quality blank with premium features. Carnage III is a top-notch rod with a perfect design manufactured under the belt of PENN at a reasonable price for customers. 

About six to seven months ago, I bought 2 Carnage III blanks (Medium-action and medium-heavy action) from PENN. Constructed with S3SL Carbon and Fiberglass, the rod blank provides immense strength and durability, still being lightweight.

The handle was constructed with a Hypalon/Rubber Shrink Tube. It’s very comfortable indeed, especially on long casts. You can hold it for a long time, and it won’t bother you. 

PENN Carnage III Best Medium Weight Conventional

Moving forward to other high-quality components, I was amazed by the performance of Fuji K SIC guides and Fuji DPS reel seats. The guides with SIC inserts helped me in a smooth cast, reducing the risk of tangles and bird nesting. At the same time, the DPS reel was all behind the secure and stronghold during the casting.

Overall, the PENN Carnage III is a lightweight, durable, and trustable rod for any angler. It provides strength and sensitivity without compromising any other feature. I still highly recommend it for surf casting, knowing that PENN provides only three variants of size and power in Carnage III. The manufacturer will look into this matter and try to overcome these limitations.

Pros
  • The rod has the best quality blank and Guides.
  • Comfortable grip.
  • The rod is almost unbreakable.
Cons
  • It’s a little heavy
  • You might feel difficulty while tightening the Reel Seat

2- Croix Seage Best Striped Bass Rod

Croix Seage
  • Length: 7- to 10 Feet
  • Action: Medium Fast & Fast
  • Lure Weight: 2- to 6-ounce
  • Guides: Hero Hi-Grade 
  • Reel Seat: NPS reel seat
  • Line Weight: 15- to 40-pound test
  • Power: Medium-heavy
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork

First I wasn’t sure about how this rod would perform so before buying this rod I took a recommendation from an old friend who had experience of surf fishing with Jerry Audet. Jerry is not only a great surf caster but also part of many surf casting journals. He recommended it without any second thought.

Multiple manufacturers claim to be the best surf fishing rods producer for the striped bass. I have tested many but I was literally amazed by the performance of Croix Seage Best Striped Bass Rod. 

With multiple variants Croix Seage rod is 7 to 10 feet long with medium heavy power and medium fast to fast action. The blank is constructed with carbon fiber making it lightweight yet durable. The rod has an extraordinary strength and versatility, that it helped me to land a 38 pound striped bass. As the rod is light in weight so you can throw it for hours in water.

Croix Seage Best Striped Bass Rod

The rod was so smooth during the casting thanks to the Sea Guide Hero Hi-Grade guides and aluminum oxide rings. The NSP reel seat made it further comfortable and secure. Overall the rod can be a perfect choice for surf fishermen and women to catch large and small species. With multiple available selections, low profile handle and light blank i’m sure it will not disappoint you at all.

Pros
  • The rod is strong and sensitive.
  • Covers large distance with absolute accuracy
  • It’s lighter in weight.
Cons
  • I literally didn’t found any flaw in this rod

3- Okuma Rockaway SP Best Surf Perch Rod

Okuma Rockaway SP
  • Length: 8.6 Feet
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Lure Weight: ¼- to ⅝-ounce
  • Guides: SeaGuide Stainless Steel
  • Reel Seat: Okuma double locking with SS Hoods
  • Line Weight: 8- to 17-pound test
  • Power: Medium
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam

When it comes to surf fishing, the typical image that comes to mind is of someone standing on a sandy beach, wielding long, heavy rods either in their hands or secured in rod holders, patiently awaiting for a thrilling big catch. However, there’s another side to surf fishing. 

One that involves small games and light gear. Okuma Rockway is especially designed for this kind of fishing. It works best with small baits and lures for targeting surf perch, redfish and speckled trout. 

While testing Okuma Rockway I found an ultralight, sensitive yet powerful and durable rod. Constructed with 30/40 graphite material, this rod becomes a true pleasure to hold in your hands. The EVA foam handle provides a comfortable grip. My every cast turned out to be smooth, thanks in part to the stainless steel sea guides. 

Okuma Rockaway SP Best Surf Perch Rod

There is a small gap in the reel seat which makes it more sensitive so you can feel even a slightest nibble.

While the manufacturer claims that the rod can handle lure weights ranging from ¼ to ⅝ ounces, my testing led me to believe it can handle even more. I put it to the test with a lure weighing 1 ounce, and the rod responded efficiently.

Overall Okuma Rockway SP is a best surf fishing rod for targeting surf perch and similar small species. If you are looking for an ultralight surf fishing rod then you must give a try to Rockway SP.

Pros
  • Okuma Rockaway is a Pocket Friendly option.
  • EVA Split grip provides extra comfort
  • The Sea guides of this rod are phenomenal.
Cons
  • The rod feels a bit fragile(But actually my experience was great). 

4- St. Croix Avid Series Surf Casting Rod

St. Croix Avid Series Surf Casting Rod
  • Length: 12 Feet
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Lure Weight: 6-16 oz
  • Guides: Fuji K-Series KW tangle-free guides w/ Alconite rings
  • Reel Seat: Fuji DPS Deluxe
  • Line Weight: 20-60 lbs
  • Power: Heavy
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork Tape 

Let’s talk about another masterpiece from St.Croix and that is the Avid series surf casting rod.Constructed with high-modulus SCIII carbon (graphite) material, having higher strain rate than normal carbon fiber. Although it’s a two piece rod, it feels like a single piece rod which makes it highly sensitive yet strong and durable.

I have tested this rod a few times and it proved its worthiness. The Fuji K-series guides provided smoothness in each cast. With the help of these guides I was able to cast much longer than I thought. It is one of the finest rods I ever owned with a perfect combination of power, strength, action and durability. This rod totally justified its price value.

The real seat of the Avid series rod is also amazing. If we talk about the handle, it is made of cork which provides you extra grip, making sure that you don’t lose any cast. Avid 11 and 12 footers perform perfectly with weighted jigs. In comparison to the other similar rods from different brands I found it much slimmer than Shimano and Daiwa’s surf rods.

St. Croix Avid Series Surf Casting Rod

Tip: Dont try not to add sinker and then another weighted lure as it will result in tackle ending up spinning out.

Many years ago most of the companies moved their production units to china and the chinese rod was half of the price of rod made in the USA. But these factors compromised the quality of fishing rods. Not in the case of Avid series surf casting rods because these are Made in USA and provide you warranty of 15 years.

Pros
  • The supple tip is helpful for tossing lighter lures
  • The rod is strong and robust.
  • Provides maximum casting distance.
Cons
  • The handle is a little long which made it somehow uncomfortable for me.

5- Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod Best for the Money

Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod
  • Length: 7 – 10.5 feet
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Lure Weight: 3/4-4 oz
  • Guides: Sea Guide Atlas aluminum oxide guides
  • Reel Seat: Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods
  • Line Weight: 8-20 lbs
  • Power: Medium
  • Material: Premium quality SCII carbon
  • Handle Material: Cork Tape 

Every person looks out for a product that provides the best value for money. And if you are looking for the same then Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod can be the first choice. Curated with Premium quality SCII carbon the Triumph surf spinning rod is extremely strong and almost unbreakable. 

The carbon fiber used in the blank construction provides higher strains as compared to other materials and makes it durable and sensitive. That’s why i was able to launch 4oz weight with 40 lb test

Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod Best For The Money

Croix has been versatile ever since, hence they are offering this rod in multiple lengths from 7 to 10.5 feet. Being a seasoned angler you might be aware that the 8-10 feet length is optimal for surf fishing. But sometimes the longer rods become a headache as it’s never easy to travel and carry the long rods along, but this rod made it easier for me as it was offered in 4 pieces with a travel case. 

So you don’t have to worry about breaking the rod or losing guides due to such issues. Similar to the previously mentioned rod by St. Croix this rod also offered a strong grip, thanks to its carbon tape made handle. 

Overall it has been a great experience with this rod and I would definitely recommend it. The only drawback of the rod is its price but that totally justify because of the value which it provides. Cherry on the top

Pros
  • As it comes in a four piece version too which makes it easy to transport.
  • The handle feels much more comfortable.
  • Price friendly as compared to other rods with same features and category
Cons
  • The rod is available in only a few variants.

6- Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod Best Under $100

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Length: 10 Feet
  • Action: Moderate-fast action
  • Lure Weight: 1-5 oz
  • Guides: Stainless steel mixed with ceramic inserts
  • Reel Seat: Wheel seat with stainless steel tapered hood
  • Line Weight: 12-30 lbs
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Non Slip Rubber Shrink Tube Handle

With Sensitive and Solid Carbon Fiber Construction and high-quality guides, Fiblink surf spinning fishing rods stand out as the best surf rods under $100. The balance between all the specifications makes this rod Best For Beginners. I have tested this masterpiece multiple times, and every time, it has proved its worth. 

Its moderately fast action provided a perfect balance of strength and sensitivity. Fiblink blank is made of carbon fiber, which has the ability to stand against harsh water conditions.

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod Best Under $100

Another important factor while considering a rod is its length because it varies from technique to technique and the type of fishing as well. The Fiblink rod is 10 feet long, which makes it perfect for surf fishing. The rod is available in multiple pieces based on your selection. 

I never had any problem while handling the rod, thanks to its non-slip handle. However, this rod is not very advanced and does not meet the requirements of high-end rods. But the Fiblink rod strikes a perfect balance between quality and cost.

Overall, any beginner who’s looking for a rod that doesn’t cost too much and can satisfy their surf fishing requirement at its very best. I would suggest they go with the Fiblink Surf Spinning rod. Rest assured, It will not disappoint you.

Pros
  • Best option for beginners who want a surf rod under $100
  • Easy to work with.
Cons
  • It’s a good option with lower price but not a heavy end rod.

7- Penn Battalion II Surf Spinning Rod Best Under $150

Penn Battalion II Surf Spinning Rod
  • Length: 9-11 ft
  • Action: Moderate Fast
  • Lure Weight: 3/4-3 ounces
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Reel Seat: Fuji graphite reel seat
  • Line Weight: 12-20LB
  • Power: Medium
  • Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam

Let’s move to the next ideal, lightweight, powerful, and durable surf rod on our list. Penn Battalion II is made with composite graphite construction, which makes it not only sensitive but lightweight as well. I have tested this rod on multiple occasions, and let me tell you, because of its medium power and moderately fast action, it proved itself to be one of the most responsive rods.

It has been smooth and reliable during harsh saltwater fishing conditions, thanks to its Fuji Alconite ceramic guides. The lightweight guides enhanced casting distance and retrieval. The Fuji graphite reel seat kept the reel securely in place. 

There was no issue with the grip while handling the rod, as the rubber shrink tube grips offered comfortable handling even when wet. This feature helped me a lot, especially during intense fights.

Penn Battalion II Surf Spinning Rod Best Under $150

The most impressive thing that I found about this rod is the combination of high-end parts like Fuji alconite guides and Fuji DSP seats at an affordable price. Though the rod is available in limited-length options with medium and medium-heavy power, it still provides a tailored experience while casting.

The graphite composite material creates a perfect blend of lightweight performance and durability. It’s better in performance as compared to Penn’s Prevail surf spinning rod. These remarkable qualities make it an excellent choice for fishing enthusiasts looking for quality and affordability.

Pros
  • Provides a great value for price.
  • The rod is very responsive.
  • The grip is amazing and helps you to control the rod even in wet conditions.
Cons
  • Available only in limited length options.

8- Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod Best Lightweight

Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod
  • Length: 9 – 11 feet
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Lure Weight: 2-5 Oz
  • Guides: ALPS blazing Zirconium guide inserts
  • Reel Seat: PacBay reel seat with anodized aluminum rings
  • Line Weight: 30-50 LBS
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Non slip rubber shrink tube

Designed with 30-ton carbon Okuma Cedros Surf, CSX is a steller lightweight and sensitive rod for responsive fishing. The carbon construction makes it corrosion resistant. During my testing, I noticed the rod offers a quick and robust response, which makes it ideal for surf fishing. 

When we talk about the guide insert, Cedros has ALPS blazing Zirconium guide inserts, which make the rod durable and strong.

The rod has provided enhanced casting distance because of the stainless steel double-footed guide frames by ALPS. It features smaller diameter guides than traditional surf rods, ensuring it casts as well as, if not better than, its competitors. 

Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod Best Lightweight

Again, like the previously mentioned Penn Battle II, this rod is also built with a non-slip rubber shrink tube handle that provides a comfortable grip even when wet. 

What sets the Cedros CSX apart is its limited lifetime warranty, providing peace of mind for anglers. The replacement program allows for a trade-in within three years of the purchase date for a nominal fee of $50. Okuma has designed it with a focus on reducing weight without compromising on strength or sensitivity. I would appreciate its casting distance, accuracy, and durability.

Okuma Cedros Surf CSX presented exceptional value in a lightweight, strong, and sensitive surf fishing rod. I would say it exceeded my expectations due to its design, performance, and build quality.

Pros
  • The rod is lightweight in nature.
  • It is very sensitive so you can feel a slight nibble.
  • Offers lifetime warranty.
Cons
  • The rod paint is not so good, which might expose it to harsh saltwater condition

9- Shimano Tiralejo Best Spinning Rod For Surf Fishing

Shimano Tiralejo
  • Length: 9.6-12 Feet
  • Action: Moderate Fast – Fast
  • Guides: Fuji K-Frame Alconite Guides
  • Reel Seat: Fuji Reel Seat
  • Line Weight: Up to 65-lb
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork/Black Shrink Tube Grip

Shimano Tiralejo has been another of the best surf fishing rods in my experience. Genuinely speaking, I was amazed by this rod in terms of casting distance, and it was able to handle 4 Oz lures so easily. 

Shimano has been known in the industry due to their diligent attention to detail, and it reflects in this masterpiece. Tiralejo’s complex four-layer carbon design adds strength and resilience to the lightweight and powerful blank.

Shimano Tiralejo Best Spinning Rod For Surf Fishing

I would recommend using this rod with Shimano Ultegra XTD, Ultegra CI4+, or Shimano Stella 5000 or 1800 surf reels. The actions and guide settings are perfectly tailored for these reels. Secondly, I would like to share my experience about the strength of this rod. Its strength exceeded my expectations by handling up to a 65-lb braided line, proving its worth.

The Fuji stainless frame guides guarantee durability, which is a crucial factor in surf fishing. The rod is available in medium, heavy, and heavy power with moderate action with multiple length options from 9.6 and 12 feet. Despite its solid construction, this rod is still lightweight and easy to use.

Anyone who is looking for a  solid and durable rod that can cast longer should give it a try.

Pros
  • The grip is amazing.
  • The reel seat of tiralejo bears locking nut 
  • The rod has 70/30 split grip
Cons
  • The only con of this rod is its price

10- Penn Squadron III Surf Conventional Rod Best Conventional Under $100

Penn Squadron III Surf Conventional Rod
  • Length: 10 -12 Feet
  • Action: ‎Fast
  • Lure Weight: 4 Ounces
  • Guides: PENN Dura-Guides
  • Reel Seat: Graphite Reel Seat
  • Line Weight: 12-20Lbs
  • Power: Medium – Heavy
  • Material: Graphite Composite Blank / Composite
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tube Handles

The Penn Squadron III Surf Conventional Rod stands out as an excellent choice for surf fishing with a conventional reel. It is most favorable for those anglers looking for a budget-friendly option. The rod length is 10-12 feet, which makes it ideal for surf fishing. Featuring a lightweight, graphite composite blank construction, this rod is specifically designed for surf fishing.

Like most anglers I have used this rod to target the large fish like sharks and bull reds. If you want to do the same, I recommend you go with the 12-foot-long rod option with heavy power. It delivers a more parabolic and forgiving bend, making it suitable for fighting large saltwater fish.

Penn Squadron III Surf Conventional Rod

If we talk about durability, It is equipped with one-piece stainless steel PENN Dura Guides. Furthermore, the graphite reel seat is used to protect it from the harsh environment of saltwater. I have discussed these features with one of my co-anglers, and after using them, he was amazed, too. The rubber shrink tube handles ensure that you don’t lose the grip even if it’s wet.

Above all, the mentioned features, when combined, form the Penn Squadron III Surf rod, which is a durable, reliable, and budget-friendly option.

Pros
  • Best budget friendly conventional surf rod in the market.
  • Specifically designed for surf casting.
  • Strong, slim, durable and lightweight.
Cons
  • The guides felt a little narrow to me for a larger size reel.

Best Surf Rods Comparison Table

RodLengthActionLure WeightGuidesReel SeatLine WeightPowerMaterialHandle Material
PENN Carnage III11 feetMedium Fast2- to 6-ounceFuji K SIC /SSFuji DPS20 to 40-pound testMedium-heavyS3SL Carbon and Fiberglass BlankHypalon/Rubber Shrink Tube
Croix Seage7- to 10 FeetMedium Fast & Fast2- to 6-ounceHero Hi-GradeNPS reel seat15- to 40-pound testMedium-heavyCarbon FiberCork
Okuma Rockaway SP8.6 FeetMedium fast¼- to ⅝-ounceSeaGuide Stainless SteelOkuma double locking with SS Hoods8- to 17-pound testMediumCarbon FiberEVA Foam
St. Croix Avid Series12 FeetMedium fast6-16 ozFuji K-Series KW tangle-free guides w/ Alconite ringsFuji DPS Deluxe20-60 lbsHeavyCarbon FiberCork Tape
Croix Triumph 7 – 10.5 feetMedium fast3/4-4 ozSea Guide Atlas aluminum oxide guidesFuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods8-20 lbsMediumPremium quality SCII carbonCork Tape
Fiblink Surf Rod10 FeetMedium fast1-5 ozStainless steel mixed with ceramic insertsWheel seat with stainless steel tapered hood12-30 lbsMedium HeavyCarbon FiberNon Slip Rubber Shrink Tube Handle
Penn Battalion II Surf Spinning Rod9-11 ftMedium fast3/4-3 ouncesAluminum OxideFuji graphite reel seat12-20LBMediumCompositeEVA Foam
Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod9 – 11 feetMedium Fast2-5 OzALPS blazing Zirconium guide insertsPacBay reel seat with anodized aluminum rings30-50 LBSMedium HeavyCarbon FiberNon slip rubber shrink tube
Shimano Tiralejo 9.6-12 FeetModerate Fast – Fast2-6 ozFuji K-Frame Alconite GuidesFuji Reel SeatUp to 65-lbMedium HeavyGraphiteCork/Black Shrink Tube Grip
Penn Squadron III10 -12 FeetFast4 OuncesPENN Dura-GuidesGraphite Reel Seat12-20LbsMedium – HeavyGraphite Composite Blank / CompositeRubber Shrink Tube Handles

What’s The Best Rod For Surf Fishing? 

Well, the answer is more complex. You must consider a few factors and scenarios while selecting the best rod for surf fishing. If I’m at your feet, I will ask a few questions myself, and based on the answer, I will choose a rod that complies with my needs.

What’s The Best Rod For Surf Fishing
  • First of all, I would ask myself about the target species.
  • My second question will be about the location. Like where I can find those species, what types of land there is, is it a sandy beach or a rocky shore. 
  • I will consider the few challenges I might face while casting. I can be the seaweeds or rough shores or anything like that. It will also impact my selection.
  • And lastly my fishing style preferences and remaining gear selection like lures, rigs, and surf rod holders.

From above, you can see each factor impacts the selection of a rod. It depends upon your thought because you are the one to choose and you are the one who knows the best about his preferences.

But I recommend a 10 -12 feet medium-heavy power rod with moderate to fast action. Such rods provide enough boost and casting power in any kind of surf fishing scenario. 


What Size Rod Do I Need For Surf Fishing? 

While talking about surf fishing rods they are available in length ranging from 8 feet to 12 feet. But the choice of rod length depends upon two factors.

What Size Rod Do I Need For Surf Fishing
  • How far you want to cast.
  • The size of your targeted fish. 

Both shorter and longer rods have their own advantages and drawbacks. Shorter rods, such as those around 8 feet, are easy to carry and maneuver as well as budget friendly. On the other hand longer rods like 12 feet in length offer improved casting distance and provide you better control over your cast.

Sometimes it’s become a little tough to handle a longer rod for extended casting hours. In case if you are a beginner to surf casting i would recommend you to go with 8 feet longer rod as it provides enough strength and power to handle a fish, without compromising your controllability. 

You can choose your rod size by considering the  above mentioned factor. From my end a general recommendation for the best all-around size for surf casting is a 8 to 10 Feet longer rod, a versatile choice for experienced and beginners anglers.

Style of Surf FishingBest Rod Length
Light Tackle (Carolina Rig)8’6″
Lures (Jerkbaits)8’6″
Lures (Swimbaits)9′
Sharks13′

What’s The Best Power For Surf Fishing?

When we talk about the best rod power for surf fishing, it’s debatable. Because sometimes it comes to preferences as well. But as per my experience and what I have learned from other co-anglers, the medium-heavy power rod works best for surf fishing. 

If you are targeting big species like sharks or bull reds, I recommend going with Heavy power rods.  


What’s The Best Action For Surf Fishing? 

In short, moderate-action rods are best for surf fishing.

Before going deep into the best action for surf fishing, let’s find out how the rod action is described or what rod action is. Basically, rod action determines the bent of the rod tip when any force is exerted.

  • Fast Action Rods= bends at the tip (top ⅓ of the rod)
  • Moderate / Medium Action Rods = bends at the middle (top ½ of the rod)
  • Slow Action Rods = bends at the bottom (from just above the handle to the tip
Best Action For Surf Fishing

Now, let’s move forward to the best rod action for surf fishing. It depends on many factors. If you are using a single hook, then you should go with fast action. Because the single hook always needs setting power. But in the case of treble hooks or, in general, moderate action rods work best.


Does The Material Matter?

Yes, the selection of material matters a lot in surf fishing. When we talk about the blank material, there are mainly three types of material used for the construction of surf fishing blanks. It is graphite, fiberglass, and composite material. Graphite is lightweight and sensitive, but the drawback is that it is not as strong as fiberglass. On the other hand, the fiberglass rods are strong, but they are on a little heavier side.

Does The Material Matter

It is better to get a combination of both, and that is composite material rods, which allows you to choose the rod having both of the above qualities. The rod manufacturer offers a different ratio of graphite and fiberglass in composite material. Well, the selection depends upon your preference and your target species. If you are targeting larger fish, then you should go with a higher ratio of fiberglass and vice versa.

But keep in mind that graphite construction is more expensive than fiberglass.


What Makes A Fishing Rod Capable of Handling Bigger Fish?

The capability of a rod to handle a bigger fish is determined by the line weight, lure weight, and power. As heavy as these factors are, the rod will be capable of handling the larger fish. But when choosing the Best Surf Fishing Rods, don’t only look for these factors. As there are other things like the sensitivity, etc which might impact your fishing journey


What Are The Best Surf Fishing Rod Brands? 

Here is the list of most popular surf fishing brands in the market. They are well known because they produce quality surf rods. 

  • Shimano 
  • Penn
  • Shakespeare Ugly Stik
  • Okuma 
  • St. Croix
  • Daiwa
  • KastKing
  • Lew’s

Remember, it doesn’t mean that all the products coming from these brands are of the best quality. We have covered all the aspects of a high-quality surf rod, so before selecting any, try to go through each aspect and find the perfect surf rod for your next fishing adventure.


How to Choose the Best Surf Fishing Rod | Buying Guide

How To Choose The Best Surf Fishing Rod Buying Guide

Price Factor

Having been an avid angler for quite some time,I have noticed that quality surf fishing rods come with a heavy price tag. However, when it comes to the best surf fishing rod, there should be  a balance between exceptional quality and affordability.You can find a range of surf rods priced between $50 and $300.


The cost of a surf fishing rod is determined by the quality of its components, the materials used in its construction, and its overall design of the rod. Now as the technology is evolving,  many features once exclusive to expensive surf rods are now available in mid-priced options. All that’s required is a solid understanding of the key components used in these rods to make a perfect choice.
If I’m at your feet I would ask myself a couple of questions. Why am I choosing this rod? Is it just for fun or is it for serious angling?


Based upon the answer of these questions and my understanding I will either go for a high end surf rod or a mid range option.

Handle Of Surf Rod

The selection of handles mostly depends upon your personal preferences. The surf rod handle grips are generally made of cork, EVA foam, or Rubber Shrink Tube. Again, the selection of the length of the rod handle also depends upon personal preferences.

Not all the time, but in most cases, the length of the handle is almost the same. The main thing to remember is you will be fishing in a moist, wet, harsh saltwater condition; make sure you choose a grip material that does slip from your hand and provides you with a perfect balance of grip and comfort.

Blank Material

The rod blank is a long, flexible section that makes most of the rod. When selecting the best surf fishing rods, make sure you are selecting the right blank material. Because most of the factors, like strength, sensitivity, and performance of the rods, depend upon the quality of the blank. 

Whether you are selecting fiberglass, graphite, or composite material blank, make sure it aligns with your fishing needs. In the rod mentioned above, Shimano Tiralejo has the best blank in terms of quality as it is by using layering techniques, which helps to make a strong rod blank without compromising on sensitivity.

Action Of Surf Rod

When we talk about the action of a rod, it has been discussed in detail earlier. If you are going for surf fishing, make sure what your target fish is and what kind of rigs or hooks you are going to use. Select the rod action aligned with the particular target species. Go with fast-action rods if you are using a single hook and moderate action in case of a treble hook.

Guides 

If you are into fishing, you must have an idea of what rod guides are. These are the circular eyes shaped through which the line passes. The rod guides are available in different materials, and all of them have their benefits and drawbacks. 

Alconite and SiC guides are lightweight, strong, sensitive, and more responsive to fish bites. These guides make sure the smooth line flows and absorb heat to prevent braided lines from burning out when you are fighting with ferocious fish.

There are other lower to mid-range options available, like ceramic, stainless steel, and titanium guides. Ceramic guides are light and resistant to corrosion but lack durability. Stainless steel is strong, yet it’s heavy and can rust over time. Titanium, although lighter and stronger than stainless steel, is more prone to breaking rather than bending when under excessive pressure. However, it resists corrosion better.

Reel Seats

The rear seat is another important component of the surf fishing rod. It holds the reel along with the rod. It can be of any material like plastic, stainless steel, or graphite. Stainless steel reel seats are strong but heavy and cannot stand against the harsh saltwater environment. On the other hand, hard plastic doesn’t have enough strength. 

Graphite reel seats are lightweight, solid, and corrosion-resistant, but they are a little expensive. If you have enough budget, then go for graphite reel seats.

Local Surf Fishing Info

I have learned surf fishing not only by experience but also by taking advantage of the experience other anglers already have. In the case of surf fishing, you will see in any area or beach, most of the surf anglers gather for surf fishing. You can ask them to take their advice and watch them. See what kind of tactics they are using, what kind of rod they have, and what type of reel works best for them. These factors help a lot as an angler. 

You can read the local journal about surf fishing and take advice from different anglers in your area through the fishing forums. Or you can visit the Tackle shop in your area because most anglers must be buying stuff from there so that shopkeeper might have a good idea about the perfect surf gear which will work better in your area.

Tactics For Surf Fishing

While choosing the Best surf rods, you should match your rod features with tactics and techniques you are going to use while catching the fish. The selection may vary in the case of bait fishing and lure fishing techniques. If you are going for lure fishing, you should try a sensitive rod, and in the case of bait fishing, go for a rod with a solid backbone as bait fishing requires such a rod, which can throw heavy rog and hold the sinker as well.

The length of the rod also plays an important role, as a longer rod will provide you with some extra casting distance. On the other hand, the shorter rod is more accurate and precise. The same works with the action of the rod as Fast action rods are much more sensitive while slow action rods can hold extra weight.

For bait fishing, you can check Penn Battalion II 1530S10, Tsunami Airwave 1002MH, and for Lure fishing St. Croix Seage 100MMF2, ODM D.N.A. NXD-104, Lamiglas G.S.B. 10MS would be beneficial

Storage and Transport

When considering surf rods for their convenience in transport and storage, it’s important to note that these rods, due to their length, can be challenging to carry around. However, some options in the market come in two pieces, addressing this issue to some extent. These rods are available in breakdowns of 50/50 or 60/40.

Surf rods with a 60/40 breakdown tend to be more effective for surf casting. Their design with a smaller lower section and a longer blank plays a crucial role. The longer the tip of the rod, the better the bend it offers through its length. For instance, a 12-foot rod with a 60/40 breakdown comprises an 8-foot tip and a 4-foot butt section, optimizing the bend and performance of the rod during surf casting.


frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a beach rod and a surf rod?

Beach rods are mostly shorter in length and lighter, while surf rods are longer and heavier.Beach rods are a good choice for fishing in calm waters while surf rods are ideal for fishing in rough conditions.

FeatureBeach rodSurf rod
Length9-10 feet10-12 feet
PowerMedium to medium-heavyMedium-heavy to heavy
ActionMedium to medium-fastMedium-heavy to fast
ConstructionGraphite or fiberglassGraphite or fiberglass
Ideal useCalm waters, bays, estuariesRough waters, strong currents, waves

What weight line is best for a surf rod?

The best weight line for a surf rod depends on the type of fishing you are doing and the size of fish you are targeting. However, a good general rule of thumb is to use a 25-50 pound test braided line.

Here are some specific recommendations for different types of fishing:

  • Bait fishing: 25-40 pound test braided line
  • Lure fishing: 30-50 pound test braided line
  • Shark fishing: 50-80 pound test braided line

Is a longer surf rod better? 

Yes, a longer surf rod is generally better for casting distance. This is because a longer rod gives you more leverage to swing the rod and load the line. However, longer rods can be more difficult to cast and control, especially in windy conditions.

LengthProsCons
Longer (10-12 feet)More casting distance, better at keeping the line above kelp and other debrisMore difficult to cast and control, especially in windy conditions
Shorter (9-10 feet)Easier to cast and control, better for fishing in tight spacesLess casting distance, more likely to get the line caught up in kelp and other debris

Final Thoughts on the Best Surf Fishing Rods

Surf fishing provides you with an extra dose of adventure and enjoyment. But it can be a frustrating journey if you have selected a surf rod that is not perfect for surf angling. If you are still reading, it means you have enjoyed and are convinced about the information provided in the article. All the Rods reviewed in this article are either by myself or by my co-anglers. We can Proudly say these rods are the Best surf fishing Rods in the market, as per our experience. Last but not least, Keep visiting our blog for more tips on different fishing environments and techniques. See you later.

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