Best Surf Fishing Reels For The Money, Reviews 2023

by Homer F. Obrien

If you’re an experienced fisher looking to experiment with different techniques, surf fishing could be the right activity. This type of fishing involves standing on shore or wading in the ocean and casting into waves in search of big ocean catches. To make sure your surf fishing trips are successful, having quality gear is essential, and when it comes to reels, making an informed choice can improve your chances of a good catch.

With so many options on the market, deciding which are the Best Surf Fishing Reels for you can be difficult. Don’t worry! We’re here to help. Our comprehensive guide curates all of the top-rated surf fishing reels and provides essential information on various aspects such as spool size, frame materials, features, and more. Keep reading to find out which are sure bets for a successful day on the shoreline!

best surf fishing reels

Top 9 Best Surf Fishing Reels Reviews

Surf fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but it requires special equipment that may differ from other fishing types. This section will review 9 of the best surf fishing reels available today. We have done extensive research and consulted with experienced anglers to bring you an honest opinion and provide useful information.

Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel

The Shimano Vanford is a work of engineering genius with a long history of brilliance. With its premium components and cutting-edge technology, this best spinning reel for surf fishing is built to push the limits of performance and dependability, giving anglers the confidence to fish. Its CI4+ body is lightweight and rigid for a comfortable feel in your hand.

The Magnumlite Rotor also decreases rotational inertia by a maximum of 48%, enabling you to react instantly to any circumstance. Shimano’s exclusive HAGANE Gear and top technology guarantee snag-free performance and increased durability, so you can take advantage of a better fishing experience for years.

Invest in the new Shimano Vanford, one of the Best Surf Fishing Reels, to improve your fishing abilities and take your angling to the next level.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite expensive.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 412+ total reviews.

This reel has an excellent rubberized grip and works well with lures up to half an ounce. Read buyer’s review here.


Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Spinfisher VI is the best reel for surf fishing for any serious saltwater fisherman. Carefully engineered to stand up to the toughest elements and able to give you the power and accuracy to land your catch, this reel is the perfect choice for a day out on the water.

With its IPX5 sealed aluminum spool and body, this reel is designed to combat corrosion and accommodate plenty of lines, thanks to its Line Capacity Rings. The reel is resistant to corrosion and features precision CNC gear technology for smooth, durable, and precise performance.

The Spinfisher VI has 6 total bearings, 5 stainless steel ball bearings, and one instant anti-reverse bearing, so you can enjoy a smooth and reliable fishing experience. Get the power and accuracy of the Penn Spinfisher VI and become the master of the sea!

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • After casing, you must manually close the bail.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 2,238+ total reviews.

The Penn SpinFisher spinning reel is an excellent choice for long-range trips, featuring the ability to switch reel handles to either side. Read buyer’s review here.


Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

Introducing to you another option in the list of Best Surf Fishing Reels – the Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel! Built for those who want to take their fishing game to the next level, the Slammer III is your ideal companion. This heavy-duty fishing reel is perfect for anglers looking to make a great catch from the shore or a boat. Revered by experienced charter captains, you can now reap the benefits and trustworthiness of this professional-grade reel.

In addition to its construction and design, the Slammer III brings advanced features to the table. Equipped with an IPX6 Sealed System, you won’t have to worry about water getting inside your reel and damaging its functionality. With the updated Slammer Drag System and our Dura-Drag material, you can rest assured that your drag system is smooth and reliable.

The Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel is the perfect choice if you’re an avid fisher looking for a dependable reel to help you make the catch of a lifetime. Make sure to get yours while supplies last!

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a little bit heavy.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.8 out of 5-star rating with 2,040+ total reviews.
The extra bearings, brass main gear, and improved handle of the Slammer III make it a more attractive option. Read buyer’s review here.


PENN Battle III Spinning Fishing Reel

PENN Battle III Spinning Fishing Reel

The Penn Battle III is the best in its class. It is the 2020 ICAST Online Best of Category Winner for Saltwater Reels and lives up to its title. This incredible reel is stronger, smoother, and even more durable than before, packing plenty of power and stability to catch the toughest catches.

This upgraded version of the legendary Battle reel comes with a forged and machined aluminum spool with titanium lip and stainless steel Superline spool, which helps secure the braided line. The all-aluminum construction makes the body and side plates super durable and long-lasting. CNC Gear Technology allows the Penn Battle III to crank in at a rate of 37 inches or 94cm for every turn of the handle. With its gear ratio of 6.2:1, users can do even more.

The Penn Battle III is the perfect choice for anglers who demand high performance but don’t want to sacrifice quality. Its superior construction, CNC Gear Technology, and line capacity can take on any challenge.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit heavy.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 2,131+ total reviews.
This reel is strong enough to fight large fish, versatile enough to cast a variety of jigs, and has been used in a month to catch over 60 fish in fresh and saltwater. Read buyer’s review here.


Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Introducing the Daiwa BG: the newest in saltwater and freshwater fishing reels. This reel is designed to withstand the toughest of fishing conditions, featuring a black anodized machined aluminum body and side cover that is durable and corrosion-resistant.

The Daiwa BG has an oversized Digigear that ensures smooth retrieves and a solid screw-in handle that helps the angler maintain a solid grip in wet and dry conditions. For added precision, the Daiwa BG also features an Air Rotor, a Dynamic Cut aluminum ABS spool, and a braided line-ready spool, so you can make the most of every cast.

The Waterproof Drag System and Carbon ATD will ensure your line never slips. The Daiwa BG is the perfect choice for any avid fisherman, with a line retrieval rate 47.4″ per handle turn. It’s time to take your fishing to the next level with Daiwa BG Best Surf Fishing Reels!

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • No automatic bail flip.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 3,262+ total reviews.
This reel is a great value without sacrificing quality, allowing users to take it everywhere without worrying about losing a more expensive reel. Read buyer’s review here.


Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel

Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel

The Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel is a tough and enduring fishing reel crafted to withstand even the harshest conditions. Thanks to its Magsealed main shaft, roller, and CRBB corrosion-resistant bearing, this reel ensures continuous smoothness and performance.

Not to mention the innovative Magnetic Oil, which is a Nano Fluid that can change its density and shape when a magnetic field is applied. Coming with a corrosion-resistant bearing, the Daiwa Saltist even lasts up to 12 times longer than other stainless steel ball bearings, giving you the peace of mind you deserve knowing your reel will always be ready!

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • The reel had a manual bail.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 540+ total reviews.
The Daiwa Saltist reel is highly smooth, responsive, and competitively priced compared to Shimano and Penn, making it worth considering for those looking for a good deal. Read buyer’s review here.


Penn CFTII7000LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

Penn CFTII7000LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

Introducing the new and improved Penn Conflict II spinning reel, the lightest spinning reel on the market. Perfect for fishing with ultralight tackle, the Conflict II has the highest quality materials and components for the most advanced performance.

The RR30 Rigid Resin body and rotor are incredibly light and durable, while the CNC Gear Technology ensures smooth, powerful action. The Superline Spool eliminates the need for backing with a rubber gasket to prevent slipping.

Precision-crafted and stealthily designed for fishing precision, the Penn Conflict II is a must-have for all spinner enthusiasts. Get the performance advantage with the Conflict II—the lightest spinning reel ever.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • The reel seat is thick and bulky.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 733+ total reviews.
The Conflict 2 reel is an affordable and reliable option for freshwater fishing, boasting long casts, smooth operation, and attractive design. Read buyer’s review here.


KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

Introducing the KastKing Sharky III Spinning Reel: the latest reel technology for any angler looking to land that trophy-winning catch. If you are finding the Best Surf Fishing Reels, you should consider this reel.

Fully equipped with an incredibly durable fiber-reinforced graphite body and rotor, Sharky III offers 39.5 lbs of smooth triple-disc carbon fiber drag for that extra pinch of power. Plus, it’s stainless steel main shaft and mesh manganese brass pinion gears give you more fishing muscle for your target species.

But that’s not all – Sharky III also comes with KastKing’s unique protection system, their Intrusion Shield System (KISS). This system helps to keep dirt and water out of the spool, body, and rotor so you can be sure of its longevity even in the toughest fishing conditions. On your next fishing trip, you can easily trust the KastKing Sharky III heavy-duty reel.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite small.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5-star rating with 4,556+ total reviews.
The KastKing Sharky 3 Spinning Reel is an excellent choice for anglers of all levels due to its durability, smooth drag system, and versatility. Read buyer’s review here.


Shimano Sienna Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano Sienna Spinning Fishing Reel

Introducing the Shimano Sienna FG reel, the must-have reel for all your angling needs! Available in sizes ranging from 500 to 4000, this is the perfect reel for freshwater and inshore fishing. Enjoy unparalleled performance and reliable operation with this durable reel.

Featuring the Propulsion Line Management system for easier casting and reduced wind knots and the Super Stopper II for instant and accurate anti-reverse with no back play, the Shimano Sienna FG ensures high performance with every use. The Shimano Sienna FG is the ideal reel for all anglers, and its amazingly affordable price point ensures you get a great product without breaking the bank.

What are you waiting for? Get your Shimano Sienna FG reel today and experience the most reliable, efficient reel you’ll ever use!

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • Fishing line heavier than 10 lb cannot be held.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5-star rating with 1,345+ total reviews.
For a reasonable price, this reel is smooth and casts well, allowing for an enjoyable fishing experience. Read buyer’s review here.


What Are Surf Fishing Reels?

Surf fishing reels are specialized reels designed to cast bait and tackle into the surf. These reels feature a larger spool for more line capacity and increased drag strength for more powerful and precise casts. Surf fishing reels also have longer handles for greater torque when fighting large fish.

The best surf fishing reels should be sturdy enough to withstand the harsh environment of the surf while still providing enough power and precision to cast accurately. Lightweight materials like graphite or aluminum are also important for reducing fatigue when casting long periods.

Whether you are a novice angler or an experienced pro, investing in a quality surf fishing reel is essential for success on your next trip to the shore.

Types Of Surf Fishing Reels

types of surf fishing reels

When choosing a surf fishing reel, it’s important to consider the type of reel you’ll need. The most common types of reels for surf fishing include spin casting reels, baitcasting reels and spinning reels.

Spin-casting reels are great for novice anglers or those looking to keep their setup simple. These reels feature a closed-face design and are easy to use. Spin-casting reels come in single and multi-speed models, often featuring an anti-reverse mechanism allowing more control over the fight.

Baitcasting reels offer higher precision than spin-casting reels, but they require some practice to master. These reels have an open spool design allowing for more control over the line and a greater number of gears for increased power. Baitcasting reels come in single and multi-speed models, making them a great choice for experienced anglers who want to fine-tune their setup.

Finally, spinning reels are the most popular reel among surf anglers. These reels feature an open-spool design allowing a variety of baits and lures to be used. Spinning reels are also comfortable to use, as they have larger handles than baitcasting or spin-casting reels. Many spinning reels come with anti-reverse mechanisms and even line counter options, making them ideal for experienced anglers who want a customized setup.

Feature/TypeSpin-Casting ReelsBaitcasting ReelsSpinning Reels
DesignClosed-faceOpen spoolOpen-spool
Ease of UseEasy (Great for novices)Requires practiceComfortable
Speed ModelsSingle & Multi-speedSingle & Multi-speedNot specified
ControlsAnti-reverse mechanismMore control over lineAnti-reverse, Line counters
Handle SizeNot specifiedNot specifiedLarger than others
Baits and Lures VarietyLimitedVariedMost varied
Target AudienceNovice AnglersExperienced AnglersExperienced Anglers

How Do Surf Fishing Reels Work?

best surf fishing reel

Surf fishing reels work by allowing the angler to cast bait or lures farther offshore and provide increased drag strength when fighting larger fish.

To cast a surf fishing reel, unhook the bail arm from the line roller and then push down on the spool tension knob. This will allow you to attach your lure or bait to the line and then cast out into the surf.

When fighting a fish, your reel’s drag system is handy. This system allows you to slowly apply pressure to the fish as it pulls against the line, allowing you more control over how much energy is expended during the fight. When increasing or decreasing drag, ensure you’re not overworking the fish or putting too much strain on the line.

Surf fishing reels are also great for retrieving lures and bait from long distances. With larger spools and longer handles, these reels allow you to cast farther into the surf and easily reel in your catch.

How To Set Up Surf Fishing Reels?

Surf fishing is a great way to enjoy the beach and catch some fish! But knowing how to set up your fishing combos correctly can be difficult if you’re new to surf fishing. Here’s what you need to know about setting up your reel for optimal performance:

  1. Select the right line for your reel. Monofilament lines are the most common for surf fishing, as they will give your reel more resistance in the water.
  2. Attach a leader to the end of your line. This should be around four or five feet long and made from a stronger material than monofilament, such as fluorocarbon or braided line.
  3. Tie a swivel to the end of your leader. This will help keep your line from twisting and tangling when cast into the surf.
  4. Next, tie a weight to the end of your leader. You’ll want to choose a weight suitable for the water depth and size of the fish you’re targeting.
  5. Finally, attach your lure or bait of choice to the end of your leader. Some various lures and baits can be used for surf fishing, so make sure you have the right one for the type of fish you’re after.

With these steps, you’ll be ready to start casting out into the surf! Remember always to remember safety when fishing, and never forget to bring sunscreen!

Can you like: Best Surf Fishing Lures, Baits, Surf Jigs & Plugs

Common Mistakes When Using Surf Fishing Reels

surf casting reels
Surf fishing reels can be a great addition to your tackle box, but if you’re not careful, you could make mistakes that could cost you time and money. Here are four common mistakes anglers make with their best surf casting reels:

  1. Not checking the line size of the reel before buying it. The size of your reel’s line will determine how much drag you can create when fishing in the surf. A larger diameter reel is usually better for heavier lures, while a smaller size works better for lighter ones.
  2. Not cleaning your reel after each use. Saltwater can be harsh on your reels, so cleaning off salt residue after each session is important. This will help to prevent the reel from rusting and deteriorating over time.
  3. Not using the correct drag setting for your particular type of fishing. Different types of fish require different drag settings, so it’s important to adjust your drag accordingly. For example, if you’re fishing with live bait, you may need to lower drag settings to prevent it from breaking your line.
  4. Not checking your line for knots or tangles. It’s easy to forget about this, but a knot in your line can cause problems when reeling in a fish. Additionally, if you have any old line on your reel, replace it with a new line.

By avoiding the above mistakes, you’ll be able to maximize your surf fishing experience and ensure that you’re always taking home plenty of fish!

How Can You Choose The Best Surf Fishing Reels?

surf casting reel
Fishing reels are not a one-size-fits-all purchase, and the type of reel you will need depends on the body of water you plan to fish in, as well as your preferred method of fishing. The following factors should be considered if you want to have the Best Surf Fishing Reels:

Drag Function

A reel’s drag function will determine how much resistance is applied to the spool when a fish is hooked. It should be adjustable and offer enough tension for the size of fish you are targeting. If it’s too weak, the line may break, and if it’s too strong, it can cause the line to snap off or even damage the reel.


Choose a fishing reel of durable aluminum, stainless steel or graphite. A good quality reel should last years and withstand harsh saltwater conditions with minimal maintenance or corrosion. Look for reels with sealed bearings to keep out dirt and debris and anti-corrosion features for added protection against the elements.


The size of your reel depends on the type and size of fish you are targeting, as well as your personal preference. Smaller reels may be easier to handle and cast but will not hold much line or have enough power to bring in bigger fish. Larger reels will hold more lines and have stronger drag capabilities but can be heavy and difficult to use.


Weight is important in selecting a surf fishing reel since it affects how easily it can handle and control. Heavier reels are generally sturdier and can handle larger fish, but they require more effort to cast and retrieve. Lightweight reels are easier to manage but may have less power or durability than heftier models.


Power measures a reel’s ability to pull large fish with minimal effort. Higher-powered reels are better for targeting larger species, such as sharks and tarpon, while lower-powered reels are more suitable for smaller fish. Choose a reel with the right power level for your target species and fishing style.

Line Capacity

The line capacity of a reel determines how much fishing line it can hold. If you plan to use heavier lines, you will need a reel capable of holding more line without adding unnecessary bulk and weight.

Casting Distance

Casting distance is the maximum distance to cast your line with a reel. Longer casting distances are better for fishing in open water, while shorter casting distances are more suitable for shallow waters where accuracy is key. Choose a reel that offers the right casting distance for your fishing style.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio determines how much line is retrieved with each handle turn. Higher gear ratios allow faster retrieves, while lower ratios are better suited for slower-paced fishing. Select a reel with the right gear ratio for your intended purpose.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings help keep a reel operating smoothly and decrease fatigue on the angler’s hands. A higher number of ball bearings will result in smoother operation, so look for reels with more than five ball bearings for added performance.


When selecting a surf fishing reel, it is important to consider the brand and reputation of the manufacturer. Look for trusted brands with a good warranty or customer service policy to ensure you get a quality product that lasts.


Saltwater fishing requires special care and attention to ensure the longevity of your reel. Look for reels that offer anti-corrosion features such as sealed bearings or anodized aluminum construction for added protection against the elements.


The cost of a reel will depend on its size, features, and brand. Generally speaking, higher-end reels with more features and power will be more expensive than basic models. However, you can often find good quality reels at an affordable price if you shop around.

Surf fishing reels come in various styles and sizes to suit different types of anglers. Consider all the above factors before purchasing, and select a reel that fits your fishing style and budget. With the right gear, you can have an enjoyable surf-fishing experience!


surf fishing reels

Where Is The Information On Surf Fishing Reels Regarding What Size And How Much Line Can Be Used?

The product features listed for each reel include information on surf fishing reels regarding what size and how many lines can be used. The weight of the fishing line that a particular reel can handle will vary depending on the model, so check the specifications before purchasing.

What’s The Line Capacity Of The 4000?

Most 4000-size reels have a line capacity of 180-200 yards of 20-pound test monofilament. However, this can vary by manufacturer and model, so refer to the product manual or contact the manufacturer for more specific information.

What Are The Benefits Of An Anti-Corrosion Reel?

An anti-corrosion reel is specially designed to withstand saltwater conditions and protect against corrosion. This ensures your reel will last longer and perform better even when exposed to harsh environments, making it a great choice for surf fishing. They are also easier to maintain as they require less frequent cleaning and maintenance than regular.

How Do The Sizes Of 4000 And 4500 Compare?

The 4000 and 4500 are both popular sizes of surf fishing reels. The 4500 is larger than the 4000 reel and holds more line, making it better suited for bigger fish. The 4000 is smaller and lighter, making it easier to handle but with less power and line capacity.

How Many Gears Does The 4000 Surf Fishing Reel Model Have?

The 4000-size surf fishing reel typically has five gears, giving it a wide range of power and speed options. The gear ratio determines how much line is retrieved with each turn so you can choose the right one for your needs. Most reels also have adjustable drag settings to help you adjust the resistance on the spool when fighting larger fish.

Which Types Of Reels Are Ideal For Surf Fishing?

The Best Surf Fishing Reels should be lightweight, powerful, and have a large line capacity. Look for reels with anti-corrosion features to protect against saltwater corrosion and adjustable drag settings for fighting larger fish.

Reels should also have a good gear ratio for retrieving your line quickly and accurately. The 4000 size is popular among surf anglers, but you may need to increase size if you target larger fish.

What Types Of Materials Work Well For Surf Fishing Reels?

Most surf fishing reels are made from aluminum or graphite, as these materials offer a lightweight yet durable construction. Graphite reels are more expensive but usually have lower weight and better casting performance than aluminum models.

Which Rod Should I Use With A Surf Fishing Reel?

For best results, pair your surf fishing reel with a saltwater-rated rod. Look for rods designed specifically for surf fishing, as these will offer the right balance of power and sensitivity for casting in open water. Choose a heavy or extra-heavy action model to ensure you have enough power when fighting larger fish.

Read more: Best Surf Fishing Rods of 2023 – Tested and Reviewed

Can You Surf Fish With A 4000-Size Reel?

Yes, the 4000-size reel is a popular choice for surf fishing. It is lightweight and offers good casting distance while still having enough power to handle larger fish. Make sure you choose a reel with anti-corrosion features for saltwater conditions and adjustable drag settings so you can easily fight bigger fish.

What Size Reel Should I Use To Catch Sharks Off The Coast?

For shark fishing, it is recommended to use a 5000 or 6000-size reel. These reels are larger and have more power than 4000 models, so you can fight bigger fish with less effort.

What Does A Fishing Reel’s Specs And Numbers Mean?

Fishing reel specs and numbers refer to the size, weight, line capacity, gear ratio, drag settings, and reel material. Knowing these specifications will help you choose a suitable model for your type of fishing.

The size indicates the diameter of the spool; heavier reels have more power but less casting distance. Line capacity refers to how much line the reel can hold; larger reels have more capacity but heavier lines require a bigger spool.

Gear ratio refers to how many times the spool rotates for every turn of the handle; higher numbers indicate faster line retrieval. Drag settings determine the resistance on the line when fighting larger fish, while material indicates the material the reel is made from.

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Which Is Better For Surf Fishing: Spinning Reels Or Conventional Reels?

Both spinning and conventional reels can be used for surf fishing. The best surf spinning reels are ideal for lighter lures, while the best conventional surf casting reel offers more power and line capacity for larger fish.

What Weight Should Surf Fishing Reels Have?

The weight of surf fishing reels will depend on the size and material used. Generally, reel weights range from 5 to 15 ounces for 4000 models. Larger reels like 5000 or 6000 tend to be heavier but remain lightweight enough to handle easily in the water.

What Are The Prices Of Surf Fishing Reels?

Surf fishing reels range in price depending on the size and features. Generally, basic models start at around $50, while higher-end models can cost several hundred dollars. Consider all the factors before buying and select a reel that fits your budget and needs.

How Are Surf Fishing Reels Maintained?

Surf fishing reels should be cleaned and lubricated after every use. Regular cleaning will help protect against corrosion and keep your reel in top condition. It is also important to check the drag settings and ensure all components work properly before heading out into the water. If any damages occur, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement of parts.


Surf fishing reels are a great tool for catching fish in saltwater conditions, and there are many models and sizes to choose from. After reading this blog, you can choose the Best Surf Fishing Reels yourself.

Shimano Vanford and Daiwa Saltist are great options for those looking for a smooth, responsive reel without breaking the bank. Penn Conflict II is perfect for those who want to fish with ultralight tackle, and KastKing Sharky III offers an incredibly durable design plus exclusive Intrusion Shield System (KISS) protection.

Finally, Shimano Sienna FG provides a reliable, affordable reel with excellent long-lasting design. No matter which of these reels you choose, your next surf fishing trip is sure to be a success!

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