Surf fishing is an activity that has witnessed a steady increase in interest and participation over the years – after all, who doesn’t enjoy the feel of the smooth beach sand between their toes while they’re fishing for dinner? Although surf fishing might seem more like a recreational activity than serious business, you’d be surprised at the different kinds of ocean species you could end up having for dinner.
To reap maximum benefits from surf fishing, however, you must be suitably equipped, which includes going to the beach with the right rod and reel combo. Surf fishing rod and reel combos provide guaranteed settings for anglers and help users make the most of their time on the beach.
To help you remain on top of your fishing game, we have gathered info on the best surf fishing rod and reel combos available on the market, with options ranging from pocket-friendly to the premium choices. You can hardly ever go wrong with these products, and you sure will have a swell time fishing with them.
Without further ado, let’s look at five of the best surf fishing rod and reel combo you could buy:
Top 5 The Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos For The Money
1. PENN Battle II Combo – Best Overall
PENN has been a leading name in the fishing industry for several years, and the Battle II Combo is a product that lives up to the hype surrounding the brand. This combo features an ergonomic design that makes handling more comfortable, thereby stabilizing anglers amid the waves. Chip in the high sensitivity and sturdy build, and you have a real winner on your hands.
The reel comprises a rotor housed within a full metal body and a side plate complete with an aluminum spool. The presence of five stainless steel bearings in the reel ensures both smooth casting and withdrawal of the line when fishing. Additionally, the Battle II boasts an HT-100 drag system which enables you to reel in big fishes without your line snapping off.
The combo also features line capacity rings, which give anglers an idea of how much line is left to cast. The line is made of heavy-duty aluminum wire, which can stretch to the maximum, and return onto the spool with little or no issues. However, with a reach of 200 yards, it is unlikely that you will have to cast the full length before nicking the fish of your choice.
Additional features of the Drag II combo include an anti-reverse bearing, graphite composite blank, and a variety of rod lengths.
The PENN Battle II Combo provides excellent value for money and will make a valuable addition to any angler’s arsenal. Although the rod is not the lightest out there, it doesn’t get damaged easily, thereby saving you money in the long run. The compatibility of this model with both saltwater and freshwater makes it very versatile equipment that ensures you’ll never get caught unprepared.
- Great build.
- Superb sensitivity.
- Highly stable.
- Suitable for use in both saltwater and freshwater conditions.
- Powerful drag system.
- Not great for casting lures.
- Rod durability is suspect.
2. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Best Value
One thing that is sure to leave a nice impression in your mind upon encountering the KastKing Sharky III Spinning combo for the first time is its exquisite design, but this is a product that offers way beyond that.
As mentioned earlier, the premium looking fishing rod is crafted from high-quality graphite blank, which is both lightweight and sturdy. These qualities combined make the fishing rod highly durable, and you will get a fair bit of usage before wear and tear sets in. Rod lengths for this model range from 6’6″ to 9′, and they are suitable for hunting bass, catfish, trout, salmon, and panfish. Anti-slip EVA grips placed on the handle provide a tight squeeze, even in wet conditions, thereby ensuring your rod won’t slip off while you’re fishing.
Moving to the reels, KastKing employs the use of lightweight graphite in constructing this vital part of the combo. The reel contains 10+1 stainless steel shielded ball bearings, which control spool movement, and help ensure smooth casting and line retrieval. Reel sizes for the different rod models range from a modest 2000 to a massive 5000 for the longer poles.
The triple-disc carbon thread drag system of this spinning reel is one of the more powerful models out there, and it is capable of handling ocean species that weigh up to 39.5lbs.
The Sharky III Spinning combo also has a special K.I.S.S (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) feature that protects the reel from dirt, water, and corrosion. Add in the fact that the drive gear is built to be corrosion resistant, and you have a product you can use in saltwater conditions without fear of damage.
The KastKing Sharky III Spinning combo is undoubtedly one of the best products on the market, with a wide range of features designed to help every angler land the catch of their dreams – and at that price? It is definitely worth giving a try.
- Powerful drag system.
- Premium design.
- The fishing rod is lightweight and durable.
- Smooth reel operation.
- Handles large catches with ease.
- There have been multiple complaints of the rod breaking after a few days of usage.
3. Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo – Best Drag System
Another equally good rod and reel combo product for surf fishing is the Tundra Surf, which is manufactured by the Taiwanese company, Okuma.
The highly durable fishing rod is crafted from fiberglass blank and can withstand tremendous pressure, which comes in quite handy when you’re reeling in a 25lbs giant fighting for its life. The rod is also padded with EVA foam and has rear grips, both of which combine to give anglers a comfortable grip. And with a length of 10 feet, you can cover a fairly wide area with your fishing rod.
One feature that sets the Tundra Surf apart from other fishing combos on this list is its multi-disc oiled-felt drag system, which you’d be glad to have when trolling. Aluminum oxide guides located within ceramic guide inserts offer users of this combo greater control over line reeling.
Unlike the PENN Battle II, the Tundra Surf Combo has just a singular 1BB steel bearing drive. Also, the size 80 spinning reel contains 260 yards of a pre-spooled line, which should be more than enough to carry out most fishing operations. The spool itself is made of a corrosion-resistant graphite material, hence ensuring its longevity.
While the Okuma Tundra Surf is not exactly the best product out there, the fact that it is inexpensive means it wouldn’t harm to add this product to your fishing setup. The rod is of the highest quality possible, but it could be lighter, and work needs to be done on the combo’s reel.
- It can handle big catches with relative ease.
- Comfortable rod grip.
- Sturdy fishing rod.
- Generous line length.
- The fishing rod is quite heavy.
- Reel quality could be better.
4. Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo (2 Piece) – Best Versatility
If you desire a surf fishing combo with both power and versatility, all at an affordable price, the Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater 2-piece Spinning Combo is one product you should give serious consideration to.
The 2-piece rod is made of graphite blank and features EVA foam padding at strategic locations for a comfortable grip. The extra sturdiness provided by graphite blank ensures the rod won’t snap when you’re reeling in big, struggling fishes. Hooded reel seats offer a form of protection against salt, making the D-Wave suitable for both saltwater and during the heavy freshwater fishing season.
Like its rod, the D-Wave 3Bi spinning reel is built with graphite and has stainless steel seats with aluminum oxide guides for protection against corrosion. The reel also contains a stainless steel ball drive, which helps ensure smooth casting and the line’s withdrawal.
Additional features of the D-Wave combo include a Gyro spin balanced rotor, a Twist Buster II line roller, and an ABS (Advanced Ballistic System) Aluminum spool.
Although its specs might not measure up to that of the high-end models, the Daiwa D-Wave saltwater spinning combo gets the job done with quiet effectiveness. It might take some time for you to get used to this model’s workings, but once you get past that, you’d find the D-Wave to be quite valuable.
Additionally, the Daiwa spinning combo is perfect for surf fishing. It can also hold its own in freshwater, thereby making it a versatile piece of equipment worth adding to your tool chest.
- Powerful rod.
- Great sensitivity.
- Smooth casting.
- Great for beginners.
- It is not geared towards smaller catches.
5. Ugly Stik Saltwater Spinning Combo – Best Rod Strength
Last but not the least on this list of the best surf fishing rod and reel combos is Ugly Stik’s Saltwater spinning combo. As you can infer from the name, this product is mainly designed for corrosive saltwater conditions.
The two-piece spinning rod stands at seven feet and is suitable for most mid-range fishing activities. The rod itself comprises graphite blank with a durable fiberglass wrap. This build keeps the rod lightweight, and contributes to its exceptional durability; It also gives the rod an aesthetically pleasing matte black finish.
As with every other top fishing combo out there, the Ugly Stik rod has comfortable E.V.A pads that provide a firm grip for anglers. The rod also features the signature Stik clear tip, which sets it apart from other poles in a pile. This clear tip design also allows anglers to notice the slightest movements and nick the stealthiest fish.
The size 50 spinning reel is made of graphite and comes pre-spooled with 14lbs aluminum line. A single stainless steel ball-bearing located in the reel is responsible for the smooth movement of the fishing line, and the one-piece guide design makes it near indestructible.
The Ugly Stik Saltwater combo is a product that is built to serve both amateur and experienced anglers. The sturdiness of the rods is a particularly attractive feature, the same as its budget-friendly price. There is also an appealing seven-year warranty attached to this product, and you can get repairs and replacements within this period.
- Available in a variety of weights.
- Lightweight rod.
- The fishing rod is quite strong.
- Reel quality can be better.
- Tackle quality is suspect.
Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Buying Guide
What is Surf Fishing?
As the name implies, surf fishing is an activity that involves hunting for fish while standing on the shoreline or wading in the surf. Surf fishing is quite similar to regular fishing in more ways than one, but surf casting requires more accuracy, and control.
The consensus with surf fishing is that anglers can only make limited catches as they are usually casting from dry land, but this is nothing but a misconception. With the right tools, weather conditions, and luck, you can land the big catches common with boat fishing right from the shore. Some of the equipment essential for you to become a successful surf angler include tackle/bait, cast net, surf fishing rigs, but none is perhaps as important as having a quality rod and reel combo.
What is a Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo?
A surf fishing combo is a piece of equipment in which the rod and reel come fitted together or are specially designed to be used with one another only. A surf fishing combo is similar to the regular rod and reel combo, but the main difference lies in the lengths of the pole. Because anglers tend to be further away from the water in surf fishing, the fishing rod must be longer than what applies to regular fishing.
Things to look out for when buying a surf fishing rod and reel combo
When shopping for a rod and reel combo to accompany you on your next surf fishing adventure, there are several qualities you need to look out for. This is to ensure you end up with a product that will deliver satisfactory performance and help you reel in the big fishes.
Some of the features you need to examine before buying a surf fishing rod, and reel combo include:
1. Rod length
Surf fishing involves casting a line into water from considerably long distances, and you have to make sure your rod is long enough if you’re interested in reeling in the big sea species.
The ideal length for a surf fishing rod lies between 9 to 10 feet, and with the reel placed in a strategic location, you can catch whatever fish you desire. Rods with lengths of 12 feet upwards are challenging to control, and might not be an ideal choice for beginners.
Shorter rods are not a wrong choice provided the reel is placed close to the end of the pole. With the reel sited at its end, the pole offers a more extended cast, thereby compensating for the short length.
2. Combo weight
The weight of the product is another factor that should influence your choice of a surf fishing rod and reel combo. You should go for a surf fishing combo that is considerably light without compromising on durability and sturdiness. Products like this are easier to handle, and help you maintain balance if you encounter an angry wave while fishing – you wouldn’t want to end up swimming with the fishes, right?
Apart from the ease of handling, lightweight rods are quite sensitive and help anglers know exactly when fish hit the bait. Rods built with fiberglass, graphite, or carbon fiber are usually the lightest models on the market.
While heavier rod and reel combos generally offer more power, they can prove quite tricky to maneuver. Besides, fishing with a massive rod for extended periods causes enormous strain on your hands.
Asides the weight of the rod and reel, you should also look at the line and lure weight capacity of a model before purchasing. The line weight gives an idea of how much stress the rod can undergo without breaking, while the lure capacity tells anglers the optimal weight of bait that should be loaded on the line for casting.
3. Quality of reel seat
Directly speaking, the reel seat is a spot on the fishing rod where the reel is mounted. With a substandard reel seat, you’ll find yourself picking your reel out of the water often.
Before purchasing a surf fishing combo, examine its reel seat and make sure it’s size matches that of the reel to be sure it won’t come off easily. However, if you’re shopping for a combo online, you might not have the luxury of physically examining the product before purchasing. Hence, it would be helpful to go through real customer reviews.
4. Rod action
Rod action simply means how much of the fishing pole bends when something pulls down on the tip. This property of a fishing pole influences how it casts, its sensitivity, and how quickly it transfers the hook set to the bait.
Surf fishing rods are generally available in four action options: slow, moderate, fast, and extra fast. Slow rods bend the most while the tips of extra fast rods undergo only a slight deflection when subjected to pressure.
Slow action rods are best for casting lighter baits and multi-hook lures. In comparison, the heavier models can handle heavier baits and are particularly suitable for bottom fishing, where the large sea species reside.
5. Number of bearings
Stainless steel ball bearings impact heavily on the reel’s performance, and in surf fishing where you’ll face a constant battle to remain in control of your rod, you’ll need all the help you can get. Ball bearings help reduce friction in the reel and ease movement of the spool, thereby ensuring smooth casting and line retrieval.
The general rule is that the more ball bearings a fishing reel has, the better it is. However, keep in mind that these ball bearings are crafted from steel, and the more you have in your reel, the heavier the combo is. Also, a reel loaded with bearings is likely to experience frequent cases of jamming.
Importance of choosing the right rod and reel combo
There are several benefits to be derived from surf fishing with a quality rod and reel combo. Apart from the assurances attached to fishing with a suitable product, you also stand to gain the following:
- Longevity – when you use the right rod for the right fishing operation, and in favorable conditions, you can be sure to get years of service from such a product. Also, surf fishing products that are crafted from quality materials tend to last longer than cheaper ones.
- Smoother operations – surf fishing is a physically demanding activity as you continuously have to be on standby to ensure your cast is done correctly and your prey doesn’t get away. However, adequately designed surfing rods reduce the physical exertion, and some systems include a feature where users can rest their rods and watch the action from the side-lines.
Surf fishing is an activity that is both exciting and rewarding, and with the right equipment, you’ll surely reap a lot of benefits. When next you’re shopping for fishing equipment, or more specifically, a rod and reel combo, watch out for the models reviewed in this article.