If you are wishing for tight lines and good fishing, then you know that the right rod will make all the difference between landing the catch of a lifetime and leaving empty-handed.
Ask seasoned surf anglers about the pitfalls of a poor choice in the fishing rod and you will have more stories than time to hear them all.
That is why it is important to research and understand your needs as an angler and the requirements of your favorite surf fishing spot because it could mean the difference between a large fish and the one that got away!
Making the right choice of surf rod depends on several factors.
The best surf fishing rods for you will depend on how you piece together these factors to find the “perfect fit” rod that meets your surf fishing scenarios.
Besides the weight of the fishing gear and the good old-fashioned ‘feel’ in your hands when trying it out, the following four factors are the most important when choosing the best surf fishing rod for catching fish:
- rod length
- rod power
- rod action
- reel seats and handle build
First, we will look at the five best surf fishing rods based on beach fishing, and then we will look at all the factors that will help you choose the right surf fishing rod for you!
If you are just starting out as a surf angler and want to get a surf fishing rod that will meet all your big fish needs without breaking the bank, then the Berrypro Surf Spinning Fishing Rod is an excellent buy!Check Today's Price
High Level Summary
It will give you a nice and easy time in surf fishing conditions to give you the confidence to move up to more expensive and technical rods.
These lightweight and powerful graphite rods are from a manufacturer known for their excellent track record in customer service and warranty.
The surf rod blank is made from IM7 X-carbon technology for heavy action and fast shock recovery while surf casting.
The Berrypro Surf Fishing rod has the following strength and comfort features: a high-strength reel seat, shrink tube design, and textured carbon fiber rod surface with a rubber butt cap.
- 11 feet
- Continuous rubber shrink tube
- 15-27 pounds
While not the cheapest of options, this surf fishing rod puts the advantage in your hands when trying to land fish for the first time.Check Today's Price
It has a wide range of models with the shorter rod coming in at seven feet.
Picking a length that suits your strength and ability will give you all the confidence you need on those first few surf fishing trips without being intimidated.
The St. Croix Mojo is a one-piece surf casting rod that makes transport more challenging but makes up for it with extra strength.
Being extremely durable is not the only thing that makes it a great rod to start out with, however.
These surf fishing rods come in a variety of models that range in size from 7 feet for the shorter rod to 12 feet for the long rod.
Unlike other surf fishing equipment in the fishing rod industry, the St. Croix Mojo offers a variety of power and action from medium-light to heavy power, and from moderate to fast action.
Because of the wide range of these surf fishing rods, they can be custom selected to catch a variety of fish species.
The wide choice also means they are versatile in landing strikes for most surf fishermen in any surf setting.
This range of long casting rods sports lighter surf guides with zirconium rings to save weight.
They also boast an x-wrap handle for added comfort and improved casting accuracy and distance.
- 7 feet
- EVA handle
- SCII Carbon
- 30-50 pounds Mono / 40-65 pounds Braided
The St. Croix Avid Series rod has a good blend of both power and feels to keep you in control throughout.Check Today's Price
High Level Summary
Without a doubt, chunking works.
If you cannot catch fish on certain days, hack up a bunch of fish and toss out the bits over the side to attract large fish.
But getting that heavy payload and sinkers to the right spot requires fishing rods that will not only handle the weight but also get the distance right, too.
The St. Croix Avid series of power rods pay off.
Because they are conventional casting rods, they have the length and strength to be cast anywhere in the breaking surf.
One of these 11-foot rods can toss between three to eight ounces of sinkers and bait beyond the breakers, with the 12-foot rods able to take up to fifteen ounces of weight and be cast with ease.
This series of surf rods sports titanium guide frames for durability.
The handle is classic cork tape, giving the casting rod a nostalgic look and feel.
Also, the traditional grip provides ease of use that comes with cork handles.
- 7 feet
- 10-20 pounds
The Daiwa Beefstick is a good surf casting rod if you plan to use the equipment in multiple ways and from different casting spots.Check Today's Price
High Level Summary
Daiwa is a trusted brand with many good surf rods on the market.
The versatility gets better with a two-piece 40/60 segment split designed for easy packing and storage.
The rod has medium to heavy power with extra fast action.
The rod design provides ample strength to pull in larger species while the tip is sensitive enough to give a good amount of feedback.
The length and strength of these surf rods mean surf anglers can cast from a distance and at the same time handle heavier loads.
Because of their medium to heavy power and extra-fast action, they are also well suited for fishing with light lures.
- 10 feet
- 14-40 pounds
The Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite rod is excellent for plugging, a fishing technique that mimics an injured bait fish to entice big fish.Check Today's Price
High Level Summary
It is a two-piece, heavy surf fishing rod with moderate action.
Even with a bigger rig on the end of the line, this rod has the power and increased accuracy to get into the right spot every time.
The decent length of this quality rod means you can get the maximum casting distance every time even with a range of lure weights.
The versatility of this rod makes it suitable for use in multiple ways whether on the beach or on a boat, saving the need to transport more than one rod.
When it comes to plugging, the Okuma Longitude Surf rod is a good choice.
- 11 feet
- 20-40 pounds
What Surf Fishing Rod Length is Right for You?
The length of a surf fishing rod is one of the most important factors to consider when testing out or buying rods.
A longer rod will potentially cast further and give extra leverage when reeling in larger species.
A rod that is too long for the angler to handle with ease or is too heavy may have the opposite effect when casting, though.
In the case where the rod is too long for an angler to handle with relative ease, the physical ability of the angler should then determine the best length of the rod to buy.
Try out different-sized surf rods in the store or from friends to get a better feel for the right length for you!
Consider your stature and if you have any physical limitations.
When selecting a quality rod, each angler has a perfect rod length for them and finding it is part of the joy of fishing.
Take your time when selecting your rod, and test out as many as necessary before making the purchase.
Because surf fishing rods usually range from 9 to 14 feet long, this gives you a wide scope to find the perfect length for you.
Make sure you maximize the length of the rod for your physical ability, but most anglers will be comfortable with a rod between 10-12 feet in length.
What is the Best Surf Rod Power for You?
The strength of a rod to lift weights is known as rod power.
After knowing the best length of surf rods for you, determine the best rod power for your needs next as it is the most important consideration when selecting the best surf fishing rods.
Rod power ranges from light to heavy, with anglers commonly opting for something in the middle which is medium-heavy power.
Medium-heavy rods give a fisher the versatility of having enough power to land most fish while also providing enough sensitivity and flex for a better fishing experience.
Be sure to match the power of your rod with the strength of the fishing line.
The more powerful the rod, the heavier the line has to be to match it.
The fishing techniques you are comfortable with and the kind of fish you are targeting are likewise important factors when choosing the most suitable rod power for you.
What is the Best Surf Rod Action?
How much a surf fishing rod bends or tapers under pressure is known as the rod action.
The action of a rod has a direct correlation to the casting and the casting distance you require from your surf fishing rigs.
The more a rod bends at the tip, the faster the action.
A surf fishing rod that bends from the center is said to have a slower action.
When using multiple hooks and heavier weights, a slower action rod is recommended as most of the power for the added weight comes from the middle of the rod, giving a more solid cast.
If, however, you are lure fishing in the surf, a fast tip rod is recommended to get the required flick and distance.
Take into Account Reel Seats and Handle.
The reel seats and handle of a rod can be as important as the rod itself.
Get a rod with corrosive reel seats and you will struggle with it at some point.
If the handle doesn’t have enough grip or is uncomfortable to hold, it could ruin a good fishing experience.
The point is, don’t overlook reel seats and handles when comparing rods.
When picking a reel seat on a rod, be sure that it is built from graphite or other non-corrosive materials to avoid screws getting tight or stuck.
One way to tell if a surf fishing rod is mid-to-high-end is if it has graphite reel seats.
As for the importance of handles, a good grip can make or break your fishing experience.
While the shape, length, and material used for the grip are largely up to the preference of the angler, a few features are true for all rods: casting beyond the breakers requires both hands on the handle to get the most leverage.
Usually, surf rod handles are long enough to accommodate both hands comfortably.
Common features to look for in the material covering the handle are something grippy, durable in wet conditions, and comfortable to hold.
Whether it is cork, rubber foam, or something else entirely is a matter of personal preference but it must grip well an angler’s hands and be durable in harsh conditions.
When buying a new rod, test out the different materials and ask fellow anglers about their opinions.
Surf Rods for Live Bait vs. Lures
Surf casting can be a tricky business.
Not only does technique and practice make all the difference between getting beyond the breakers and placing your hooks exactly where you want them, but what you have on the end of your line will also determine what kind of rod to use.
Various surf rods work differently when casting lures or worms as fishing bait.
Surf fishing rods that are used primarily for casting live bait for surf fishing must be able to handle heavy sinkers and large baits.
Because of this, a surf rod with medium-fast action and a fairly stiff tip will serve you well.
A soft tip rod will bend too much, resulting in a shorter cast which is frustrating for an angler.
Rods that will primarily be used for casting lures, however, don’t need to handle heavier weights but need an extra whip in the middle of the cast motion.
To get the longer distance you are looking for with a lure, a medium-fast to fast action rod is best.
The desire of every surf fishing angler is to have a great rod that has the right power and action to cast well beyond the breakers and reel in a prized fish to shore.
There are many surf rods on the market promising the best results, but it is best to do some research to know what is best for you.
Each angler will have a favorite, but these five rods will serve both seasoned anglers and beginners well: Berrypro Surf Fishing Rod, St. Croix Mojo Salt Conventional Rod, St. Croix Avid Series, Daiwa Beefstick Surf Rod, Okuma Longitude Surf.
When making a decision, always take into account your own needs and what kind of surf fishing rod your favorite fishing spot requires.
Also remember to take fishing rod length, rod power, rod action, reel seats, and handles into account when choosing the best surf fishing rod for you.
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