It is a sunny and windy summer day. The seagulls are diving in the distance, and the sea is thriving with fish. But you are wondering, what’s beyond the waves? A surf fishing rod and reel is the best way to find out!
You can find several options on the market. Things, however, get a little difficult if you are looking for a surf fishing rod and reel combo. These tend to be more scarce. But there is nothing to worry about. We have your back. Here you can find 15 of the best surf fishing rod and reel combos that you can find.
Comparison Table: 5 Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
|Length (feet)||Drag (Pounds)||Construction||Power|
|PENN Battle II||From 6 to 10||30||Graphite 2-piece||From light to heavy|
|Dr. Fish Surf Fishing||12||40||Graphite 3-piece||Heavy|
|Okuma Tundra||From 7 to 10||20||Fiberglass 2-piece||Medium-heavy|
|Kalex Telescopic||From 5 to 12||15||Graphite telescopic||Medium|
|PENN Spinfisher VI||From 6 to 10||Up to 50||Graphite single piece||Heavy|
10 Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Reviews
PENN and quality are two words that are always together. The Battle II spinning reel and rod combo is a long-lasting option for those looking for a surf fishing rod and reel.
The rod features a light but strong carbon fiber blank. You can choose between four lengths, being the 10-feet models the most suitable option for surf fishing. This one comes with heavy action. But you can choose between light to heavy versions. The pole breaks down into two pieces for portability purposes.
The 10-feet rod comes with an 8000 spinning reel with an all-metal body. It has HT-100 carbon fiber washers that yield 30 of maximum drag, which is more than enough for the average angler. Plus, the six stainless steel ball bearings keep the reel running smoothly.
Are you looking for a full surf fishing combo? If so, make sure to check the Dr. Fish Surf fishing rod and reel. The bundle comes with a 50-pound braid line, 2 bucktail jigs, and an 8” popper.
The 12-feet long pole features a carbon fiber construction. It is available with fast action and heavy power combination.
The stainless steel line guides have ceramic rigs for enhanced heat dissipation and friction reduction. Like the previous model, the Dr. Fish surf fishing pole breaks down into three sections for better portability.
The reel has 13 ball bearings. Plus an extra for the anti-reverse system. Power-wise, the reel delivers 40-pounds of drag with a 3.9:1 gear ratio thanks to the stainless steel gears. In short, it has enough power to muscle fish back to the shore.
It is about time for an affordable rod and reel combo for surf fishing, and the Okuma Tundra is just that. There are four models available, each one with a different length and reel size.
In contrast with the previous options, the Okuma Tundra features a fiberglass black. Thus, it is inherently stiffer than any of the rods we’ve reviewed thus far. However, it pays with power what it lacks in flexibility.
The Okuma Tundra features aluminum oxide line guides with ceramic inlets. They can handle corrosion with ease. But remember to rinse the whole rod with freshwater to extend its lifespan. Now, the reel is nothing too special. It has a light graphite body, one stainless steel ball-bearing, and a felt drag system. It can hold up to 260 yards of 20-pound test monofilament line.
Available over a wide range of lengths, the Kalex telescopic fishing rod is an ideal option for surf fishing enthusiasts. It packs small, and its graphite spine keeps the weight down, even in the 12-feet version.
The rod features stainless steel line guides with aluminum-oxide rings for saltwater protection and friction reduction. The graphite reel sits on an aluminum oxide seat with stainless steel hoods for enhanced durability. EVA provides cushioning for the butt section.
The reel features an aluminum spool and bail wire. The multi drag system is smooth as long as the reel is not under heavy load.
The Spinfisher VI rod and reel combo is another great product from PENN. It is available in three different lengths, ranging from 6’6” to 10′. Again, the last option is more suitable for surf fishing as you can make longer casts with it. Sadly, the 10′ model is also one of the most expensive rod and reel combos you can find.
The pole is of light and flexible graphite. The oversized cork handle is the thing we like the most about this rod. It keeps the rod comfortable while providing a firm contact with your hand. Plus, the heavy power and medium-fast action is an ideal combination for surf fishing.
The reel is as awesome as the rod. We won’t expect anything less at this price point. The size changes depending on the model you purchase. For instance, the 10′ rod comes with a 6500 reel, whereas the 7′ version comes with an 8500. Either way, the construction is the same for all reels: Full aluminum body, carbon drag washers, and sealed interior.
Are you a little tight on budget? Are you looking for an all-around surf fishing rod? If so, the Crixus saltwater rod is your answer.
There are spinning and casting models available within three lengths. All of them have the same IM6 graphite built with stainless steel line guides and zirconium inlets. Additionally, all blanks break down into two sections for better portability. And you can choose between light, medium, and medium-heavy powers.
Both reels have the same carbon fiber body with an aluminum spool. Six stainless steel ball bearings and carbon drag washers make for the reel internals.
Surf fishing rods are longer than the average pole. Thus, portability might become a problem in the long run. Thankfully, this is not the case with the PLUSINNO telescopic fishing rod and reel combo.
The IM6 graphite pole comes in four sizes, ranging from 7.6′ to 9′. Each pole comes with a series of sections that collapse into each other for better portability. Each section features one stainless steel line guide with ceramic rings.
All models come with the same aluminum spinning reel. It has 9 shielded stainless steel ball bearings. The felt carbon drag washers yield 15 pounds of drag, which is more than enough for the average angler. A quick warning, it is not as smooth as you would expect.
It’s hard to make a rod review without at least one Ugly Stik. This time, we’ll be reviewing the Bigwater spinning reel and rod combo.
The fiberglass and graphite composite blank breaks down into two sections. You can choose between the 7′ rod with a 50 reel or the 10′ rod with a 70 reel. The first option is a medium power, while the latter has a medium-heavy rating. Both models come with Ugly Tuff corrosion resistant guides for better protection against saltwater.
The graphite reel comes with a durable aluminum spool. The drag washers yield 12 pounds of maximum drag. It is not that great, but it is more than enough for beginners. Two stainless steel ball bearings are responsible for transferring power and keeping the instant anti-reverse clutch working.
Quantum offers the reliance surf fishing combo in a wide variety of lengths, power, and action combinations. For surf fishing, we recommend nothing less than the 8-feet medium-heavy rod with fast action.
As expected, the pole has a durable graphite spine. From the 8′ rod, all models break down into two pieces. Plus, they feature EVA foam handles for increased comfort.
The reliance reel fits in the stainless steel hooded seats. It has an aluminum body and rotor. Inside, you have six stainless steel ball bearings, corrosion-resistant gears, and a carbon drag system that yields 20 pounds of drag. The reel has a sealed interior, which means that neither water nor sand will enter.
For those looking for a reliable fiberglass surf fishing rod, the Berkley Glowstik is the answer. It features a 10′ medium-heavy fiberglass pole. It is strong enough to handle any game fish that you manage to hook.
The Glowstik features stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts for friction reduction. The handle is pleasantly different from any of the other rods and reels on this list. It has a full rubberized shrink-wrapped design that favors security while sacrificing comfort.
Now, talking about the reel, the Glowstik by Berkley features a round baitcasting reel. It has a single stainless steel ball-bearing and oiled felt drag discs.
Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo: Okuma Fishing Tundra
The Okuma Fishing Tundra is our top pick for today. First, it has an unbelievable price tag. It is much more affordable than most other combos on this review. Plus, it is available in different lengths to accommodate all surf fishing styles.
Medium-heavy power and moderate action is an ideal combination. With it, you will be able to target a wide range of fishes.
The felt drag system is not the best; that part is true. Still, for less than 100 bucks, the Okuma Tundra offers great value for your money. Plus, the fiberglass pole is strong enough to withstand the abuse of saltwater fishes. Similarly, the reel has a decent line capacity. It can hold up to 260 yards of 20-pound test monofilament line. It is more than enough for most surf fishing scenarios.
More Product Reviews
KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- IM7 carbon fiber rod
- Available lengths: 6’6”, 7′, and 9′
- Available power: Medium and medium-heavy
- Available actions: Moderate-fast and fast
- 2-piece rod
- Graphite reel
- Maximum drag: Up to 40 pounds
The Sharky III comes at four unique lengths, starting at 6’6” up to 9′. As expected, the IM7 graphite 9′ pole is the best option for surf fishing.
All poles come with Fuji rings and a reel seat. Similarly, they all break into two pieces for better transportation. On the other hand, the action and power combination change depending on the model you purchase. For example, the 9′ version comes with medium power and fast action.
The reel features a strong yet light graphite body and rotor. It delivers up to 40 pounds of drag, which, we have to say, is remarkably smooth. The 10 stainless steel ball bearings ensure an even movement.
- Great value for your money
- The reel is watertight
- Superb drag
- Great for casting from afar
- The rod is stiffer than advertised
- The part where the two sections fit is prone to fail
PENN Pursuit II Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
- Graphite rod
- Available lengths: 8′
- Available power: Medium-heavy
- Aluminum reel
- Felt fiber washers
The Pursuit II rod and reel combo by PENN comprises a medium-heavy graphite rod and a full aluminum reel.
The pole is 8 feet long, and it is the only model available. It has aluminum oxide rings for enhanced corrosion resistance. The line of Pursuit rods features an oversized EVA foam split handle. It is comfortable and keeps the sleek all-black design.
Five stainless steel ball bearings, gears, and oiled felt drag discs make for the reel internals. While the reeling is smooth, the drag is not. However, it is nothing to worry about. Just keep an eye out when you manage to hook an aggressive fish.
- Good value for your money
- Light rod and smooth reel
- Comfortable handles
- Felt drag discs get jerky at times
- Single model
Abu Garcia 2-Piece Cardinal Bruiser Series
- 2-piece pole
- Available lengths: 7′, 8′ and 9′
- Available power: Medium-heavy
- Aluminum reel
If you are on a tight budget, the Cardinal Bruiser is exactly what you are looking for. It has a fiberglass construction that breaks into two pieces.
The Cardinal Bruiser is available in three lengths, ranging from 7′ to 9′. All of them come with the same power/action combination. They also have the same stainless steel line guides and EVA foam handles.
All poles come with the same aluminum reel with a 4.2:1 gear ratio and 34” IPT. Line capacity is the only thing that changes between models.
- Affordable surf fishing rod and reel combo
- Fast line retrieval
- The rod and reel needs constant maintenance to prevent rust formation
- The reel is not smooth
PLUSINNO Red Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- IM6 graphite rod
- Available lengths: 7′
- 2-Piece rod
- Available power: Medium-heavy
- Maximum drag: 12 pounds
- Aluminum reel
Anglers who have a tight budget will be glad about this option. The bundle features a 7 feet carbon fiber rod with a medium-heavy power setting. It is sensitive enough to feel most bites, but nothing like a high-end rod.
The stainless steel line guides with ceramic inlets decrease friction; thereby, enhancing casting distance, something crucial for surf fishing. The lack of cushioning is another negative point. It is not enough to keep the rod comfortable after long fishing sessions.
The Red Eagle comes with a 3000 CNC aluminum reel. Sadly, we have to say that it is not the best reel for surf fishing. It only yields 12 pounds of drag and has a remarkably low line capacity. However, its friendly price tag makes it an irresistible option for those budget-conscious anglers.
- Great for long casting
- Not as sensitive as other graphite rods
- Unimpressive drag
Daiwa D-Wave Surf Fishing Combo
- Fiberglass rod
- Available lengths: 11”
- Available power: Heavy
- Graphite reel
The Daiwa D-Wave is available as an 11 feet, 2-piece fiberglass rod with a heavy power rating. The long pole and sturdy spine make this rod perfect for long casting fishing.
Aluminum oxide guides, stainless steel reel seat, and EVA foam handles make for the rest of the rod. The entire blank is abrasion-resistant and capable of handling some abuse.
Now, talking about the reel, the D-Wave surf fishing combo packs a graphite spinning reel with a hard aluminum spool. It has a decent capacity, able to spool up to 410 yards of 14-pound test monofilament line. The single stainless steel roller bearing does a great job keeping the reel smooth. Nevertheless, the operation is not as even as other models with more ball bearings.
- Good sensitivity for a fiberglass rod
- Superb casting distance
- Large handles to lever big fish
- Not suitable for sniper-precision casting
How to Choose The Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Choosing a surf fishing rod is no different from picking a regular rod. Hence, you must focus on the same features. Naturally, the pole length and the line capacity change depending on your fishing style. We will review these and more aspects in just a moment. Let’s get started.
Pole length directly affects casting, accuracy, and, in a lesser sense, the amount of tension the rod can handle. For instance, longer fishing rods are ideal for long casts and able to handle more tension. The lack of accuracy is the main flaw of such poles.
Surf fishing rods typically sit on the long side of the spectrum. Why? Well, range and strength are both more important than accuracy. Most surf fishing anglers tend to cast beyond the point where the waves break. There, the water is calmer. Plus, it is easier to work the lure.
As we said before, as surf fishing rods are longer than the average, they are also less accurate. Still, this is not a problem since there is a large area of water where you can place your lure. Portability is another issue. Nevertheless, most anglers place their huge poles on a surf fishing rod holder until a fish strikes. This way, you won’t get tired sooner than expected.
Surf Rod Action
Action refers to where the rod bends and how easily it bends. Fast, moderate, and slow are the standard ratings.
Fast action rods easily bends around the tip of the rod. These are ideal to feel or look even the slightest of bites. For surf fishing, however, an extra-fast action rod is not the best option. Why? Well, waves are likely to bend the rod. Thus, you are likely to miss most bites unless you pay close attention to the intensity with which the rod bends.
Surf Rod Power
The power rating represents how much tension the rod can stand before breaking. Light, medium, and heavy are the standard weight ratings. But, you can also find rods with an extra or medium-heavy power rating.
While the rating labels are standards, the actual measure of power is not. In other words, a heavy rod from KastKing might or might not bend easier than a heavy Abu Garcia rod. This is something that you should be aware of.
Naturally, the more power, the more tension the rod can handle. Hence you can tackle bigger fishes. Similarly, heavy rods are compatible with thicker fishing lines.
Most surf fishing rods come with a label near the handle where you can check both the action and power. Sometimes, you can also find the recommended weight for the lure and line.
Anything from medium power is perfect for surf fishing purposes. Of course, this depends on fish behavior and weight. Aggressive and massive species require more powerful rods.
Surf Fishing Rod Materials
Almost all fishing rods either have a graphite or a fiberglass core. Some others have a composite construction. This means that they use both materials to create a rod with specific features.
Graphite rods are typically lighter and more flexible than fiberglass. Still, carbon fiber is brittle and doesn’t handle hits and falls as fiberglass. Plus, it is not as strong as the latter.
Through technological advancements, people have been able to produce stronger carbon fiber shards. Hence, increasing the amount of tension they can handle. Similarly, many rod suppliers have been mixing fiber and applying several layers to enhance performance.
Fiberglass, on the other hand, is stronger than graphite. It can also handle more abuse. Typically, as they are stiffer, their power ratings are higher than carbon fiber surf fishing rods.
Line Guides and Reel Seats
Since surf fishing involves dealing with saltwater, both the line guides and reel seats must be resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel, aluminum oxide, titanium oxide, and Fuji are the most common material for guides.
Most times, reel seats are of the same material as the rod. If not, Fuji or stainless steel are the best options.
Handle: Cork or EVA
Most surf fishing rods either come with EVA foam or cork handles. In our opinion, the first is more durable and comfortable than the second. But cork gives a better grip. In the end, it is a simple question of preference.
The thing that you must look into is the handle length. Larger handles increase the lever effect. Thus, you will be able to muscle bigger fishes without too much effort. Additionally, surf rods with large handles have increased range.
The Reel Style
All rods come with a spinning, baitcasting, or spincasting reel. Each option has its pros and cons. But we only recommend spinning or baitcasting reels. They are stronger and hold more line than spincasting reels, two crucial features on any surf fishing rods.
The drag and gear ratio, two things that we’ll discuss later, are both better on spinning and baitcasting reels. As a result, most surf fishing rods, if not all, come with such reels.
Carbon fiber drag washers are the way to go in any situation, including surf fishing. They keep an even tension as the fish takes the line out of the spool.
Choosing a surf fishing reel with the right rag is crucial. Setting it is equally important. Too much drag will cause the line to snap. Too little, and the fish will get away.
Typically, anglers set the drag as a fraction of the line test strength. Naturally, the drag should always be less than the breaking strength. The line will snap otherwise.
Gears and Ball Bearings
Internally, all reels feature the same things. That is gears, drag washers, shaft, and ball bearings. Ideally, these components should be of a corrosion-resistant material such as stainless steel or brass.
Now, what’s the difference between shaft, gears, and ball bearings? The gear’s job is to transfer the power from the handle to the shaft. Then, from the shaft to the spool, while the ball bearings keep everything moving as smooth and even as possible.
Surf fishing Reel Capacity
As we said before, both spinning and baitcasting reels hold more yards of line than spincasting reels. Thus, they are more suitable for surf fishing.
So, how much line do I need to surf fishing? Sadly, there is not an exact answer. Therefore, the more lines the reel can hold, the better. So, in short, you should always pick the biggest reel possible, as long as the budget allows it.
With that being said, we don’t recommend anything smaller than a 2500-size reel for surf fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Surf Fishing Rods
Can I Use a Freshwater Rod and Reel for Saltwater?
While nothing will stop you from using freshwater gear for surf fishing, the corrosive nature of saltwater will damage it. Thus, you will need to replace your rod and reel sooner than expected. In contrast, you can use your saltwater fishing gear for freshwater angling.
We know, however, that some anglers can’t afford two sets of gear. Thus, remember to rinse your gear with fresh water if you are planning on using it for surf fishing.
What is a Surf Fishing Rod?
To simply put it, a surf fishing rod is a pole that you use from fishing from the shore or pier. Their length is the most distinctive feature. Surf fishing rods are typically larger than regular fishing poles.
What Surf Fishing Size Should I Use?
It depends on what you are planning to do. Some surf anglers use poles between 10 to 15′ when fishing from the shore. They aren’t planning to cast too often. Plus, they are less likely to get inside the water. So a longer pole is more suitable for them.
In contrast, some anglers prefer shorter poles, between 7 to 9′. Short surf rods are ideal for anglers who like to get inside the water, need more accuracy, or are planning on casting often.
How Often Should I Clean My Surf Fishing Rod and Reel?
Fishing on a beach is not easy. Salt and water will impregnate the rod and reel. Always rinse your equipment with some freshwater to avoid rust, even if the rod and reel are marine-proof.
It also pays to lubricate all moving parts from time to time. Fully service your reel after each use if you don’t fish too often. And, the most important rule, never store your gear if it is wet.