Want to try out surf fishing? You don’t need to spend a crazy amount just to get your hands on the best surf fishing rods. There are plenty out there with good action, tough durability, reliable, and easy to maintain.
Surf fishing is both challenging and exciting. The fish that are out there in the ocean fight hard. Unlike freshwater fishing, you can’t just go with any type of fishing equipment.
You want a rod and reel that can take a lot of abuse, put up a good fight, and still carry on fishing. For that, a long surf rod with good guides and a reel seat is a must if you want to catch leopard shark, guitarfish, shovelnose & more.
Also, make sure to save enough cash for a good reel. Power handle and winching power are mandatory if you want to enjoy saltwater fishing. You don’t want to blow all your budget on a rod and end up with a poor reel.
With that in mind, let’s jump right into our surf fishing rod review and see which one will suit you the most.
Top 5 Best Surf Fishing Rods For The Money
Here is a quick recommendation of the top-rated surf rods for every type of angler out there. This list includes both spinning and casting models, as well as combos for beginners.
1. Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Starting our list with a 2-piece carbon fiber constructed surf fishing rod from Fiblink. The Moonsniper surf rod gives you an excellent combination of performance, and design provides you with a cost-effective pole. It’s a travel surf rod that can be used with a wide variety of techniques.
With best-in-class fish fighting power and moderate fast action, you can focus more on the fish and less on the equipment. The blank is powerful and strong, which is perfect for big surf duty. This rod is ideal for long-distance casting and is tough enough to handle both lures and bait while putting up a good fight.
The rear grip is tapered and features a diamond X wrap rubber shrink that gives the tube nonslip properties. You won’t lose grip even when your hands get wet. The ceramic guides are mixed with stainless steel that prevents fishing lines from getting stuck in them. The minimized friction on the guides allows for better casts.
The casting performance is smooth on this one. The solid carbon fiber constructed rod is very sensitive thanks to their meticulous ad exquisite workmanship. This will make you feel like you are holding a high-grade fishing rod. For better control and fishing comfort, solid reel seats are used along with high-density EVA grips.
- Durable carbon fiber rod construction
- High-density EVA grips for comfort and control
- Smooth ceramic and stainless-steel guides
- Nonslip tapered rear grip
- Nothing to nitpick about
2. BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
The Monster Surf from BERRYPRO is all about affordability, durability, and quality. If you want to land those hard-to-reel-in, stubborn fish, this is one of the best surf spinning rods to do that. This series of surf rods are exceptionally tough and are designed to cast lures right where you want them to.
Choose the right one from their vast lineup to meet your surf fishing conditions. These fast-action, 2-piece rods have the right backbone & actions that provide a high-level surf fishing performance. The guides are made using stainless steel and feature ceramic rings for smooth casting.
Thanks to the unique combination of ceramic and steel, the friction between the guide and line are greatly reduced, resulting in a more accurate cast. This spinning rod also doubles as a casting rod allowing to fish however you prefer. The pole features IM7 X-Carbon technology that offers more than just raw power.
It has incredible sensitivity, and the pole itself is has a decent amount of flexibility and toughness. For your comfort, high-density EVA grips are added along with a high-strength reel seat for better control. Pair this rod with a powerful reel, and you will have complete surf fishing equipment in your arsenal.
- Comes in a wide range of actions and lengths
- Shrink tube offers nonslip properties for a firm hold
- Flexible and tough surf rod
- Rubber butt cap to better protect the rod
- True to its spec, nothing to worry about
3. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Even if you are more of a casting rod guy, you can still find a way to cast far with the Tica UGSA Series surf fishing rod. This spinning rod can cast a fair distance and loads nicely. Also, a lot of the rods out there that are able to cast to a great distance tend to be very stiff.
However, that’s not the case with this one. It has a good amount of flex while still maintaining its rigidity. When fighting a fish, this amount of flex is a must. If you plan on using heavy lead and bait, this is a nice all-around rod to have for bait fishing. Casting lighter baits is also possible with this spinning rod.
Just don’t try to hang a huge bait. A 3 oz weight is the limit if you want to get a smooth cast. Also, this is probably one of the best surfcasting rods because of how the pole is designed. As for the sizes, you can choose from 7’ – medium heavy to all the way up to 12’ x-heavy. There is also a 1-piece model available.
This surf rod is constructed using TC3 graphite material. For the guide, you are looking at a top-of-the-line FUJI ALCONITE tip-top guide. This one right here is the best when it comes to guides. Along with that, you also get FUJI HARDLOY ring guides. Even the reel seat is from FUJI.
- Handmade custom diamond wraps
- TC3 graphite material constructed rod
- FUJI ring guides, tip top guide, and reel seat
- Cork handle with nonslip properties
- The butt grip feels a little loose
4. Penn Squadron II Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Up next, we have the Penn Squadron II, which is one of the best budget surf rods out there. For the price, you are getting a quality rod from the popular Penn company without spending too much money. This stiffness is there to fish ocean monsters. If you are looking for the best surf rod for striper fishing, this is the one.
People who have bought this one claimed that they landed over 20 big striped basses with this rod. Don’t let the price tag fool you, though. This one is definitely going to exceed your expectations. In my opinion, the quality of budget gears from Penn is quite a bit above mid/high-end gears from other brands.
If you are in the market for good surf fishing rods, don’t hesitate to buy this one. However, if you are hoping for a longer casting distance, the action on this rod is comparatively slower than the rest. This makes casting baits further somewhat hard, but the flexibility of this rod makes up for that lacking.
It is a lot easier on the wrist because of the flexibility of the rod. You can also use it as a bait rod. The blank is made using modulus carbon fiber, which makes it very tough. The casting action is smooth thanks to FUJI’s full real seats and reel skeleton. It also features Zirconium inserts and SS sea guides.
- Top-rated budget surf rods on the market
- TAC grips and premium cork
- Works well as a bait rod
- Good flexibility & toughness
- Slow action spinning rod
5. Fiblink Surf Spinning & Casting Fishing Rod
A lot of people enjoy budget rods more than expensive rods. There is a good reason behind it. You can go rough with them and still have enough money to spend on what matters the most, and that is a solid reel. Being a 13-foot surf rod, this one is surprisingly light, casts far, and has thinner handles.
It is nice and smooth and performs almost as good as a St. Croix. casting rod. The handle grip also feels comfortable and grippy. One happy customer reported that he was able to hook a massive ray, and the rod held up the fight extremely well. That goes to show you how tough this fishing rod is.
Overall, for the price, this is definitely a decent rod. Let’s talk about the specifications. At the bottom, there is a rubber tail sleeve, also known as the butt cap. This is there to protect the bottom portion of the rod. The tube handle features a diamond X wrap rubber shrink. If you are on a budget, this is the best surf casting rod for the money.
The reel seat is wheeled, and features a tapered hood made out of stainless steel for durability. As for the rod itself, this one is made using durable carbon fiber. As you know, carbon fiber constructed rods tends to be more flexible and lightweight while still retaining their durability.
- SS guides mixed with ceramic
- Carbon fiber constructed rod
- Stainless steel tapered hood
- Spinning and casting model available
- Only good for medium action fishing
Choosing The Best Surf Fishing Rods
Surf fishing rods are a bit different in terms of construction and length. While they look like traditional fishing rods, the primary difference you will notice is the size. These rods have a long flexible pole and are built to handle tough abuse.
Surf rods are designed tougher and for longer casts, because you will only use them from the shoreline. They are built in a way so that you can hurl a lure at a great distance, stiffer and typically very long.
The rest of the rod features are there but more enhanced. However, there are other features that will make you want to think twice before you press the buy button. In this section, we will take a look at some of them and make sure you buy the right surf rod from the start.
Difference Between Casting & Spinning Rod
Before I get into the main features, there is something I would like to clarify first. For surf fishing, casting rods are preferable because they have a much better chance of fighting big fish. You can also toss lures at a greater distance with a casting rod.
If you are fishing a lengthy shore, you are better off using a casting rod instead of a spinning rod. The spinning rod has its uses, and some of them can also be used as a casting rod.
In terms of construction, casting rods are built tougher, and the reel placement is on the top of the blank. On a spinning rod, it’s at the bottom. Even the guides are on top that allows the line a lot more freedom to move.
This allows a casting rod to cast far greater distances. If there is one difference that makes a casting rod better than a spinning rod, it has to be the power. Now, the spinning rod is more user-friendly and if you are learning the basics of surf fishing, starting with a fishing rod is a good idea.
You can learn the ins and outs of shoreline fishing quickly with a spinning rod. By attaching a bail on top, the lines are set free, and this is how you cast using a spinning rod. In short, use a casting rod if you are already familiar with surf fishing.
Blank is the main part of a surf rod. Don’t know what a blank is? You might call it the rod. Yes, that’s right. This is that thing that takes up the entire length of your surf rod.
Some people refer to it as a pole, while others call it a blank. This is what takes up most of the cost. It’s also the thing that affects the performance of your entire fishing setup.
Not only is it responsible for holding the reel and guides, but it can also change how you are able to fight the fish. That’s why the first thing you should look for is the blank material. These are the most common type of blank material used in the making of a rod.
Composite: Rods made using composite material tend to be more sensitive but can also provide substantial power when needed. It is a mixture of materials such as fiberglass, graphite, boron, and other flexible composites. Rods that are made using composite material are cheaper too.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass constructed rods are suitable for large catches because of the stiffness that this material provides. It’s more powerful than graphite when it comes to durability. Anglers that want to land some sea monsters prefer rods that are made using fiberglass. The blank on the best surf fishing rods are made using fiberglass.
Graphite: Finally, there are graphite rods. Honestly, the market is filled with rods that use graphite as the blank material. This material is sensitive, as well as incredibly stiff. Not only can you feel the smallest nibbles from the shoreline, but you can also put more tension and pull harder without the risk of snapping the rod.
However, unlike fiberglass, where you can go all out, there is a small risk of snapping graphite rods if you hook a large fish that is out of the capacity of your rod.
This is perhaps the only key feature that will finalize the decision of whether you would go for a specific rod or not. Action or the bending action of the rod is measured by speed.
Fast action rods bend towards the tip. I know what you are thinking, and yes, this action type isn’t suitable for long-distance surf fishing. You see, sensitivity doesn’t play a huge role when it comes to shoreline fishing. It is better to avoid fast action rods because they don’t make the best long-distance casting rods.
Medium action rods have the perfect combination of strength and flexibility. If you want to reach a greater distance, a medium action rod is a perfect choice for any angler. The best surf casting rod is in this category.
Not only do they make an outstanding choice for fishermen, they can also tackle varying sizes of fish. Slow action rods are the best when it comes to casting extreme distances. They also make good bait rods.
If you have the money to buy two different rods, pick one slow action rod as you bait rod. These are the least sensitive rods out there, and they also bend more than the previous two categories.
Since slow action rods bend at the center, they can easily cast the longest and also fight smaller species of ocean fish with ease.
From ultra-light to x-heavy, there are different types of rods based on power. The amount of strength required to bend a rod is referred to as power. Of all rod characteristics, this one is the simplest to explain and understand.
An ultra-light rod bends at the lightest of touch, while a heavy rod will require more strength to bend the rod. There is a benefit of having a powerful rod. You can easily reel in larger fish with less effort.
Keep in mind that the longer the rod, the longer the cast. The ideal rod length will vary depending on how you like to surf fish. However, as the length of the rod increases, the less control you have over the rod.
This will make it harder for you to work with the rod. A good general rod length or an all-purpose ideal rod length for a surfcasting rod for maximizing your distance for your cast while you can also be able to retain your control is about 10-11 feet long.
On a side note, fishing with a longer rod means you can reel in larger fish easily. A longer rod is also more durable and also more efficient when it comes to making longer casts. For precision casting, shorter rods are actually more efficient.
While the ideal rod length is between 10 to 11, surfing rods range anywhere between 9 to 14 feet. There are anglers that want even longer poles. It depends on the type of fishing you prefer.
The goal is to cast past the waves where the fish reside and if you can achieve that with a 10-foot rod, then go with it.
On surf rods, the handle is the least feature you would want to look for. It’s also the least important factor out of the bunch. Obviously, the handle on a surf rod will be longer.
Rods that are for freshwater fishing have a smaller handle because you are not fishing oceanic monsters with those. The increased length of the handle on surf rods is necessary when fighting fish.
As for the handle material, there are two primary types of handles. Foam and cork. On the cheaper or inexpensive rods, you will see handles made out of foam. Whereas more expensive rods will have cork handles.
For saltwater fishing, a cork handle is a better choice because of the responsiveness this handle material provides. Cork handle don’t easily get corroded by saltwater. However, there is a catch.
Cork isn’t the most reliable material when it comes to ensuring quality handle. The quality of the handle can vary immensely, and only the most high-end rods have the best quality cork.
Now, this was a huge guide, and I had to point out all the important factors regarding surf rods. If you want to get the best surf fishing rods for the money, you need to consider how and where you will be fishing.
As I’ve said before, it’s not wise to spend all your money on rods. You don’t need the most high-end or the most expensive surf rods out there. Get some something that works that is proven to reliable and casts long.