Top 9 Best Surf Fishing Rods Reviewed

Best Surf Fishing Rods

Hello fellow angler! If you’re in search of the best surf fishing rods, you’ve come to the right place.

After thorough research and evaluation of numerous surf rods, I’ve found the standout performer to be the Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional. This rod boasts exceptional quality, utilizes cutting-edge technology, comes at an affordable price, and delivers the long casting distance required for surf fishing. In my opinion, it is the top choice for surf fishing rods currently available in the market.

However, I understand that budgets and preferences may vary among anglers. That’s why I have included a range of options to cater to different needs.

All the surf rods featured here are from well-known brands trusted by anglers worldwide, including those who participate in tournaments.

So, are you excited to discover the rods that will help you catch fish on the beach and leave a lasting impression? Let’s dive in and explore the options.


ūüŹÜ
CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE

QUICK OVERVIEW

Top 9 Best Surf Fishing Rods

PRODUCTS
FEATURES
ūüŹÜ EDITOR‚ÄôS PICK
  • Rod Length: 10-12 ft
  • Guides: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing
at Amazon
‚̧ԳŹ Most Reviewed
  • Rod Length: 6.5-10 ft
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Winn Grip
at Amazon
ūüĎć TOP PICK
  • Rod Length: 9-15 ft
  • Guides: Stainless Steel and Ceramic
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Rod Length: 6-15 ft
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Rod Length: 7-12 ft
  • Guides: Specialized Weight-Saving Surf Guides
  • Handle Material: Cork
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Rod Length: 7-12 ft
  • Guides: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Cork
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Rod Length: 10-12 ft
  • Guides: Alconite
  • Handle Material: Cork
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Rod Length: 11 ft
  • Guides: Fuji Hardloy
  • Handle Material: Cork
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Rod Length: 11 ft
  • Guides: Titanium
  • Handle Material: Neoprene
at Amazon


ūüŹÜ
OUR EDITOR’S Pick

Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional

Best Surf Fishing Rods

Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional

Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite (Graphite and Fiberglass)
  • Guides:¬†Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material:¬†Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Rod Length:¬†10-12 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†1 Year

The Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional is an exceptional surf fishing rod that combines modern design, high-quality materials, and a reasonable price. It stands out as one of the best options available.

One of its notable features is the advanced composite blanks, which incorporate both graphite and fiberglass. This combination ensures the rod is sensitive and lightweight, while also providing the necessary strength and durability for handling larger fish. You’ll be able to detect bites easily and enjoy casting without fatigue.

The rod is equipped with Fuji guides and reel seats, which are renowned for their reliability and performance. The Alconite guides are strong and smooth, suitable for different fishing lines, while the solid reel seats securely hold large reels for powerful casts.

Additionally, the rubber shrink tube handle offers a firm and comfortable grip, even when wet. It ensures you maintain control and prevents fish from slipping away. The overall construction of the rod reflects the attention to detail and commitment to quality that Penn is known for.

While the Penn Battalion II has a few minor drawbacks, such as its weight and limitation in handling smaller fish, these factors can be overlooked considering its overall performance and reasonable price. In terms of value for money, it surpasses many other high-end surf fishing rods on the market.

If you prioritize quality and are seeking an excellent surf fishing rod without breaking the bank, the Penn Battalion II is an ideal choice. It delivers outstanding performance and durability, making it a favorite among anglers.

If you’re unsure about selecting a reel to pair with your rod, the next recommendation on this list will be of interest to you.

2. Penn Battle III LE Rod And Reel Combo

Penn Battle III LE Rod And Reel Combo
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†Winn Grip
  • Rod Length:¬†6.5-10 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†1 Year

For those who are beginners or even experienced surf anglers struggling to pair reels with rods, the Penn Battle III LE Rod And Reel Combo is the ideal solution. This combo simplifies the process and ensures a perfect match between the rod and reel.

While the Penn Battle III LE may have some minor differences compared to the Penn Battalion II, such as stainless steel guides and slightly less secure Winn Grips, the overall features and performance are on par. Both rods utilize composite blanks, ensuring a good balance of strength and sensitivity.

The reel included in the combo is designed to complement the rod perfectly, providing a smooth drag system and ensuring a seamless fishing experience. This eliminates the need for extensive research and trial and error when it comes to choosing the right reel for your rod.

Overall, the Penn Battle III Combo can compete with the Penn Battalion II in terms of performance and quality. Experienced surf fishermen who enjoy the process of finding their own reel may prefer the Penn Battalion II. However, for those seeking a convenient surf fishing rod and reel combo, the Penn Battle III LE Combo stands out as an excellent option.

With its reliable components and a focus on delivering a smooth fishing experience, the Penn Battle III LE Combo is a top choice for anglers in search of a hassle-free and high-performing surf fishing setup.

3. Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod

Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel and Ceramic
  • Handle Material:¬†Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Rod Length:¬†9-15 ft
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Our next recommendation is the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod, which offers an affordable option for anglers on a budget. While it may not match the performance of the previous rods mentioned, it provides excellent value for the price.

The main difference with the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod lies in its blank material. Despite being half the price of the Penn Battalion II, this rod is surprisingly lighter due to its carbon fiber construction. However, this comes at the expense of sturdiness and strength compared to composite blanks. As a result, it is better suited for targeting medium-sized fish and may not be able to handle larger specimens.

Despite this limitation, the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod offers exceptional value at its price point. For a little over $50, you can enter the world of surf fishing without breaking the bank.

In terms of features, the rod is equipped with stainless steel and ceramic guides, which, while slightly less smooth than Fuji Alconite, still provide adequate control over the fishing line. The rubber shrink tube handle is comparable to those used by reputable brands like Penn, ensuring a comfortable and secure grip.

Overall, the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod is an affordable and portable option, thanks to its two-piece design. If you are on a tight budget or simply looking to try surf fishing without a significant investment, we highly recommend considering the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod.

4. Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam
  • Rod Length:¬†6-15 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†7 Years

If you’re a dedicated angler and have your sights set on the largest oceanic fish, the Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod is the rod for you.

Ugly Stik is renowned for its durability and the ability to withstand even the strongest forces. Their unique construction technique sets their rods apart, making them incredibly tough and capable of handling the largest fish. Despite its strength, the Ugly Stik Bigwater is also sensitive enough to detect smaller fish bites, providing versatility for various fishing scenarios.

Now, you may be wondering why it didn’t claim the top spot in our overall rankings. It’s not due to the handle or guides, as both perform well. Price is also not an issue, as the Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod is actually more affordable than the Penn Battalion II.

The main drawback is its weight. The Ugly Stik Bigwater is approximately 1.25 times heavier than Penn’s rods. While it may not seem significant, the weight becomes noticeable after several casts. For this reason, it’s recommended for experienced anglers who are accustomed to handling heavier rods.

With lengths available up to 15 feet, the Ugly Stik Bigwater is designed for the most serious and skilled anglers who have the determination to tackle the toughest fish in the ocean.

5. St Croix Mojo Surf Spinning Rod

St Croix Mojo Surf Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Guides:¬†Specialized Weight-Saving Surf Guides
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†7-12 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†Up To 15 Years

We discovered that the St Croix Mojo Surf Spinning Rod is the second lightest surf fishing rod available on the market.

Featuring graphite blanks, this rod offers an incredibly lightweight option. St Croix’s unique weight-saving guides further contribute to its lightweight design, setting it apart from other brands.

However, it’s important to note that the St Croix Mojo Surf comes with a higher price tag, costing more than 1.5 times the price of the Penn Battalion II. Despite the premium cost, it is only around 10 percent lighter.

Additionally, the cork handle, while providing a comfortable grip, is less durable compared to rubber shrink tubing and may not offer the same level of security.

The graphite blank, although lightweight, is also less sturdy than composite blanks, limiting its suitability for targeting larger fish.

In summary, if weight is a crucial factor for you, the St Croix Mojo Surf is a suitable option. However, the higher price may deter some anglers. If you’re seeking a more affordable alternative, continue reading for other options.

6. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod

Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Guides:¬†Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†7-12 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†1 Year

If you’re in search of a lightweight fishing rod without the hefty price tag, the TICA UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod is a solid choice.

Similar to the St Croix Mojo Surf, Tica’s Surf Rod utilizes the same material for its blanks, resulting in a lightweight design. While it may be slightly heavier than the St Croix rod, it remains significantly lighter than the Penn Battalion II.

Both rods feature cork handles, providing a comfortable grip during your fishing sessions. The main difference lies in the guides, with Tica’s Surf Rod equipped with superior Fuji Alconite guides compared to St Croix’s.

In terms of pricing, the Tica UGSA Series falls at approximately 1.5 times the cost of the Penn Battalion II. However, it doesn’t offer 1.5 times the value or performance compared to the Penn rod.

Taking all factors into consideration, the Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod serves as an excellent alternative to the St Croix Mojo Surf. It delivers a good balance between lightness and affordability, making it a recommended choice for anglers who prioritize weight savings and want to save some money.

7. St Croix Avid Surf Casting Rod

St Croix Avid Surf Casting Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Alconite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†10-12 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†15 Years

If you’re in the market for a 2-piece surf fishing rod, the St Croix Avid Surf Casting Rod is a highly recommended choice.

Many 2-piece rods can suffer from issues with sensitivity and power. However, the St Croix Avid Surf Casting Rod overcomes these challenges with its off-set, slim-profile ferrules. This design allows the rod to perform just as well as a one-piece rod, ensuring optimal sensitivity and power.

The rod features SCIII Carbon construction, which delivers excellent sensitivity comparable to that of a one-piece rod. Additionally, the Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) mandrel technology eliminates transitional points in the rod blank, resulting in a stronger and more sensitive rod overall.

Finding a reliable 2-piece surf fishing rod can be a challenge, but the St Croix Avid Surf Casting Rod rises to the occasion. It offers the convenience of a 2-piece design without compromising on performance, making it an excellent choice for anglers seeking a reliable and versatile surf fishing rod.

8. Tsunami Airwave

Tsunami Airwave
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Fuji Hardloy
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†11 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†1 Year

If you’re considering a 2-piece surf fishing rod as an alternative to the St Croix Avid Surf, the Tsunami Airwave is a worthy contender.

Similar to the St Croix Avid Surf, the Tsunami Airwave is designed to perform like a one-piece rod, providing excellent power. Its heavy power rating indicates its capability to handle large fish and challenging surf conditions.

While the Tsunami Airwave offers great power, it may not match the St Croix Avid Surf in terms of sensitivity. Additionally, it is slightly heavier than the St Croix Avid Surf. However, if these factors are acceptable to you, the Tsunami Airwave offers a significant cost-saving compared to the St Croix Avid Surf.

By opting for the Tsunami Airwave, you can save over 200 dollars while still obtaining a reliable and powerful 2-piece surf fishing rod.

9. St Croix Legend Surf Spinning

St Croix Legend Surf Spinning
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Guides:¬†Titanium
  • Handle Material:¬†Neoprene
  • Rod Length:¬†11 ft
  • Warranty Period:¬†15 Years

If you’re in search of the lightest surf fishing rod available, look no further than the St Croix Legend Surf Spinning Rod. Not only is it incredibly lightweight, but it also showcases three groundbreaking technologies from St Croix.

The first technology is the Fortified Resin System (FRS), which enhances the rod’s strength by 33% compared to rods without this resin. The second technology is Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART), an exotic carbon fiber that provides a remarkable 10 times increase in strength without adding any extra weight or thickness. This results in an exceptionally strong yet lightweight rod, perfect for light tackle surf fishing.

Additionally, the rod incorporates Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology, eliminating transitional points in the rod blank. This not only enhances the rod’s sensitivity but also boosts its overall strength.

Considering all these features, the St Croix Legend Surf Spinning Rod stands out as the strongest, lightest, and most sensitive surf fishing rod on the market. However, it’s important to note that this exceptional quality comes at a higher price point compared to other rods. If you’re seeking the absolute best and have the budget to accommodate it, the St Croix Legend Surf Spinning Rod is the ultimate choice for you.

How To Choose The Best Surf Fishing Rod For You

When selecting a surf fishing rod, casting distance is a primary consideration. You want a rod that can cast far enough into calm waters where the fish are located. Generally, a minimum length of 8 feet is recommended to achieve sufficient casting distance.

The optimal rod length depends on your fishing goals. An 8-foot rod offers excellent sensitivity for targeting panfish closer to the shore. A 10-foot rod is suitable for most anglers targeting slightly larger fish, providing a good balance of casting distance and sensitivity. If you’re after the largest fish and need to cast the furthest, a 12-foot rod is recommended. Rods shorter than 8 feet may not cast far enough, while those longer than 12 feet often exceed the necessary casting range.

Understanding rod action is crucial as well. Rod action refers to how far down the rod bends when pressure is applied to the tip. Fast action rods, which bend primarily at the tip, offer greater sensitivity but sacrifice some casting distance. Moderate and slow action rods bend progressively lower down the rod. For surf fishing, fast action rods are generally preferred due to their heightened sensitivity.

Rod power, or stiffness, determines how much force is required to bend the rod. It is essential to choose a rod with sufficient power to handle the size of fish you intend to catch. Medium power rods are suitable for targeting panfish, while medium-heavy power rods offer versatility for larger-sized fish. Heavy power rods are recommended for anglers seeking to tackle the strongest fish species.

Keep in mind that these considerations are specific to surf fishing. If you plan to engage in boat fishing, different rod lengths and specifications may apply. It is also beneficial to research the fish species and their holding locations in your fishing area to determine the optimal casting distance and corresponding rod length for your needs.

Which Material Makes For The Best Surf Fishing Rods

When it comes to fishing rod materials, there are three primary options: graphite, fiberglass, and composite. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your specific fishing needs.

Graphite, also known as carbon fiber, is the lightest and most sensitive material used in fishing rods. It allows you to feel even the subtlest movements and bites. However, graphite rods tend to be more expensive and less sturdy compared to other materials. In the context of surf fishing, where you often target big or strong fish, a flimsy graphite rod may not be suitable for the job. While graphite rods offer excellent casting distance, they may break easily when faced with the challenges of surf fishing. Graphite rods are typically better suited for targeting smaller fish, such as panfish.

Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are known for their durability and strength. They can handle the tough conditions and powerful fish encountered in surf fishing. Fiberglass blanks provide the necessary sturdiness for landing larger fish. However, fiberglass rods are heavier and less sensitive than graphite rods. The weight of a fiberglass rod can become tiring during long casting sessions. In surf fishing, where you may need to cast multiple times per hour, a heavy rod can fatigue you quickly.

Composite rods offer a middle ground between graphite and fiberglass. They combine the best characteristics of both materials. Composite rods provide a good balance of sensitivity, lightness, and durability. While they may not be the lightest, most sensitive, or most durable option, composite rods offer a well-rounded performance. They are a popular choice for surf fishing because they strike a balance between weight and strength, making them manageable for extended fishing sessions.

Overall, the choice of rod material depends on your fishing preferences and the specific conditions you’ll encounter. Composite rods are often a recommended option for surf fishing, as they provide a good compromise between sensitivity, weight, and strength.

How To Cast A Surf Fishing Rod

Before casting your surf fishing rod, it’s important to follow a few steps for a successful and efficient cast:

  1. Start by tightening your drag to prevent the line from cutting your finger during the cast.
  2. Hold the rod close to the bottom with one hand, while gripping the reel with the other hand. Place your pinky below the reel and the other three fingers on top.
  3. Hold the rod overhead, with the rod pointing directly backward.
  4. Turn your body approximately 45 degrees towards the water. This position allows you to generate twisting power during the cast.
  5. Bend your back elbow slightly, while keeping your front elbow straight.
  6. Execute the casting motion by twisting your body and using your arm to propel the rod forward.
  7. Aim to end the casting motion with the surf rod pointing approximately 45 degrees towards the sky.

After casting, remember to loosen your drag to allow the line to run smoothly when a fish bites.

If you find it challenging to cast the surf fishing rod far enough or prefer a less exerting option, you may consider using a cast cannon. A cast cannon is a tool that can assist in launching your bait or lure further distances with less physical effort.

By following these casting techniques and using the appropriate equipment, you’ll be well-prepared for beach fishing and have the ability to cast your line as far as possible.

Final Verdict

Surf fishing is indeed a challenging and thrilling activity, requiring equipment that can withstand the power of large fish and repetitive casting. The Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional is a top choice for surf fishing rods, offering a combination of lightness and durability through advanced materials and technology.

However, it’s important to note that a successful fishing trip requires more than just a rod. A high-quality surf fishing reel is equally essential. If you’re in need of a reliable reel for your surf fishing adventures, we have compiled a list of the best surf fishing reels for you to consider. Please keep in mind that the list focuses on spinning reels. If you prefer baitcasting reels for your long casting rods, we also have a separate list of the best baitcasting reels available.

By choosing the right combination of the best surf fishing reels, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges of surf fishing and increase your chances of a successful catch.