When the sun is shining, and the waves are crashing, your best friend would be the pole in your hand. Since friends are meant to be fun, you should take your time and search the world for that one rod that will help you step up your game.
Surf fishing rods aren’t just tall tools that give you access to the furthest spot on the surf. They should be sturdy enough to keep up with your glorious moments without breaking down or rusting from the saltwater. You and your fishing rod should be one, which means you should feel what’s happening at its tip from the handles you’re holding on the surf.
Choosing the best surf fishing rod is challenging since there are loads of them out there. They all look the same and yet, there are some distinctive differences. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices.
Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod
Penn Battle II
Shakespeare Ugly Stik
|Graphite & Fiberglass||Heavy||12’|
The 6 Best Surf Fishing Rods in 2021
1. Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 2-Piece – Best Overall
Fiblink introduces a beast to the world of surf fishing with this very sensitive and responsive surfcasting rod. For starters, the rod has carbon-fiber construction to guarantee precisely-tuned action and sensitivity. Its stainless steel and ceramic guides add to its smooth performance by letting the line pass through with minimal friction.
Not only that, but also these guides enhance the rod’s sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line through the guide to the rod, and eventually, to the non-slip rubber handles. This way, you’ll feel the most delicate bites from tiny fish.
You can choose either the 10-foot or the 12-foot model, which comes in two pieces for ease of transportation and maneuverability. The rod is a long caster and can drag a sea monster, thanks to its heavy power, with which it endures a line weight of 20-40 pounds and a lure weight of 4-8 ounces.
Although it provides you with lots of backbone and a tight grip on its handles, it demands special care while using it to keep it intact and functioning as long as possible. Otherwise, this pole is phenomenal, and you can count on it in pretty much any situation.
- Lightness and superior sensitivity
- Smooth and frictionless casting
- Reasonable price
- Well-constructed and durable
- Comes in two pieces
- Good customer service
- Some complaints about the rod tip being fragile
- Special care must be taken to maneuver it
The most praised feature of this pole is its ability to give away the subtlest fish nibbles, while still holding the ability to fight big game fish. With its value and top-notch quality, you’d expect to pay a fortune. However, it comes at a very reasonable price to the point that you’d want to add more than one to your collection.
2. Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rod – Budget Choice
It’s common knowledge that surfcasting rods come with high prices because of their special features. Yet, Okuma has made it possible to obtain a pole that works like a dream without breaking the bank.
What makes this rod stand out is its 15-foot length that is cut into three 5-foot segments. The rod is capable of reaching beyond 200 feet in the water while using a 10-30 pound test line along with a 2-8 ounce lure. Not to mention the benefit you can get from folding it in order to fit in car trunks and airplane rod holders.
Tundra offers a strong corrosion-resistant fiberglass housing, which renders the pole way sturdier than Fiblink, though the latter is more sensitive. Unfortunately, our rod here may let some small-sized fish slip away. Its reinforced double-footed guides complement the durable construction and guarantee a silky smooth performance.
Nevertheless, this massive size comes with its drawbacks. The pole is rather heavy, and the handle’s grip is short. This can wear you down after a few casts and may cause wrist pain.
Returning to the advantages, its white color isn’t only stylish, but also improves the visibility of the rod tip even in low light conditions. Also, anglers with any experience level won’t have to worry about the type and size of fish they can land with this pole since its medium-heavy power handles most sizes of fish well.
- Long caster
- Pocket friendly
- Robust fiberglass construction
- 3-piece construction for ease of transportation
- Suitable for small and large species
- Bad customer service
- Complaints about faulty guides and eyelets
- The tip doesn’t detect bites from fish under one pound
- More on the hefty side
With less than 40 bucks, you’d expect to get a piece of junk! However, Tundra is quite the opposite here. This rod offers a massive size that can be folded into three pieces, decent long casts, and good handling of fairly-sized species.
3. BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod – Bang for the Buck
Next on our list is this fast-action pole designed specifically for fishermen who aren’t satisfied with small-scale games. BERRYPRO, with its fast-action and medium-heavy power, is the best surf fishing rod for slinging heavyweights and reeling in giant species like sharks, muskies, and tarpons. The rod can hold a 15-30 pound test line, and 1.5-4 ounce lures.
It’s constructed with a 36-ton X-carbon blank that’s enhanced with stainless steel guides for smooth and precise performance. With three different sizes available, you can choose the 10, 11, or 12-foot rod according to your preferences. All of them provide the same toughness and flexibility at the same time.
We like its high-strength reel seats that are compatible with various types of reels. Moreover, its anti-wear rubber cap is a beautiful addition for extra protection. For a monster like this rod, you’ll need a sturdy and comfortable handle that saves your energy while fighting big-game fish. Thus, it’s equipped with non-slip shrink tubes to secure the rod in your hands.
Overall, the pole has a great feel and nice casting ability, all in a featherweight body. The only downside is that it’d be hard to pick up delicate bites or play a fish with any finesse with this rod.
- Responsive customer service
- Good value for the price
- Versatile and meets all fishing tasks
- Fast-action rod and capable of handling giant fish
- Three different sizes
- 2-piece rod
- Comfortable handle grips
- Needs frequent maintenance
- Poor quality control
- Bad packaging
For the price, you can’t beat this rod. It actually casts better than other high-end models.
It’s rugged, powerful, and balanced. For anglers who are after big fish, this pole is an excellent choice.
4. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod – Most Powerful Caster
When we think about this rod, the first word that comes in our minds is “Power!”. This series introduces the most powerful surf fishing rods we’ve ever held.
For one thing, its high-grade TC3 graphite housing is sensitive, super strong, and highly corrosion-resistant. For another, its medium-high power rating renders it suitable for landing all kinds of fish, besides allowing you to feel what’s happening at your rod’s tip.
The series presents ten different models with lengths ranging from 8 to 11 feet. We choose the 10-foot model as it can work with 10-30 pound line and 2-8 ounce lures, which is quite sufficient for most types of lures and sinkers.
This fast-action pole is ideal for many settings, be it fishing from a beach, a jetty or a pier. You’ll find it strong enough to work with jigs and live baits while maintaining the ability to cast over long distances, owing to its FUJI HARDLOY ring guides. Furthermore, its non-slip cork handles with custom diamond wraps provide a tight grip as well as a posh design that will catch your eyes.
Perhaps the pole is a bit expensive, but it’s money well spent. Also, we can’t help but say that some newbies may find it quite difficult to control their casts with this beautiful piece as it demands some experience.
- Well-balanced fast-action rod
- High-quality guides
- Long coverage
- Sturdy and lightweight
- Non-slip cork handles
- Doesn’t suit beginners
We can confidently say that Tica UGSA is a no-brainer! Although it requires some experience under your belt, it’s a ball of fire in the form of a rod. You will be thankful you took this masterpiece to the shore after you come back home with a cooler stocked with fish.
5. PENN Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Best Saltwater Combo
Leave it to Penn to come with the best fishing tackles, and the good thing is you won’t pull your hair trying to figure out which reel matches well with your rod. This combo is designed specifically to bear the harsh conditions that come with the surf fishing package.
First of all, the graphite blank is lightweight and built to take a beating. Using this medium-fast action rod that’s 9 inches long, you’ll nail every long cast you attempt even if you fish from high bridges and dams. The medium-heavy power of Battle II gives you the possibility of hooking monsters while still being able to feel the smallest baitfish.
The rod offers a compelling combination of sensitivity and fish-fighting features. It’s compatible with 15-30 pound lines, which gives you the freedom to use braided or monofilament lines. Also, the versatility of this rod is no joke. If you ever feel like stepping in a boat and fishing offshore, this rod and reel combo will do just fine.
As for the reel, we didn’t expect anything less, and we were right! It’s made of an all-metal corrosion-resistant body to resist rusting. With a heavy-duty bail and carbon-fiber drag, you can work your reel smoothly. Last but not least, the reel is just the right size for surf fishing so that you can do a fair amount of casting without fatigue.
- Affordable combo
- The whole combo is corrosion-resistant
- Handles don’t slip under pressure
- Picks up small and large species effortlessly
- Complaints about the quality of the rod tip
- Quality control and packaging issues
If you’re just getting started, this combo’s features may seem a bit overkill. Yet, it’s a good investment for the future as the moment you try Penn’s fishing gear, you’ll want to add more of it to your arsenal.
6. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod – Most Durable Rod
There’s not a single part of this rod that isn’t solid. The use of both fiberglass and graphite takes part in the rod being sturdy and sensitive. Unlike Fiblink and Battle ll, it has incredible tip flexes, so it never breaks whether you’re fishing for crappie and bass or going after muskies and tuna.
Ugly stick is considered a good bargain from all aspects. Even with heavy surf and strong head-wind, the rod is solid and can cast for long distances. It comes with a length of 12 feet that’s divided into two segments for ease of transportation. You can also use it with a reel that loads up to 40-pound test of braided or monofilament lines.
The heavy-action of this rod is a mixed-blessing. Although it can work with heavy lures and sinkers that reach 12 ounces in weight, this heavy-action trades off the sensitivity. Sometimes it’d be tough to know if you have something at the end of your line.
The pole is equipped with durable EVA handles. However, it received complaints about the grips being slippery when the blank is wet.
- Excellent value
- Sturdy body
- Great casting distance
- Sensitive tip
- 2-piece rod
- Fat and slipper grips
- Not the most sensitive
For anglers who’re new to the beach fishing arena, this is the best surf fishing rod to catch anything from panfish to sharks. Although it may be a bit overpriced, it can survive the awkwardness of learning hands, thanks to its robust build and unmatched flexibility.
Factors to Consider When Looking for a Surf Fishing Rod
Because the best surf fishing rod isn’t the best for everyone, it’s essential to know what aspects you should consider before deciding on the best match for you.
The most crucial consideration for surf rods is the length since it contributes to increasing the distance of your casts. Typically, you’ll find models that range from 8 to 14 feet in length. Although longer rods that are 11-14 feet long are heftier and require more control, they’ll allow you to heave out your line and keep it out of the surf.
Rods that are 8-10 feet long are lighter and more accurate, which is more suitable for surf anglers who like holding their rods all the time rather than put them in rod holders. Also, contrary to popular belief, they give you more leverage on big fish. Finally, if this is your first rod, a good general-purpose rod would be 10 feet long.
The rod’s power refers to how much pressure or weight it would take to bend the blank. In other words, it’s a rating of the rod’s strength, and it ranges from ultralight to heavy. Surf fishing isn’t a light task for a rod, so ultralight, and light rods should be out of the game.
For most surf anglers, the best and most commonly used option would be a medium-heavy rod as it’s suitable for a wide range of skill levels and techniques. It mostly suits small to moderate-sized species like pompano, flounder, redfish, and striper. More powerful rods should be reserved to fish, which like to put up a fight like large mackerel, tarpons, and sharks.
The rod’s action is its ability to bend under pressure. This function gives you an idea about the speed and casting distance you can get from a pole. The slower the action, the better the rod will cast.
A rod with a fast action bends near the tip using less of the rod to cast, so it doesn’t reach as far as slower ones. Opt for this action if you mostly use lures and single hooks since it’ll provide you with better sensitivity by which you’ll be able to land big fish.
As for medium-action rods, they usually provide a little more casting distance while still providing adequate hook setting power. When surf fishing on live baits, medium-action rods are preferred for their ability to hold larger baits and heavier sinkers. Hence, they’re used for treble hooks, such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, or top-water lures.
Lastly, slow action rods aren’t preferred since they lack the sensitivity to detect light strikes.
Most surf rods are made of graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both of them. You’ll also come across some carbon-fiber rods, but they’re pretty much the same as graphite.
Both materials are corrosion-resistant and provide excellent protection against saltwater. Nevertheless, fiberglass is known for being cheaper and stronger than graphite. On the other hand, graphite poles are faster and accommodate more powerful hook sets. Also, they’re the best if you’re looking for rods sensitive to the subtlest bites.
Fortunately, some rods combine the best of both worlds and are made of a composite of both materials. These are the best if you want to combine both sensitivity and durability.
5. One Piece vs. Two Pieces
This is basically a storage and transportation issue. Most anglers would prefer their rods in one piece to spare themselves the trouble of locking the parts together. Of course, a 2-piece rod would be exposed to separation during a cast if it’s not locked properly.
However, it’s a convenient option for surf anglers who won’t like their 8-foot rod to get broken during transportation or don’t really have suitable storage space for this giant.
6. Reel Seats and Handles
Don’t overlook the material of which the reel seats are made. You’re using this rod on the surf; therefore, it’s exposed to all kinds of harsh conditions that cause its corrosion over time. Try to avoid metal-alloy seats, which you’ll find more often on cheaper rods and better look for non-corrosive graphite seats.
Moreover, opt for surf fishing rods built with long handles since they’re more ergonomic and provide better maneuverability for different techniques like the two-handed casting method. You’ll find that they’re either made of EVA foam or cork, with the former being cheaper and more durable.
7. Line and Lure weight
Before making the purchase, determine the strength of the lines you’re going to use while fishing. Since surfcasting is mostly about big fish, you need a rod that’s compatible with a 20-40 pound line. The same goes for lures, though it’s hard to estimate a medium weight since the decision is up to the angler himself.
Your rod’s guides ensure a smooth path for the line. This is especially important for surfcasting because you’ll need all the smoothness you can get to achieve the most extended casts. Although the more guides, the better your rod will perform, what matters the most is the material of which they’re made. Try to go for stainless steel guides as they provide the least friction.
Now that we’ve come to an end, we’d like to give you some quick suggestions to facilitate the selection process for you. From our point of view, Fiblink is the best surf fishing rod currently on the market. This dual graphite surf rod looks and feels absolutely professional with its super long casts and unbeatable sensitivity.
If your pockets aren’t loaded, and you want a rod that can reel in small as well as trophy fish, look no further than the Okuma Tundra rod. Nonetheless, if you’re willing to sacrifice more cash in return for a heavy-duty pole that’ll step up your game, we definitely recommend any rod from the Tica UGSA series as it won’t let you down.