Are you new to fishing or an experienced freshwater angler looking to expand your hunting grounds to include the coast? Either way, you’ll need a surf fishing rod. They are better for shoreline fishing than traditional rods. There are a lot of choices available and a variety of features to consider. We’ve reviewed the ten best surf fishing rods for 2021 to help you choose the best rod for your budget and angling goals. If you’re new to fishing or only have freshwater experience, you might want to jump straight down to our buyer’s guide. It explains the types of surf rods and all of the different features available. Our FAQs might help answer any questions you have on surf fishing gear.
1. ST. CROIX
Triumph Surf Spinning Rod
The St. Croix Triumph is no doubt one of the best surf fishing rods on the market. Similar to many of the other best surf rods, the Triumph offers a load of power and durability. The blank is constructed of SCII graphite, providing an enormous amount of power, while also offering delicate sensitivity. Furthermore, anglers looking for a durable piece of equipment can undoubtedly rely on the Triumph. Two coats of finish are applied to the blank, which allows it to flex and bend without sustaining any damage. As a result, anglers can cast their bait great distances, while also having the ability to land monster fish. Overall, the St. Croix Triumph truly is a winner, which dozens of other surf fishing rod reviews can attest to.
BRAND: St. Croix
PRIMARY MATERIAL: SCII Graphite
SIZES: 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’, 10’6
GRIP: Taped custom cork
- Superb blank construction
- Sensitive yet powerful
- 5 year warranty
- Lightweight and portable
- High-quality finish
- 4 piece rod
- Low-quality travel bag
Solaris Surf IM6 Graphite Surf Rod
Surf rods can be expensive, but when it comes to value, the Solaris Surf is undoubtedly the best surf rod for the money. Though there are tons of good surf rods that are affordable, few are as reliable as the Solaris Surf. The rod’s blank is manufactured with high-quality graphite, which makes it both stiff and sensitive. It may not be the absolute lightest surf rod on the market, but it is certainly on the lighter end of the spectrum. However, the key selling point behind the Solaris Surf is the extreme ease of use that it boasts. New anglers can easily handle the rod and maneuver it around. It’s a plug-and-play fishing rod, with a magnificent level of quality, and a more than reasonable price. All in all, the piece easily takes the gold trophy for the best budget surf rod.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite
SIZES: 7 feet, 10.6 feet, and 12 feet
GRIP: Wrapped cork with non-slip grip
- Great for casting
- Well balanced
- Stiff and responsive
- High-quality guides
- Im6 graphite
- Soft case doesn’t offer protection
- Handle can easily be damaged
Prevail Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
A day on the shoreline with a Penn Prevail is sure to be a great day. The graphite constructed rod is an ideal option for those looking to toss their lines way out into the surf. It is strong and flexible, yet easy to whip around. However, one of the most notable traits that the Prevail has is a carbon shield. The carbon shield is a thin material that wraps around the blank, providing another line of defense against the elements. Overall, the rod looks clean, performs well, and can take a beating like a real champ. It also doesn’t hurt that it comes in two pieces, which makes it very easy to travel with.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite
GRIP: Rubber shrink tube
- Wind grips
- Sensitive graphite blank
- Aluminum oxide guide inserts
- Ideal for plugging
- Additional carbon shield
- Guide inserts can pop out
4. TICA UGSA
Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Few anglers would dispute the quality of products that Tica produces. The UGSA Series Surf Spinning rod is yet another item which displays the brand’s commitment to excellence. The UGSA is a lightweight graphite rod that offers a great amount of sensitivity. With it, anglers can easily feel the difference between being snagged on the seafloor and being hooked to a fish. Yet, what really sets the rod apart is its flexibility. The graphite blank has a relatively fast action, but still offers a reasonable amount of bend. Any good surf rods review from 2020 would be foolish not to list the UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: TC3 graphite
SIZES: 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’, 10’6, 11’, 12’
GRIP: Custom diamond wraps around a non-slip cork
- High-quality cork handle
- Foldable hook keeper
- Fuji Hardloy ring guides
- Multiple length options
- Two separate pieces
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik is a product that is far prettier than its name implies. Shakespeare is a name that many anglers hold a large amount of respect for. And the Ugly Stik is yet another product that deserves that respect, as the graphite and fiberglass rod is indeed very handy. Every Ugly Stik is made with a graphite interior, and a fiberglass exterior. This is done to combat the elements and prevent corrosion. However, the unique surf rod combo also makes for a very sensitive piece, which is ideal for detecting even the smallest of fish.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Fiberglass and graphite
GRIP: Lightweight EVA foam
- Balanced and sensitive
- Tough and durable
- Clear tip design
- Single piece construction
- Foam handle can be slick
- Casting can be difficult
Beefstick Surf Rod
The Daiwa Beefstick is a medium action rod that countless anglers rely on. The blank of the Beefstick is comprised of carbon fiberglass, which offers serious strength and power. Fitting for a rod called the Beefstick. Yet, what draws many to the rod is the general ease of use. Both new and avid anglers can work lures with supreme ease while using the Beefstick. Once finished in the tides, anglers can simply wipe the tool off, so that it’s ready to go for the next adventure.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Carbon fiberglass
GRIP: Durable rubber
- Smooth casting
- Great flexibility
- Rubber handle for durability
- Tubular fiberglass for sensitivity
- Somewhat bulky
- Occasional real seat issues
Carnage II Surf Casting Fishing Rod
Penn offers a wide array of products, for multiple different sports. And though it has a host of good surf fishing rods, the Penn Carnage is unquestionably its finest piece. The Penn Carnage is composed of a graphite blank which is both strong and durable. Though it comes in a variety of sizes, the 12’ surf rod is the extra-heavy variant which gives anglers the most strength. Nevertheless, what many users enjoy most about the rod is the handle. The rubber shrink wrap piece provides a comfortable grip, while also remaining very durable. For many, it could be the best surf casting rod on this list.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite
SIZES: 10’, 11’, 12’, 13’
GRIP: Rubber shrink grip
- Comfortable handle feeling
- Parabolic rod shape
- Lightweight and sensitive
- K-type guides
- Thin blank diameter
Cedros Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rod
Okuma is certainly an impressive brand these days, as it constantly appears on surf casting rod reviews. The Okuma CSX is a surf rod that is created with a 30-ton carbon blank, made of composite materials. Due to the sensitive material, anglers can feel even the slightest hits. However, the lightweight material doesn’t sacrifice strength or performance at all, giving anglers the chance to catch both small and large fish with ease. The guide set that is equipped on the Okuma Cedros is made with stainless steel frames. The frames are then filled with Alconite inserts, which are specialized for braided line.
PRIMARY MATERIAL: 30-ton carbon
SIZES: 9’, 10’, 12’
GRIP: Non-slip rubber shrink tube with tapered rear grip
- Lifetime warranty
- High-quality blank construction
- Great grip material
- Zirconium guide inserts for braided line
- Small front guides
9. ST. CROIX
Legend Surf Spinning Rod
The St. Croix Legend is a premium tier rod which is nearly perfect in every way. Not only has its quality been certified (having undergone an impressive amount of lab-run testing), but it has also been battle-tested and enjoyed by the fishing community at large. Anglers searching for large fish can easily rely on the Legend. The rod, which is composed of SCIV graphite, can handle an absolute beating. It is finished with a slow coating, as well as Torzite guides which are 100% corrosion-resistant. Nonetheless, the rod is still very light, making it very easy to handle. An angler can comfortably wrestle in a 50+ pound fish with the Legend, making it one of the best surf rods on the market.
BRAND: St. Croix
PRIMARY MATERIAL: SCIV graphite
SIZES: 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’, 10’6, 11’, 12’
- Ultra-high-quality blank
- Large amount of rod power
- Titanium K-frame guides
- Great casting distance
- High price point
10. ST. CROIX
Avid Surf Saltwater Spinning Rod
The St. Croix Avid Surf is a high-end rod that really performs. The Avid Surf is a two piece rod which seamlessly connects to feel like one piece. It is built from SCIII carbon, which ensures both sensitivity and power. After the blank is fitted, it is then treated with corrosion control materials to make it resistant to the sand and surf. However, what many anglers like about the piece is its action component. The medium action allows fishermen to effortlessly move bait through the tides. For this reason, the Avid Surf is very likely to pop up on numerous surf casting rods reviews.
BRAND: St. Croix
PRIMARY MATERIAL: SCIII carbon
SIZES: 10’, 11’, 12’
GRIP: Cork fitted with trimmed tape
- High-quality SCIII Carbon blank
- Slip-free handle
- Good general purpose rod
- Balanced blank action
- Too soft for heavier lures
BEST SURF FISHING ROD
What is a surf rod?
Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Give a man a surf rod, and he will eat for a lifetime.
Surf rods are a variant of the traditional fishing rods that were invented nearly four thousand years ago. They consist of a long flexible material, which is then mounted with a reel and set of guides to handle the line. However, unlike traditional freshwater rods, surf rods are specially designed to be used from the shoreline. As such, they are typically longer, stiffer, and made to hurl a lure a far greater distance.
Similar to freshwater rods, surf rods come with a variety of features that help anglers more efficiently catch fish. Some models are notoriously stiff and rigid to help deal with large fish, whereas others are more lightweight and flexible to help detect bites.
However, there are also a variety of features that an angler should take into consideration before purchasing a rod. The length, action, blank material, power, and handles are all equally important factors, which can affect the performance and functionality of a setup.
Spinning Vs. Casting Rod
Those who are new to fishing typically choose to start their venture into the sport with a spinning rod. Spinning rods are, for the most part, more basic than casting rods, allowing both adults and children to learn quickly.
Spinning rods place the reel on the underside of the rod, as well as the guides. A bail is then attached to the top of the reel. The bail is a simple metal piece that flips and allows the line to be set free. Anglers must only flip the bail in order to toss their lines out to sea. The process is fairly direct and straightforward, making the learning curve very short.
However, spinning rods are not the greatest option for surf fishing. Anglers are much better off using a casting rod.
Casting rods place the reel on the top of the blank, as well as the guides. The line then has much more freedom of motion, allowing the bait to be cast far greater distances. The most notable difference between a casting and spinning rod lies in their power.
Casting rods have far more power and are much better for fighting big fish or tossing lures greater distances. Thus, an angler fishing a lengthy shore is better off with a casting rod, rather than a spinning rod. Nevertheless, a spinning rod will do just fine in many places too.
Though many anglers refer to it as the rod, the flexible material which makes up the entire length of a fishing rod is appropriately named the blank.
Of all the rod’s components, the blank of the rod affects the utility of the setup the most. It makes up almost the entirety of the tool and is the component which is responsible for holding the guides and reel. All of the best surf fishing rods are made with high-quality materials such as carbon or graphite.
Thus, it is essential to select a blank material that forms a solid surf rod and achieves all the needed goals associated with surf fishing.
There are three main types of blank materials which can be used for surf fishing: graphite, fiberglass, and composite.
Graphite is a material that is both incredibly stiff and sensitive. As a result, anglers can feel even the gentlest of nibbles from fish on the shoreline. Avid fishermen often use graphite to catch smaller fish, as it is easy to set the hook and determine when there is something on the line. However, the lightweight material doesn’t offer a lot of durability and often snaps if a large fish puts too much pressure on the rod.
Fiberglass, on the other hand, is a material that is far stiffer, and more suitable for large catches. The material has far more power than graphite, allowing anglers to pull harder and put more tension without as much risk of snapping the setup.
Finally, there are composite rods. As the name suggests, composite rods are a mixture of materials such as boron, graphite, fiberglass, or other flexible compounds. Due to the unique combination, composite rods are often quite sensitive, but still provide substantial power.
Surf rod length can make a huge difference when fishing from the shoreline, compared to fishing from a boat. A rod 12′ in length is able to cast bait farther than a 9′ rod, due to the extra leverage.
However, leverage is imperative for anglers that need to toss lures past the waves and into areas where fish reside. Thus, purchasing a longer rod is ideal for conditions where the tide may be rough, or where the shoreline is a considerable distance from the desired areas.
Surf fishing poles can range anywhere from 9-14′, though most anglers prefer longer products. Shorter lengths are more efficient for precision casting, whereas longer are more efficient for distance.
Additionally, a longer rod makes it easier to reel in larger fish, as it offers more durability.
The action component of a rod can be a make or break for many fishermen.
The term refers to the point where the rod bends when pressure is applied. Action is measured by speed, as there are typically slow, medium, and fast action rods.
Slow action rods are the least sensitive, as they bend more than any other category. When pressure is applied, a slow action rod bends in the center, allowing it to make a wide U shape. These rods are best for casting extreme distances and fighting small fish that may spit the hook. Due to its extreme flexibility and capacity to store energy, slow action takes the prize for being the longest casting surf rod.
Medium action rods tend to bend in the upper middle of the rod, giving the piece a healthy balance of flexibility and strength. Such a rod is an outstanding choice for anglers looking to reach great distances, but also fight varying sizes of fish. Many may consider this category to offer the best surf fishing rods.
Fast action rods, on the other hand, behave far different from the prior two. Such a rod bends towards the very tip, which makes the piece extremely sensitive to even the most gentle of bites. While they aren’t the best long distance surf casting rods, they are very useful for setting the hook. Anglers searching for fish which are hard to detect can often feel the bites with a fast action rod.
Power is the simplest of all rod characteristics. The term refers to the amount of pressure needed to bend a rod, as well as the amount of lifting strength that a piece has. Rod power is measured on a spectrum from heavy to ultra-light. A heavy power requires a great deal of strength to bend, whereas an ultra-light requires just the lightest touch.
As the power increases from light to heavy, so too does the lifting capability. Thus, anglers going for larger catches must equip themselves with a heavier surf fishing rod and reel.
The least important factor when choosing a surf rod is the handle. Handles on surf rods are far longer than handles on freshwater rods, as they are essential when fighting fish. However, handles can be made of two primary materials – cork and foam.
Cork though, is a better choice for saltwater anglers, as it is more responsive and less likely to be corroded by the salty water. However, the quality of cork varies immensely. Typically, the more expensive the rod, the higher quality cork.
BEST SURF FISHING ROD
What is a surf rod?
A surf rod is a variant of the traditional rod which has been used to catch fish for thousands of years.
In basic terms, a surf rod is a variant which is specialized for saltwater fishing. They are created with corrosive resistant material and fashioned to catch larger fish. Moreover, surf rods are often designed for baitcasting reels, which place the reel on top.
The unique combination allows for the rods to be far stiffer, longer, and more powerful. As a result, they are designed to be used from the shoreline, as their name suggests.
What is the best surf rod for under 200 dollars?
The best surf fishing rod under 200 dollars is the St. Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod.
The St. Croix Triumph meets all of the essential needs that anglers demand. It is lightweight and easy to handle, yet it also is wildly powerful. For many, the rod can function as the all-purpose piece to take on nearly all trips.
However, one of the most impressive aspects of the rod is the quality material which it is comprised of. The design consists of a graphite blank, a custom cork handle, and a slow cured finish. As a result, the rod is extremely durable and can take a beating from the elements. The St. Croix Triumph is, without a doubt, one of the best surf rods for the money.
What is the best rod length for surf fishing?
A vital factor to consider before purchasing a piece is figuring out the right surf fishing rod length.
The length of a rod can significantly influence its utility. Short rods in the 7’-9’ range are ideal for accurate casting, whereas longer rods in the 10’-14’ range are ideal for distance. Furthermore, shorter rods are better suited to smaller fish, while longer rods are better suited to larger fish.
However, the best rod length for surf fishing is 12’. 12’ rods offer a unique blend of power and performance. Anglers can hurl bait far into the sea with a 12’ pole, even if it isn’t the best surf rod for distance.
What is the longest casting surf rod?
The longest casting surf rod is a 15’ rod equipped with a baitcaster reel. 15’ long distance surf casting rods can hurl bait farther than any other variant.
The 15’ surf fishing rod and reel combo has two main advantages that other sizes and reels don’t. The most obvious detail is that 15’ rods are the longest offered. Each extra foot of length offers more casting power.
The next factor to consider is the baitcaster reel. A baitcaster reel holds more line than a spinning reel and allows for anglers to use lures that weigh more.
Thus, when anglers hurl out their lure, they have far more stored energy than they do with a light lure on a spinning real.
Ultimately, the 15’ rod with a baitcasting reel truly is the trick for having one of the best casting combos, and indeed the best surf casting rod for distance.
What size rod for surf fishing?
Anglers can choose from a variety of sizes for surf fishing. Nearly all rods range from 7-15’, giving anglers a wide variety of options.
However, anglers must choose a rod length based on their desired outcome. 7’-9’ rods are best for short casting and fighting smaller fish. They present more sensitivity and give an angler more accuracy when casting.
10’-15’ rods are the best surf casting rods for distance and fighting large fish. They offer more power, and the ability to hurl a lure further out into the sea.
How to rig a surf fishing rod
One of the most basic types of rigs is the flapper rig. This type of lure consists of a set of ‘flappers’ which are extra pieces of line with hooks that are attached to the body line.
To create a flapper rig, tie the extra pieces of line to the body. This can be done by attaching a swivel to the body with beads and locking crimps. The swivel then allows the flapper to move around, while the locking crimps and beads keep it in place.
What is the best type of rod for surf fishing?
The best type of rod for surf fishing is a baitcaster surf rod. The baitcaster rod is the variant which holds the most amount of line and allows anglers to capture the largest of fish.
The variant is exemplary for many reasons, most notably the amount of power it offers. The guides are set on top of the blank, as well as the reel. As a result, the shaft can be longer and more durable, presenting more power.
However, baitcasters usually are not cheap surf rods. They can cost far more, but when equipped with one of the best surf casting rods, they are a powerful combo.
What tackle do I need for surf fishing?
Surf fishing poles require slightly different tackle than deepwater poles.
Fish caught just off the shoreline often feed on different prey than those in deep water. Thus, it is critical to match lures and bait with the correct prey.
Some of the most popular bait pieces are crabs, squid, shrimp, and sand fleas. These pieces of bait are the same prey that fish feed on, making them very ideal for attracting fish.
However, anglers can also use artificial lures such as crankbaits, jig spoons, and worms. Each lure is designed for a specific situation; thus, it is important to research an area before buying lures.
What is the best spinning reel for surf fishing?
The best spinning reel for surf fishing is the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG. The quality of the reel can be seen in its many different parts, which are all buffed for saltwater fishing.
What makes the Shimano Stradic so great is the Ci4+ carbon which it is made from. The material is super lightweight, and also very resistant towards the elements. Sand, salt water, and spray simply can’t wear the piece down, due to its anti-corrosive properties. Though the reel is created to be used with a Shimano surf rod, it works just fine with any other spinning brand.
Best of all, the product is super easy to use and is simple enough for even the newest of anglers to handle. Pair the Ci4+ with the best surf spinning rod to catch more fish than possibly imaginable.
As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!