Best Surf Fishing Rods

Last Updated: March 9th, 2020

Fishing in the surf puts your equipment to the ultimate test. The conditions can be brutal. You’re constantly surrounded by sand, sea, salt, crashing waves, rocks, and sometimes heavy weather, all of which are going to put a beating on your gear. A surf fishing rod needs to be able to handle all these conditions while being strong enough to cast heavy baits and handle some huge fish.

You’re going to need to be quite prudent when buying a new surf rod to make sure there aren’t any tears when you’re out fishing. The last thing you want is to buy a rod that can’t handle the environment, cast far or put up a fight against a big fish. When shopping online, it’s hard to know which surf rod will fit your fishing needs best. There’s so many to choose from, each with its own marketing spiel that says it’s better than the rest, so how are you going to find the one for you?


At A Glance: Top 3 Surf Fishing Rods


Here is a buying guide and review of some of the best surf fishing rods out there that should make your choice a lot easier.

OUR TOP PICKS

Okuma NTS-S-1004H Nomad Travel Surf Rod, 10' Length, 4 Piece Rod, Heavy Power, Medium/Fast Taper
Best Travel Rod
Okuma Nomad Travel Surf Rod
  • Made from high-quality graphite & carbon
  • Guides are braid-ready
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Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 4-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (Length: 11')
Best Budget Rod
Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Casts far and accurately
  • Durable and strong rod
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Penn BATSF2040S12 Battalion 2-Piece Surf Spinning Rod (12-Feet)
Best Overall
Penn Battalion Surf Spinning Rod
  • Good action
  • Light for easy all-day casting
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BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Rod Graphite Surf Fishing Rod (9'/10'/10'6''/11'/12'/13'3'') (10'6''-2pc)
BerryPro Surf Spinning Rod
  • Casts well
  • Powerful rod
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Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rods (Large, White/Blue)
Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rod
  • Sensitive to bites
  • Strong blank
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Sougayilang Fishing Rod - 24 Ton Carbon Fiber, Portable Telescopic Super Hard Ultralight Fishing Pole for Travel Surf Saltwater Freshwater Bass Boat Fishing
Sougayilang Teloscopic Surf Fishing Rod
  • Grear for travel
  • Good caster
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod
UglyStik Bigwater Spinning Rod
  • Strong
  • Durable
VIEW ON AMAZON →
KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods, Spinning Rod 5ft 6in-Light - M Fast-2pcs
KastKing Crixus Spinning Rod
  • Pretty
  • Great value
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Top Surf Fishing Rods


Okuma Nomad Travel Surf Rod

Okuma NTS-S-1004H Nomad Travel Surf Rod, 10' Length, 4 Piece Rod, Heavy Power, Medium/Fast Taper

This is the perfect rod if you like to travel to fish or want a rod that is easy to store and transport in your car. The blank is made from great quality graphite making it strong and powerful. You’ll be able to put some pressure on a big fish that fights you in the waves. The rod is coated with a carbon fiber outlay for increased durability. This makes it super tough against any bumps or scrapes it may take on the rocks or sand.

The eyes on the rod are made for braid. This was great thinking by Fuji and the guide frames help to reduce wind knots and tangles which can happen easily when casting with braid, especially if it’s windy.

When fishing in the surf, it’s often the grips that go first due to the harsh conditions and the amount of heavy casting you’re doing. Fuji has coated the rear and fore-grips on this rod to ensure maximum durability so they last a long time.

The rod comes in 4 pieces in a custom padded waterproof case for easy transportation, you can just fling it in the trunk of your car without any worry. Each rod also comes with two tip sections, a light and a heavy one. This will allow you to switch depending on the conditions, using the light tip on calm days and the heavy tip on rough days which will help you feel those sensitive bites all day long.

The rod is a little heavy which may tire you out when casting all day but the weight is a sign of strength and you won’t want to compromise on that. The only real drawback is the lack of a hook keeper.

Pros

  • Made from high-quality graphite & carbon
  • Guides are braid-ready
  • Easy to store and travel with
  • Includes two top rod tips
  • The reel seat is large for any size
  • Great for casting far
  • Sensitive to bites

Cons

  • It's quite heavy
  • Doesn't include a hook keeper
  • There are no dividers in the travel case
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Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 4-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (Length: 11')

This is a great rod that’s amazing value for the quality. The blank is made from graphite and carbon fiber blend which makes it tough and durable. It can handle big fish and casts like a dream. I wouldn’t be surprised if your casting distance increases with this rod.

The guides are made from a stainless steel frame with a ceramic insert. The stainless steel will stand up well to corrosion, just be sure to rinse the rod after each use. The ceramic inserts assist by creating a frictionless surface. This means your line won’t tangle around them and you’ll get the maximum casting distance thanks to the reduced drag. The guides are aligned perfectly straight to help with your casting distance and accuracy even more.

The comfortable handle is made from a non-slip rubber shirk tube. It’s super grippy and lovely to hold. The reel seat is large enough for most reels and is made from stainless steel to handle the salty conditions.

The rod comes in both a 2 piece and 4 piece option, perfect for traveling or fishing locally. It is a little heavy if you plan on casting all day but you’ll want the quality that comes with the weight.

Pros

  • Casts far and accurately
  • Durable and strong rod
  • Can handle big fish
  • Comfy handle
  • 4 piece travel option
  • Fiblink give great customer service

Cons

  • Heavy to cast all day with
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Penn Battalion Surf Spinning Rod

Penn BATSF2040S12 Battalion 2-Piece Surf Spinning Rod (12-Feet)

Penn makes great fishing gear and are known as of the best manufacturers around. The Penn Battalion Surf Spinning Rod is lightweight while being strong and durable. It’s made from quality graphite and comes in lengths up to 12ft long which is exactly what you need in the surf. The rod has good action and casts beautifully, you’ll able to cast way over the breakers into any fishing hotspot you like. The powerful blank will stand up well to fighting big fish and whilst being powerful it’s also sensitive, helping you take advantage of every bite that comes your way.

The guides on the rod are made from Fuji aluminum oxide to reduce friction and ensure the line runs smoothly out of the rod and increase your casting distance. The aluminum frames will stand up well to corrosion too.

The grips are comfortable and made from rubber tubes shrink and won’t slip out of your hand easily. The handles are quite long and may get in the way of your casting to begin with but once you adjust you’ll love them.

Pros

  • Good action
  • Light for easy all-day casting
  • Sensitive to bites
  • Powerful for strong fish
  • Durable
  • Excellent caster

Cons

  • Handle is a little long
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BerryPro Surf Spinning Rod

BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Rod Graphite Surf Fishing Rod (9'/10'/10'6''/11'/12'/13'3'') (10'6''-2pc)

This is a lovely rod from BerryPro and is made for people who fish the surf a lot. The blank is made from 36-ton carbon fiber making it super light but very strong and durable. Carbon fiber is a step up from graphite in terms of rod materials and will be an asset if you fish a lot. The lightweight means you won’t get tired casting and the increased durability will ensure it lasts a lifetime.

As well as being tough and durable the rod is sensitive to bites and casts really well. It’s beautifully balanced and you’ll feel this when throwing your line far into the distance. The guides in the rod are made from stainless steel frames with ceramic inserts, perfect for braid fishing. The ceramic reduces wind knots, twists, and friction for long casts and tangle-less days on the water.

The handle and reel seat are made with great materials and are very comfortable to use. They’ll stand up well against the harsh conditions and last a long time. Unfortunately, the rod comes without a case and only in a two-piece option, not the best for traveling with.

Pros

  • Casts well
  • Powerful rod
  • Light and well balanced
  • Durable
  • Sensitive

Cons

  • Comes without a case
  • Only a 2 piece option
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Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rod

Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rods (Large, White/Blue)

The Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rod is a little different from the others as it’s made from fiberglass rather than graphite or carbon fiber. This makes it a lot more affordable but quite heavy, especially when your plan is to cast all day. The rod casts like a dream despite the weight and you’ll have no trouble sending heavy baits over the waves.

The fiberglass blank is super strong and durable. It’ll handle surf conditions well and be able to put a lot of pressure on a monster if you’re lucky enough to hook one. The rod is also sensitive to bites and comes in white which is a little easier to see from a distance, especially in low light conditions.

The guides are made from a stainless steel frame with ceramic inserts for use with braid. They will assist with reducing tangles and friction for long trouble-free casting, making life in the surf a little easier.

The rod comes in 3 pieces for easy storage and traveling but without a travel case. The grips are comfortable but a little short and the sections can get sticky making them hard to take apart.

Pros

  • Sensitive to bites
  • Strong blank
  • Great for casting
  • White for easy viewing
  • Amazing value

Cons

  • Short lower grips
  • Heavy rod
  • Sticky sections
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Sougayilang Teloscopic Surf Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Fishing Rod - 24 Ton Carbon Fiber, Portable Telescopic Super Hard Ultralight Fishing Pole for Travel Surf Saltwater Freshwater Bass Boat Fishing

This is a perfect travel rod and is made just for that. Being telescopic it compacts down to an extremely small size and you cant set it up in seconds. Telescopic rods while being good for travel aren’t as strong or powerful as normal ones, so bear this in mind before you buy one,

The rod is made from carbon fiber making it strong, light and durable. It’ll be a pleasure to cast with all day long and stand up well to bumps, scrapes and surf conditions. It comes with a corrosion-resistant aluminum reel seat plus the handles are non-slip and comfortable. The rod casts well enough and is quite stiff for a telescopic but it won’t have the distance of a non-telescopic. The tip is sensitive to bites so you won’t miss any opportunities.

The stainless steel and ceramic guides are durable while giving you a frictionless surface for long casts and fewer tangles, especially if you use braid.

The rod is solid overall but does feel a little flimsy in hand, this is because it’s telescopic.

Pros

  • Grear for travel
  • Good caster
  • Light
  • Durable
  • Sensitive

Cons

  • Feels flimsy
  • Not as powerful as a non-telescopic rod
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UglyStik Bigwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod

Almost every angler in the world has owned an UglyStik in their time. It’s an amazingly well made and great value piece of kit that has been created to handle any environment. The rod is tough, really tough, it just doesn’t break no matter what you try and do to it.

The blank is made from a blend of graphite and fiberglass which is what makes it so strong. The rod is quite stiff due to this, meaning it will get a great casting distance with heavy baits but will lose some feel on lighter ones. If it’s monsters you’re after, this is a great choice, it’ll hurt fish.

It’s not the most sensitive rod out there and you may miss a view shy nibbles because of that but they have made it with a colored tip to help you see bites easily to make up for it. The guides on the rod are made from stainless steel and will survive well in the salt too.

Overall this is a rod for life and is well worth owning, especially if you fish a lot or load out your gear.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Casts well
  • Well made
  • Good value
  • Colored tip

Cons

  • Stiff
  • Not sensitive
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KastKing Crixus Spinning Rod

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods, Spinning Rod 5ft 6in-Light - M Fast-2pcs

This rod comes in a range of sizes and the longest is 7ft 6inches. That’s a little short when it comes to surf fishing and you may not get the casting distance you would on longer rods. The rod is made from graphite blanks making it strong and durable against the elements.

It’s light for easy all-day casting and very sensitive to bites. It would be a great addition to a long surf rod to have handy for any fish that come up closer to the beach and need a finer touch. The rod can snap easily and I wouldn’t want to go up against a big fish with it.

The guides are made from stainless steel frames with Zirconium Oxide inserts. These will stand up well to corrosion while reducing tangles and giving you a frictionless surface for long, accurate casts.

The handle is comfortable to use and is made from a non-slip polymer. It does wear out after a lot of use but it’ll be great to use before it does.

This would be a great starter rod for a kid but if you’re serious about your surf fishing, pick a longer more durable one.

Pros

  • Pretty
  • Great value
  • Sensitive
  • Light
  • Durable
  • Good for kids

Cons

  • Not so powerful
  • Can break
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Things To Look For – A Buying Guide

Size

  • Surf rods need to be long enough so you can cast past the breaking waves, on average they should be about 12ft and should be in the range of 10-15ft. Your best bet is to find a rod that is long enough for you casting but is also a size you can handle. If you’re on the shorter side, or new to surf casting, then it’s useful to think about what size of surf fishing rod suits you. Start shorter and go longer as you build up your skills. If you want a rod that can be used for surf fishing and other types of fishing, then you could look at rods in the 7-8ft range.
  • A long rods means that it may be tricky to store and transport. Surf fishing rods come in a few different options from 1 piece to 4 piece to telescopic rods. Pick the best option for you.

Build

  • You want a rod that lasts and can deal with the elements. Your surf rod needs to be made of something durable. Look for rods that are made to withstand the elements. The best materials are graphite, fiberglass and carbon fibre.

Flexibility and Sensitivity

  • You will want a rod that casts well and can fight a big fish. This means the rod will need to bend without breaking. When you are fishing the surf and trying to land a huge fish, you want to be confident in your gear and not have to worry that the rod can not handle it.
  • Sensitivity is key. A sensitive rod will allow you to feel more bites than a stiff rod, helping you to catch more fish. Be sure to look for a rod that has sensitivity built into it.

Casting

  • If you can not get your surf bait to the fish, then you are not going to catch anything. The longer the cast, the better your chances will be. Ensure your rod will provide you with great distance.

The Best Surf Fishing Rods – Our Favourites

If you are a traveling fisherman then this is the rod for you. The rod is strong and sensitive and is made from very high-quality materials. A lot of thought has gone into the rod and the additional features which will make it a pleasure to use. The rod comes in 4 pieces in a waterproof travel bag, perfect to throw in the car or on to the plane when you are on the way to you next surf fishing hot spot.

If you are new to surf fishing or want high quality at a great price, this rod is the right choice. The rod is strong and sensitive and made from carbon fibre, so it will last a long time. It is powerful, can handle big fish and will help to increase your casting distance while being very comfortable to use. It comes in a 2 and 4 piece option, so if you have to travel to fish, it will easily slot into the trunk of your car.

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 4-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (Length: 11')
  • Sensitive and Solid Carbon Fiber Construction - Carbon construction for improved performance-action and increased sensitivity. The rod delivers the extraordinary toughness of solid carbon fiber construction and precisely tuned action for boat fishing.
  • High Performance - Stainless steel mixed with ceramic guide makes it more smooth, aviods line stucking in the guides, minimize friction for smooth, long casts, while also enhancing sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line through the guide to the rod and to your hand. The guides are precisely aligned, along the bottom of the spine of the blank which is perfectly straight and true.

If you are seasoned surf fisherman and are not fussed about price but want quality and a brand you can depend on, then go for this rod. Penn have always been known for reliability and if you fish often you want a rod that backs you up. This rod is known to be beautiful to cast whilst being powerful, sensitive, durable and lightweight. It has everything you want from a surf rod and you can be confident when using it every day.

Penn BATSF2040S12 Battalion 2-Piece Surf Spinning Rod (12-Feet)
  • 2 piece graphite composite blank
  • Fuji aluminum oxide guides