What Size of Reel is Best for Surf Fishing?

The reel size can mean the difference between a successful surf fishing expedition and a failed one. No single reel size is ideal for all fishing conditions, and the most suitable reel size is contingent upon a raft of factors. The factors include the size of your fishing rod, the type of fish you intend to catch, the line strength, draft setting, and beach structure. The reel size is critical in surf fishing because it determines how far off the shoreline you can deploy your bait. Moreover, a powerful and robust reel allows you to pull back the line easily when something bites the hook. But what size of reel is best for surf fishing?

The optimal reel size is 6000, with a line strength of between 12 and 16 pounds. The reel works best on fishing rods that range from five to ten feet in length. In essence, the 6000 reel size is well equipped to catch numerous fish species that inhabit waters close to the beach. Also, the reel size can remain effective when a big fish gets hooked on the hook. However, a bigger reel size is ideal if you intend to catch big fish, including mulloway, marlin, tuna, and sharks. 

What is the Meaning of Reel Size?

Reel size loosely refers to line capacity. Manufacturers use two or four-digit numbers to indicate reel size. The bigger the reel size, the stronger and longer the line is. It is worth noting that a relatively large reel incorporates more gears, washers, bearings, and plates, consequently making it heavier. 

Common Reel Sizes for Surf Fishing

The reel sizes available in the market range anywhere between 1000 and 10,000. Smaller reels have their fair share of advantages, including the capacity to catch relatively small fish easily. Meanwhile, large reels are advantageous because they can retrieve longer lines sections per crank. Listed below are some of the most common reel sizes you are likely to come across in the market. 

#1: 1000-2000 Reel Size

Small reels that fall in the 1000 to 2000 range are ideal for catching small fish such as bream, surfperch, and pompano. In essence, the reels enable you to catch fish within a 50-yard distance from the shoreline. It is worth noting that the recommended line strength for these reels is approximately 4 to 8 pounds. 

The Moulinet Daiwa Ninja LT is a size 1000 with a considerably high rating in the 1000 to 2000 reel size range. The product is made of aluminum and nylon materials and weighs 7.41 ounces. It also has a gear ratio of 5:2:1 and a maximum drag force of 5 kilograms. The reel’s monoline capacity is 164 yards, while its braided line capacity is 218 yards. In addition, the item’s line length per crank is approximately 25.2 inches. The crank has an anti-reverse system that locks the line as the fish pulls it back into the water. 

#2: 3000-4000 Reel Size

Reels in the 3000 to 4000 size range are perfect for catching medium-sized fish such as bass and salmon. The apt mono line capacity for the reels ranges between 6 and 12 pounds, while the ideal braided line capacity falls anywhere between 6 pounds and 20 pounds. 

The KastKing Spartacus II Fishing Reel enjoys high popularity among surf fishers. It is worth noting that the item comes in either one of four configurations, including 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 sizes. The reel has an incredibly smooth operation courtesy of its ultra-smooth 22-pound disc drag that enables you to employ a light line. 

The 3000-size model has a gear ratio of 5:0:1 and a maximum drag of 17.6 pounds. Meanwhile, the 4000-size model has a gear ratio of 4:4:1 and a maximum drag of 22 pounds. Both models feature reinforced nylon frames and include a reversible retrieve function. 

#3: 5000-6000 Reel Size

If you want a reel that can catch close to 90% of shore-dwelling fish species, you should consider acquiring a reel that falls in this size range. The reel is suitable for catching small whiting, snook, pompano, small sharks, Tarpon, and many others. Notably, 5000-6000-size reels are relatively pricier than smaller-sized reels. 

The RUNCL Spinning Reel Titan II is a 6000-size reel with a comparatively high customer rating. Part of the reel’s appeal lies in its R.E.S.S system, which shields the rotor, main body, and spools from dirt, water, and sand. The product is made of stainless steel and uses a monofilament line type. 

In addition, the reel includes an enclosed drag system that gives it significant stopping power and elevates its maximum drag to 44 pounds. Its gear ratio is 5:1:1, and its line length per crank is approximately 37.8 inches. Lastly, you do not have to worry about holding the reel for protracted periods at a time because it weighs only 13.1 pounds. 

#4: 7000-8000 Reel Size

Reels that fall in the 7000 to 8000 size range are suitable for longer rods employed in surf fishing because they enable you to cast your line over 100 yards from the shoreline. The reels are particularly suitable for catching a variety of medium and large fish species, including striped bass, redfish, salmon, and snook. The apt mono line capacity for reels in this size range is anywhere between 14 pounds and 22 pounds. Meanwhile, these reels’ ideal braided line capacity ranges from 15 pounds to 50 pounds. 

The Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel is an 8000-size reel that is highly popular among surf fishers. Part of the product’s appeal originates from its practicality and affordability. The item is made of synthetic and aluminum materials and weighs approximately 30 ounces. The reel has a gear ratio of 5:6:1 and a maximum drag of 33 pounds. In addition, the product has an anti-reverse system and employs a braided line type. 

#5: 9000-10000 Reel Size

If you plan on catching large fish species on your surf fishing expedition, reels that fall in the 9000 and 10000 size range are your best bet. Using these reels, you can catch fish species such as wahoo, roosterfish, amberjack, shark, Dorado, and barracuda. In essence, reels ranging from 9000 to 10000 in size necessitate longer and more robust fishing rods. The ideal mono line capacity for the reels ranges between 18 and 25 pounds, while the appropriate braided line capacity for the reels can be anywhere between 30 and 50 pounds. 

Dr. Fish Saltwater Spinning Reel has a considerably high rating on the online marketplace. Essentially, the item has a vast array of special features which make it highly attractive to the consumer. One such feature is its high-density, corrosion-resistant body that allows the reel to endure repeat tussles against large fish species. Second, the model has a maximum drag of 48 pounds and a gear ratio of 3:9:1, which allows you to pull large fish with relative ease. 

The third specification that makes the reel popular among surf fishers is its 13+1 ball bearing that provides smooth action in surfcasting. The reel’s waterproofed rotor allows it to maintain its smooth performance even after numerous trips. Moreover, the aluminum spool accommodates heavier lines and helps you surf cast further and faster. 

What Size Of Reel is Best for Surf Fishing in Low Tide? 

During low tide, the shoreline usually recedes further into the sea. As such, your best chance of catching fish is by casting your line to the rear end of the sandbars that are further offshore. The rear end of the closest sandbars is roughly 18 inches deep and harbors critical fish diets such as little clam, crabs, and shrimp. During low tides, you are likely to catch small-sized fish such as pompanos which consume little clam, crabs, and shrimp. 

If you plan on surf fishing during low tide, it would be best to carry a 5000 reel since it can accommodate a long line to cover the distance between the shoreline and the offshore sandbars. Notably, the ideal reel size for surf fishing in low tides is also dependent on the line type. For instance, if you use a braided line, the 4500-sized reel is adequate. 

What Size Of Reel is Best for Surf Fishing in High Tide? 

It is easier to undertake surf fishing at high tide than at low tide. As a surf fisher, you should know that fish swim close to the shoreline during high tide. Consequently, you can use a small-sized reel and still realize a successful surf fishing expedition. If you intend to catch relatively small fish species, you can deploy a reel size of anywhere between 1000 and 3000. 

Surf fishing
Surf fishing

Wrap Up

Overall, surf fishing is a rewarding recreational activity that requires you to identify the most suitable reel size for different occasions. Factors that influence the suitability of different reel sizes include the size of fish you intend to catch, the line type, draft setting, and beach structure. 

Notably, the ideal reel size for surf fishing ranges from 1000 to 10000. As a novice surf angler, you might initially find surf fishing quite challenging, but the activity will become more enjoyable as you gain experience. So, consider taking up surf fishing as a favorite pastime. 

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Brian Hopkins

Brian is an outdoor writer and the youngest member of our team, but he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fishing and different techniques for catching different species. He shares valuable information that the younger generation can relate to. When he is not fishing, you can find him hanging with his friends and gaming on his computer.

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