The sand beneath your feet, sun rays, and the sound of the waves are the best things about surf fishing. It is all about you and your fishing rod. Whether you take it as a hobby, try occasionally, or you’re as serious as a pro angler, you can always count on surfcasting to have a memorable time.
With a quality surf rod, you will be able to cast and work your bait for more catches and better success. This is why you must know your rod well and how to choose the best surf rod before you set sail to fish.
Keeping every detail in mind, we prepared a list of the 10 best surf fishing rods. This is your chance to make the most of your surf fishing opportunities on beaches, shores, and boats.
Table of Contents
Best Surf Rods Reviews
01 Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod (Best Overall)
The Tica UGSA is a heavy-duty rod made for pro anglers. This exceptional rod may be long, but it still maintains the right amount of flexibility.
The tip is not thin tapered like many of its competitors. If you use hefty chunk lures over 5 oz, this is just perfect for you. The non-slip cork handle is comfy on your hands and allows full control over the rod. We really liked how the foldable hook keeper came in handy. It saves you the hassle of re-tying your bait every time you change casting locations.
As advertised, the Fuji hardloy ring guides do dissipate heat; this is beneficial for long use. The Fuji DPS reel seat is excellent; we didn’t have to tighten it consistently every now and then. We didn’t notice any problems throwing lures either. All the materials used are less likely to corrode – a neat feature that everyone appreciates.
Tica UGSA has multiple variations of length, power, and action to choose from. We recommend that you get the 10 inch, medium-heavy version because it suits all target species. In terms of price, it falls into the mid-range that means it won’t be heavy on the pocket.
- Quality build
- Good design
- Lots of variations
- Good pricing
- A bit heavy
The Tica UGSA Series is so amazing that we were able to catch a 25lb striped bass, red drum with ease – a proof that it easily handles a lot of pressure. Not only is it suitable for surf fishing but you can catch freshwater fish as well with this series.
The overall build is so good that you will easily be able to handle even the hardest fighting fish. If you’re serious enough to win a fishing competition, we would fully recommend that you have this by your side.
02 St Croix Mojo Surf Graphite Saltwater Rod (For Long-Distance Casting)
St Croix Mojo Surf Graphite is the best rod that St Croix has to offer. There are 10 variations in terms of the length, rod action & power.
The rod is just perfect for surf anglers that want extraordinary performance without paying a ton for it. Its mid modulus graphite fiber material is durable, sensitive, and lightweight.
You’ll always enjoy optimum comfort and durability with the St Croix Mojo. The custom X-wrap handles are there for a firm grip while casting. We loved how thin the rod was – so delicate yet so sturdy with the right amount of stiffness. It easily handles big game.
The surf guides are very light and come with a zirconium ring that helps cover a longer casting distance with accuracy. Yes, we were pretty satisfied with the accuracy. The sloped frame came handy, reducing line tangling around the guides – a feature not a lot of rods have.
Okuma Surf CSX has the unique design of being tangle-free. Surf CSX and Mojo both have a thin body and are lightweight. But St Croix Mojo is poles apart from Okuma.
On the other hand, we have St Croix Triumph even though both of these are made of the same material SCII graphite. Triumph has aluminum-oxide surf guides and comes at a much lower price. But St Croix Mojo is a far more superior model.
- Long-range casting
- Reduced line tangling
- Multiple variations
- Quality build
- Unique design
- Splitting below the ferrule
- A bit pricey
St Croix Mojo is so close to perfection. This well-balanced fishing equipment has a strong backbone for large fish. When testing it, we caught bluefish, 30lb striped bass, and many more without any hassle. If you are looking to spend hours fishing, you can certainly rely on this tackle.
03 PENN Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo (Best Combo)
The name “Battle” says it all. This is a great rod for battling large fish. As a general-purpose combo, it suits every fisherman out there.
The medium-light rod power, paired with an extra fast rod action, makes it a perfect companion of any angler. The graphite reel seat and the full metal body feel great in your hand. The reel is super smooth, robust, dependable through a long fight, and has a steady drag control. It can handle up to 20lbs of target species though we recommend staying below 20lbs.
The aluminum-oxide guides help enhance the casting experience to a significant level. We really loved how the EVA handle designs allowed our fingertips to quickly notice fish bites happening on the hook end of the line.
The rig is not the lightest, but it doesn’t hurt your shoulders when you use it for a long period. The rods are not that long too. Due to that, you will have a little less casting range than other listed products here. The combo supports all kinds of target species, making it the perfect general purpose rod.
While St Croix Triumph also features aluminum-oxide guides, Triumph’s price tag is a lot higher than the Penn Battle Combo. That means this is an affordable choice for all.
- Quality build
- Best combo
- Low price
- Great reel
- Easy casting
- Handles all target species
- Weaker rod
- Less Range
Penn Battle II is the best combo for newbies to get started. When testing, we caught a few medium-sized sharks, striped bass, and halibut. Anglers can enjoy the versatility of a strong and light rod in the Penn Battle II Combo. The drag system provides smoother drag under heavy load. Smooth casting, an excellent grip, and a cheaper price make this combo an excellent fishing tackle.
04 Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods
The Okuma Longitude is so well made that this will surely surprise you. The rod comes in a 9 to 12-ft length while the graphite composite core and stainless guides are there to hold the line firmly. The rod action is a little bit on the stiff side, but you’ll get used to it in no time. It is so sensitive that we would recommend this to catch large fish.
You can cast far with this rod to reach those larger fish that might be wandering around the deep end of the coast. When fighting large fish, we never felt that it might break. It really does have a strong backbone to tackle large fish well; you will feel that when you’ll be reeling in.
The rod can be pretty long and comes in two pieces. Being long is a blessing for Okuma Longitude; we easily covered 200 yards almost every time, demonstrating its power to fling out good casts.
The standard cork handle feels incredible on the grip. Okuma Longitude Rod is a bit heavy, but the well-balanced design reduces the strain when casting and fighting for a longer period.
- Value Friendly
- Long-range casts
- Great Design & Durable
- 1-year warranty
- A bit heavy
While testing, we caught a 30lb black drum, mulloway, and snook. Since long, it is supposed to be a bit heavy. Apart from that, it has no other drawback, making this is the perfect rod to land fish from any beach. Anyone on a budget should be looking at the Okuma Longitude rod.
05 Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Depending on what you choose from Fiblink has 2, 4 piece variation, and comes in 9 to 15 feet sizes. The reel seat is really amazing as it is an extreme exposure reel seat. The wheel seat features a stainless steel tapered hood that transitions above and below the reel seat to protect the cap. The best thing about this is that it is great for large fish.
Our team found this as a really versatile rod that can effortlessly handle both lure and bait fishing. For a whole-day operation, it would become tiring due to its heavy weight but you can avoid this issue by paring it with a spike or holder.
Apart from that, this is a fantastic lengthy rod that will allow you to cover a broader range of fish. It effortlessly covered 150 yards and even reached 200 yards as our highest. The responsiveness, sensitivity, stiffness, and backbone strength of this rod amazed us. The grip is similar to a tsunami airwave, and we simply loved its grip tape and butt.
- Large-range casting
- 1 Year Warranty
- Great for large fish
- Have multiple lengths
- Resist corrosion
- A bit heavy
The Fiblink Surf is one of the cheapest picks on our list. Just under 70$, this is an excellent rod for moderate users. The rod has a more professional feel to it, so we would recommend the beginners to look for other options. It is mostly suitable for heavy and medium baits. Since it has an excellent fighting power and is really cost-effective with the ability for versatile use, we recommend this product wholeheartedly for the avid surf fishermen.
06 Okuma NOMAD Travel Spinning Rod
Okuma is a popular brand in the industry with a variety of fishing tackle to offer. Okuma Nomad Travel is one of their best. It is a 3 section break-down rod where each part is 28-inch long, making it ideal for traveling.
It is a professional rod for anglers that love to use their own gear. Two different tips have two separate actions. The lighter can handle 15 to 30 lb fish while the heavier tip section can tackle 30 to 60 lb fish.
We love the black and blue design with stainless steel guides; it looks so gorgeous. The guide inserts also help reduce the friction of the braided lines. The Blue anodized aluminum gimbal with protective butt cap feels and looks great in hand. The ergonomic design of the reel allows you to have more control. The EVA foam grips are not just comfortable; it also nods to the terrific design.
Okuma Nomad can be compared to Okuma CSX from our list. Okuma CSX is a cheaper version. The rods look similar, but these work in a completely different manner. The Nomad is a heavier rod while CSX is light. For a smaller front guide, anglers often compare it to a Baitcaster. Okuma Nomad actually is an incredible rod in its own way.
- Heavy-duty rod
- Water-resistant Case
- Limited Warranty
- A bit expensive
We had lots of fun with it during our testing session and caught a few halibut, tarpon, and striped bass. The rod held itself firmly with ease. It really does give a fantastic experience for anglers who love to travel a lot. Some might consider it expensive, but this is a heavy-duty professional rod with extra action tips of premium quality. The price will not be an issue for those who really care about how amazing this rod is. Give it a try and see the difference for yourself.
07 St Croix Triumph Surf Spinning Rod
St Croix Triumph has three sizes to choose from – 7, 9, 10 inches. It’s graphite build and its custom cork gives a fantastic feel in hand. Depending on the model you choose, it comes in 2 & 4 pieces. The four-piece model (TSRS100M4 Travel) is easily foldable that you can pack inside your luggage.
As a medium power rod, it’s mainly suitable for newbies. The Triumph series offers a lot more than just the variations. The “travel” edition comes in a hard tube plastic case.
The rod action is sensitive enough to feel fish bites. It is a bit stiffer than other medium rods. The whole body is fairly light. Even the guides are light and hard enough to make it a great companion of your fishing expeditions. We would recommend going for a heavier rod if you’re planning on jigging with this.
The custom cork, silver reel seats look fantastic as well. No matter which version you choose, all the pieces are equal. The weight distribution is fairly balanced, thanks to the well-thought-out design. We found no design flaws as a result. However, be sure to register the product in the manufacturer’s official site to claim your warranty.
- Quality build
- Long-distance casting
- Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
- Cheaper Price
- Rod action is a bit stiffer
With a moderate fast action and medium power, St Croix Triumph can help you take your skill to a whole nother level. Try this if your eyes are on small or medium fish. It can cover a significant casting distance – exactly what every surf fishing enthusiasts prefer.
08 TICA UEHA Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Everyone loves using products with an excellent build quality. The Tica UEHA is a fantastic rod made of TC2 Graphite. The non-slip cork tape handle has a superior feel to it.
The Tica UEHA is a great rod that you should choose for casting. It is so sturdy, yet so lightweight! The weight will be easy on your shoulders. We recommend that you go for the 10-feet length for durability, though that’ll largely depend on the type of fish you intend to catch. The two pieces are of the same size. We caught tons of fish – from large to small – without any hassle.
The Tica UEHA is worth the money, no doubt about that. But the Tica UGSA is much better with higher quality ring guides, reel seats, and the TC3 grade material, although both are made of graphite material. It also has a unique foldable hook keeper while UEHA is more affordable.
- Quality build
- Very Lightweight
- Great for General Use
- Sensitive rod action
- The reel to butt length is a bit long
- Weaker Tip
We’ve been using the Tica UEHA for about a year now and it still works fine. If you take good care, you won’t have to experience any corrosion-related damage. Though the tip is weaker, it is as light as a feather and super comfortable to use. Give it a try and thank us later.
09 Okuma Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rods
Another great product from Okuma that made it to our list. The first impression you will have is, this is a gorgeous rod! It’s made of 30 Ton carbon and the stainless steel gives it a marvelous look.
We noticed that the guide was smaller for a spinning rod, the reason being the small guide keeps the line straight even in windy weather. The design is similar to a baitcaster. You will have no issues when you’ll pair it with a braided line.
We never faced any entanglement of the braided line for this unique design. Some might dislike this, but this can be quite handy. The tangle-free design of the guides does not affect your casting distance, no matter how hard you cast. It effortlessly covered 100 yards when we put it to test.
The Okuma Surf CSX can be compared with its brother Okuma Nomad Travel Spinning Rod. These two look pretty much the same. The Nomad comes with two tips and is easy for traveling because it comes in 3 sections. Nomad is a bit heavier than the Okuma Surf CSX and much expensive.
- Quality build
- Tangle-free design
- Lifetime warranty
- Zirconium guide inserts
- No reel
- Smaller front guide
The Okuma Surf CSX is a sturdy rod that allowed us to wrestle a 40-lb catfish without breaking a sweat. It held up very well over a long period. We loved the reel seat, the light rod, and the unique design. This is a terrific choice that deserves your attention.
10 Tsunami Airwave 8 Surf Fishing Rod Med Hvy TSAWSS-802MH
The USP of the Tsunami Airwave 8 is that this is the lightest rod we have used so far. It has high fiber density blanks that provide excellent sensitivity and flexibility to transmit extra power to each cast. That gives the advantage to cover more distance with accuracy but with less effort.
The Tsunami Airwave 8 comes in 2 pieces and is only 8 feet long. Though it can help you land a 30 lb catch, we would recommend that you keep below 20 lb.
High-pressure production techniques are used in its production that gives it durability while keeping it lightweight. It does have enough power and a balanced design, but one thing that caught our attention is that despite being so light, it has enough backbone to catch large fish. We caught a few striped bass and bunkers with the Tsunami Airwave 8.
- Very lightweight
- Textured vinyl grip
- Great precision
- One size
Lightweight yet a strong backbone – what more could you ask for? You know how crucial a good cast is in surf fishing. The good news is Tsunami Airwave 8 can help you achieve the same without having to break the bank.
Best Surf Rods [Ultimate Buying Guide]
Material and build
The primary materials used are graphite, carbon, fiberglass and composite; and they come in various grades e.g. graphite has SCII, SCIII, SCIV, TC3 grades. The composites include fiberglass, graphite, carbon fiberglass, and 30 ton carbon. Build qualities vary from brand to brand depending on the material, hold, grip, and design.
The casting distance mainly depends on the rod length. Longer casts allow you to stay farther away from your target and minimize your chances of spooking the fish with excessive noise or vibration.
This indicates how much it bends from the pressure of the tip.
- Extra-fast action – Bends at the tip
- Fast action – Bends in the upper 1/3 to 1/4 of the rod
- Moderate-fast action – Bends over the lover 1/3
- Moderate action – Bends over the last half
- Slow action – Bends up to the handle
Surf rods are mostly long while the average size ranges from 8 to 12 feet. Many love to go as long as 15 feet, but we would say 10 to 12 feet is enough.
Target fish species and size
You have to choose your rod based on the size of your target species. Large and stiff rods usually do well with large fish, while moderate size rods can handle smaller species. It is always a good practice to carry more than one type of rod.
Weight or power
The weight in a fishing rod indicates how much power or weight it needs to prompt the rod’s action. A heavy power rod needs more amount of weight or bending pressure. Likewise, a light power rod needs less weight. For a more general-purpose, we would suggest that you get a moderate/ medium power rod when you don’t have a specific target species in mind.
Your preferred baits or lures
There are specific fish species you can target in the seashore or beach. And every different fish likes to munch on various baits. The most common baits are-
- Mullet – Sharks, Snook, Jacks, Tarpon, Giant Trevally, Mackerel, Striped Bass, Speckled Trout
- Shrimp – Halibut, Grouper, Redfish, Permit, Snook, Redfish, Striped Bass
- Crab – Black Drum, Redfish, Snook, Grouper, Permit
- Sand Fleas – Speckled Trout, Grouper, Permit, Striped Bass
- Squid – Redfish, Bluefish, Grouper, Halibut, Striped Bass, Permit, Snook
- Clams – Redfish, Snook, Grouper, Bluefish
- Cut Baits or Dead Baits – King Salmon, Sharks, Steelhead, Lingcod, Halibut, Bonefish, Bluefish
- Worms –Salmon, Redfish, Tuna, Permit, Grouper
- Artificial Baits – Tarpon, Jacks, Tuna, Black Drum, Mackerel, Steelhead
Flexibility and sensitivity
The flexibility and sensitivity depend on the size and weight or power that a fly rod requires to indicate a movement. The rod action depends on the position it bends to which in turn determines the sensitivity of the rod. We recommend going for a 10-feet moderate action rod; since it has the perfect flexibility and responsiveness you would enjoy.
Reel seats and handles
Rod handles come in different lengths and materials based on the applications. Most are one inch width though. Many surf anglers are utilizing Japanese shrink wraps these days. Materials mostly used for seats and handles are cork, or EVA foam that’s both light and provides an excellent grip.
Warranty and budget
The price range varies from just $50 to as much as $400 based on the length, color, quality, material and brand of your preferred model. Some of the high-end surf rods come with warranties that range between three months to two years.
Benefits of Using Surf Fishing Rods
Surf fishing rods are long and the average size ranges from 8 to 12 feet. But some may reach up to 15 feet.
You need longer casts to cover more areas. Anglers usually want to cast large distances from 60 to 100 yards while the pros would go 150 yards or more. Only longer fishing rods enable you to do that.
Keeps line above the waves
Rods over 9 feet can keep above the ocean waves. Waves can displace your line and move the sinker. Keeping your line high can help reduce drag on your line in the water.
Enables longer fishing leaders
A longer rod allows you to cast a longer leader that you may prefer when catching large fish such as sharks.
Quick hook set
Depending on your preference, a quicker hook set might not be relevant to you. But a longer rod sweeps up more line quickly, which is quite helpful.
Less physical fatigue
A smaller surf rod is said to have less physical fatigue. Using a rod holder is always a great idea in such a scenario.
Surf Rods Caring & Cleaning tips
No matter whether your rod is made of graphite, fiberglass, or composite, it will still be fragile without good care. Even a small nick could cause breakage, which is why keep the following factors in mind –
- Always check for nicks and rusts
- Use sandpaper or small wire brush to clean
- Replace guide rings when rusty
- Clean reel interior
- Use paraffin or candle wax on Rod
- Use soapy water to clean Rod & Reel after each use
- Use light warm water
- Use a cloth when cleaning
- Apply oil or WD40 on the reel
- Use gloves to reduce wear of the rod’s cork handle
- Store rod and reel in a loose drag
- Always remove the line before storing
- Never apply pressure on a hard surface
- Mount the rod in a secure place
Surf Fishing Safety Tips
Surf fishing is fun, but sometimes it can become dangerous too. As an angler, you must know the main surf fishing safety precautions to take before setting sail to cast.
Things to look for during preparation
- Rough Weather – Lighting, Too Windy
- Water Conditions – Sneaker Waves, Strong Current, Rip Currents, Rip Tides
- Ocean Life – Shark, Jellyfish, Stingray, Skates
- Sun & Uv
Tips to prepare
- Learn about weather patterns
- Check out the water conditions
- Always have a companion
- Always check your boat for faults
- File a float plan
- Take a life jacket
- Get a waterproof sunscreen
- Keep extra dry clothes
- Never go barefoot
- Keep lures and hooks in tackle boxes
- Never go to deep water without enough experience
- Tread cautiously when catching large fish
- Keep your bait bucket safely
- Have the essential safety equipment – flashlight, medic kit, water maps, cellphone, SOS device, and nearby coast guard’s contact info
It’s Time to Wrap Up
We believe by now you’ve found the best surf road for you and are ready to make your order. Our seasoned surf anglers put in a lot of effort to make this surf rod review and buying guide as much beneficial for you as possible.
So, now it’s your move. Get your surf rod and share your experience with us in the comments section below.
1. How does a surf rod work?
Ans. Surf rods are long that bend in different positions based on their build, causing the rod action to induce and indicate whether the fish took the bait or not.
2. What rod length should I prefer for surf fishing?
Ans. The best surf fishing rod length we would recommend is 10 feet. It is mostly used for general purposes. But if you have a target species in mind then go for longer rods.
3. How should I cast a surf rod?
Ans. It is necessary to check out the weather and water conditions. The next step is to buy a professionally made rig and copy it to tie the shore rig. Always use spikes or tripods; trust us, you will need them. For casting –
- Begin slowly and move in sync with your arm and bodyweight
- Lower the rod tip to unload the road
- Do not become an arm caster
- Do not overcast
4. Can I surf fish with a 7-foot rod?
Ans. Yes, you can. There is a wide variety of target species suitable for this length. But you need to cast from the surf instead of the beach. If you want to cover a broader range cast, pick a 10-foot long rod.
5. When to use a surf rod?
Ans. Whether you want to cast from the beach or surf, you will always need a surf fishing rod. For a longer cast, keep your line above the wave and beach walkers, have quicker hooksets, and prefer longer leaders.
6. What exactly is rod power?
Ans. The rod power is also known as weight. It is the amount of resistance power or weight the rod needs to induce the rod action. In short, the resistance, stiffness of the rod. These are defined as ultra-light, medium, light-based on stiffness, and chosen based on the length and target species.
7. What do I need for surf fishing?
Ans. There are tons of things you should bring to surf fishing, including –
- Tackle Box
- Bait Bucket
- Extra Dry clothes
- Life Jacket
- Safety equipment
8. What makes surf rods different from other fishing rods?
Ans. The surfcasting rod is designed for the beach, docks, and boats. A good model works well for a boat and goes deep in the water. On the other hand, spinning rods are suitable for absolute beginners and children since they’re easier to use.
9. Does a longer rod cast further?
Ans. Yes, a longer rod will allow you to cast further.
10. What’s the best pound test line for surf fishing?
Ans. There is none actually. It mainly depends on your target fish’s weight, the weather, and the reel. In simple terms, if you want to catch heavier fish, then go for an 80 to 100 lb braided line. For smaller fish, try 8 to 10 lb. For medium average use, we would recommend a 30 to 40 lb braided line.
11. How to cut bait for surf fishing?
Ans. Choose your bait first. If you want to use shrimp then just remove the head. If you’re going to use bunker, mullet or sardines, then you have to cut it in a specific manner. It can be cut in chunks or strips.
For chunks, remove the tail, cut in 1-inch diagonal lines from the tail to the gill.
For strips, begin the cut from behind the gill and follow till the tail. Then do the same for the other side. Split the head in half.
A Pro Tip: Always use fresh instead of frozen species of baitfish.
12. What does medium-heavy mean on a rod?
Ans. This indicates the stiffness of the rod. The power or weight needs to induce the rod action.