Surf fishing can be fun and delicious. However, it can be difficult to find the best surf fishing rod and reel combo. Stick with us as we explain the most important things to look for, as well as review our top 5 picks.
Quick Top 5 Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo:
*Keep reading for the fulling buying guide or jump straight to the reviews!
What is a Good Length?
When deciding on the best surf fishing rod and reel combo for saltwater, think about the length of the rod. Typically, they come in sizes between 9 and 14 feet long. This is one of the most vital things to think about when making a decision. Why?
Comfort: How tall are you? If you are shorter, you should purchase a rod that is on the shorter side of the spectrum. Taller people should purchase longer rods. This is for comfort as well as ease.
Casting Distance: How far into the surf do you want to go? Remember, the key to surf fishing is to lure the fish beyond the waves that are breaking. This means you will want to have a longer casting distance.Fish Size: How big of a fish do you want to catch? The bigger your prey, the bigger the rod. This will ensure your setup does not break with the weight of the fish and the pounding of the surf.
How Much Power Should a Surf Rod Offer?
Remember that power is the strength of the rod against the fish. Another way to think about it is the rod’s lifting power. This factor can range anywhere from light to heavy. So, think about the type of fish you want to catch.
Even if you do not plan on reeling in a big one, it could still happen. The ocean has a lot of different fish in different sizes, and many of them are bigger than you think they will be. We have even everything from sea babies to dolphins right in the surf zone!
Since you never know the size of the fish you may be catching, we recommend going with a medium-heavy power rod. You can also go with a heavy, but anything more than that may be too much, especially for a beginner.
Remember, the heavier the rod, the heavier the line needs to be.
What about the Action?
The action is another important aspect of surf fishing rods. The action is how much bend there is in the rod when you have caught your fish. The action is the biggest thing that will affect casting distance, so choose wisely.
Fast-tipped rods work best with single lures, and you will get the most casting distance. Medium rods are better with treble hooks. Slow-tipped rods bend from the center completely so that they may be too much for the surf. They are usually too soft.
Do Rods and Reel Seats Need Extra Protection from saltwater?
The answer to that is a resounding yes! Combinations that are not specially made for saltwater will corrode. The absolute best type of rods for protecting against saltwater damage are manufactured from graphite. This is a naturally non-corroding material.
Even the reel seats need to be protected. However, the materials the handles are made of can range anywhere from foam to cork to everything in between. Make sure the material the handle is made of can withstand the shock from waves and salt.
What Kind of Reel Should You be Looking For on a Combo?
The first thing to look for on a reel is protection against corrosion. The surf will spray and hit the reel multiple times, so it needs to be strong and resistant.
Spinning and conventional reels can both be used. However, spinning is best for lighter lures and lighter fish. Typically they range up to 30lbs. Conventional reels are used for anything small up to larger ocean varieties. It’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs the best.
Typically, surf fishing rod and reel combos will cover the basics of protection concerning corrosion. However, you must also clean your rod and reel. You may even want to apply an additional protective coating. Even the best saltwater resistance can rub off after a few years!
This handy video can explain more about the type of reel you should consider for surf fishing.
The Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Our favorite pick is the PENN Pursuit II Fishing Combo. It is an 8-foot casting, medium-heavy surf fisherman’s dream! The Pursuit II can handle heavy or light fish with smooth grace. You don’t even have to sacrifice drag due to the combo’s oiled felt mechanism. If you want the best surf fishing rod and reel combo, this is the one you want.
The rod and rotor in this combo are made of graphite, ensuring they will stay resistant to the saltwater. The ball bearings are made of stainless steel, and the side plate on the rod is made from aluminum. Both are corrosive resistant materials!
The whole thing is extremely lightweight for a very smooth cast. It weighs in at only 2.1 pounds! We think that is a great weight for the amount of protection you get. Even the rotor has been balanced to give you an easy surf fishing experience.
The line is not included, so make sure you pick some up before you go on your first trip!
The Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo is the best value out of all five surf fishing rod and reel combos. Why do we believe this product is the best value? Because it offers many of the features more expensive combos offer at half the cost!
The rod is made of a glass fiber that is resistant to the corrosion of saltwater. The inserts are made of ceramic, and the handle was created out of foam. The rest of the unit is made of high-quality materials, and each combo gets tested to make sure it meets quality standards!
Like more expensive rod and reels, the Tundra has a multi-disc oiled felt drag system. This allows you to reel your fish in with ease. The rod itself is a comfortable 10 feet long and can hold any fish up to 25 pounds.
All of the Sougayilang Fishing Combos can stand up to the powerful waves with their durable carbon and fiberglass construction. What do we mean by all? Sougayilang gives you some choices when it comes to rod size.
For those that are smaller in stature, you can finally get a 5.91-foot or 6.89-foot rod. Anyone taller or with more experience can purchase the 7.78-foot or 8.86-foot rod. The construction even allows you to use your combos in freshwater!
The reel features anti-reverse locking, and the grip was designed with an interchangeable handle for use by rightys or leftys. Regarding weight, these fishing combos can handle a 12 pounder at 130 yards. Not the best for seasoned fishers, but good for those new at surf fishing.
If you are hesitant to invest money in a new hobby, don’t worry! Sougayilang offers a 1-year worry free warranty.
Out of all five surf fishing rod and reel combos, the Daiwa D-Wave Combo F902 is the easiest to use. Right out of the box it is intuitive to put together! Not only that, but you get to choose between a 7-foot or a 10-foot rod. If you'd like, you can easily use the 7-foot in freshwater.
All of the materials have been designed to protect the product from corroding in the salty sea. The guides are aluminum, the rod is 902 fiberglass, and the ball bearings are made of stainless steel. In terms of comfort, the handle is made with an EVA foam grip.
In terms of fishing line, you can go as high as 30 pounds or as low as 8 pounds on the 7-foot. The lure weight can be up to 5 ounces. This opens up a realm of possibilities for lines and lures. You can even use a braided fishing line.
The biggest difference between this Daiwa product and the previous Daiwa product is the strength of the fiberglass. This surf fishing rod and reel combo were made with F702 fiberglass. That’s why we would recommend this line to beginners seeking to learn in relative comfort.
This product comes in 2 pieces to make storage and carrying much easier than some of the 1-piece combos. We would recommend looking for a rod that comes apart if you have a smaller car or storage space. Otherwise, it’s up to your personal preference.
In terms of corrosion protection, this D-Wave Saltwater Combo fares the same as the first. It even has the same stainless steel hood for the reel seats! The 10-foot rod can be used with a braided line up to 30 pounds, and a regular line of up to 50.