Best Surf Fishing Rods of 2023 – Beginners Guide

by Homer F. Obrien

Finding the best surf fishing rods can seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time shopping around. To help you find just the right product, we are breaking down all things related to performance and price so you can make an informed decision about which type of surf rod is best suited for your needs.

In this blog post, we will review some of our favorite surf fishing rods on the market today – perfect for beginner anglers who want a reliable rod or experienced fish people hoping to upgrade from their current equipment. So grab your lure and line; it’s time to cast into the wilds of surf fishing!

best surf fishing rods

Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Surf Fishing Rods Reviews & Recommendations

I sought advice from experienced fishermen and extensively researched customer reviews. A comprehensive evaluation was conducted, taking into consideration factors such as construction materials, power rating, and overall design. With these stringent criteria in place, presented here are my top 10 recommendations for high-quality surf fishing rods suitable for buyers.

Best All Around Surf Fishing Rod: Penn Battalion II Spinning Rod

Penn Battalion II Spinning Rod

Introducing the ultimate surf fishing rod: the Penn Battalion II Spinning Rod.

Engineered with premium hardware and carbon fiber construction, this 10-foot powerhouse combines ultralight strength with unrivaled durability. With a line rating of 15 to 30 lbs and medium-heavy power, it offers a responsive coastal skirmishing experience like no other.

Its moderate fast action ensures quick and precise handling, while its lure rating of 1-5 ounces guarantees versatility for all types of fishing. Discover the perfect tool to elevate your surf fishing game.

The premium cork grip handle type C with EVA rod butt provides a comfortable, secure grip while fishing.

The FUJI GRAPHITE REEL SEAT and alconite ceramic guides provide a strong, reliable connection between the reel and line for both fresh and saltwater fishing.

Also, this product has a long reach and excellent sensitivity, making it suitable for catching large fish.

What We Don’t Like
The Penn reel is a great rod but the butt was initially too big to fit into PVC sand spikes.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5-star rating with 349+ total reviews.

Based on thorough research and reviews from the buyers, we found that this rod is suitable for people finding the best surf casting rods. And here is a comment from the purchaser as proof “this rod is an effective fishing tool for a variety of fish species”. Read buyer’s review here.

Grab your Penn Battalion Surf Spinning Rod here!

Best Heavy-Duty Surf Fishing Rod: Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod

Best Heavy-Duty Surf Fishing Rod: Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod

The Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod is the perfect tool for both casual and experienced anglers.

Designed with Ugly tech construction, this rod is tough and reliable enough to handle all of your fishing adventures in both freshwater and saltwater. Select models come with an Ugly Stik Clear Tip which provides extra sensitivity and strength.

With the Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod, you’ll have a dependable and well-crafted tool for years to come.

Ugly Tuff Guides are utilized for durability and accuracy.

The Fuji Reel Seat ensures a comfortable and secure fit.

Also, this spinning rod is designed for larger bait rigs, and is capable of withstanding heavy hits from hard-fighting fish.

What We Don’t Like
The rod has good stiffness but does not have a hook holder.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5-star rating with 1,019+ total reviews.

Here is a comment from a buyer who has bought and experienced this spinning rod, he reviewed that these rods have been able to handle a variety of game fish, sharks, and Rays with ease and are great for beach and boat fishing. Read buyer’s review here. So, this is a good choice for people who are considering buying the best surf spinning rods.

Click here to get your Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Fishing today!

Best Long Casting Surf Fishing Rod: Okuma Longitude Spinning/Baitcasting Rod

Okuma Longitude Spinning/Baitcasting Rod

The Best Long Casting Surf Fishing Rod: Okuma Longitude Spinning/Baitcasting Rod.

Experience the utmost in quality with premium components built to endure even the harshest conditions and the demands of an entire day of fishing. Their aluminum oxide guide inserts are braid compatible, while the double-footed stainless steel guide frames ensure your line stays perfectly aligned.

Choose the Okuma Longitude Spinning/Baitcasting Rod for an unparalleled fishing experience.

This longitude surf rod is designed with custom non-slip cork-wrapped handles and comes in five different lengths to suit any need.

Also, featuring a premium cork-wrapped butt section and stainless hooded reel seat, this surf fishing rod offers excellent grip and functionality.

Besides, the rod is of great quality for its price.

What We Don’t Like
The rod is a suitable weight for easy use, especially once one gets used to casting with it.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5-star rating with 1,658+ total reviews.

Our analysis and research led us to the conclusion that this product is excellent for consumers to purchase. It is stated by buyers that these Longitude Spinning/Baitcasting rods are an affordable and reliable option for surf fishing. Read buyer’s review here. In other words, for people who are looking forward to the best surf rods for the money, this rod is a good option.

Click here to get your Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods today!

Best Collapsible Travel Rod for Surf Fishing: Goture 4-piece Travel Spinning Rod

Goture 4-piece Travel Spinning Rod

The Goture 4-piece Travel Spinning Rod is the ultimate tool for your next surf fishing adventure. Whether you’re a beginner or a master at the sport, this easy-to-carry and versatile rod is the perfect companion for a peaceful and productive day at the beach.

Made from a 30-ton carbon matrix that achieves an ideal balance of sensitivity, strength, and power, the upgraded O guide ring is smoother, tougher, and more fracture-resistant than the previous edition. Plus, strength is increased by 10%, making it strong, yet lightweight.

Enjoy the convenience of the rod’s collapsible design and its optimal balance in the hand for comfortable long-term use. Buyers will find that the Goture 4-piece Travel Spinning Rod is an intuitive and reliable tool for mastering the art of surf fishing.

This 4-piece rod is lightweight and portable, perfect for traveling or backpacking.

The brand offers a one-year warranty and free replacement parts or a new product if the fishing rod breaks during its first use.

Also, this rod is an excellent choice for catching pike and walleye throughout the day.

What We Don’t Like
A small issue is when you want to fit the Penn reel to the rod, it is necessary to sand down the sides of the reel foot.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.2 out of 5-star rating with 1,077+ total reviews.

This is a lightweight, easy-to-assemble and deconstruct rod with a good carrying case and good action, making it perfect for travel – a super high-rated review from the buyer. Read buyer’s review here. Hence, from these good points of this product, we found it as an excellent choice for people choosing the best travel surf fishing rods.

Click here to get your own Goture 4-piece Travel Spinning Rod! today!

Best Telescopic Travel Rod Surf Fishing: KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Travel Spinning Rod

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Travel Spinning Rod

Experience superior performance with the KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Travel Spinning Rod, the best choice for telescopic travel rod surf fishing.

This rod uses SOLOSCOPIC PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGY to give unmatched strength, sensitivity, and performance by combining a solid glass tip section with a KastFlex Toray 24-Ton Carbon Matrix blank.

Its innovative six-piece telescopic design provides the convenience of easy transportation without sacrificing performance. With multiple floating line guides, this rod improves casting performance, ensuring a consistent and smooth taper while eliminating any flat or dead spots in the blank.

Also, the Snug-Fit ferrules allow for a full-length power transition, making this rod feel and perform like a one-piece rod.

KastKing BlackHawk II telescopic rods are constructed with high-quality components to provide a great travel or backup fishing pole.

People can easily extend or collapse the telescopic fishing rod, align the guides and twist each section from tip to bottom.

Moreover, this rod also is the perfect balance for a smooth, accurate, and comfortable cast.

What We Don’t Like

This rod doesn’t include more options for different colors besides black.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.1 out of 5-star rating with 3,126+ total reviews.

As a result of our in-depth investigation and evaluation, this rod is thought to be one of the best beach fishing rods. Most buyers felt it was an ideal option and stated that this telescopic rod is highly recommended, and it is worth spending a bit more to get the Blackhawk II instead of the Compass line.Read buyer’s review here.

Best Rod For Kayak Surf Fishing: Ugly Stik Tiger Baitcasting Rod

Ugly Stik Tiger Baitcasting Rod

The Ugly Stik Tiger Baitcasting Rod is the perfect rod for the serious kayak fisherman. Versatile and dependable, this rod is capable of landing all types of fish, both in the ocean and in freshwater. What’s more, this is a product from Ugly Stik, the maker of the #1-rod series in the world. With this rod, you’ll be sure to have everything that you need to land bigger and better fish.

This rod is designed with a 20-50lb line rating and medium power, making it perfect for larger species. The lure rating is 1-6 oz. means it can handle the pressure when you’ve got a big one on the line.

And best of all, you won’t have to worry about any of this falling apart. Ugly Stik Fishing rods come with a 7-year warranty, giving you an extra layer of confidence when it comes to their products.

This 1-piece fishing rod features a graphite reel seat with cushioned stainless steel hoods for comfort and protection.

This rod is made from graphite and fiberglass to provide a lightweight yet durable construction with a fighting-length type-B EVA handle and rubber gimbal for stability.

Besides offering high quality and durability, this rod is an excellent value for money.

What We Don’t Like

This rod has a quite sturdy construction.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5-star rating with 340+ total reviews.

Although there are some dislike points, this rod is one of the highest-quality ones that are acceptable for purchase. Moreover, this product also received almost good ratings from buyers. Ugly Sticks are highly sensitive and durable rods that come with a 7-year warranty, offering the best value for money when compared to graphite and glass alternatives – a buyer commented about this rod’s high quality and performance. Read buyer’s review here.

Okuma Celilo Salmon/Steelhead

Okuma Celilo Salmon/Steelhead

The Okuma Celilo Salmon/Steelhead series – a game-changer for fisheries in the Northeast and Northwest.

To create these exceptional rods, we collaborated with the finest anglers in the region, ensuring unmatched performance on the water. The Celilo series boasts flawlessly crafted actions, making them the ultimate choice for salmon, trout, and bottom bouncing.

Experience the Celilo series and elevate your fishing game today.

The Okuma Celilo Salmon/Steelhead rod features quality grade fore and rear cork grips, an 8’6” medium action, and an 8-17lb line rating.

The Okuma Celilo Salmon/Steelhead features aluminum oxide guide inserts and stainless steel hooded reel seats, which ensures the durability of the product.

This rod offers a combination of light weight, strength, and versatility.

What We Don’t Like

The reel seat lock, which screws down from the top, can be a design flaw for left-hand retrievers as it can become loose and wobbly while reeling in fish.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5-star rating with 994+ total reviews.

So, this product is one ideal option for people when choosing the best rods for surf fishing. It has been reviewed that Celilo rods are high-quality, lightweight, and durable products that offer excellent value for their price. Read buyer’s review here.

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod – the perfect tool for the ultimate catch.

This professional-grade fishing rod is built to last, with features that maximize your performance on the water. Crafted from high-grade fiberglass and heavyweight carpet, this rod provides the ideal combination of sensitivity and power for your adventure.

It has a powerful yet moderate-fast action that ensures maximum control of your casts. A great choice for heavier fishing, it can handle 20-40lb line weights and 4-8oz lure weights. Plus, the 5+1 guides give you the best control and accuracy when targeting the big one.

This spinning fishing rod with carbon fiber construction provides improved performance and sensitivity, perfect for boat fishing.

Also, the non-slip rubber shrink tube handle offers a secure grip with its tip-over-butt ferrule connection for maximum strength and durability.

Besides, stainless steel and ceramic guides maximize casting performance and sensitivity, while double-footed stainless steel frames ensure straight-line running.

What We Don’t Like

Many people can find it inconvenient that this pole does not have a guide on the first pieces to ensure correct alignment.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5-star rating with 1,974+ total reviews.

Therefore, despite some points being a little challenging for people, this rod is an ideal choice for people who want to buy high-rated rods for surf fishing. This product is highly recommended and received lots of good comments. Here is a review from a buyer. “My husband has been very happy with the surf rods I bought for him after researching them, and he appreciates that they break down into two pieces for easy transport and storage.” Read buyer’s review here.

BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

The Berrypro Surf Spinning: Unparalleled Performance.

Experience top-notch performance with our high-quality Berrypro Surf Spinning rod. Equipped with a stainless steel fishing guide featuring a ceramic ring, it ensures a remarkably smooth fishing experience. By minimizing friction between the line and the guide, you can enjoy effortless casting.

Our guides are meticulously aligned along the bottom of the spine of the blank. This ensures that when you make a long cast, the sensitivity of the line is seamlessly transferred to the rod and ultimately to your hand. Feel every tug and nibble with utmost precision.

This fishing rod features high-strength components for a comfortable and reliable experience.

Also, Berrypro Surf fishing rods are designed with IM7 X-Carbon technology blanks for superior sensitivity and strength.

Berrypro fishing rods are backed by a one-year warranty and customer service is available for any questions.

What We Don’t Like

This rod is good value for money, but is slightly awkward to handle due to its weight and balance.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5-star rating with 1,164+ total reviews.

Overall, this spinning rod is still a good option as a good fishing rod for beach. It is stated by the buyer that the BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod is an effective and affordable tool for making long casts and fighting large fish. Read buyer’s review here.

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

For every angler looking for a combination of strength, capacity, and versatility in their gear, the PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is the perfect choice.

Featuring an instant anti-reverse system and power drive gears for unbeatable strength, the deep aluminum spool with double color and one line hole houses an amazing amount of lines for all kinds of situations.

This model, the HA 3000, is your best bet for extended fishing expeditions with a gear ratio of 5.2:1 and line capacity of 0.20/240 0.25/200 0.30/140. Stop just fishing – start catching – with the PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo.

This full kit with a carrier case provides a comprehensive set of fishing accessories for novice anglers.

This professional fishing rod is made of a high-density, durable combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass with a stainless steel hooded reel seat and EVA fore grip for comfort.

Additionally, this fishing rod is of high quality, easy to set up, offers good casting distance and has the capability for reeling large fish.

What We Don’t Like

It is recommended to use this product only in freshwater, as it may not be suitable for saltwater.

Why Choose It?

Amazon Review Score: 4.3 out of 5-star rating with 7,583+ total reviews.

A good comment from the buyer is that this rod has been used multiple times in freshwater and is still working well, making it a great option for those who want to store it away and take it out on fishing trips. Read buyer’s review here. Overall, this rod is a good option for people when considering the best rods among various models in the current market.

What Are Surf Fishing Rods?

Surf fishing rods are specialized equipment designed for anglers to catch fish from the shoreline or wading in the surf. They typically feature a longer length than most other fishing rods, often ranging from 9 to 14 feet.

These extra-long rods allow for further casting of bait into the ocean, beyond the breakers, to reach fish that swim and feed in the surf zone. They’re constructed to withstand the corrosive saltwater environment and are often paired with high-capacity reels to handle long, heavy lines and larger, stronger fish.

Surf fishing rods are designed to have enough backbone for larger species, but still provide a light and responsive feel. For this reason, they’re often made with lightweight materials like graphite, composite, or fiberglass.

Surf rods come in several different styles depending on the target species and techniques used by anglers. There are spinning models that utilize a more traditional approach, and also specialized rods for surfcasting, fly fishing, live baiting, and trolling.

Some Typical Types Of Surf Fishing Rods

There are several types of surf fishing rods that cater to the diverse techniques and species targeted by anglers.

  1. Spinning Rods: These are the most popular type of surf fishing. They are versatile, easy to use, and perfect for beginners. Spinning rods perform exceptionally well when casting baits or lures long distances.
  2. Casting Rods: These are designed for experienced anglers who want to cast even further out into the surf. They often require more skill to use effectively, but their ability to handle heavier lines and larger baits makes them invaluable for targeting larger species.
  3. Fly Fishing Rods: These rods have a slender design and are used for a unique style of fishing where anglers use artificial flies as bait. The fly fishing technique is more challenging, but can be rewarding as it allows for a different range of species to be caught.
  4. Telescopic Rods: These are designed for portability. They can collapse down to a shorter length, making them ideal for traveling or hiking to remote surf fishing spots.
  5. Ultra-Light Rods: These are designed for smaller species, using lighter lines and smaller lures. They offer more sensitivity and allow anglers to detect bites more easily.

Each of these surf fishing rods has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice often depends on the angler’s skill level, the targeted species, and the specific conditions on the day of fishing.

How Does A Surf Fishing Rod Work?

A surf fishing rod operates on the principle of leverage by transferring the energy from the angler’s casting motion to cast bait or lure far into the surf. Its long length, usually between 9 to 14 feet, allows for a larger arc during the casting motion, which translates to a longer casting distance.

When a fish bites the bait or lure, the rod bends, absorbing the initial shock and preventing the line from breaking. The angler can then use the rod’s leverage to reel in the fish. Surf fishing rods are designed to handle large, powerful fish, and the strength and flexibility of the rod material play a crucial role in how well the rod performs this function.

The rod’s handle is designed to provide a comfortable and firm grip, allowing the angler to maintain control during the cast and retrieval. The eyelets on the rod guide the line from the reel to the tip of the rod and help evenly distribute the stress along the length of the rod when a fish is hooked.

Overall, the surf fishing rod is a meticulously designed tool that amplifies the angler’s casting distance, withstands the struggle of larger fish, and enhances the overall surf fishing experience.

How To Set Up Rods For Surf Fishing?

Setting up a surf fishing rod involves several key steps to ensure you are prepared to cast your line and reel in your catch:

  1. Choose your surf fishing rod and reel: The choice of rod and reel depends on your target species and the conditions for the day. For instance, a spinning rod and reel combo is a good starting point for beginners due to its versatility.
  2. Assemble the rod: Most surf fishing rods come in two pieces for easy transportation. Connect these pieces securely using the joints provided.
  3. Attach the reel: Secure the reel to the rod by fitting it into the reel seat and tightening the rings until the reel is firmly held in place.
  4. Thread the line: Start from the tip of the rod and thread your fishing line through each of the eyelets. Ensure the line runs smoothly and there are no tangles.
  5. Attach your leader: The leader, which is a section of line that is abrasion-resistant and virtually invisible underwater, should be attached to the end of your fishing line. This can be done using a variety of knots, the most common being the Double Uni-Knot or the Albright Knot.
  6. Select and attach your bait or lure: Depending on the species you’re targeting, choose the appropriate bait or lure and attach it to the end of your leader.
  7. Attach a sinker: A sinker is necessary to hold your bait underwater and in place amidst the waves. The size of the sinker depends on the current and wave conditions.
  8. Cast your line: Hold the rod with a firm grip, pull back, and cast your line far into the surf.

Remember, setting up your surf fishing rod may take a little practice, but with time, you will become more proficient and efficient in preparing for a day of successful surf fishing.

What Are Some Benefits When Using The Best Surf Fishing Rods?

Using the best surf fishing rods provides several benefits that enhance the overall fishing experience.

  1. Increased Casting Distance: High-quality surf fishing rods are designed to maximize casting distance, allowing you to reach fish that are further out in the surf.
  2. Strength and Durability: The best rods are built to withstand the strain of larger, stronger fish. They are constructed from materials like graphite and fiberglass, which offer a balance of flexibility and strength.
  3. Improved Sensitivity: Top-tier rods are finely tuned to transmit the smallest nibbles, providing you with the sensitivity needed to react swiftly when a fish bites.
  4. Comfort: The handles of superior surf fishing rods are designed for comfort during prolonged use, which can make your fishing experience much more enjoyable.
  5. Versatility: The best rods offer versatility in terms of the species you can target and the fishing techniques you can use, making them a great investment for any angler.

So, investing in the best surf fishing rods significantly enhances your angling performance and satisfaction.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Rods For Surf Fishing

Surf casting presents an excellent opportunity to venture into saltwater fishing, demanding only essential gear and the right setup from shore. By selecting an appropriate rod, you can swiftly set your sights on sizable catches amidst the surf. This guide aims to cover the fundamentals of choosing a surf casting rod while offering valuable tips to enhance your experience.

The Significance of Numbers on a Fishing Rod: Fishing rods commonly feature a combination of numbers and letters that provide valuable information about their characteristics. These alphanumeric codes are used to indicate the type of rod, with “C” representing casting and “S” denoting spinning. Additionally, they convey details about the rod’s length, number of pieces, and weight, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of its specifications.

Rod Length

When it comes to fishing, size can definitely matter. Depending on your location and cast length requirements, you can choose from the following lengths:

  • 7 – 9 foot: Use in gutters or holes to catch small to medium size fish. A very manageable for a beginner or child.
  • 9 – 12 foot: If gutters are not always evident, or you are chasing some larger species, this length is easy to manage whilst offering a little more ‘grunt’ for those bigger catches.
  • 12 – 15 foot: For long casting where the fish are outside of the surf break. Also good if the waves are high and you want to keep your line above the break.

For beginners in surf casting, best size rod for surf fishing is generally recommended to begin with a 9-14 foot rod when fishing from the shore.

Rod Power

I’ll provide a concise explanation of the meanings behind these terms. When it comes to the power settings of a fishing rod, there are numerous technical terms. However, in simpler terms, the power rating indicates the rod’s flexibility. Light power rods require minimal force to bend, while heavy power rods demand greater pressure. In summary:

Lighthighly flexible – even whippy – exhibits significant bending even with the smallest fish.
Mediumrequires a bit more pressure to flex – a suitable choice for a surf rod and my recommendation for beginners.
Heavydemands substantial force to induce bending – although they may be slightly challenging to cast (based on personal experience), I opt for a heavy surf rod when dealing with strong side currents on the beach.

Rod Taper (Action)

Taper, also known as action, refers to the degree of flexibility in a fishing rod. While the most common tapers are M (moderate) and MF (moderate-fast), as shown in the illustration below, there are various tapers available that offer different levels of bend.

The reason this impacts casting is that a faster taper allows the rod tip to swiftly return to its original position, aligning with the rest of the rod, from the wind-up to the swinging motion. This means that the rod tip catches up with the rod body more quickly, resulting in stronger and potentially longer casts, depending on the weight of your lure or bait. Please refer to the chart below for more details.

surf fishing rods power and action

Surf fishing rods power and action

Rod Material

Most modern fishing rods are typically constructed using graphite, fiberglass, or composite materials, which combine both graphite and fiberglass.

  • Graphite: Carbon fiber, also known as graphite, produces lightweight and highly sensitive fishing rods. A graphite blank allows you to detect even the slightest pulls. However, they can be expensive and less sturdy, making them less suitable for surf fishing. Graphite rods are better suited for panfish.
  • Fiberglass: In contrast, fiberglass rods are durable and sturdy, ideal for surf fishing against tough fish. While they lack the sensitivity of graphite rods, it’s not a significant issue in surf fishing. However, the weight of fiberglass rods can be cumbersome during frequent casting.
  • Composite: materials provide a balance between sensitivity, lightness, and durability. By combining graphite and fiberglass, composite rods offer a well-rounded option. They are particularly well-suited for surf fishing, as they provide manageable weight and sufficient strength.

In summary, the choice of fishing rod material involves trade-offs. Graphite rods excel in sensitivity but may be less suitable for surf fishing. Fiberglass rods prioritize durability while sacrificing some sensitivity and adding weight. Composite rods aim to combine the best attributes of both materials, providing a well-rounded option for surf fishing.


Portability is a crucial consideration when selecting the optimal surf fishing rod. Given the typically elongated nature of surf rods, they are often designed to break down into 2 or 4 pieces for easy transport. Visualize the inconvenience of transporting a 12-foot, single-piece rod in your vehicle to the beach!

Consider investing in a “travel” version of surf rods and explore the availability of travel cases to ensure proper protection during transportation. Accidentally breaking a guide or the rod tip on your way to the beach is an unfortunate scenario to avoid. Fortunately, four-piece rods can be dismantled into compact, 3-foot forms that conveniently fit in most vehicles.


When it comes to the comfort of fishing, the choice of handle material is crucial. Here are some common options:

  • Hard foam: Similar to a firm version of a pool noodle.
  • EVA: Soft and rubbery material.
  • Cork: Classic and lightweight.
  • Rubber Shrink Tube: Soft, extremely durable, and highly recommended!

Personally, I prefer Rubber Shrink Tube handles as they offer comfort and longevity, especially in beachy conditions. If you’re looking for a lightweight option, cork is ideal, especially for estuary rods or for use in a kayak. However, if versatility is important to you, consider a handle material that suits both environments.


Casting for extended periods can be tiring on the arms and shoulders, so you should select a rod with an ergonomic handle that provides comfort during prolonged use.

Therefore, it’s important to consider all these factors when selecting the best rod for surf fishing. Doing so will ensure you have a reliable, quality rod that performs optimally and lasts for many years to come.

Ultimately, choosing the right surf fishing rod is essential for any serious angler looking to get the most out of their time on the water. With a little research and the right rod, you’ll have the perfect setup for a successful day of surf fishing.

How to Choose the Best Surf Fishing Rods

When selecting the best surf fishing rod, it is crucial to consider not only the mentioned aspects such as power, action, length, and material but also additional criteria like brand reputation, pricing, and warranty. By taking all these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and choose the perfect fishing rod.


The following is a list of reputable best surf fishing rod brands that offer a mix of value and quality:

  1. Penn
  2. Shimano
  3. Okuma
  4. Shakespeare Ugly Stik
  5. Berrypro
  6. St. Croix

It is important to note that brand popularity does not always guarantee a high-quality saltwater fishing rod. Keep in mind that quality can vary between specific models within each brand. Additionally, be cautious of the potential for inflated prices based solely on brand recognition.


Good fishing rods are expensive, and the best ones are even pricier. A quality surf rod improves the chances of catching a fish from shore. Serious anglers will pay any price for an advantage over their adversary.

The best surf rod is the one you can afford. Nowadays, mid-range models offer features once exclusive to expensive rods.

Consider what you expect from the fishing rod. If you’re looking for beach fishing fun, a solid mid-range rod will provide hours of enjoyment. But if you’re going after the biggest, toughest fish and braving any weather, investing in the best surf rod will fuel your passion.

Before delving into the details, think about your budget. Surf rods can range from $50 for a budget option to $300 or more for a premium rod. The price is influenced by the rod’s components and materials. While high-quality components usually come at a higher cost, sometimes lower-priced rods use top-notch materials. Understanding the value and function of each component is crucial in evaluating a rod’s worth.


When considering the purchase of a surf fishing rod, the warranty plays a vital role. Selecting a rod with a reputable and all-encompassing warranty not only safeguards against potential damage during surf fishing but also provides added protection for your investment. Make the wise choice and prioritize a fishing rod with a quality warranty to elevate your fishing experience to its fullest potential. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the warranty policies offered by the leading fishing rod brands.

Penn1 year
OkumaLimited 1-year
Ugly Stik7 years
Berrypro1 year
Fiblink1 year
St. Croix5 year

Reel Seat

The reel seat secures the surf fishing reel reliably with hard plastic, carbon/graphite, stainless steel, or a combination. Graphite composite stands out as a lightweight, robust, and highly sensitive material, albeit expensive. Stainless steel offers exceptional strength and is often paired with carbon or hard plastic to reduce weight. Plastic, while lightweight and corrosion-resistant, is more affordable but lacks significant strength or sensitivity.


The guides on a surf fishing rod should be made of durable materials to withstand the pressure and strain of casting and reeling. Look for rods with rust-resistant guides, preferably made of ceramic or stainless steel.


The blank should be designed to transmit vibrations up the line from a fish’s strike and provide the sensitivity needed for a successful catch.


What type of rod is best for surf fishing?

Rod power refers to the strength and lifting capability of a rod, and it spans across a range from light to heavy. For a majority of anglers, the most reliable and widely used choice falls in the middle of the spectrum, categorized as medium-heavy. Medium-heavy rods offer versatility, appealing to many surf fishing enthusiasts.

The preferred power level depends on the size and strength of the targeted species. Ideally, you need a rod that can handle the weight effectively and exhibit a noticeable bending when a hit occurs. In order to cater to a variety of species while still maintaining sensitivity to detect bites, I would suggest opting for a medium-heavy rod as it provides an all-around power.

What size rod for surf fishing?

For effectively catching most nearshore fish, a rod measuring between 9 and 12 feet (2.75 to 3.65 meters) is typically regarded as optimal. While any length within this range will suffice, based on personal experience and observations of others, I find that 10-12 feet is the ideal sweet spot.

What action rod is best for surf fishing?

Fast action rods are ideal for surf fishing due to their exceptional sensitivity, hooksets, and control while battling against fish. If you primarily fish off the beach with lures, the fast action surf rod is your top choice.

What is different about a surf fishing rod?

Surf fishing rods are designed to be significantly longer than freshwater rods, allowing for greater casting distance. Equipped with a high-capacity reel, these rods can accommodate hundreds of yards of thick fishing line. For those who are new to surf fishing, we suggest opting for a surf rod combo ranging from 8ft to 10ft in length. Pair it with a 6000 to 8000 series reel and spool it with 25lb to 50lb braided fishing line for optimal performance.

Can You use a surf rod rod for saltwater fishing?

Yes, however, it is important to note that a general-purpose rod may not offer the same longevity as a rod specifically designed for saltwater fishing. To ensure that both types of rods have an extended lifespan, it is recommended to rinse and thoroughly dry them after each fishing trip. This practice is especially crucial for saltwater fishing as it helps remove any residual salt from the rod’s surface.

What Kind Of Fishing Rod Is Ideal For Surfing?

The ideal rod for surfing is one that is long, light, and strong. It should also be able to cast a heavy line and have corrosion-resistant guides. Graphite or fiberglass rods are the best options for surf fishing as they offer a balanced combination of strength, flexibility, and sensitivity.

What Are The Differences Between A Surf Spinning Rod And A Travel Surf Fishing Rod?

A surf spinning rod is designed for casting heavier lines and lures over long distances. On the other hand, a travel surf fishing rod is typically smaller and more compact, making it easier to carry when traveling or hiking to new fishing spots. It’s also designed for accuracy rather than distance, allowing you to cast your line precisely where you need it.

What Are The Differences Between A Surf Rod And A Beach Rod?

Surf rods are designed for casting into surf conditions, while beach rods are ideal for close-range fishing, such as in the shallows or off piers. Surf rods are usually longer and have faster action. Beach rods, on the other hand, tend to be shorter and have a slower action.

How Much Does A Good Quality Surf Fishing Rod Cost?

The price of a good quality surf fishing rod can vary from around $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on the features and materials used. If you’re looking for a reliable rod that will last for many years, it’s worth investing in one of the higher-quality rods.

Which Line Weight Is Ideal For A Surf Fishing Rod?

The ideal line weight for a surf fishing rod depends on the species you are targeting, as well as the conditions. Generally, a 10-20 lbs test line is suitable for most applications, although heavier lines may be required in strong currents or when targeting bigger fish.

Are Longer Surf Rods Preferable?

Longer surf rods offer greater casting distance, making them advantageous in certain situations. However, they can also be more difficult to maneuver around tight spots or obstacles. Shorter rods are usually more portable and easier to handle when fishing close-up.

Ultimately, the best rod length for you will depend on the type of fishing you plan on doing and what conditions you will be fishing in. Experiment with a few different lengths until you find the one that feels best to you.

Which Rod Size Do You Need?

The size of the rod you need depends largely on the type and weight of lines you plan on using. It’s important to select a rod that is matched well with your line, as lighter lines require less power and a slower action, while heavier lines require more power and a faster action.

It’s also worth considering the type of fish you will be targeting, as some species require a stronger rod than others. If you plan on fishing for bigger game fish then opt for a larger, heavier rod – but if your goal is to catch smaller species then a shorter, lighter rod should suffice.

Which Reel Should You Use With A Surfcasting Rod?

The reel you use with a surfcasting rod should be matched to the size and power of the rod. Smaller reels are suitable for lighter rods, while larger reels can handle heavier lines and bigger fish. The type of line you plan on using will also dictate which reel you need – if using braided lines then look for a reel with deep spools and a smooth drag system. Likewise, if using monofilament lines then opt for a reel with an adjustable drag system.

Is A 7-Foot Pole Suitable For Surfing?

A 7-foot pole is suitable for surfcasting, providing it has the appropriate power and action. As a general rule of thumb, longer rods are better suited to longer casts and heavier lines, whereas shorter rods work best with lighter lines or close-range fishing. So if you plan on targeting smaller species in shallow waters then a 7-foot rod should suffice – but if you plan on casting in heavier surf or for bigger species, then a longer pole might be more suitable.

What is the best type of material for a surf fishing rod?

Graphite and fiberglass are the two most popular materials used in surf fishing rods. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, but in general, graphite rods offer superior sensitivity and strength while fiberglass rods have more flexibility and resilience.

Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference as to which material works best for you. Both materials are also quite affordable, making them a great option for anglers on a budget.


In conclusion, surf fishing rods are an essential piece of equipment for any angler looking to get the most out of their time on the water. With a little research and knowledge, you can find the best surf fishing rods that fit your needs, whether it’s a graphite or fiberglass model.

From the thorough review here, we found people should consider Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod and Ugly Stik Tiger Baitcasting Rod as top surf fishing rods. The two are powerful, reliable, and come with plenty of features for an overall great experience out on the water.

Also, remember to consider all factors such as length, action, material type, line weight, and reel size so you can choose the best setup for a successful day of surf fishing. Understanding these key features will help you make an informed decision when selecting the best surf fishing rod for your needs.

With the right rod, you’ll be able to cast your line with precision and accuracy, increasing your chances of catching that perfect fish. Good luck out there!

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Avatar of Stetson Blaylock
Stetson Blaylock July 27, 2023 - 7:35 am

Are you in search of a sturdy ocean rod? Consider Ugly Stik. How about a medium heavy rod for river or lake fishing? Ugly Stik has you covered. Even for a light or ultralight pan fish rod, Ugly Stik is the answer! Why spend $300 on a rod when Ugly Stik offers the same functionality for just $50-$80? The answer is obvious.

Avatar of Joey Cifuentes Fishing
Joey Cifuentes Fishing July 27, 2023 - 7:39 am

This product offers impressive value for its price. However, similar to other models, the guide rings could use improvement. This is the first time I’ve observed a braided line cutting into the rings in such a way. I attempted to contact BerryPro regarding this issue but have yet to receive a response.


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