8 Best Surf Fishing Rods

Best Surf Fishing Rods

Welcome to our reviews of the Best Surf Fishing Rods!

Looking for a surf rod for your next fishing trip? Whatever the reason, in this article, we’ll provide you with top surf fishing rod reviews as well as a buying guide to help you choose one.

We’ve field-tested more than 20 fishing rods in different conditions – including fishing from the shore or wading into the surf zone – and we are sure Penn Battalion II is the Best Surf Fishing Rod for catching fish from beaches, jetties, or fishing piers.

Penn Battalion II Spinning Rod
  • PENN BATTALION II 10’ SPINNING ROD: Ultralight, powerful...
  • 12-20LB LINE RATING, MEDIUM POWER: Moderate Fast action...
  • GRAPHITE COMPOSITE rod blank is among the most sensitive and...

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here is our pick of the top 8 surf fishing rods.

Our Top 8 Picks

  1. Penn Battalion II Spinning Rod – Best Overall
  2. Berrypro Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Under $100
  3. Okuma Tundra Rod and Reel Combo – Best Surf Combo
  4. Penn Prevail II Surf Casting Rod – Best Casting
  5. Okuma Cedros CSX Surf Rod – Best Lightweight
  6. Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Rod – Best for Big Game
  7. St. Croix Avid Surf Spinning Rod – Best High End
  8. Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Rod – Best Value

8 Best Surf Fishing Rod Reviews

Now, let us move to our in-depth hands-on reviews.

Penn Battalion II Spinning Rod

PENN Battalion II 10’ Surf Spinning...
  • Rod Length: 10-12 ft
  • Power: Medium-Light to Heavy
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides Material: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Penn Battalion II is one of the top fishing rods out there. It is a fantastic rod that can handle the demands of surf fishing. It’s strong and powerful enough for targeting larger saltwater species.

We recently tested it during a fishing trip. We were very impressed by the 10′ medium-heavy rod with a 12-20 lbs rating. It is perfect for targeting large fish such as kingfish, yellowtail, and white sea bass.

The 2-piece graphite blank offers a great balance of sensitivity and power. It allowed us to detect even the bites while still having the backbone to catch bigger fish.

It is reliable, smooth, comfortable, and easy to use even for long periods. The Fuji Alconite Guides let us cast even heavier lures and baits with ease. The guides held up well against the saltwater, showing minimal signs of wear and tear after our trip.

You must be aware of how often rods suffer damage due to broken reel seats. So, this rod comes with a heavy-duty Fuji reel seat that provides a secure and stable base for the reel.

All these features make Penn Battalion II a dependable fishing rod for making long casts from a pier or a beach. It is a very renowned rod, much loved by experienced as well as new anglers.

Pros

  • Sturdy, strong, and durable rod for surf fishing.
  • The 10′ length is great for casting long distances from a pier or a beach.
  • Rubber shrink tube handles provide a secure grip, even when your hands were wet.

Cons

  • The tip of the bottom rod may crack due to improper handling.

Berrypro Spinning Fishing Rod

BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Rod Graphite Surf...
  • Rod Length: 9-15 ft
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: EVA
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

The Berrypro is an excellent pick if you are looking for a high-performance surf fishing rod.

The rod comes in sizes from 9ft to 13ft. We suggest the 9-feet medium-heavy 2-piece rod for surf fishing. It is great for casting long distances with accuracy. It has enough backbone to catch saltwater fish such as red drum, black drum, catfish, and striped bass. You can target a variety of smaller fish as well such as croaker, mullet, and pompano.

The rod is constructed with IM7 X-Carbon technology blanks. It gives the rod incredible sensitivity and power. The stainless steel fishing guides with ceramic rings smoothly transfer the sensitivity from the line to the rod.

High-quality components, carbon fiber rod surface, and rubber butt cap make the rod durable. The rod comes with a one-year warranty and you can contact Berrypro for help if there are any questions.

Overall, we are very impressed by Berrypro. It is a high-performance, sensitive, and well-built rod. It is one of the rare rods that are affordable yet come with amazing features. So, the excellent performance at an affordable price makes it the Best Surf Rod Under $100.

It is a great pick for beginners as well as experienced anglers. You won’t be able to get enough of it once you lay your hands on it.

Pros

  • The rod offers remarkable casting distance and accuracy.
  • The EVA grips provide a firm and comfortable hold.
  • Amazing power and performance packed in a single rod.
  • The rod comes with stellar features at a low price.

Cons

  • The quality might deteriorate over time.
  • A handful of customers complain about broken or damaged ceramic inserts.

Okuma Tundra Rod and Reel Combo

Okuma Fishing TU-1002-80 Tundra Spin...
  • Rod Length: 7-12 ft
  • Power: Medium to Medium-Heavy
  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Guides Material: Ceramic
  • Handle Material: EVA
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Okuma Tundra comes with many features that make it the best surf fishing combo. It is an underdog that is slowly becoming the favorite of many surf anglers.

It is an excellent rod and reel combo for targeting striped bass. We tested the 10′ medium-heavy rod during our recent fishing trip to New York. The rod comes with a matching size-80 spinning reel. We used the setup to catch a monster 40″ striper.

The rod is very sturdy and durable thanks to the high-quality fiberglass construction. It features double-footed aluminum oxide guides to improve durability. It feels very well balanced in hand, and we were able to land all the fish with ease using this rod.

You will feel comfortable holding Okuma Tundra even when you have been out for a long time. The EVA handle provides an excellent grip.

Pros

  • Strong rod with enough backbone to land even 15-20 lbs fish with ease.
  • The rod and reel match together perfectly for excellent casts and retrievals.
  • Offers excellent affordability and value for money.

Cons

  • The rod is not as sensitive as some of the top graphite rods out there.

Penn Prevail II Surf Casting

PENN Prevail II 10’ Surf Spinning Rod;...
  • Rod Length: 9-11 ft
  • Power: Medium-Light to Medium-Heavy
  • Blank Material: Graphite Composite
  • Guides Material: Dura-Guides
  • Handle Material: EVA
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

We recently tested the PENN Prevail II Casting Rod on a fishing trip to New Jersey. Overall we had great success with this rod. We caught everything from flounder to black drum with ease. We even caught a 32 lb striped bass.

First off, the 11′ medium-heavy rod is a great choice for the large fish that we were targeting. The graphite composite blank provides a nice balance of sensitivity and power. It let us feel even the small nibbles. Yet it has enough backbone to reel in the big catches!

The rod seems incredibly durable. It held up well against the constant wear and tear of saltwater fishing. The PENN dura guides helped us minimize line tangling. It made our overall casting experience smooth and efficient.

The ergonomic Winn grips provide a comfortable grip. We didn’t feel any hand fatigue even during long periods of casting and reeling.

Overall, we are very pleased with the PENN Prevail II. It is the best surf casting rod as per our reviews. We are happy to recommend it to anglers looking for a durable and powerful surf fishing rod.

Pros

  • Sensitive and powerful graphite composite blank.
  • PENN Dura-Guides for durability and reduced tangling.
  • Perfect for targeting larger species like striped bass and halibut.
  • Ergonomic Winn grips for comfort and ease of use.

Cons

  • May be too heavy for some anglers.
  • May not be suitable for smaller fishing species.

Okuma Cedros CSX Surf Rod

Okuma Fishing Tackle CSX-S-1102MH Cedros...
  • Rod Length: 11 ft
  • Power: Medium
  • Blank Material: 30-ton Carbon
  • Guides Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Warranty Period: Limited Lifetime

Okuma Cedros CSX is one of the top saltwater fishing rods out there. We recently had the pleasure of testing it on a fishing trip and we must say, it exceeded our expectations. We caught bluefish, striped bass, and little tunny in the deep waters around the pier.

Even you will get amazed by the features that go with its unbelievable price. The most astonishing feature is the 30-ton carbon blank construction. It makes the rod lightweight and strong. Yet it is ultra-sensitive and responsive, making it easy to detect even the slightest bite.

The ALPS stainless steel double-footed guide frames enable you to cast up to long distances. The non-slip rubber shrink tube handle provides a secure grip, allowing for accurate casting. The zirconium guide inserts add to the overall durability and strength of the rod.

Okuma CSX offers superb performance and quality. Yet it comes at an unbelievable price. The superior construction makes the rod durable and strong. Yet it is ultra-sensitive so that you can take the right step at the right time. It is a perfect combination for catching big fish from the pier.

It is the Best Lightweight Surf Rod that we have tested. We recommend Okuma CSX if you are looking for a high-performing and durable fishing rod. But the performance isn’t the only thing that impressed us. The Okuma Cedros CSX rods are backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Ultra-sensitive and responsive performance.
  • Allows for increased distance when casting.
  • A non-slip handle provides a comfortable hold.
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • May not be appropriate for catching smaller fish.
  • Some users report that the guides are smaller than the usual size.

Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting

Ugly Stik Bigwater Conventional Fishing...
  • Rod Length: 6-12 ft
  • Power: Light to Extra-Heavy
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: EVA
  • Warranty Period: 7 Years

Ugly Stik Bigwater is a high-performance casting rod that comes in sizes from 6’6″ to 12″. We tested the 10′ heavy rod on our fishing trip to Hermosa Beach in California. It can handle the 20-40 lb test lines for targeting even big fish in the sea.

We are happy to report that the rod didn’t disappoint. The 10′ length let us smoothly cast the baits to the end of the pier. Yet it is so sensitive that we could feel even the lightest bites. We caught quite a few large game fish including bonito, yellowtail, and halibut. The largest one we caught was a 14-pound white seabass.

We initially picked up the Bigwater rod due to the Ugly Stik brand. It is known for creating high-quality rods. But, we realized that Bigwater lives up to its name.

This rod seems like a workhorse. We have used it on a few trips and it’s held up great so far. It seems to well withstand the rigors of saltwater fishing. We even dropped it a couple of times but it still looks new. This level of durability is hard to find in other rods in this price range.

There are many reasons why it is the Best Surf Casting Rod Under $100. But overall it is an excellent rod for catching big trophy fish. Whether you’re an expert angler or just starting out, you can pick this rod.

If you need a matching reel for your new Ugly Stik Bigwater, then read our reviews of the Best Baitcasting Reels Under $50. It can help you find an affordable baitcaster without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Heavy power rod that packs toughness and dependability.
  • Long length provides a greater casting distance.
  • Sensitive enough to let you feel every nibble and pull.
  • The EVA grips make it comfortable and easy to use.
  • Comes with a durable rubber gimbal for better control.

Cons

  • Some anglers may find the hold uncomfortable due to the distance between grips.

St. Croix Avid Surf Spinning

St. Croix Rods Avid Series Inshore...
  • Rod Length: 6-12 ft
  • Power: Medium to Heavy
  • Blank Material: SCIII Carbon
  • Guides Material: Alconite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Warranty Period: 15 Years

You may have come across the buzz around lightweight fiberglass fishing rods. Fiberglass rods may be light but are not sensitive enough to target different fish species. So if you are looking for a sensitive rod, there is nothing better than St. Croix Avid.

Its advanced SCIII graphite construction makes it incredibly sensitive and responsive. No other rod lets you differentiate a bite from a nibble on your line. It is so sensitive you can catch even smaller fish with ease.

St. Croix Avid rods come in different sizes, action, and power options. We suggest you pick the 8′ medium-heavy fast action rod for surf fishing. It is perfect for casting out to those hard-to-reach spots and allows you to quickly reel in your catch.

The 14-30 lbs line weight and 1/2-2 oz lure weight allow you to target most fish species you can catch from a beach.

The Fuji K-series tangle-free guides help to prevent the tangling of your line which can be an annoyance while fishing. The Alconite rings and the Fuji reel seat improve the durability of parts more prone to damage. The special split grip cork handle makes the rod easy to use and comfortable.

St. Croix Avid is a great pick for expert anglers looking for a high-quality rod. Its advanced SCIII graphite construction makes the rod lightweight, strong, and sensitive.

The lightweight allows you to throw ultralight lures and smaller jigs. So if you are a fan of jigging or using lightweight lures, there’s no better rod for you. It is sure to make your surf fishing experience more enjoyable and successful.

Pros

  • Advanced SCIII graphite construction for strength and sensitivity.
  • Integrated poly curve (IPC) technology for precise casting.
  • Super grade cork handle for comfortable grip.
  • 15-year transferable warranty for peace of mind.

Cons

  • May not fit in everyone’s budget.

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning

Ugly Stik 7’ Tiger Elite Spinning Rod,...
  • Rod Length: 7 ft
  • Power: Heavy
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tube
  • Warranty Period: 15 Years

The Ugly Stik Tiger Elite is a great option if you are looking for the best value surf rod. We suggest you pick the 7′ heavy rod as it offers enough backbone and pulling power to catch even larger fish species.

The versatile design allows you to catch a variety of saltwater fish. While versatility is one of the distinctive features of this rod, it is not the only one. The rod is also lightweight, strong, and sensitive due to the Ugly Tech construction with increased graphite content.

The reel seat with stainless steel cushioned hoods securely holds the reel in place. This prevents the reel from slipping out of place when fighting big fish. You can use this rod to target snapper, redfish, flounder, striper, and even smaller shark species.

The one-piece stainless steel guides cut the need for insert pop-outs to make the rod more durable. This is a common problem with many other fishing rods.

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite is perfect for the angler who wants to lay his hands on every fish in the ocean. Its strength and versatility allow you to target almost every saltwater fish.

The Ugly Tuff guides and stainless steel hooded reel seats add to the durability. We suggest this rod if you are looking for a durable and versatile surf rod. You will find this rod to be a great pick whether you are a beginner or an expert.

Pros

  • You can use a wide variety of equipment with this rod.
  • The construction is lightweight and strong at the same time.
  • EVA grips provide a comfortable and firm handhold.
  • Diamond shrink tape improves grip and reduces hand fatigue.

Cons

  • Some users report some problems in getting their equipment delivered on time.

Surf Fishing Rod Buying Guide

With a whole lot of options on the market, it is not easy to pick the Best Surf Fishing Rod. This is why we have brought you a comprehensive buying guide. We hope our reviews and buying guide together will help you pick the right rod.

Type – Spinning rods are easy to use and versatile. You can use them for fishing in tight spaces, like a busy pier. Casting rods are a bit more advanced, but you can use them for catching bigger fish.

Power – A medium to medium/heavy rod is a good choice for surf fishing. It is not too heavy to handle. Yet it gives you enough power to reel in bigger fish.

Action – Your target fish will decide what type of action you need. But mostly you will do well with a fast action rod. It offers a balance between sensitivity and power so you can feel the bite and set the hook quickly.

Material – Pay attention to the material and build quality of the rod. Strong components will ensure durability. Most of the top-rated rods use graphite as it is lightweight and sensitive.

Weight – A rod that weighs too much will tire you out while a lightweight rod may not have enough power to reel in bigger fish. So choose a rod that’s comfortable for you to hold and feels balanced in your hands.

Also, check the type of handle on your rod. Go for an EVA handle with the most suitable slip-free rubber grip.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Rod for Surf Fishing?

One needs different types of rods to catch different types of fish. But it may not be affordable to get a separate rod for every species. So try to get one that works well for most fish you may catch from a beach.

Your ideal surf fishing rod is usually 7 to 10 feet in length with a medium to heavy power rating.

  • ​Jigging and Baitfishing – Go for a 7-feet rod with a medium/light power rating.
  • Medium Bait and Lure Fishing​ – Go for an 8-feet rod with a medium/heavy power rating.
  • Larger Fish Species – Go for a 9-10 feet rod with a heavy power rating.

What is the Best Rod Length for Surf Fishing?

Surf fishing rods are available in a wide variety of sizes and you need to select the most appropriate one.

The longer the rod, the further you can cast. Shorter rods are suitable for jigging or bait casting. But you may face a hurdle if the fish decides to run under the pier or if the fish are further away from your location.

You may look at it this way, the rod length depends on your fishing spot.

Are Surf Rods Any Good?

Mostly surf rods on our list will help you get the job done. But you must consider your actual fishing location and the fish you are targeting.

As surf rods are long, they can help you cast farther into the water. You will find it very useful if you plan to fish from a busy or crowded pier. Also, surf rods can handle large fish with ease. So they will perform better if you’re planning to target bigger fish such as red drums, sea bass, or sharks.

But keep in mind that surf rods are heavier and you may find them difficult to hold for prolonged periods. So consider the weight of the rod before you pick one.

Conclusion

Surf fishing is one of the most popular fishing techniques out there. You can soak up the water that surrounds you as you wait for the fish to take the bait. You can even catch those fish that rarely step out of the water. All you need is a comfortable spot and a quality fishing rod.

We hope you like our pick of the Best Surf Fishing Rods. All the fishing rods we reviewed are suitable for all levels of anglers. But every person may have a different choice when it comes to choosing a rod.

You can list your preferences and check them off by inspecting each rod. If you are looking for a budget rod, you may go for Okuma. Those looking for a versatile rod may go for Ugly Stik.

Let us know if you have any questions about our reviews or testing methodology. We will be happy to answer your queries. You can even contact us if you need any help choosing a rod. We have been reviewing fishing rods for many years, so we can help you pick one as per your specific needs.

If you would like us to review a particular rod, then let us know via the comments section. We will be happy to include it in our next update.

P.S. Check out our reviews of the Best Saltwater Spinning Reels to help you pick a top-rated reel for your new surf rod.

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Victor Mays

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