The Best Surf Fishing Rod 2019 – Detailed Review & Buying Guide

Surf fishing is fun and rewarding. Also known as beachcasting or surfcasting, this style of fishing allows you to enjoy great control over your fishing trip. Yet you get to do all this from the comfort of the shorelines.

In particular, this style of fishing is quite great especially if you don’t own one of those advanced pieces of equipment. For instance, it’s a good fishing method for those who don’t own kayaks.

But to get the best results and experiences, it’s important to ensure that you’re armed with the right fishing rods. But aren’t all rods equal? You might be wondering.

Well, at it turns out, quite a few differences exist between different types of rods. You want to find something that has an excellent combination of strength and sensitivity. Above all, it’s a good idea to find something that provides you with a huge yard coverage.

So, with all those factors in mind, we’d like to zero-in to some of the awesome choices available at your disposal. Hopefully, you’ll find one that meets or at least exceeds your expectations.

10 Best Surf Fishing Rods 2019 – Comparison Chart

Who doesn’t love surf fishing? Below is a run-down of some of the best fishing rods and the factors you need to keep in mind so you can make an informed choice.

The best surf fishing rod in 2019 – Reviews

1. Shakespeare (Two-Piece) Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod

The Shakespeare Two-piece Ugly Stik series is probably one of the best lines of saltwater fishing rods that you will ever come across. It is quite popular as it can be used in both fresh as well as salty waters.

Product description

This rod is designed for surf casting and can be used by both veteran and novice anglers. It is really easy to use and is made of high caliber materials to make it reliable and durable.

 

The EVA grip handles are strong and durable as well, while the graphite Fuji reel seats are reinforced with stainless steel hoods which are corrosion resistant. The Ugly Stik clear tip design is enough to guarantee you strength and sensitivity.

Other features and benefits

The EVA grip handles are strong and durable as well, while the graphite Fuji reel seats are reinforced with stainless steel hoods which are corrosion resistant. The Ugly Stik clear tip design is enough to guarantee you strength and sensitivity.

This rod is highly versatile due to the awesome combination of materials. The core is made out of graphite which is overlaid with a fiberglass layer and this contributes to the overall balance of the rod.

The graphite Fuji reel seat together with the stainless steel hood further enhances the corrosion resistance property of this rod.

The rod is strong enough to guarantee you smooth and easy reeling of the larger fighting fish species. The smooth reeling is also made possible by the EVA grip handles which are durable and comfortable for your hands.

The aluminum oxide insets are lightweight and strong while the clear tip design makes the rod highly sensitive.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Highly sensitive
  • Durable and resistant to corrosion

Cons

  • Slow action

2. Penn Spinfisher (V&VI) Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

Looking for a smooth-operating rod? Well, with the Penn Spinfisher, you not only get a great surf rod but also a reel to boot. As you know, it takes a good combination of a reel and rod to bring that awesome catch home.

Product description

This spinning reel is watertight and will give you a superb performance in both saltwater and sandy surroundings. It is durable and has a fully metallic body, sideplate, rotor and a bail-wire made of heavy duty aluminum.

It comes with 5 stainless steel ball bearings plus a reliable anti-reverse bearing. The rod also utilizes the sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system for a smooth and strong drag. The EVA grip handles are durable and feel nice in your hands.

Other features and benefits

With this combo, you can be assured of a super smooth and strong drag due to the Sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system. It also has 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings plus an anti-reverse bearing to eliminate any playbacks in the reel.

The shielded ball bearings are resistant to corrosion and highly durable and they also serve to improve the smooth drag.

The body is fully metallic and this makes it durable as well. The stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide exerts are also quite durable.

It operates smoothly and efficiently in both saltwater and sand environments. You will also notice that during casting, the friction trip ramp will help in preventing a premature bail trip.

The tubular glass construction makes this rod highly sensitive and you will instantly detect the slightest bite by a fish.

The EVA grip handles are non-slip and durable and will make your hands really comfortable as you proceed with your fishing.

Pros

  • Strong and great casting distance
  • Highly sensitive
  • Operates smoothly

Cons

  • Breaks easily

3. Penn Battalion 2-piece Surf Spinning Rod

When it comes to surf casting, you need a rod that is prominent enough to withstand the fights from the bigger fish species as well as the unforgiving waves.  We recommend the Penn battalion surf casting rod as one of your options.

Product description

This rod is stylish without compromising its performance and style. It has composite blanks, aluminum oxide guides, a rubber shrink tube handle, and a Fuji reel seat.

It is a 2 piece rod and measures 11 feet long and weighs about 13 pounds.

Other features and benefits

This rod is made out of graphite and is very lightweight. This weight is quite reasonable and you can be assured that you are in possession of a properly balanced rod. The rubber shrink tube handles also contribute to this amazing balance.

The 11 feet length gives you the ability to make long-range casts.

 The action of this rod is a moderately fast one and you will have to cast the rod a bit quicker if you wish to attain a proper longitude of the cast.

Pros

  • Properly balanced
  • Very light
  • Easy to install and set up

Cons

  • Not suited for heavier fish species

4. Okuma’s Solaris SS-C-1102H-2 Surf Fishing Rod

If you are a hardcore surf angler, this rod was designed just for you. It is a well-built heavy action line rod constructed out of graphite and other composite materials, making it thicker in comparison to other graphite rods.

Product description

This fishing rod for hardcore anglers has a blank made out of the highly sensitive IM6 graphite plus Fuji’s cushion hood and a stainless steel guide frame.

The rear grips are cork wrapped to make them absolutely non-slip handles. It is very lightweight, durable and sensitive due to the graphite material used in its construction.

Other features and benefits

This rod is highly resistant to bending due to the blank construction from graphite and other materials. The line weight capacity is 15 to 25 pounds and it can comfortably cope with the larger species and hard fighting fish.

It is a fast heavy action rod that will bend three or four times before moving power to the blank. This will let you drive the hook much faster into the fish’s mouth.

The graphite material makes the rod highly sensitive, have a fast recovery and be less brittle.

Pros

  • Stunning appearance
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Too stiff

5. Shimano Tiralejo Surf Fishing Rod

Shimano is known for its outstanding track-record in the manufacture of quality fishing gear. And indeed, we’re proud to feature the Tiralejo surf rod on this review. It’s well-built and good looking making it a wonderful bet for anyone looking for value.

Product description

The Shimano Tiralejo Surf Spinning rod is constructed using the C4S technology which makes use of a high-modulus blank while wrapping four external layers of 90-degree graphite. This means that the hoop strength will be much improved and still super sensitive.

You can use this rod together with the Shimano Ultegra XTD and Ultegra Ci4 plus surf reels.

Other features and benefits

This rod is a moderate-fast action and medium-heavy power surf rod which can cope comfortably with different lure sizes, including the bigger ones. It also loads more easily for powerful and longer casts.

This action mode will also give the rod the capability to deal with heavier loads and also equips it with the ability to cast more accurately.

This rod has an impressively long casting distance as well as a high recovery rate. It is lightweight and you will not get tired of holding it even if you undertake fishing for the whole day.

Pros

  • Is lightweight
  • Has a greater casting distance
  • Fast recovery

Cons

  • Too small diameter handle

6. Tsunami Airwave Elite Surf Spin Fishing rod

Whenever you mention the name of this rod in the angling world, it immediately screams lightweight and powerful. But how good does it perform when put to the test? We explore.

Product description

This rod is produced via unique and high-pressure means which ensure that it results in powerful yet lightweight high-density blanks. This lightness ensures you have no sore arms after long hours of angling. The high fiber density blanks are highly sensitive and transmit more power to each cast.

It has an awesome casting distance while the reverse system will ensure that you win the war against fighting fish.

Other features and benefits

This rod is a medium power moderate action spinner which gives it sufficient backing to handle up to a 30-pound fish. The high fiber and high-density blank design is vital in making the rod lightweight have a faster line recovery and more sensitivity.

It has a decent casting distance and can operate with natural baits and plugs.

The rod has a 70/30 split and you will feel that you have acquired a rod with the performance and strength of a one-piece unit. This split also gives you better portability and storage.

Last but not least, it has an excellent warranty policy.

 Pros

  • Is lightweight
  • Great casting distance
  • Portable
  • Eliminate playbacks

Cons

  • Pricey

7. Okuma Fishing Tackle Saltwater Spinning Rod

Okuma is yet another one of the reputed brands when it comes to the manufacture of award-winning rods and reels. But is their rod good enough for surf fishing?

Product description

The Okuma surf rod is manufactured by the Okuma Fishing Tackle Co. Ltd which is based in Taiwan, which manufactures surf rods, fishing rods and reels.

This surf rod is the best for saltwater fishing as they are durable due to the 30-ton carbon construction and the highly responsive blank as well. With this rod, the fish will not be obstructed due to the low profile butt cap design.

It is a 2-piece rod designed with Pac Bay reel seats together with ALPS stainless steel guide frames and as a result, has much greater casting distance capability.

Other features and benefits 

To start with, this surf rod is constructed out of 30-ton carbon material which makes it very strong, sensitive and has the best balance you will ever get from a spinning rod.

It is a medium-heavy power rod as well as being a moderate-fast action rod to give you flawless and reliable performance in saltwater fishing.

The low profile butt cap design ensures that you get to enjoy an unobstructed fishing experience while its lightweight nature, non-slip rubber shrink tube handle together with a tapered rear grip will give you maximum comfort even if you remain casting in the seas for the entire day.

To top it all up, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Highly sensitive

Cons

  • Guides are too small for a normal spinning reel

8. TICA (UGSA Series) Surf Spinning Rod

TICA may not be as popular as the other rod manufacturers but as it turns out, they are no underdogs. Our spot-check on their innovation and quality-control reveals that they are worth respect. And now to the review of their UGSA series surf spinning rod!

Product description

This surf rod from Tica is sturdy and has a strong finishing. It offers a decent performance and is designed to withstand the adverse conditions associated with surf fishing. It is lightweight without compromising its sturdiness.

The rod is easy to understand and use and can be used by novices too. The TC3 graphite material used in its construction makes it strong and durable.

Other features and benefits

This rod has a high-grade blank and is extremely versatile and powerful. It can cast and work heavy jigs and lures very comfortably. It is also very flexible and sensitive.

It is lightweight, powerful and well-balanced and it can be used in different styles as well as surf environments.

The rod has a corked tape handle which is slip-resistant to give your hands a good feeling and ensure you are comfortable throughout your expedition.

The foldable sliding hook keeper together with the 50/50 split makes it highly convenient for storage and transportation.

Pros

  • Is flexible
  • Highly sensitive
  • Feels good in the hands

Cons

  • Poor packaging

9. St. Croix Surf Casting Rod (Legend)

If you’re looking for a flexible rod that can provide you with great coverage, this St. Croix rod might be worthy of a closer look. It’s specifically built to excel in saltwater and boasts an amazing warranty coverage.

Product description

The St. Croix Legend surf fishing rod has high modulus SCIV graphite blanks which make use of the most modern forms of technology. It is meant to give you the best surf fishing performance and has titanium frames which are fully resistant to corrosion.

It has neoprene handles for durability and comfort besides having an amazing grip. It is double-coated with flex coat sure finish and comes with a 15-year transferable warranty.

Other features and benefits

To start with, it utilizes a host of modern technologies, which include Integrated Poly Curve Cooling Technology, Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART) and FRS to result in a high-quality rod which will definitely give you a flawless performance.

The RV K-series guides backed by titanium frames are corrosion resistant and will definitely survive the harshness of saltwater.

The rod also has custom neoprene handles which are comfortable and highly durable. They also have a nice grip and will not slip out of your hands even in wet conditions.

Finally, it comes with a 15-year transferrable warranty.

Pros

  • Comfortable handles
  • Highly durable
  • A fast action rod

Cons

  • Too costly

10. TICA (UEHA Series) Surf Fishing Spinning Rod

Still sitting on the fence? The TICA UEHA series rods might just be what you need. This unit comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. And best of all, it boasts a corrosion-resistant design and construction.

Product description

This highly rated surf rod was specifically designed to be lightweight, flexible and durable. It is a two-piece design which is easy to handle. It is slim and has a unique appearance while it is also quite comfortable to use.

It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Other features and benefits

The rod is lightweight and flexible due to its graphite construction. The bending-without-breaking is vital for reeling in fish. You will also find the cast to be really accurate due to this well-balanced design.

The two-piece design makes it highly convenient for storage and portability since you can always snap it into two pieces.

The versatile design of the rod makes it possible for you to use for surf fishing in the East and west coast and can also be used in catching salmon, perch and some species of bass.

The guides are resistant to corrosion caused by salt water and so threading your line through will be really easy.

The black graphite construction not only gives the rod an elegant look but also ensures that the fish are not easily scared away by it as is common with shiny objects.

Finally, the 30-day money back guarantee serves to protect you from losses which you may incur in case of damages during shipping.

Pros

  • Is lightweight yet sturdy
  • Convenient design for storage and portability
  • Stylish appearance
  • Does not easily startle fish

Cons

  • Butt is too long

What the Ideal Surf Fishing Rod Should Look Like

Ideally, a good surfing rod is one that has quite some graphite in them. That’s because graphite, besides being light in weight is also known for being highly sensitive. Also, graphite is corrosion-resistant meaning you can use the rod for extended periods of time.

The Grip

The higher the quality of the grip the easier it is to use the rod. But all rods claim to have good grips and so you want to double-check to ensure you get the best quality.

To begin with, the best rod grip should be, well, grippy. And besides that, it should be light in weight and comfortable. It’s not unusual to come across handles wrapped in EVA foam as well.

Traditionally, rods whose handles are made from wrapped surfaces offer a great retention. Most importantly, they tend to preserve some residual heat which can be of great importance in the cold.

The Line Guides

It can be tricky to choose the best line guides especially if this is your first time shopping for a surf fishing rod. But to break it down for you, the best line guides are ones made of premium quality materials.

For instance, they can be thick and heavy if they’re ceramic ones. But if you can afford to spend a few more dollars, aluminum oxide would be the gold standard.

Basically, you want your line guides to be light in weight. On top of that, they should be thin and have the ability to distribute heat evenly. Such features can go a long way in helping you attain longer casting distances.

Rod Length

The best surf rod length should be between 9 and 14 feet. This kind of length provides you with great casting freedom and control. So, which length is ideal for you?

Well, there are many factors to keep in mind in that case. But firstly, you want to make sure that the kind of rod you settle for matches your physical abilities.

If you’re of short stature or have any physical limitations, then it’d be a good idea to consider going for a short rod. Remember, the best way to choose the right rod is by focusing on your convenience and comfort.

While at it, it’s important to remember that surf rod length is one of the factors that greatly contribute to your casting distance. And ultimately, casting distance comes in handy when you need to present the lure and bait past the breaking waves.

If you’re looking for the average, recommended rod length for surf fishing, we’d recommend settling for anything between 10 and 12 feet. It should be just short enough for convenience and long enough for a superb casting distance.

The Power of the Rod

How powerful should the rod be? Basically, rod power is the strength of the rod and how it’s capable of lifting the catch from the waters. But don’t worry at all, you can easily make a quick decision on the right kind of power.

If you aren’t sure what to go for, we’d suggest settling for the medium or medium-heavy rod variants. Actually, the medium-heavy variety is quite versatile provided it’s paired up with the ideal line.

While at it, it’s worth keeping in mind the fact that the heavier the rod power, the better it will perform when used with a heavy line.

Action

Action is simply the rod’s ability to bend when put under pressure. Fast action rods are ones that bend quite a lot toward the tip. Slow action ones, on the other hand, bend toward the center.

The question of the right action to settle for matters a lot especially when casting distance is a prime consideration. Basically, fast action rods come in handy in providing a great casting distance – it’s no wonder they’re quite a popular option.

Slow action rods aren’t too bad either but in our opinion, these seem to work best when used with treble hooks. As you might already be aware, treble hooks don’t need as much power as the single hooks.

The Reel Seat

The reel seat is one of the crucial elements of a good fishing rod that most people tend to overlook. But if you compromise on this, you’re bound to end up with a seriously below-par rod.

In our opinion, the best reel seat is one that’s built with graphite or any other high-end non-corrosive material. It’s common to come across reel seats made from metal alloys also. But generally, graphite is the gold-standard.

Which One Is The Best?

If your main targets are the small fish species, the Penn Spinfisher (V&VI) Spinning Reel and Rob Combo would be of great value. However, if you’re after a tough and resilient rod that you can use to fight some saltwater monsters, we’d suggest going for the Okuma’s Solaris SS-C-1102H-2 Surf Fishing Rod. It’s quite stable and reasonably priced.

Final Thoughts

Nothing is as enjoyable as an evening of successful surf fishing especially when you have all the right gear in place. With that said, it’s our hope that the review above will help you make a solid and succinct choice.

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