Best Surf Fishing Rods | Casting and Spinning Reviews

Surf fishing is one of the most exciting fishing options and one that you can enjoy in almost every coastal area around the world. To be a successful surf angler, you need a rod that can achieve a long casting distance to get beyond the surf where the water is less turbulent, and there are more catchable fish.

The best surf casting rod for you depends on your skill level, target species, and the casting distance you want to reach. If you’re a little lost as far as what pole that might be—no worries—we’ve rustled up a surf fishing rod review and buying guide to help you make an informed buying decision.

 

 

Our Top Pick

For a generalist standpoint, most surf fishers are going to be pleased with the Triumph Rod from St Croix. It can go the distance cast wise and is ultra-durable—all at a fair price. It was an easy choice for our top pick.

 

 

The Best Surf Fishing Rods Reviewed

St Croix Triumph Surf Travel Spinning Rods – Best Surf Fish Rod Overall

The Triumph Surf Travel Rod from St Croix is our top pick for this list and is the ideal surf fishing rod with its long-distance casting performance and durable construction.

 

Key Features

  • Four-piece spinning rods
  • Carbon fiber construction
  • Hard aluminium-oxide surf guides
  • Length of ten feet
  • Fuji DPS reel seat
  • Custom cork tape handle
  • Two layers of Flex-Coat slow cure finish

 

What We Like

The Triumph Surf travel rod has several standout features to enhance your fishing experience. The first is its advanced reinforcing technology that contributes to its sturdy carbon fiber construction. The rod consists of four pieces, and it fits in a protective nylon-covered rod case for convenient travel and storage.

It has an SCII graphite blank that is specially designed for long distance casting and a custom cork tape handle that allows for a comfortable grip, and that adds to the rod’s sensitivity.

Other high-end features include a Fuji DPS reel seat and durable aluminum-oxide surf guides.

 

What We Don’t Like

The only issues with this rod are that the handle is somewhat long for its ten-foot length, and the reel seat should be located around four inches lower for optimal balance.

 

 

Pros

  • Durable graphite blank
  • Corrosion-resistant aluminum-oxide surf guides
  • Lightweight and sensitive rod for turbulent waters
  • Sufficient length and power for long-distance casting
  • Comfortable cork tape handle

 

Cons

  • The handle is quite long
  • The reel seat is located too high

 

The St Croix is a high-end spinning rod with all the features you need for surf fishing and long-distance casting.

 

Overall rating – 5 of 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Penn Battalion Surf Spinning Rod – The Best Value for Money

The Battalion Surf spinning rod from Pen is ten feet long and offers a medium power value – the ideal combination for long-distance casting and surf fishing.

 

Key Features

  • Length of ten feet
  • Two-piece spinning rod
  • Fuji Aluminum-oxide guides
  • Graphite composite blank
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Shrink-tube tube wrapped handle

 

What We Like

The Penn Battalion Surf spinning rod has a graphite composite blank with sufficient power to handle lures with the weight range of two to six ounces as well as line weights between fifteen and thirty pounds in monofilament.

Because of its construction, this rod is well-balanced and suited for surfcasting. Other high-value features include Fuji aluminum oxide twin-foot guides and an ergonomic shrink-tube handle that enhances the rod’s sensitivity and provides you with sufficient grip.

The rod has sufficient strength to reel in heavier species and, for the price, the Battalion Surf Spinning Rod is reliable.

 

What We Don’t Like

Like the St Croix Triumph, this rod’s handle is also too long, which can make long-distance casting difficult if you are standing deep in the water.

 

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Durable composite graphite blank
  • High-quality Fuji reel seat and guides
  • Long-lasting and corrosion resistant Fuji aluminium-oxide guides
  • Excellent value for money
  • Ergonomic shrink-tube handle for added grip and sensitivity

 

Cons

  • Shrink tube handle may be too long
  • May not be ideal for seasoned surf fishermen

 

The Penn Battalion Surf is a capable and reliable spinning rod for light surf fishing from shallow waters or a jetty.

 

Overall rating – 4.5 of 5

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Shakespeare Two-Piece UglyStik Bigwater Spinning Rod

If toughness and sensitivity are priorities to you, consider the twelve-foot Ugly Stik from Shakespeare.

 

Key Features

  • Two-piece spinning rod
  • Length of fifteen feet
  • “Ugly Tuff” EVA handle
  • Graphite Fuji reel seats
  • Fuji guides with aluminum oxide inserts
  • Graphite composite construction

 

What We Like

The Shakespeare UglyStik is widely recognized and popular among anglers – thanks to the line’s reputation for durability and sensitivity.

This particular spinning rod has a graphite composite construction and a length of twelve feet. The rod also features seven one-piece Fuji guides that consist of stainless-steel frames and aluminum-oxide inserts.

It has the soft feel typically associated with the Ugly Stick series, and the blank features a graphite core that is wrapped with fiberglass for added hoop strength and stiffness. The EVA handle is specially designed for surf fishing and features an expanded butt section. The handle extends farther up the rod than most other handles.

 

What We Don’t Like

The graphite Fuji reel seat has durable stainless-steel hoods. However, the reel seat’s lower nut is too narrow for optimal grip. The handle also has a bare blank section that doesn’t provide optimal grip.

 

Pros

  • Specially designed rod for surf fishing
  • Comfortable and grippy handle
  • Clear tip for added sensitivity
  • The rod features seven guides instead of six
  • Length and action allow for optimal casting distance
  • Strong composite graphite blank design

 

Cons

  • Reel seat grip can be improved
  • A slippery bare blank handle section

 

The Shakespeare UglyStik provides unparalleled reliability and is a worthy consideration for extending your casting distance.

 

Overall rating – 4.9 of 5

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St Croix Legend Surf Casting Rod

The Legend Surf Casting Rod from St Croix is a high-performing casting rod with a solid backbone for surf fishing.

 

Key Features

  • Length selection range between 10.6 feet and 12 feet
  • High-modulus SCIV graphite with FRS
  • Fuji Torzite RV K-Series Surf guides
  • Custom neoprene handle
  • Fuji DPS reel seat with E-finish hoods
  • Available in heavy- and medium-heavy power values

 

What We Like

Many anglers who have been fishing with the Legend Surfcasting rod from St Croix may argue that this model should have been the top pick for this list. This rod, with its high-strain SCIV graphite construction, is incredibly durable and comes with several high-quality features to ensure a successful fishing trip.

With this rod, you can choose from three different lengths that range from 10.6 feet to 12 feet. You also have an option between heavy and medium-heavy power values, depending on how far you want to cast your line.

Other features that anglers typically like is the tangle-free, corrosion resistant surf guides and custom neoprene handle that provides you with an enhanced grip when it gets wet.

 

What We Don’t Like

Because this rod offers a lot of value, it has a relatively high price tag.

 

Pros

  • Durable high-modulus SCIV graphite construction
  • Tangle-free, corrosion resistant guides
  • Wide rod length selection
  • Custom neoprene handle that provides sufficient grip when wet
  • High-quality Fuji DPS reel seat

 

Cons

  • The price tag may be too high for some anglers

 

If you want reliability, sensitivity, and plenty of power, the St Croix Legend surf casting rod may be a worthy investment.

 

Overall rating – 4.7 of 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Okuma Solaris Surf Casting Rod

The Okuma Solaris is a two-piece, ten-foot casting rod with plenty to offer if you are serious about surf fishing.

 

Key Features

  • Two-piece casting rod
  • IM-6 graphite blank construction
  • Cork-wrapped non-slip front and back grips
  • Stainless-steel double footed guides
  • Fuji aluminum-oxide guide inserts
  • Length selection between nine and ten feet

 

What We Like

The Okuma Solaris provides the surf angler with excellent value for money with its durable IM-6 graphite construction and high-end features. The Solaris’s features include stainless-steel double-footed guides that are lined with Fuji aluminum-oxide inserts to prevent corrosion and damage.

The Fuji real seat is sturdy and can hold the bulkiest, heaviest saltwater spinning reels firmly in place. There are EVA foam padding around the reel seats for added protection. This rod also has a traditional cork-wrapped front and back grips with low profiles to ensure optimal comfort.

For the price, this rod offers astounding balance, sensitivity, and stiffness. As a result, a seasoned angler will easily be able to cast out a five-ounce lure as far as a hundred yards with this rod.

 

What We Don’t Like

Two minor drawbacks of this rod are that the cork handles tend to chip easily, and the guide legs are not stiff enough to add sufficient stability.

 

 

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Durable IM-6 graphite blank construction
  • High-quality Fuji aluminum guide with oxide inserts
  • Fuji reel seat with EVA padding for protection
  • Balanced feel and sufficient sensitivity

 

Cons

  • Guide legs are not stiff enough
  • Cork handles are susceptible to damage

 

The Okuma Solaris is an affordable, yet high-value addition to any angler’s tackle.

 

Overall rating – 4.6 of 5

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Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping separately for a spinning reel and rod, this combo may be a suitable option.

 

Key Features

  • Ten-foot, two-piece rod
  • Composite blank construction
  • Stainless-steel guides with aluminum-oxide inserts
  • Soft rod action
  • Watertight casing for added protection
  • A five-bearing crank with instant anti-reverse
  • HT-100 Slammer drag system
  • The reel has a rubber-backing gasket

 

What We Like

This combo is the ideal option for beginner anglers or kids who want to take up surf fishing. The two-piece rod has a length of ten feet and features a composite blank construction. The rod is also fitted with durable stainless-steel guides that are protected by aluminum oxide inserts.

While the rod’s action is on the softer end of the spectrum, it can handle weights over five ounces, and it provides you with a sufficient casting distance to get beyond the surf.

The V6500 reel features a five-bearing crank and instant anti-reverse, which can be helpful for beginner surf anglers.

 

What We Don’t Like

The reel is fitted with Penn’s watertight casing to protect it from water damage, but this casing is not entirely effective. The drag is also not the smoothest under hard pulls.

 

Pros

  • Combo includes a ten-foot rod and V6500 reel
  • High-value package for surf fishermen
  • High-quality reel seat
  • Stainless-steel guides with aluminum-oxide inserts

 

Cons

  • Rod action is too soft
  • Reel watertight casing is not effective
  • Drag is not smooth with hard pulls

 

This high-end combo is the ideal option for anglers who want a high-value package and a rod that offers a long casting distance.

 

Overall rating – 4.9 of 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Tica UGSA Series Spinning Surf Rod

The Tica UGSA spinning rod is made of high-end materials and is ten feet long with a medium-heavy power value.

 

Key Features

  • High-modulus TC3 graphite construction
  • Fuji alconite top guide and Fuji hardloy ring guides
  • Fuji DPS real seat
  • Tica foldable hook keeper
  • Non-slip cork handle
  • Two-piece spinning surf rod

 

What We Like

When you consider the key features, it is immediately apparent that this is an above-average spinning rod for surf fishing. The rod is made from high-modulus TC3 graphite construction for reduced weight, added strength, and a longer casting distance.

The rod is also fitted with Fuji alconite and hardloy guides as well as a Fuji DPS reel seat so you can assure that you won’t have to deal with tangling or corrosion in due course. The hook holder was specially designed by Tica to keep your line out of the way between sessions.

 

What We Don’t Like

There are not a lot of issues with this rod, but one prominent drawback is that the balance point is higher up the blank towards the middle of the rod. As a result, this pole is not suitable for casting light reels.

 

Pros

  • Durable high-modulus TC3 graphite construction
  • High-quality ring guides contribute to the casting distance
  • Specially designed foldable hook keeper
  • High-quality non-slip cork handle
  • High-quality Fuji DPS reel seat

 

Cons

  • The balance point is to the middle of the rod
  • Not suitable for casting lightweight lures

 

The Tica UGSA series is a high-end spinning rod that is suitable for beginner and seasoned surf anglers alike.

 

Overall rating – 4.6 of 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

If you are looking for a solid carbon fiber construction, consider the surf spinning rod from Fiblink.

 

Key Features

  • Solid carbon fiber blank construction
  • Guides have a stainless-steel and ceramic construction
  • Non-slip rubber shrink-tube handle
  • Extreme exposure reel seat
  • Available in ten- and twelve-foot lengths

 

What We Like

The Fiblink spinning fishing rod has a durable construction and is highly sensitive, even in turbulent waters. The rod is available in either a ten- or twelve-foot length, depending on the casting distance you want to achieve.

The guides have a stainless-steel and ceramic construction, and they are precisely aligned to minimize the risk for tangling and to keep the rod’s sensitivity intact.

The non-slip rubber shrink-tube handle has a tapered rear grip, and it has a tip-over-butt ferrule connection to enhance the rod construction’s sturdiness. The extreme exposure reel seat is a wheel seat with stainless-steel hood transitions for added protection.

 

What We Don’t Like

The Fiblink rod is not perfect, however. This rod doesn’t have the lightest weight, and you will need a sand spike if you are planning on fishing for the entire day. The rod also only has a heavy power value, which is problematic if you want to cast light lures.

 

Pros

  • Long casting distance
  • Durable and sturdy rod
  • Handles provide sufficient grip
  • Guides allow for sensitivity
  • Sufficient lengths for surf casting

 

Cons

  • Rod may be too heavy for some anglers
  • Only heavy power value available

 

The Fiblink surf spinning rod is an excellent addition to the experienced angler who uses sand spikes and prefers a heavy power value.

 

Overall rating – 4.4 of 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Penn Prevail Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

The Penn Prevail surf spinning fishing rod is a ten-foot, two-piece rod that offers the surf angler with sufficient casting distance, strength, and sensitivity.

 

Key Features

  • Length of ten feet
  • Graphite composite blank construction
  • Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts
  • DPS reel seat with stainless steel hood
  • Rubber shrink tube

 

What We Like

This two-piece spinning rod has a durable graphite composite construction and is ten feet long, which is sufficient for most surf fishing settings.

The stainless-steel guides with the aluminum-oxide inserts are suitable for both monofilament and braided lines, and they are not susceptible to tangling. The DPS reel seat is fitted with a stainless-steel hood to form a secure connection between the reel and the rod.

 

What We Don’t Like

The rod is also fitted with a rubber shrink tube grip to ensure sensitivity and establish an ergonomic, firm grip. However, this grip does not provide the same value as an EVA or cork grip. If you prefer the feel of a conventional grip, this rod may not be suitable for you.

 

 

Pros

  • Versatile, two-piece rod
  • Durable graphite composite construction
  • Reel seat features stainless-steel hoods
  • Guides work with monofilament and braided lines

 

Cons

  • Rubber grip doesn’t perform the same as a cork grip

 

The Penn Prevail is a high-end rod from a reputable manufacturer. If you like a rubber grip and graphite composite construction, this may be the rod for you.

 

Overall rating – 4.8 of 5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Surf Fishing Rod Buying Guide

In some ways, surf fishing is more challenging than fishing in lakes or rivers. With surf fishing, casting distance is crucial. If you’re looking for a fishing rod that easier to use, check out bass fishing rods. There are many different surf fishing rods to choose from, and in this guide, we will discuss some of the key buying considerations.

 

Casting Distance

When you are surf fishing, you want to cast your lure or bait beyond the surf break zone, where there are less turbulence and more catchable fish. To achieve this casting distance, you need a surf fishing rod with a suitable length and action.

Surf rod lengths typically range between nine and fourteen feet. However, a short rod may also be suitable for surf fishing as they are generally more comfortable to use and more accurate.

To achieve optimal casting distances, you ideally want a rod with an action that is on the slower side of the spectrum, as these rods are more bendable.

 

Target Species

The size of the fish you want to catch is another crucial consideration when shopping for a surf fishing rod. If your target species is on the heavier side, you need a rod that is at the longer end of the spectrum, and that has a heavy power value.

Long and high-power rods can be difficult for short or beginner anglers to use, however, so keep your own limitations and experience levels in mind when selecting a rod.

 

Baits and Lures

As a rule of thumb, heavier and bulkier baits and lures requires rods with heavy power values and slow actions. If you are using lightweight lures, however, a lightweight rod with a fast- or extra-fast action will be sufficient.

 

Fishing Rod Material

Surf fishing rods are commonly made of three material types, namely graphite, fiberglass, or a composite mix that is a hybrid between these materials. Most anglers prefer graphite rods as they typically have lighter weights, faster actions, and higher sensitivities than fiberglass rods.

Fiberglass is often the material of choice for anglers who prefer a slower action for throwing out crankbait. Hybrid rods are available in a wide range of action and power profiles.

 

Rod Power

Rod power is the pressure you have to apply to a rod to make it bend. It is mostly rated in terms of weight and, for surf fishing, you likely need a rod within the medium-light to medium-heavy range.

 

 

Rod Action

Rod action refers to the amount of flex that a rod undergoes. The slower the rod’s action, the more flexible it is. Fast rods generally provide long casting distances as the result of tip speed.

 

Rod Guides

Rod guides that are made of high-quality materials will not break easily, and they are less susceptible to corrosion. Fuji, Fuji KWAG, and PackBay Minima guides are the most popular among surf fishers. Try to stay away from ceramic guides as they tend to break easily.

 

Surf Rod Handle

Rod handles for surf fishing differ in terms of size and length. Most handles are around one inch in diameter, and they are mostly made of EVA foam and cork. It is not possible to definitively say that one material is better than the other in terms of grip and sensitivity, and it mostly comes down to personal preference.

You can also select a wooden rod handle, but make sure that it is durable and long-lasting before you buy.

 

Final Thoughts

When selecting a surf fishing rod, you need a durable construction, long casting distance, and high-end guides to support the rod’s performance.

For these reasons, the top pick for the best surf fishing rod is the St Croix Triumph travel surf rod. This model has a durable and lightweight carbon fiber construction, hard aluminum-oxide surf guides, and a length of ten feet.

To top it off, this rod has a custom cork tape handle to give you an ergonomic grip and enhance the rod’s sensitivity. The rod is also fitted with a high-end Fuji DPS reel seat. Want to see more fishing rod options? Here are our best ice fishing rods that you can use during the winter seasons.

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