When there isn’t that much fishing gear on the market to choose from, finding the best surf rod can be tough. Walking through the fishing rod aisle at the sporting goods store can be confusing with all the different varieties offering new features and flashy designs.
Remember that you need to be picky when choosing a surf rod as it requires power and strength to be able to throw baits and heavy weights while constantly being exposed to saltwater and sun. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best surf rod on the market and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
The Best Surf Rod Round-Up
Considerations When Choosing a Surf Rod
Normally, your goal is to get the lure or bait out past where the waves break when you are surf fishing. This is where you will find more fish, and you will also find it is easier to work with your bait or lure in water that is relatively calm.
This also means you need to be able to cast out that far and, in some cases, this is a pretty far distance, so you will want to make sure you also are pretty accurate when you are casting.
The most important factors you need to consider when casting long distances are:
- Rod length
- Rod action
With all the other factors the same, having a longer fishing pole will improve the distance you can cast, so you will find that most surf rods will fall between 9 and 14 feet long. This also means that it is easier to use a shorter rod and that it is more accurate.
Also, if all factors are the same, having a rod with slower action will also increase your casting range. This is due to the fact that a slow action rod will bend farther than those that have faster action. So you get more help from the rod with slower action, but it also means that a slower action rod reduces your casting accuracy.
A determining factor of how good you can cast is also the reel you're using, so be sure you have the right reel for the right job.
Target Size and Species
Make sure to consider what species you will be targeting before you choose a fishing rod. Obviously, you need different gear for different species, and the more specific you are, the better.
You can always get a nice-quality all-around surf rod that will pull in a small five pound fish as well as a 400-pound fish, although you will get the best performance from specific rods, but, depending on your budget and situation, you sometimes have to compromise.
Your basic rule to follow is that longer length rods with heavier powers are needed when targeting large fish. The more power and length that your hook has allows you to hook bigger fish more quickly and efficiently.
Longer rods are also more tiring to use and are hard for a smaller person to deal with, so if you are only fishing smaller fish, it may be easier to get a lighter and shorter rod.
Baits or Lures
What lures or bait you prefer to use will influence what surf rod you choose. For those that like to use a lure, especially small spoons or light-weight plugs, you will need a lightweight rod that has extra-fast or even just fast- action.
Or, if you like to toss a 6-inch baitfish or 4-ounce piece of lead into the water, you will need a rod with a heavier power and slower action for the best results.
Another consideration is the style of the rod you prefer that will be based on your preferred lure or bait. For those that like to fish by repetitively retrieving small lures and you don’t want to use a baitcasting rig, you will probably prefer fishing with a spinning rig. This can cause you to lose some casting distance, but won’t have any backlash to deal with.
Surf Rod Reviews
Made by Lamiglass, a high-end builder of fishing rods working out of Washington, the Lamiglass Super Surf Second Generation features some of the nicest rods.
This fast action rod has two pieces that are built on a graphite composite blank making it lightweight with the sensitivity you need to feel strikes. Plus, it has the strength and stiffness to toss weights over a hundred yards and the ability to pull in a fifty pound fish.
Featuring stainless steel reel seats and lightweight guides, the Lamiglass Super Surf Second Generation sets itself apart from its competitors. This lightweight rod also features a modern look with its black shrink tape grips that help to cut the weight even more and an aqua blue finish for added protection.
The Lamiglass Super Surf Second Generation tends to be one of the more expensive choices when you are shopping, but it is worth it in the versatility you get that keeps you from having to buy other rods.
It also has the responsive action and stiffness that you get from graphite construction that allows you to toss plugs and lures off a jetty making it one of the better options available.
From the leaders of high-tech rod building, the St. Croix Mojo Surf is one of the more advanced surf rods you will find on the market.
Featuring the Advanced Reinforcing and Integrated Poly Curve Technology that is exclusive to St. Croix products, the Mojo gets rid of those dead spots and transitional points you find in a rod blank. It also provides you with smooth action, great sensitivity, and increased strength.
Using carbon fiber, the Advanced Reinforcing Technology gives you increased rod strength that is ten times that of other rods but it doesn’t increase either the weight or diameter of the rod.
This is a twelve-foot fishing rod made with two pieces that includes an offset ferrule design so it feels like you are fishing with a single-piece rod. It also comes with two finish coats that not only look good but will also make your rod last for decades.
To save on weight, surf guides are set in a sloped frame which also prevents the line tangling and increases rod strength. Inset zirconium rings give you improved casting distance and accuracy, and the reel seat guarantees tight reel placement with knurled screw clamps and a solid base that helps you fight those big fish.
The Mojo Surf Rod is an affordable surf rod with professional caliber construction that is definitely worth checking out.
Available in both nine and ten-feet, the St. Croix Triumph is a great example of long casting and traditional surf fishing. With otherwise similar power and action profiles, the primary difference between surf spinning rods and the ten-foot St. Croix surf baitcasting rod is the length of the handle.
The Triumph features St. Croix’s Advanced Reinforcing Technology giving you carbon fiber construction for the extra strength and durability that you need in a multi-section rod.
The Triumph can break down to four easy to manage pieces. It also features an SCII graphite blank and high-quality engineering that lets you easily make long-distance casts. It is also covered with two coats of finish for protection so your rod with last for year to come.
Other features include a custom handle made with cork tape, a Fuji DPS reel seat that feature frosted silver hoods, lightweight Aluminum-oxide surf guides, and a nylon-covered rod case. Plus, the offset ferrule technology makes a multi-piece rod like the Triumph feeling like you are using single-piece rod.
If you are just starting out or you are interested in giving surf fishing a try, the Penn Spinfisher surf rod is a great option for you. With the rod and reel combo package, you get a heavier surf rod measuring ten-feet long that includes stainless steel fitted guides and the protection of aluminum oxide inserts.
With decent action and strength, this is a very affordable rod that comes with a reel featuring the new Penn watertight casing that is protected even when it is dunked into the surf.
Other features include an HT-100 Slammer Drag system, instant anti-reverse couples, and a five-bearing crank giving you a high-performance reel with a value range price tag. Plus, you also get the added feature of a reel that uses a rubber gasket so you can wind line that doesn’t have a mono-filament backer.
The Penn Spinfisher is a nice affordable reel that allows you to catch heavy-pulling fish that only need a few extra cranks to stop them.
For an affordable ten-foot rod, the Okuma Solaris is constructed with two pieces of IM6 graphite blank that gives you both precision and power for those long casts.
This rod features double-footed stainless steel guides and lined aluminum oxide Fuji inserts that will stop rusting and cutting. Fuji cushion hood reel seats also give you the strength you need to hold large saltwater spinning reels securely in place.
With a traditional cork grip, the Solaris has a thin profile that makes it lightweight and helps it fit in your hand well. Plus, the reel seat come with EVA foam padding giving you protection if you have a prolonged fight. And it has better balance and sensitivity than you might expect from an inexpensive rod.
When you combine the inherent stiffness found in the graphite with the rod’s length, you easily get the power you need to cast a lure up to a hundred yards.
If you match this rod with the right reel, the Solaris will fish and cast like a rod that costs a lot more. This is a great option for someone looking for a good surf rod or for those shopping on a budget.
The clear winner of the surf rod roundup is the Lamiglas Super Surf Second Generation. This is a high-end surf rod that is definitely worth your trust and offers you enough versatility so you don’t have to own multiple rods for different species.
This eleven-foot rod uses two pieces built on a graphite composite blank making it lightweight with fast action and enough sensitivity to feel strikes.
Stainless steel reel seats and lightweight guides make the Super Surf Rod stand out from the others on the market. It has the strength and stiffness to toss weights over a hundred yards and the ability to pull fifty-pound fish to shore.
It also has a great look with an aqua blue finish and black shrink tape grips that help to cut the weight of the rod down. The definite winner of the best surf rod roundup is the Lamiglas Super Surf Second Generation hands down.
Want to find out if you're a spinning or baitcast rod type of person? Check out our fishing rod review here. After you've selected the rod, you can take a look at our fishing reel review, where we take a look at some of the best spincasting, spinning and baitcasting reels on the market.