Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos(2024)Tested & Reviewed

Written By John VanDerLaan

*We may earn revenue from the products available on this site and participate in affiliate programs

Best Surf Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Our staff of surf fishing experts have tested and reviewed all of the best surf fishing rod and reel combos so that you can find the righ one for you.

We chase striped bass and bluefish from the Cape Cod Canal and outer beaches to the jersey shore, Chesapeake Bay and the Mid Atlantic Coast.

Here in Florida, we have speckled trout, pompano, snook, redfish, black drum, flounder, jacks, Spanish mackerel, snapper, and even grouper if we can find rocks or pilings to fish. No matter where you live along the coast, there are plenty of fish available to you.

When choosing the best surf fishing rod and reel combination, there are some things you need to be aware of. 

Best Overall

PENN Spinfisher VI Surf Combo

PENN spinfisher IV combo

Best For Beginners

PENN Battle III Surf Combo

penn battle iii combo

Staff Favorite

Daiwa BG Surf Combo

Daiwa bg surf combo

Overall, the best surf fishing reel and rod combination should be well-matched in terms of rod length, power, action, materials used, reel size, and balance to provide optimal performance and control for the angler in all kinds of surf conditions.

We'll give you some info about surf fishing reels and rods below, then suggest some of our favorite and often-used reel/rod combinations. Let's learn about Surf Fishing Combos!

Best Surf Fishing Rod And Reel Combo At A Glance

The Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos That We Use

These are real reviews of the exact surf fishing rod and reel combos that we use on beaches and jetties from Cape Cod, to the Jersey Shore, Mid Atlantic Coast, all the way to Florida, Alabama and Texas.

Best Spinning Reel and Rod Combo for Surf Fishing: PENN Spinfisher VI Surf Combo

PENN Spinfisher VI Surf Combo

The PENN Spinfisher 6500 spinning reel is the one we recommend along with its PENN rod as the best combo for most anglers' needs while surf fishing. This doesn't mean it's the best one for you, but if you fish for a variety of fish species from the beach, this one is probably the one that fits your needs best. Read on to find out!

The Spinfisher VI is well-sealed and has sealed bearings and a drag system to keep out moisture and dirt that can cause a reel to lock up or grind gears or bearings. It has more line capacity than the average spinning reel for surf fishing and it is built to withstand the high-pressure environment that comes with reeling in huge fish.

The PENN Spinfisher surf rod is a composite of graphite and fiberglass, so it's hard, flexible, and ready to give you some of the longest casts possible for this rod length. You'll also appreciate the comfortable EVA handles and rubber shrink grips for an iron grip that won't slip, even when wet.



Reel Type – Spinning.

Reel Size – 6500 with many other sizes available.

Gear Ratio & Retrieval Rate – 5.6:1 (42 in).

Materials – Full metal body and sideplates and CNC Gear technology.

Spool & Line Capacity – Superline balanced aluminum spool. Clear line capacity rings. 335/50 lb. braid.

Drag – 30 lb. Sealed drag using HT-100 carbon fiber washers.

Bearings – 5+1.

Durability – Excellent. IPX5 sealed body and spool.


Length – 10 ft. (2 pieces).

Materials – Tough graphite and fiberglass composite blank.

Power – Heavy.

Action – Moderate-Fast.

Handle – Lightweight EVA with rubber shrink tube grips. Note, the rod at our link is a SpinFisher rod with a cork handle.

Reel Seat – Graphite.

Guides – Dura-Guide stainless steel without inserts.

What We Like

  • Very well-matched rod and reel, with superb balance.
  • The perfect surf fishing rod that casts far and has the power to reel in any size fish you catch from shore.
  • Well sealed, durable and tough.
  • Manual bail trip for size 6500 and larger reels.
  • The price is very reasonable for the best surf fishing spinning rod and reel combo you can buy.

What We Don't Like

  • PENN switched to steel guides on this rod, and some anglers are concerned that over time there will be some wearing away in grooves in the metal due to using braided line which is known for it.

Many pros recommend this as the best surf fishing rod and reel combo available today. We're calling it the best. The 6500 size reel paired with the heavy 10-foot rod makes this a surf fishing combo you'll use constantly instead of other rods and reels in your garage.

Best for Beginners: PENN Battle III Surf Combo

PENN Battle III Surf Combo

The PENN Battle III is perfect for beginning surf fishing enthusiasts from teens to adults. This combo includes a PENN 9-foot medium-heavy power rod and is well-matched to the Battle III reel. The price is right for this advanced beginner's surf fishing combo. This makes an excellent gift for anglers new to fishing!



Reel Type – Spinning.

Reel Size – 6000. Sizes from 1000 to 10000 are available.

Gear Ratio & Retrieval Rate – 5.6:1 (41 in).

Materials – Metal body and sideplates. CNC Gear Technology.

Spool & Line Capacity – Aluminum spool. 335 yd. 50 lb. braid.

Drag – 25 lb. HT-100 carbon fiber discs.

Bearings – 5+1.

Durability – Sealed bearings. No special sealing for the spool or internals. Requires cleaning often.


Length – 9 ft. (2 pieces).

Materials – Graphite-fiberglass composite blank.

Power – Medium-Heavy.

Action – Moderate-Fast.

Handle – Split handle. Rubber shrink tube and EVA grips.

Reel Seat – Graphite.

Guides – PENN Dura-Guides. Solid steel, no inserts.

What We Like

  • Workhorse reels and rods that can handle most any kind of fish, from sheepshead to stripers, or sharks that you hook into from the beach.
  • Fair price. Though it might seem priced on the high side for beginners, this is a fairly priced surf fishing combo for the value you get. PENN is a great company and its products at this level give great value.
  • Choices. The BATTLE III comes in many sizes and strengths and you'll definitely find one that fits your type of fishing.

What We Don't Like

  • Better sealing would be appreciated on the surf fishing reel. The way you counter that is to ensure you're cleaning and lubing the inside of your reel every month if you're using it frequently.

If you're a beginner looking for a very strong time-tested surf fishing spinning reel and rod with a fair price and with decent components that will last you at least a few years, the PENN Battle III is one of the best available choices in the market. We've been more than happy with ours and we intend to buy more this year.

Staff Pick: Best Spinning Outfit: Daiwa BG Surf Combo

Daiwa BG Surf Combo

We have some guys on staff that love this surf combo and we can see why. It is a high quality reel that is sized perfectly and it is matched with a 10' surf rod that casts extremely well and is durable enough to stand up to the elements.



Reel Type – Spinning.

Reel Size – 5000.

Gear Ratio & Retrieval Rate – 5.7:1 (47.4 in).

Materials – Black anodized machined aluminum body.

Spool & Line Capacity – ABS aluminum spool. 360 yd. 50 lb. braid.

Drag – 22 lb. Waterproof and carbon fiber washers.

Bearings – 6+1.

Durability – Oversized gearing and waterproof drag. 7 total bearings.


Length – 10 ft. (2 pieces).

Materials – Graphite and carbon fiber composite blank.

Power – Medium-Heavy.

Action – Moderate-Fast.

Handle – EVA foam.

Reel Seat – Graphite.

Guides – Cut/groove-proof aluminum oxide guide inserts.

What We Like

  • Good choice of components and materials.
  • Manual trip bail for reels over 4500.
  • ABS Spool, Air Rotor, DigiGear.
  • High line retrieval rate.

What We Don't Like

  • No sealed spool.

Daiwa brand fishing gear is considered by many to be on par with Shimano and PENN. This rod and reel combination has some excellent specs and durable materials and features that should provide years of satisfactory use. Some on our team prefer Daiwa spinning combos to conventional outfits for surf fishing. You might too!

Best Casting/Conventional Surf Combo: PENN Squall II Star Drag Surf Combo

PENN Squall II Star Drag Surf Combo

Back in the day, all the old timers lining the beach and the jetties were using conventional gear. Somewhere along the line, most surf fisherman made the switch to the easier to use, spinning rod and reel. Today, there are still some diehards that appreciate the longer casting conventional surf fishing gear. We have a couple of these diehards on staff and this is the surf combo that they use.



Reel Type – Casting/Conventional.

Reel Size – 15 (1500).

Gear Ratio & Retrieval Rate – 6.1:1 (29 in).

Materials – Graphite frame (body) and sideplates.

Spool & Line Capacity – Live spindle and free-floating aluminum spool. 290 yd. 50 lb. braid.

Drag – 20 lb. Star drag HT-100 carbon fiber discs.

Bearings – 6+1 shielded.

Durability – Sealed bearings and conventional reel types enjoy added resistance to saltwater and other elements.


Length – 10 ft. (2 pieces). 

Materials – Tubular graphite-fiberglass composite blank.

Power – Medium.

Action – Moderate-Fast.

Handle – Split style, rubber shrink handle, and rod butt.

Reel Seat – Graphite.

Guides – PENN Dura-Guides.

What We Like

  • Conventional reels are sealed better and have fewer problems with letting dirt and water into the gears.
  • The casting distance is stellar.
  • High line retrieval rate.

What We Don't Like

  • Another 5-10 lb. of drag would be nice.

The PENN Squall II Star Drag reel and rod combination is one of the all-time greats in surf fishing in our opinion. The casting distance on this one is extra far and the reliability and durability is well-known among anglers who've been using them for a long time.

If you're looking for a tough conventional reel that isn't too big and that you can use from the beach on a 10 ft. rod, this one is a great choice for you. We always have line on ours and they are ready to go.

Best Budget Option: PENN Pursuit IV Surf Combo

PENN Pursuit IV Surf Combo

Let's face it, surf fishing can get expensive, so we wanted to share a high quality, budget surf fishing rod and reel combo. We reached out to everyone on our staff and this combo is the one came up the most. It is ideal for beginners or anybody on a budget.



Reel Type – Spinning.

Reel Size – 8000.

Gear Ratio & Retrieval Rate – 4.7:1 (44 in).

Materials – Graphite body.

Spool & Line Capacity – Machined and anodized aluminum Superline spool. 345 yd. 80 lb.

Drag – HT-100 carbon fiber discs.

Bearings – 4+1.

Durability – Sealed bearings.


Length – 10 ft. (2 pieces).

Materials – Graphite-fiberglass composite.

Power – Heavy.

Action – Fast.

Handle – EVA grips with grooves for fingers that give a better grip wet or dry.

Reel Seat – Graphite.

Guides – Dura-Guides.

What We Like

  • Super smooth reeling with oversized grippy round handle.
  • Spool holds a lot of line, and can even use this combo from a boat.
  • The fourth edition of a successful line of reels.
  • The price is so right!

What We Don't Like

  • The spool isn't well sealed compared to other options, but as a budget recommendation, it is quite adequate.

We recommend that beginners learning how to fish, who want to get involved in surf fishing from the shore grab one of these 8000-size PENN Pursuit saltwater reels. These are very popular rod/reel combos from one of the best names in the sport. We still have PENN Pursuit IIs and IIIs we're using after years of moderate saltwater use.

Best Cheap Option: Ugly Stik Surf Combo

Ugly Stik Surf Combo

Best and cheap rarely are used in the same sentence, but I just felt like some of you were going to be looking for a cheap option. After all, you are going to be smashing this combo on the rocks at the jetty and laying in in the sand on the beach. Who wants to spend a lot of money to abuse a rod and reel combo like that.

This combo is cheap, but it also features an indestructible Ugly Stik rod, which we have found to be awesome for surf fishing.



Reel Type – Spinning.

Reel Size – 7000.

Gear Ratio & Retrieval Rate – 4.1:1 and RR not stated.

Materials – Graphite spinning reel.

Spool & Line Capacity – Aluminum spool. 300 yd. 25 lb. mono.

Drag – Oil felt.

Bearings – 1+1.

Durability – Unsealed. Some parts are durable.


Length – 9 ft. (2 pieces).

Materials – Ugly Tech construction, graphite and fiberglass.

Power – Medium-Heavy.

Action – Moderate

Handle – Split handle. EVA grips. Some models have a rubber gimbal.

Reel Seat – Fuji graphite.

Guides – Tuff-Guides. One piece stainless steel without inserts.

What We Like

  • The price is great for an entry-level surf fishing rod/reel combo. The rod is the better part of the deal.
  • 7-Year Warranty.

What We Don't Like

  • Very few bearings and the reel is unsealed.

If you're looking for an entry-level surf fishing combination to try just to see if you like fishing from shore or not, this one is a great starter kit for you. If you can afford it, we think you should get one of the other combinations on this page because at worst, you can resell it. Your experience will be better.

But, if you don't have the money then don't feel bad about getting this one and trying it out. This might be your gateway into saltwater fishing and you may love it. There is plenty of time to upgrade your gear later!

The main issue we have with this one is the weak reel. The rod is fantastic. The reel has too many compromises to be something you're going to use for a few years or more. Look at it as a 1-2 year reel for heavy or even moderate use.

Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Buying Guide

Fisherman with 3 surf rod and reel combos

Surf Fishing Reels

The best surf fishing reel is strong, water and dirt resistant, hold a lot of heavy line, and durable, and able to last for many years with proper care. The following factors will help you learn a little about surf fishing reels and what you need to look for when purchasing one.

Reel Type

RELATED: Types Of Fishing Reels

There are two primary types of surf fishing reels – spinning, and conventional (including baitcasting).

Conventional reels have enough line capacity, power, and environmental sealing to make them great for surf fishing. Spinning reels, if large enough, can provide enough power and hold enough line for catching big fish in the surf too. Some of the best spinning reels are also sealed well enough to last.

Which one you choose is up to your preference. Both work well enough and they have some differences that might make you choose one over the other.

Conventional reels have better power for hard cranking to get strong fish in to land them. They have more line capacity because the spool is deeper. They have excellent casting for accuracy and distance.

RELATED: Spinning Reels vs Baitcasting Reels

Big spinning reels for the surf have enough line capacity. They can retrieve more line per turn of the handle. They are easier to cast for some people. They don't require a big learning curve. You can replace spools easily and switch the reel from right to left-handed retrieves in most cases.

Reel Size

Reel size matters in surf fishing because it affects the casting distance, line capacity, and ability to handle larger fish.

A larger reel can hold more line, allowing for longer casts and the ability to fish in deeper waters. It also provides more power to retrieve larger fish, making it easier to handle them in any kind of surf conditions.

On the other hand, if you're going to be doing a lot of casting and retrieval, a smaller reel may be easier to handle and more comfortable to use for extended periods. You may need a different rod and reel for fishing in this style.

So, the appropriate reel size depends on the type of fishing you plan to do, the size of the fish you are targeting, and the conditions of the surf. You'll need to choose a reel that matches your needs to ensure you have a successful and enjoyable time fishing from the beach.


The materials used in surf fishing gear matter for a couple of reasons. The first reason is they contribute to the strength of your reel. There are some big fish out there, and you might just be lucky enough to hook into one. If your reel isn't up to the task, you can experience reel failure like stripped gears, a handle breaking off, or a faulty drag leading to a snapped line.

You must have a surf reel made of strong materials like stainless steel, carbon fiber, aluminum, aluminum alloy, brass, graphite, etc.

The second reason that materials used in the manufacture of your reel is important is for longevity (durability). You want a reel that is near impervious to saltwater, sweat, rain, dust, and dirt penetration, and that uses some of the materials above to keep from corroding and rusting.

The number one enemy of any reel over the long term is corrosion. It will affect the weakest parts of your reel first. It's a good idea to keep up with cleaning and lubrication at least a couple of times a season. We recommend you do it at least one time per month if you're constantly fishing.

Reels that are professionally sealed cost more money, but as you get deeper into fishing as a hobby, you'll probably feel the need to get the best gear you can afford.

Line Capacity

Fishing Reel Spool Filled To Capacity

Ensuring your surf reel has a large line capacity is essential while fishing in the surf because it determines how much fishing line your reel can hold. This relates to how far you can cast and the depths of water you can fish if going offshore.

Not only that but once you do cast far out there, say 80-100 yd. out, if you hook a big fish, it may run another 100 yd. Or much further. Sharks are notorious for putting some real distance between you and them.

If your reel doesn't have enough line, you could lose the fish and pollute the water with hundreds of yards of braided or mono line. Having enough line to start with is always a good idea.

So, give it a lot of thought when selecting a reel for surf fishing. It's important to consider the amount of line capacity it has and whether you'll be able to catch the fish you want to target.

Reels with enough line capacity will help you cast farther, fish deeper, and give you the flexibility to handle larger fish in many different surf conditions.

Keep in mind that the more line you have on your spool, the farther you can cast because the line can more easily clear the spool lip when casting with your spinning reel. With more line on your conventional reel, you can also cast farther because the weight of the line on the spool adds to the rotational force releasing the line during casts.

Here's something else you may not have thought about. Maxing your spool out with line ensures that with each turn of the handle, you are getting the maximum amount of line retrieval. If you have very little line on the spool, the number of inches of line you retrieve will be less than with a full spool. This goes for both conventional and spinning reels.

RELATED: Best Time Of Day To Fish


A surf reel's drag is important for slowing the fish down once hooked. Drag is the resistance the reel applies to the spool. Drag makes the fish work harder to pull the line off the spool.

Drag allows the fish to pull some line off so it doesn't snap the line with sudden forceful pulls on your line. Generally, while surf fishing, a drag of 20 lb. or more is needed to handle big fish.


Sealed precision bearings are used on a reel to keep the mechanical parts turning around smoothly.

Bearings are crucial components in surf fishing reels because they affect the reel's overall performance and durability.

Bearings cut down on the friction between moving parts in the reel. The smoother the reel is, the better the feeling as you use it. Once you've handled a really smooth precision-balanced reel with good bearings, you'll remember it!

The smoother the reel is, the easier it will be to make effortless casts and strong retrieves. This is more important when you have a strong fish on the line in rough surf conditions. The smoother the retrieve and drag the fewer line snaps.

While ball bearings may not always appear to be necessary for all the places they end up, they are welcome and help to reduce damage between parts that grind against each other. They help line up gears and other parts so wear is even and at a slower rate.

Bearings align the spool to make sure the line is winding on evenly. This cuts down on undesirable effects like backlash and knotting.

So, pay attention when buying a surf reel (any reel). The number and quality of the bearings and the level of sealing is important for many reasons.


We all want our fishing reels to last forever, but they rarely do. The durability of your surf fishing reels is mostly related to two negative things – saltwater and sunshine.

Strong materials like those listed above, and good seals can keep your surf fishing reel operational for many years, even more than a decade. We have reels from more than ten years ago that show their wear but are still working very well for inshore fishing.

Seals and double-sealed bearings are great to have on a reel and increase durability by resisting water and dirt penetration while fishing.

Rust-resistant and rust-proof materials are very important to use in your reel, but so are other materials like the plastics, rubber, and EVA used in the reel's construction. The sun's ultraviolet rays are quite destructive on these softer materials and can cause them to fade, become brittle, and crack. UV-resistant materials are a must in a good fishing reel and will increase durability.

Surf Fishing Rods

Surf Fishing Rod And Reel Combo In A Sand Spit Rod Holder At The Beach

RELATED: Best Surf Fishing Rods

Rods you use for surf fishing are a little different from freshwater trout or bass fishing rods. They are stronger and more resistant to hard-fighting fish. Their stiffness and length help you land fish easier than you could with a smaller, weaker fishing rod. Here are some factors you'll want to pay attention to when you purchase your fishing rods for surf fishing.


Surf fishing rod length relates to the amount of power you can use against fighting fish, casting distance, and line management.

A long fishing rod gives you extra power and leverage to use against fish that you're reeling in. The range of sizes of fish you can catch in the surf ranges from 1 lb. snapper or pompano up to huge redfish, permit, snook, or even sharks. A longer rod will give you the power you need to be able to fight the fish, land it, and let it go quicker than you would with a shorter rod.

Long rods can cast farther than shorter ones. It's important to be able to cast both long and short casts accurately when surf fishing – and any fishing, really! Surf rods of 9-10 ft. are what we usually use, but there are massive rods 15 feet in length that can launch your bait out there, no matter how heavy it is.

RELATED: Best Bait For Surf Fishing

Line control is important when trying to keep the fish and your line away from sharp objects like oysters, barnacles, or rocks. Keeping the line up high or down low to the water can be important for certain species. Keeping the line taut is also easier with a longer rod.

Of course, the length of rod you choose to fish with from shore depends on what feels good to you. Matching your rod and reel to the size of fish you're most likely to target most frequently is a wise choice. Longer rods of 9 ft. and longer are a good idea to give you some variety in distance, otherwise, you'll be stuck with the shorter distances.

Longer rods are a necessity at the beach for casting, line control, and the ultimate in power when fighting hard to land fish.


Materials used in the construction of your surf fishing rod play a major role in the size of fish you can land successfully without causing damage to your gear.

They also can affect factors like the distance of casts, accuracy, and the sensitivity and power of the rod. All of these added together affect your fishing experience in the surf.

Most inexpensive rods are made of a combination of fiberglass and graphite. When combined, these rods can be cheap enough and they are highly responsive and strong enough to land just about any fish you get to bite.

Graphite in rods makes them more responsive and can add crucial yards to your long casts. It's an excellent material in combination with fiberglass. Graphite rods are much more expensive than plain fiberglass rods.

Fiberglass alone is a super-flexible rod that is very forgiving. You'd have a hard time snapping it, no matter what angle you bent it back at. Fiberglass helps to prevent broken rods.

Carbon fiber rods are becoming more popular as the price of the material slowly drops to less than absurd levels. Some excellent rods are made of carbon fiber. They are lightweight, strong, tough, and super-responsive. A lot of people enjoy fishing with these rods and spend a little more than they'd like to in order to enjoy the feeling they provide.

All of the rods on this page are excellent surf fishing rods that will give you a great fishing experience. None of these rods are prone to breaking, and some may seem indestructible. Most rods are, to be honest. It's only when forced into highly stressful situations that they may crack or snap.

In forty years of fishing, I've snapped just one rod! It was while reeling in a shark from shore. I still landed it, but breaking off the top half of my rod probably added another 30 minutes to bring it in!


Rods are assigned a power level. Knowing what the rod you're ready to buy is rated will help you decide whether it will be able to handle the fishing you plan on doing.

Rods are rated Light, Medium, Heavy, and combinations of these like Light-Medium, and Medium-Heavy. The ratings are not standardized between rod manufacturers, so you will need some experience to figure out which you need. Some companies even have two Heavy-rated rods that can handle different lure and line weights. So, there isn't a 2x Heavy, but maybe there should be.

The power a rod has tells you how much force it can handle comfortably while fighting fish. It also can tell you how much weight it can handle while casting. Rods are rated for 'lure weight' that will tell you a range of ounces that are best for the rod.

Most surf rods can handle between 1 to 5 oz. of total rig weight (bait + weights). Some can launch 16 oz. hunks of fish out into the surf! A rod like that would be useless for catching pompano, but a great help in catching sharks and other large fish.

As you learned above, the length of a rod can increase the power and leverage you have over the fish. The power rating, or stiffness of the rod, also works in tandem with the length to control the fish.

When you use lures that match the capability of your rod, you'll be able to cast further and more accurately because you'll have greater control over it.


A surf rod's action is how it bends and how responsive it is. Action matters in surf fishing for a few reasons.

Being able to cast as far as possible is affected by the rod's action. A fast-action rod flexes a lot near the tip. A slow-action rod flexes down toward the middle of the rod. Throwing light lures with fast-action rods works well. Throwing heavy lures and surf fishing rigs with a slow action rod works well too.

The sensitivity of the tip is important to let you read the rod for signals of fish bites. A tip that moves dramatically during nibbles will alert you quickly that you have a potential fish on the line. A slow action rod may hardly move and you won't be able to quickly respond to hard-to-detect bites.

Fast-action rods can be better for jigging lures because they can jig smoothly and more naturally. Slower action rods are better suited for another type of fishing, live bait fishing, because you won't see every small pull on the line as a rod tip bending.

RELATED: Surf Fishing Tips And Techniques For Beginners And Experts Alike


Materials used in the construction of the surf rod's handle are important for reasons of comfort, grip, and durability.

The most comfortable grip is EVA grips like on the Ugly Stik rods from Shakespeare. These are soft and grippy and very long-lasting. I don't think there is a better grip made, to be honest.

The rubber shrink tubes used on some rods are super-grippy, but not that comfortable because they don't have much padding. When fighting a fish for more than 20 minutes the comfort of the handle and grips can really matter.

Cork is a material that seems better suited to freshwater fishing for smaller fish, but still, some companies use it on their tough surf rods. I have had cork chip, rip, and twist off before so I tend not to like to use it. Sure, I'm talking about rods under $100, but I've had plenty of saltwater fishing rods under $100 with rubber or EVA handles and grips that last for many years without a problem.

Other synthetics can be used on the handle and grips, and some of them are OK. I tend to stick with EVA and rubber for the best experience.

Don't forget that the handle and grip shape and length can also affect how a rod feels while you're using it. If you have large hands, rods with bigger circumferences can feel more comfortable.

Reel Seat

The reel seat is the space in the rod where the reel connects. It's important for surf fishing because the pairing should be strong and resistant to pressure. It shouldn't loosen up for any reason. Knowing that the reel is strongly paired with the rod is important so you know you can really crank down hard on the reel and not have it separate from the rod.

The material of the reel seat should be very strong and durable. You should check the connection every month or so to ensure there is no corrosion taking place between the reel and rod.

Have a close look at the reel seat and rod connection to ensure it will be a solid connection.


The guides on a surf fishing rod are the holes the line goes through to keep the line straight as it comes onto the spool.

Having the right guides is important for surf fishing because it allows better casting and retrieval. The guides help to take the pressure off small sections of the rod and distribute it along the length of the rod, helping to ensure the rod doesn't snap from too much pressure in one place.

Generally, the diameter of the guides is matched to the thickness of the line and the diameter of the guides gets smaller as you near the tip of the rod. Braided line goes through the guides much easier than monofilament, but both can be used on surf rods.

The material the guides are made of varies widely. Some use one-piece metal cast guides without any inserts around the diameter of the eye. Others use a metal, a coated metal, or even ceramic to attempt to lessen the friction as the fishing line goes through the guides.

Some materials that work well for braided lines include these inserts: aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, Nanolite, Alconite, Nanoplasma, and Torzite.

Lastly, the frame of the fishing rod guides, the part that attaches to the rod itself, should be constructed of either stainless steel, aluminum, or some other strong metal that won't bend or corrode.

RELATED: Best Fish To Eat In Florida

Final Thoughts

We have tried to save you a lot of time by providing some of the best surf fishing rod and reel combos that we have tested and use for surf fishing. Choose one of these and you can be confident that the manufacturers have invested time and money into engineering near-perfect combinations.

That said, we are all aware of rods and reels from different manufacturers that go together well. We have some, and you probably do too. 

Pick up one these surf fishing rod and reel combos and start hitting the beach and catching fish!

RELATED: Florida Surf Fishing Species

Photo of author

John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan is the founder and lead editor at Fisherman's Authority. John is a passionate fisherman whose travels have taken him all over the country in search of different species of gamefish. He has won bass fishing tournaments, including the 1987 Candlewood Classic. He also chases winter steelhead in upstate New York, summer stripers in New England and spends a lot of time fishing the waters of Florida Keys. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association Of America.

Leave a Comment