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Best Surf fishing rods- Reviewed in Detail

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There is no general rule of thumb for the rods to be the best surf fishing rods but when it comes to this type of fishing the three things that blow in mind are “longer rod”, “stronger rod” and “strong muscles”. You must have a long surf fishing rod that must be indestructible to handle big saltwater fish and for a battle with strong tidal waves, one must have strong muscles and stamina.

It may sound like we are packing for a big mission, but it is a big task. You can’t have single surf rods for different shores as each demands different lengths, power, and action. Today it’s more difficult when tons of different quality fishing rods for each specific surf fishing technique are available. You may have the best surf fishing rod for one spot but not for all.

Keeping in view this scenario, we have listed some of the good and recommended picks for surf fishing rods. Just start packing your tackle bag for surf fishing, your rod is just on its way.

Top 3 picks for the best surf fishing rods

PENN Battalion II Surf Conventional Casting Rod
PENN Battalion II Surf Conventional Casting Rod
  • Composite Rods construction
  • 70% Graphite and 30% fiberglass
  • Fast action medium power surf rod
  • 2-piece Rod
St. Croix Legend Surf Spinning
St. Croix Legend Surf Spinning
  • Carbon-fiber constructed rods
  • X-wrap handles
  • Spinning Fishing Technique
  • 2-piece rod
Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rods
Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rods
  • 30 Ton Carbon Construction
  • Stainless Steel Guides
  • Total 8 lines guides
  • 2 piece rod

Secret Tip for surf fishing

Surf Fishing is a great experience and can be a memorable one when you end up with a trophy fish. Many people will tell you to use a dash, dash and dash rod, reel, and line to land the big fish but don’t splits out the main secret. Which is “use live baits when surf fishing”. The recommended live baits are cigar minnows, shrimp, and mullet.

How to choose the best surf fishing rods

Many points together lead to declaring a rod the best surf rod. When it’s surf fishing, there are a few points of consideration, the majors, and the specs that you should be aware of. Mainly it depends on the type of fish and the bait you are going to use to trap your target.

Surf rods are relatively longer in length as compared to regular spinning fishing rods or professional casting fishing rods. They have the versatility to land a big shark or a small sea trout. Just follow the guide and you will end up with the best quality surf fishing rod.


The main thing you require for surf fishing is the casting distance which is conquered by longer rods. Now length, in addition, depends on some factors

  1. The fish you are up to
  1. Your skill level
  1. The lure weight
  1. Type of fishing (Either you are pier fishing or fishing from the shore)

If you are a beginner I wouldn’t recommend you to exceed the 10-foot, 7 to 9-foot surf rods are perfect startup rods and for pier fishing. Shorter rods offer more sensitivity, you are more in underwater contact, and are easily manageable.

However, beach fishing demands rods larger than 10 feet, 11 to 15 feet are the ideal length for fishing from the shore, as they offer casting distance, accuracy, and flexibility.

For heavy baits go for longer rods whereas shorter rods are good with lightweight baits.

Rod Construction Material

You have these options in fishing rods graphite, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and the one having the features of both the fiberglass and carbon fiber i.e. the “composite rods”.

If fiberglass fishing rods are the durable ones then graphite rods are the sensitive and the lighter ones. Most anglers prefer lightweight rods that cause less fatigue to their arms.

Generally, graphite rods are more suitable for surf fishing as they are stronger, sensitive, are fast-action rods as compared to fiberglass. But that doesn’t mean that graphite surf rods don’t break.

But fiberglass rods still mark their performance as being more flexible than the other types of rods. They are also in-budget rods to adopt for surf fishing. So pick the rod that best fits your criteria.

Rod Action

Rod power and action are always confused concepts of a fishing rod. Action describes the position from where the rod will bend when pressure is applied.

For surf fishing, a fast-action rod is recommended.

Rod Power

The power of the fishing rod tells the pressure required to bend the rod. For surf fishing, medium-heavy is the ideal rod power.

There are of course many other factors that a good surf fishing rod should have like

  • Long Rod handles
  • Sensitive Tip
  • No of Guides

I will cover more featuresin each of the rod’s detailed review section

List of best surf fishing rods

1- PENN 10’ Battalion II Surf Conventional Casting Rod

best lightweight surf fishing rod

PENN 10' Barralion II Surf Conventional Casting rod
  • Composite Rods construction
  • 70% Graphite and 30% fiberglass
  • Fast action medium power surf rod
  • Alconite line guides with porcelain inside
  • 2-piece Rod

Penn just makes sure that you never miss a chance of catching a trophy fish with its graphite composite rod construction. What’s better than a rod being sensitive and strong at the same time?  Its spiral layered rod construction adds the required strength to bear the surf fishing abuse and the rods’ tip sensitivity just makes sure that the angler feels the slightest fish nibble which I think is one of the prominent qualities of PENN Battalion surf rods.

Being a surf fisherman you can better understand what rod weight impacts your fishing. Heavier rods are the optimal choice for heavy baits and big catches and here comes the PENN featherweight rod, without adding any extra weight they offer perfect casting accuracy.

They fit for both pier and beach fishing. It fulfills the criteria of the best surf fishing rods as it’s 10 feet fast action rod. Being a composite rod, stiffness isn’t the issue with this rod it offers the required bend the same as other fiberglass rods.

A total of six Alconite line guides with porcelain inside that decreases wear from abrasive lines. Graphite fuji reel seats just make sure your spinning reel doesn’t dislocate from its position.

The best part of this rod is the handles, it’s a rubber shrink tube on the butt section. It all just maintains the balance and you can hold your rod easily. PENN overall is the budget-friendly rod for saltwater fishing. Being a two-piece rod there are chances of snapping but if you use the right line and lure weight as mentioned it last for many years. 

  • It is a lightweight rod, you can fish all day long
  • Perfect for both jetty and beach fishing
  • Last Longer
  • For anglers who aren’t a fan of stiffer rods, this product isn’t a good choice for them

2- St. Croix Rods Mojo Surf Spinning Rod

best surf fishing rod for beginners

St. Croix Rods Mojo Surf Spinning Rod
  • Carbon-fiber constructed rods
  • Spinning Fishing Technique
  • X-wrap handles
  • Covers 5 years of warranty
  • 2-piece rod
  • 10.6 feet long
  • Medium Power and Moderate action rod

Surf fishing is exciting fishing and every angler always wants to give a shot to surf cast. For beginners, surf fishing with conventional or bait casting rods will be challenging as these rods are relatively longer and weigh more than spinning rods. St. Croix Mojo surf spinning rod is the best entry-level surf fishing gear.

Due to carbon fiber rod construction, mojo surf transfers the vibrations from the rod tip to the butt. It fully aware the angler with the slightest tough to fish biting the bait. Many recreational anglers consider St. Croix Mojo as their top priority.

A strong grip on the rod handle is desired by every angler and with X-rap handle St. Croix launches the perfect package. The rod handles offer a strong grip when tangling with a big fish and on top of all that makes the rod comfortable to hold.

Surf rods are already heavier than regular rods, each component adds additional weight to the rod. The weight-saving line guides with zirconium rings that are braided-proof and reduces line friction. Hooded reel seats just gear up for the big catch.

You can easily carry and transport it as it’s a two-piece rod and rod ferrules add additional flexibility to balance the carbon fiber rod’s stiffness. 

  • It’s a perfect startup surf fishing rod
  • Have the guts to catch a big fish like a shark
  • Expensive Rod

3- St. Croix Legend Surf Spinning

best durable surf fishing rod

St.Croix Legend Surf Spinning rod
  • Graphite rod construction
  • Easily handles heavy baits and sinkers
  • Thick rod handle
  • 2 piece rod
  • 11 feet long
  • Available in mod-fast action
  • Medium-heavy rod power

To reach far long casting distance it’s a general trick to use heavier baits, and to bear this weight your rod must have strength otherwise you have to face the circumstances of rod and line breakage. St. Croix Legend surf series just makes sure to upgrade its casting ability and durability by adding all the premium features to this product.

The main issue I have faced while searching for a surf rod is you have to sacrifice durability for a lightweight rod. Well, thanks to St. Croix’s Reinforcing technology that without adding any additional weight, surf fishermen can fight and catch bluefish, mackerel, sea trout, and other surf fish species.

Keeping in view the surf-wearing, Fuji K-series tangle-free guides are added to the rod moreover, to protect your guides from saltwater corrosion they are surrounded by Titanium frames.

To ensure that any catch shouldn’t be missed by any chance, the Fuji DPS Deluxe reel seat with a Back Stop lock nut is there to hold your reel tightly without any chances of reel loosening.

Highlighting the rod comfort, the neoprene handles are comfortable to hold, non-slippery, and the perfect match for those anglers who prefer thick cushioned handles for fishing.

Enhance your surf fishing with one of the best surf fishing rods that let you cast from heavy baits or sinkers to lightweight lures.

  • One of the durable rods listed here
  • Sensitive Rod tip
  • Offers casting distance
  • 2 piece rod offers the performance of 1 piece
  • The only room for improvement is that the upper part is larger in length than the lower butt part which makes it a bit difficult in transporting
  • Expensive rod

4- Okuma Fishing Cedros Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rods

best surf fishing rods for the money

Okuma Fishing Cedros Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rods
  • 30 Ton Carbon Construction
  • Stainless Steel Guides
  • 2 piece rod
  • Total 8 lines guides
  • 11 feet length
  • Available in mod-fast action
  • Medium-heavy rod power

Okuma never misses a chance with its quality gear for every type of fishing. While I was still in a trance of my latest trout catching trip with Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultra Light Trout Rods my best trout fishing rod and then I planned a surf fishing trip with my friend’s Okuma saltwater spinning rod. I must say Okuma has gifted surf anglers with this product.

I may sound exaggerating its features but man you should give it a shot. First of all, I wasn’t expecting this sensitivity and durability at this price. The rod is highly budget-friendly as compared to St. Croix’s expensive rods.

While reviewing all these rods my top focus was the perfect balance of weight and durability. I made sure to add lightweight rods to the list of best surf fishing rods because anglers are now fed up with heavy weights.

Okuma saltwater spinning reel is a lightweight rod and with this weight, it allows lures up to 5 oz. You can confidently bet on a big catch and can be successful in it. Its30-Ton carbon construction where makes it stiffer and more durable yet flexible.

The double footed small-sized stainless steel guides may sound odd due to their size but it is just a myth, these guides save your line from tangling and offer a smooth cast. Freely use any type of fishing line as guides with zirconium inserts are resistant to braided line abrasion.

With all the premium features how come the rod handles be any less in this line? The rubber shrink tube handles just make sure that the angler can firmly hold his rod even with wet hands.

You may have understood why I have listed it at the top of the best surf fishing rods. It’s a worth buying product all you have to do is to give it a chance to be a part of your gear collection.

  • It is a relatively affordable surf rod
  • It’s flexible, durable,and sensitive, without adding any additional weight to the rod
  • Line tangles aren’t the issue with this rod
  • I personally don’t consider it as a con, but the larger-sized guides lover still prefer larger over smaller guides

5- Berrypro Surf Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod

best surf fishing rod under $100

BerryPro Surf Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Available as 2 and 4 piece rod
  • Graphite rod construction
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Fast action rod
  • Available in 10 to 15 feet lengths
  • EVA gripped Handles

If you are looking for a fishing rod that offer longer casts, is travel friendly, and shouldn’t disturb your budget then the Berrypro Surf Spinning Fishing rod is just for you. You can pick between 2 and 4-piece style rods. I strongly recommend this rod to travel anglers that often wander to different beaches for fishing. You have the option of 10 to 15 feet long rods, so good luck with a big catch.

Berrypro surf rods are the graphite ones with IM7 X- Carbon Technology to add the required strength, durability, and sensitivity and still maintain the rod weight. One more point added to it of being the best traveling surf fishing rod as you wouldn’t have to carry heavy rod all along the trip.

The stainless steel guides with ceramic rings improve casting accuracy. Using the double-footed guides for big catches and heavy-duty fishing is always a good option as they resist line twisting. Your Berrypro surf rod has all these heavy-duty surf rod features at this price.

It’s a general rule that cost-effective gear may lack something that a famous expensive rod has. To my amazement, I didn’t find any major flaws using this rod. Even it was sensitive enough to transfer vibrations from tip to handle. The only room for improvement is the rod handle which I think will be much better if the length is reduced a bit.

Pair this rod with a 3000-8000 size spinning reel and you wouldn’t regret your decision.

  • One of the cost-effective surf fishing i.e. under $100
  • Good customer support
  • The rods are stiffer than Ugly Stik big water adding fiberglass flexibility will be highly appreciated

6- Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Fishing Rod    

best budget friendly surf fishing rod

UglyStik Bigwater Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Graphite rod construction
  • Graphite reel seat
  • 2- piece rod
  • Stainless steel guides
  • EVA foam handles

It’s a big disappointment for surf anglers when they can’t cast a heavy lures with their 10+ feet long surf fishing rods. You can easily wing an 8 oz. lure with an 11 feet long Bigwater spinning fishing rod. Ugly Stik just makes sure to serve the surf anglers with one of the finest quality rods for surf fishing.

With its composite rod construction, you wouldn’t have to give up flexibility for a stiffer and more sensitive rod. With combined features of both graphite and fiberglass, Ugly Stik Bigwater is a tough competitor to PENN and St. Croix surf rods at this incredible price.

Its range of length from size 7 to 15 makes it an all-rounder rod for jetty to shore fishing. The Ugly Tuff guides of stainless steel are strong, and tough, and can wear the braided line abuse and decrease friction for longer casts. Obviously, for rough fishing conditions, rough stainless steel guides are the best option.

The rod’s clear tip is sensitive enough to pick the slightest fish nibble even the rod stiffness doesn’t affect its sensitivity. Personally, I am a big fan of Ugly Stik fishing rods but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this saltwater rod but when my friend landed a shark with this touch rod, I was quite impressed and gave this a shot and it doesn’t disappoint me.

For more smooth fishing it’s graphite FUJI reel seat just make sure your reel doesn’t replace from its position, so your focus will be on the catch rather than the rod setup.

Although the rod handles are comfortable but still room for improvement as I was losing my grip on the rod with wet hands but not that severe which leads to a missed catch.

Overall the rod isn’t lightweight as other surf rods but its quality performance is the key factor that dominants over other minor drawbacks.

  • One of the top quality and cost-effective fishing rods
  • A durable, stiff yet sensitive rod
  • Can cast heavy baits
  • Heavy rod
  • Rod handles need improvement

7- Penn Battle Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

best surf fishing combo

PENN battle Spinning Rod and reel combo
  • Graphite rod construction
  • Cork Handles
  • Metal body reel
  • 2 piece rod
  • 6000 size spinning reel

You aren’t done with the fishing gear set up until you find the right size reel for your rod. Obviously your reel influences your cast and target. Let’s save you from this trouble and upgrade your gear collection with this all-rounder saltwater fishing combo.

The combo has a 9 feet medium heavy 2 piece rod with a 6000 size spinning reel. I hope you have picked the point of adding this combo to the best surf fishing rods list. As all the requirements are fulfilled following the combo’s specs.

It’s a graphite rod with all the needed requirements for surf fishing. You may have heard about this rod that it snaps or whatever, the case is simple if you exceed the lure and line weight limit as mentioned on the rod, the result is a snapped rod.

Flexibility is one of the highlighting qualities of this rod. The rod bends much more than all other surf rods listed here. It can be a good feature or a con depending on your fishing type.

The rod has cork handles, a piece of good news for those who aren’t fans of rubber handles. The rod has full grip cork handles adding comfort to the fishing cast as you can easily flick your long surf rods.

I will definitely recommend this saltwater combo to beginners as they will be saved from an endless search of finding the perfect reel for their surf rod.

  • All-rounder saltwater fishing combo
  • Perfect option for catching medium to large saltwater fish
  • Heavy rod
  • Expensive combo for beginners

8- Fiblink Surf Spinning 2-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod

best surf fishing rod for heavy lures

Fiblink Surf Spinning 2-piece graphite rod
  • Graphite rod construction
  • 2-4 piece rod
  • Double footed guides style
  • Stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts
  • Rubber Shrink Tube handles
  • Fast action rod

If you are looking for a lightweight, durable fishing rod that won’t break the bank, you’ll want to check out the Fiblink Surf spinning fishing rod. The rod is made of high-modulus graphite, which is extremely lightweight yet very strong and durable. As a result, the rod is quite maneuverable you’ll be able to cast as far as you need to while still being able to guide your line through the water with ease.

Moreover, give this rod a try if you are in search of an economical travel rod that’s light enough to carry around with you wherever you go.  This also raises a question here that we already have listed Berrypro and Ugly Stik surf rods as budget and travel friendly so what point raises the vote for Fiblink surf rod.

If you are comparing Fiblink and Berrypro, both are light in weight and travel friendly the only plus point to Fiblink is it offers more lure weight than Berrypro surf fishing rod. With the Fiblink surf rod, you can cast a maximum lure weight of 8 oz. even with a 12 feet rod. And in comparison to Ugly Stik, straightly it’s the weight difference.

All other features are same as other surf rods, stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts for a smoother cast, X-wrap handles for stronger grip and a high quality reel seat for comfort fishing.

For a great fishing experience pick the 12 foot rod of heavy power and fast action, then I bet you would say yes!! it is my best surf fishing rod.

  • Can easily cast heavy lures
  • Lightweight rod
  • Budget-friendly
  • Heavy rod
  • The rod guides and handle needs improvement

A brief introduction to Conventional Rods

You may have heard the word “conventional rods” with many rods’ titles and description. So what type these rods are? Are they any special or separate type of rod? What part these rods play in surf fishing. Let’s solve this mystery

Conventional Rods

These rods aren’t any separate type like casting, spinning, or telescopic basically all the rods for beach fishing, inshore, offshore, jetty fishing, surf fishing, boating, and trolling are collectively called “conventional rods”.

These rods are relatively larger, heavier, and more dominantly have full gripped long rod handles. Every part of these rods is made tough to handle tough and rough saltwater abuse.

You may have noticed that all the above fishing rods have the style of a double-footed guides. These guides are stronger than single-footed rods present on spinning or casting rods.

So, next time you see a long, and stiff rod for saltwater fishing it’s a conventional rod.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Thoughts

Surf fishing is one of the coolest fishing types with the right type of gear and the right casting technique. We have played our part by listing some of the best surf fishing rods. Now it’s up to you to pick the right rod by your location, line, bait, and most importantly your target. Best of luck with your next surf fishing trip.