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Best Surf Fishing Reels- reviews and buying guide

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Surf fishing is all about fishing in heavy water conditions standing on the shoreline so all its setup must be strong, able to cast longer along with smooth action. Your whole day’s battle will turn into victory if you are with one of the best surf fishing reels otherwise all your efforts are in vain.

So, for the surf fishing set up all you need is the best surf fishing rods paired with the bigger spool surf fishing reels, a suitable surf fishing line that must be strong, long, and tough enough to fulfill surf fishing techniques.

If you are a newbie to surf fishing you may find it confusing which reel to pick for your rod so, we have tried our best to make you choose the best surf fishing reels for a perfect cast.

Top 3 picks of best Surf Fishing reels

PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Full metal body
  • CNC Gear Technology
  • IPX6 Sealed Body
  • Sealed Slammer Drag system
Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel
Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel
  • IPX5 sealed body and spool
  • CNC gear technology
  • HT-100 drag system
  • Available in 9 sizes
Daiwa BG2500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
Daiwa BG2500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • machined aluminum body and its cover
  • Carbon Automated drag system (ATD)
  • Oversized Digi gear system
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System (4000 and Smaller)

List of Best Surf Fishing Reels Reviewd in Detail

best surf fishing reel overall

best surf fishing reels
  • Full Metal Body, side plate, and rotor
  • CNC Gear technology
  • IPX6 Sealed body and spool design
  • Sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-Drag
  • Full metal body

Penn Slammer III is specially designed for tough and rough fishing conditions. Waves at sea are not always smooth and calm.Its new IPX6 Sealed System keeps it resistant to high pressure and heavy water spray. Its users are quite satisfied with its sealed system as the gearbox and drag system are protected by water and dust. This one comes with a full metal body, side plate, and rotor along with CNC gear technology fulfilling modern fashion.

The automatic bail comes with 3500, 4500, and 5500 all above these do not have automatic bail. These automated bails can help beginners who don’t know much about surf fishing and its situations. If you are up to big fish catch you should give a try to PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel the best surf fishing reel on the market.

best long-casting surf fishing reel

 best surf fishing reel 2022
  • IPX5 sealed body and spool design
  • CNC gear technology
  • Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • Full-metal body

The best thing about Penn Spin fisher VI is its IPX5 sealing feature as IP ratings indicate how much a product is protected from solid or liquid products. Here IPX5 shows that this product is water-resistant and can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray. The HT-100 drag system is sealed for corrosion protection along with this it also possesses CNC gear technology.

The reel’s drag is very smooth and it handles big fish beautifully. The reel has 6 stainless steel ball bearings 5 in the body and one roller bearing.
Although these qualities may be found in other reels having this set up in an affordable range is pretty impressive. It has 9 variations in sizes from 2500 to 10500 so you can catch a list of different fish by this reel according to its power.

The reel’s carbon fiber handle makes a strong grip over it and adds a very lightweight to the reel.

It’s a big yes to this reel for saltwater fishing.

best saltwater surf fishing reel

Best budget surf fishing reel
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Over-sized Digigear
  • Braided Line Ready Spool
  • Waterproof Drag System

Daiwa is among the popular brands of fishing equipment. Their products are widely trusted by anglers because of products strength and durability. Here we are talking about Daiwa BG2500 Saltwater Spinning Reel, one top quality of this product is its smoothness in action.

Its machined aluminum body and its cover, just add more strength and stability both internally and externally, this quality also makes it corrosion resistant thus maintaining its outer look

The Carbon Automated drag system (ATD) smooths the start-up dragging moreover it provides greater support for the spool across the whole length of the main shaft which reduces spool twiststwists under load. It has braid ready spool feature which means there will be a rubber sleeve or ring on the arbor that prevents the braided line from slippage.

It’s Oversized Digi gear system where gear size is bigger than normal gears just makes all the connection points smoother. The Solid screw-in the handle adds full control of the angler over it and the air rotor being 15% lighter than ordinary rotors just reduces unnecessary weight to carry. The ABS spool’s maximized core diameter will let you bear less casting friction while making casting longer and easier.

Adding up a little more, for maintenance purposes, just clean it with fresh water and oil its parts.

The infinite Anti-reverse system comes with 4000 and smaller reels while the Infinite Dual Anti-reverse system is added to 4500 and larger reels.

This reel is perfect as your best inshore surf fishing reel.

best surf fishing reel for the bigger catch

 King Sharky III Fishing Reel
  • reliable triple disc carbon fiber drag
  • oversized stainless-steel main shaft
  • unique protection water resistant design for its spool
  •  instant lock anti-reverse, stainless steel hardware

Coming after the 2 successful generations of Sharky this Kast King Sharky 3rd generation comes along with all previous and more advanced technology. This strong yet lightweight reel is designed to tackle heavy sea or ocean waves.

This series comes in a variety of sizes from 1000 up to 5000 moreover this reel has a max drag on it, in a size 3000 it contains 33 pounds max drag which is more than enough for you inshore fishing.

The Kast King Intrusion Shield system makes this reel water-resistant and protects the reel’s body, spool, and rotor from water and dirt.

The unique Shark Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool cancels out the use of the backing line while spooling on the braid fishing line. Its triple disc carbon fiber drags to 39.5 lbs. , oversized stainless steel main shafts being corrosion resistant and stronger precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears.

All these parts just make the reel perfect for the big fish game. This reel is quite inexpensive if compared to its properties.

However, this lightweight multipurpose reel is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing that’s why added to the list of best surf fishing reels.

best spinning reel for surf fishing

best surf fishing reels
  • Magsealed line roller and main shaft
  • “HardBodyz” body and side cover
  • Light weight Air Rotor design
  • 0.85 Pounds weight
  • smaller in size
  • Corrosion Resistant

Daiwa Saltist is an upgraded version of Daiwa bg

The mag sealed line roller reduces friction and smooths its performance and rotation as salt, dust particles can stick to line rollers hence can increase friction. The mag-sealed oil forms a barrier against water and other salt or dust particles saving the reels free rotation.
Its “Hardbodyz” body makes it stiffer and tougher than other standard reels.

Its corrosion-resistant ball bearings have 12 times longer reliability and performance and will last longer as compared to other ball bearings, out of a total of 9, 8 ball bearings are into the body as main bearings and one is present in the sealed line roller as an anti-reversed bearing. It’s lightweight and unique designed air rotor, ABS spool with a maximized diameter can be filled fully without line twisting, and reversed taper all led to a better, smoother, and longer casting experience.

Daiwa has upgraded its handle in the latest generation, there is a small knob having a nice grip on the handle but many users aren’t satisfied with this small one because in surf fishing, catching big fish many want a big knob for greater hold and power that’s why many still prefer the older ones rather the new one.

Daiwa Saltist is much smaller in size as compared to Daiwa bg series and Saltist older versions but the reel can still cast at a longer distance with accuracy.

best budget surf Fishing reel

best surf fishing reels \
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system
  •  Max Drag Pressure – 5-lbs
  • Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Machined aluminum, 2-tone anodized spool

If you are searching to beat your Shimano reel, the Okuma Ceymar spinning reel can compete well. First of all, the affordable price along with many qualities attracts many anglers. People fishing occasionally can trust this reel as their go-to reel with the perfect rod combo.

There are almost 6 models in the Ceymar series and the best thing about that is Okuma has categorized each size reel in accordance to your fishing type.

As we are in search of the best surf fishing reel so, C-55 and C-65 are best suitable for saltwater fishing and big water fishing as these reels can help you cast long distances.
Its graphite body, graphite side plate, and graphite roller are corrosion-resistant yet lightweight.

The key features of this rod are smoothness, strength, and performance and due to its 8-ball-bearing drive system, one is a quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing, 2 tone anodized spool with heavy-duty solid aluminum bail wire delivers confident performance over the long term of its use.

Although it is small in size but its built quality and handling system is great hence, this reel will never disappoint you.

best surf fishing reel for the money

best surf fishing reels
  • stiff and rigid
  • smooth drag
  • cross carbon drag system

Shimano Stradric is a very high-quality product. Its lightweight body structure with almost 7 oz drag weight is perfect for comfortable reeling and casting.

The reel is so lightweight that it does not sink in water it floats over water so in case your reel slips in the water you can save it. Shimano claims that due to the cross carbon drag system this reel comes with the smoothest drag performance ever but it is only available in C3000, C4000, and C5000 models.

The rod worth mentioning quality is its durability, although it is quite expensive among other reels it is worth buying, its diversity marks its position, and you can tackle many different types of fish with it.

Its Hagane body adds stiffness, and rigidness which removes body flexing. The body is water-resistant due to its x-protect quality. If you are a beginner or a seasonal fisherman we wouldn’t recommend you this reel firstly, it is much more expensive secondly, one needs to be a little bit trained in the techniques of fishing.

So far it is worth adding to your collection of best surf fishing reels for the money.

best surf fishing reel for beginners

best surf fishing reels
  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant graphite body
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Machined and anodized aluminum spool
  • Available in six different sizes

The PENN Wrath still maintains its PENN’s traditional durability feature. The reel is light in weight and corrosion resistant due to its graphite body construction so suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

The reel got good speed when pulling the line with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. It comes with 2 shielded ball bearings systems and an instant anti-reverse bearing. Some of its users don’t like this anti-reverse bearing as it causes a kind of discomfort when catching a big fish although some take this as control over the reel however the reel is designed for different sizes of fish.

Its anodized aluminum spool helps anglers in their fishing style either inshore or freshwater fish.

PENN wrath series is available in 6 different sizes ranging from 2000 to 8000.
This PENN wrath will last longer comforting in both smooth and tough fishing conditions.

What makes your reel perfect for your Fishing

Everyone wants a reel that makes a perfect combo for their fishing rod. So they can say that they have the best surf fishing reel for their best surf fishing rod. Although we have listed the best reels for you we know it is still difficult to pick even from this list.

So we have prepared some considerable points so you can notice them when buying the reel

Fishing Location

The first thing to consider is your fishing location. It is a sea, ocean, or a small pond. You should know whether it’s saltwater or freshwater.

In the case of saltwater fishing, you should consider a reel that is corrosion and water-resistant. Because salt can destroy your reel.

In the case of fresh water, you can buy any simple reel you don’t have to be much possessive about the coating.

Reel Weight

Typically the range of reel weight is almost 6 ounces to 20 ounces and obviously, a lightweight reel is suggested that also doesn’t mean that the lightest reels are always the best one because of other factors like line capacity and gear ratio also matters. Keep in mind that the reel you are buying is just another weight added to your rod weight.

Reel Durability

For surf fishing, your reel must be stiff, rough, and strength-wise strong enough. You may get a chance to catch a big saltwater fish, then what if your reel’s handle breaks. So check the reel’s durability before buying it.

Reel Drag System

Reel’s drag system is much important when it comes to big saltwater fish catch so it is recommended that set your drag before casting a lure. It must be cleared up to you that a heavy drag may cause danger for your line and the line might be broken. A tight drag may also be a cause of line breakage.

You can also check your drag settings before the actual scene by pulling your line directly above the reel with your hands.

If the drag is tight you can lose it with the front knob present on the reel front side. The clockwise it tights and anticlockwise it loosens.

The ideal drag for surf fishing is 1/3 i.e. 30% of line breaking strength

Frequently Asked Questions

What size reel is best for surf fishing?

The 4000 to 6000 series reels will help you from small catch to a big fish. The smaller size can also work but they are mostly specific to some small to medium-sized species.

What type of reel is best for saltwater fishing?

For light to medium inshore fishing 2500 to 4000, with a gear ratio of 4.9:1 and corrosion-resistant reels are best for saltwater fishing.

What is the best gear ratio for surf fishing?

For surf fishing, the gear ratio from 5.3:1 and 5.7:1 fits perfectly as long casts are required. Normally, surf fishing reels are larger reels with larger spools so they aren’t extremely fast like other spinning reels.

Can you use a spinning reel for surf fishing?

Yes, many spinning reels especially lighter ones can be used for surf fishing.

What’s the difference between freshwater and saltwater reels?

The major difference between these two reels is the material used for construction. Freshwater reels are made from simple metal which is not corrosion resistant whereas saltwater reels are made from stainless steel generally used for a big fish catch.

Can I use a spinning reel on a casting rod?

You can use a spinning reel with a casting rod but it is not recommended because it may have major drawbacks with reduced casting distance, power, and action of rod moreover your rod might break.


It’s always a tricky point to select the best surf fishing reels for your best surf fishing rod. There are many points of consideration for buying a reel but just for your ease, we recommended you check its weight, corrosion-resistant property, and check whether it is strong and durable. Although the majority of surf fishing reels are resistant to corrosion we still recommend you clean your reel with fresh water.

Surf fishing is an exciting experience and can be more delightful if you choose your rod and reel combo wisely.

We wish you the best of luck with your surf adventure.

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