8 Best Surf Fishing Rods In 2020 [Detailed Reviews & Buying Guide]
Fishing is an activity enjoyed by many, and no doubt, this leisurely sport has spawned some unconventional methods, such as surf fishing. While the majority of surf fishing takes place on land, some thrill-seekers prefer to seek out the waves themselves. Whether you're fishing on your boat, beach, or a pier, if you aren't using the best surf fishing rods for your preferred method, you won't get much done.
One-size-fits-all isn’t true when it comes to fishing rods because different kinds of fishing require different types of fishing rods. Then, you need to pick out a rod that has the features and qualities you need from the suitable rods. Finally, you pick your perfect match based on your build and physical attributes.
Finding the right one can be a pain, so we did the work for you. There is also a detailed buying guide that will help you narrow down your choices and pick the best fit for you and your lifestyle.
- 8 Best Surf Fishing Rods Reviewed
- 1. Okuma's Solaris - Top Pick
- 2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf Casting Rod - Best Value
- 3. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod - Popular Pick
- 4. St Croix Mojo Surf Spinning Rods
- 5. Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo
- 6. Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
- 7. Penn Battalion
- 8. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod
- Buying Guide
- FINAL VERDICT
8 Best Surf Fishing Rods Reviewed
1. Okuma's Solaris - Top Pick
The Okuma Solaris surf fishing rod is designed with your comfort in mind, and it keeps you fishing for a longer time. The fore and hind grips on the rod are wrapped in cork, thereby improving your grip even with wet hands. You also get soft EVA foam padding around the reel seat to protect your hands from tears and injuries.
With the Solaris rod, you get a more balanced position and a longer casting distance. The heavy power of this surf rod allows you to pull in huge catches consistently, without compromising sensitivity or lightness. The rod is made of IM-6 graphite, and the reel seats are rust-resistant, all of which make your fishing rod last longer than similar models.
2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf Casting Rod - Best Value
Ugly Stik rods are known for their high performance and durability, and this surf rod is one of them. It comes in five different sizes from 6 to 12 feet, and they all perform incredibly well. This surf casting rod is made with a graphite and fiberglass composite which makes it corrosion-resistant and durable, and it is a powerful rod capable of fishing large game.
It comes with stainless steel guides that keep your fishing lines from getting tangled and padded handles for a better grip. With the clear tip design, you won't miss out when you have a bite, and its one-piece design keeps it from separating during use, especially when you're lifting large catches.
3. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod - Popular Pick
The KastKing Sharky III rod is highly sensitive and is best suited for catching smaller fish species. It is a fast action rod, so you can see whenever you get a bit, but it is only medium-heavy, and with a short frame, so you can't use it comfortably with bigger catches. You can use this surf rod for pier fishing and dock fishing instead of rough waves.
It comes in two pieces, which makes it easier to separate and transport, and also easier to handle. With its graphite frame, it is a durable rod, and it performs excellently for its price. Due to its Fuji guide, you won't get your lines tangled, and it comes with a well-padded handle. The handle is too short to execute a two-hand cast without difficulty, so the casting range is limited.
4. St Croix Mojo Surf Spinning Rods
St Croix is an established name in the world of fishing, and some of the top rated surf fishing rods have come from there. Although they cost more than the average surf fishing rods, the St Croix Mojo rod is an excellent choice for beach and pier fishing. This surf spinning rod is a two-piece, which makes it easier to transport, but it works like a single rod.
With its premium SCII graphite body and Flex-Coat finish, it is corrosion-resistant and durable enough to handle tough waters. It comes with a full DPS reel seat and two black hoods, as well as other features like the integrated poly curve technology, fortified resin system, and advanced reinforcing technology, that set it apart from other surf fishing rods.
5. Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo
The Okuma Tundra surf fishing rod is a 3-piece that functions as a single piece rod. As large as this rod is, it still manages to be highly sensitive, primarily when used in pier or surf fishing. Its sturdy fiberglass frame is strong enough to withstand the abuse, yet flexible enough to use comfortably.
This surf spinning rod is easily one of the best rods available right now, and it has a felt drag system and comfortable, easy to grip EVA handle. You can use the bait of up to 8 ounces with this surf rod due to its high power, and it is available at a reasonable price.
The Fiblink surf spinning rod has one of the longest casting ranges available, thanks to its superior design. It has a carbon fiber frame that adds to its sensitivity and flexibility. And with its easy-grip handle, this rod is perfect for long, clean casts. You don't have to worry about tangled lines either because the Fiblink's ceramic and stainless steel guides prevent that.
The fishing rod comes in different lengths, actions, and power, so you have more options to suit you better. It also has some first-class features like the extreme exposure reel set, which makes fishing easier and more efficient. This fishing surf rod performs exceptionally well for its price, too.
7. Penn Battalion
The two-piece Penn Battalion rod is a favourite for beach and pier fishing enthusiasts because of its superior handling, rod power, and casting range. This fishing surf rod is made with a sturdy graphite composite material with a rubber shrink tube handle for perfect grip and balance in any condition.
The Fuji aluminum oxide guides and Fuji reel seats come together to give it a powerful reel and rod bond, as well as an edge in casting range, making it one of the best from Penn. You can get it in different lengths, depending on your preference. Also, this rod goes perfectly with Battle and Spinfisher spinning reels for the perfect combination.
8. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod
The Tica UGSA series surf fishing rods are excellent for casting, especially when beach fishing. This rod has a secure full DPS reel seat that improves the relationship between your reel and rod and keeps it steady when pulling in your catch. It also comes with Fuji guides for your fishing lines and a handy hook holder.
This surf spinning rod is made with TC3 graphite, which is a high-grade metal that is rust, and saltwater-resistant. Its custom diamond wraps and cork handle keep the rod from slipping out of your hands and ensure that you are balanced when casting. You can use some other Tica reel products with this surf rod.
A surf fishing rod isn't the easiest thing to buy, considering the many options that are available on the market. These surf rods come in so many different sizes, types, and functionalities that you get overwhelmed and confused. Fortunately, there are specific factors and features that make a surf fishing rod, and you need to consider them before you go ahead with any purchase.
This detailed buying guide lays these factors out clearly and helps you decide on the best ones for your lifestyle and fishing preferences.
The length of any fishing rod is too important to overlook when shopping for one, and for surf fishing rods, this factor is even more important. A typical surf fishing rod ranges from 7 to over 14 feet, which gives you more options. The length you choose should depend on you and how skilled you are at fishing.
Shorter or less experienced people have a better chance with shorter surf rods because they are easier to handle and maneuver. They are also best for pier and beach fishing when you aren't that far from the waves.
Rod length also determines how far you can cast your bait, so if you aren't close enough to the waves, you might need a longer rod. It also determines casting accuracy. For example, longer rods cast farther, but shorter rods are more accurate.
If you're going after big fish, you need a surf rod that is long enough and also strong enough to handle the weight. So, it is recommended that you go for the longest rod you can use correctly.
2) Materials used
Stiff rods break, and that is a lesson many have learned the hard way. You need a rod that is flexible enough to bend under pressure without giving up. Many surf rods are made with metal alloys, and most notably, graphite. Graphite is corrosion-resistant, and when made well, it is durable and easy to use. Other excellent materials are carbon fiber, fiberglass, and combinations of any of these 3.
3) The action of the rod
The action of a surf rod refers to how and where the rod bends when under pressure. Action is classified under fast, medium/moderate, and slow. A fast action rod tends to be more flexible towards the tip of the rod, so it tends to respond quickly.
Fast and medium action rods provide longer casting distance and are best suited for direct surf fishing. A slow action rod bends around the middle, giving it a shorter casting distance and less flexibility.
Fast action rods also have higher cast rates and help you catch bigger fish. They work best with single hook rigs because of their high setting power, while moderate to slow action rods prefer treble hooks, which have lower setting power.
If you use lures in your fishing, then a fast action rod is best for you, but a moderate action rod gives you more room to struggle with fish and getting them to bite.
4) Casting range
The casting range of a rod is how far out you can throw your lure with it. So many factors can affect your rod's casting range, such as the length, action, and weight of the lure. Longer surf rods have a longer casting range than shorter ones.
In the same way, a heavy rod with a fast action won't bend back enough to give you a long casting range, but a lighter rod will. People tend to go for surf rods with moderate action and power because they combine the best qualities of both sides.
5) Handles and reel seats
Some of the most important factors to consider are reel seats and handles, but they are often ignored. No matter how well your rod fits without the proper apparatus, you won't be comfortable using it.
For example, reel seats are positioned in such a way that they are bound to rust. So, to avoid that, you need to get a good model made of a rust-resistant material, (e.g., graphite) to extend the life of the seat.
Rod handles are usually left for anglers to choose from. The handle of a surf rod is generally long to accommodate two-hand casting, but the material used to make the handle is left to preference. Some more expensive brands have user-friendly, no-grip handles to make the fishing process easier.
The power of a rod refers to how well it lifts, and how much load can make it bend. Bigger fish require more power and leverage from you, so you should stick to heavy surf rods if you go after large fish. Power ranges from light to heavy, with most people preferring the medium-heavy surf rods.
Heavy surf rods work best with heavy lines, so always make sure your lines match your surf rods to get the best use out of them. Generally, a medium-heavy rod will work for most fish sizes. So, if you don't have a particular species of fish in mind, they will work.
7) Type of catch
This bears mentioning because you can't use the same rod for all fish sizes. If your primary targets are large fish and you're using large fishing lures, then a sturdy, longer rod is for you. They give you enough leverage when pulling in your catch, and they can withstand the weight of your lures and fish. You might also be interested in surf fishing at night. That is when most bigger catches happen.
After a thorough analysis and review of the best surf fishing rods in this article, our top pick is the Okuma Solaris surf fishing rod. This rod is corrosion-resistant, durable, and it has all the essential features you need in a surf fishing rod, all at a great price.
Our pick for the best value surf fishing rod will be the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater. This high-performance fishing rod is sensitive, durable, and easy to use. It performs as well as several similar models, but it comes at a significantly lower price. The best part is it comes with a 7 years warranty.
Last but not least, our popular pick is the KastKing Sharky III. This model is graphite built and has soft grip EVA handles, making it very easy and comfortable to use. The only down side is that it has a lower casting range and power, meaning to say, it is superb for pier and dock fishing but not for rough waves.