Best Rods for Pier Fishing: Buying Guide

July 16, 2020

Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.

As we mentioned in some of our previous articles, pier fishing holds a special place in our hearts as it’s where many of us learned to fish. You can get your favorite lures in front of fairly large fish like redfish and snook without having to invest in a boat or inshore kayak. But what are the best fishing rods for pier fishing? We’re here to help!

In this article, you’ll find the most used rods that many of our community members swear by. We’ve reviewed many rods designed for pier fishing and picked out the best in terms of price, features, and value. Pair these rods with one of our favorite saltwater spinning reels or pier fishing reels and you’ll be ready for anything! If you’re tight on budget, check out our best spinning reels under $50 buying guide. We’ve caught saltwater fish ranging from king salmon, coho salmon, bluefish, black drum, tarpon, and more using these rods. If you enjoy pier fishing, you should also check out magnet fishing. Alright, let’s get to it!


In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…




Overall Best Rod for Pier Fishing

Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod

Features

The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod is our winner for overall best rod for pier fishing. It has the best balance of price, quality, and the Okuma standard of excellence. The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod is jam-packed with all the necessary features for fishing from piers and costs less than other options with fewer features. Okuma has been making quality rods for years, and the Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod shows their top rod craftsmanship.

The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod comes in many sizes from the medium weight 8’ to the large 12’. We suggest going with the 10’ and above rods for pier fishing, as the longer length gives you farther casting distance. They also give you the assurance that if you hook into a massive shark or grouper, you’ll have more leverage to get it out of the water.

Components

The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod is built out of spun graphite and resin for increased sensitivity while maintaining lightness and strength. Its cork handle is formed for ergonomics and fits comfortably in many different hand sizes.

The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod has aluminum oxide guide inserts that provide a durable response and eliminate insert pop-outs. The double footed guide frame design also helps with guide durability and performance under pressure. The reel seats are made out of stainless steel as well for protection against corrosion.

The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod comes with Okuma’s limited lifetime warranty which also adds to its value.

Specifications

The seven different models of Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 10’ and 12’ since they make the most sense for pier fishing. The 10’ comes in two pieces and is rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. The 12’ also comes in two pieces and is also rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. Both the 10’ and the 12’ weigh close to 1.92 ounces.

Pros

  • It has the best balance of price and quality.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • More expensive than the most economical options.

Reasoning

The Okuma Longitude Fishing Rod is a great long-range rod for pier fishermen looking to have it all. Add that to its lifetime warranty and high-quality components and you get a pier fishing rod that will last from generation to generation. It’s our overall winner for the best pier fishing rod in 2020.




Best Economical Rod for Pier Fishing

Penn Squadron II Surf Fishing Rod

Features

The Penn Squadron II is our choice for the most economical pier fishing rod. Considering it costs less than a dinner out, this rod has everything you need to start pier fishing! It’s also built by one of the most trusted companies in fishing – Penn.

The Penn Squadron II is crafted from the highest quality graphite and comes in two pieces for portability. The graphite allows for great sensitivity when hunting tentative saltwater fish. The guide inserts are made from stainless steel with zirconium overlays that are resistant to oxidation and rust. The hooded reel seats are made from stainless steel, which also prevents rusting and corrosion.

Components

The Penn Squadron II Pier Fishing Rod was built with the input of pier professionals from around the world. The foregrip and rear grip are both made from high-quality PVC foam that prevents slippage. Its foam stays comfortable in your hands even after long pier fishing sessions and long casts.

The Penn Squadron II Pier Fishing Rod is also great for travel, as it only weighs 5.6 oz. It also breaks down into two pieces that allow you to store compactly and efficiently. Even though it costs less than many dinners out, the use of quality components will keep the Penn Squadron II Pier Fishing Rod fighting pier for many years. It also comes with Penn’s 5-year warranty!

Specifications

The four different models of the Penn Squadron II Pier Fishing Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 11’ and 12’ since they make the most sense for pier fishing. The 11’ comes in two pieces and is rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. The 12’ also comes in two pieces and is also rated at 20 to 40 lb test line.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty.

Cons

  • No extra features.
  • Not as durable as other options.

Reasoning

The Penn Squadron II Pier Fishing Rod has everything you need to start pier fishing. The 11’ and 12’ sizes are the most appropriate for pier fishing and come with everything you need to get started. The Penn Squadron II Pier Fishing Rod is an excellent option for pier fishermen on a budget. Check Price




Best High-End Rod for Pier Fishing

St Croix Triumph Surf Fishing Rod

Features

The St Croix Triumph Pier Fishing Rod is our choice for a high-end pier fishing rod. It’s perfect for anglers who need high performance and are willing to spend more to get it. The St Croix Triumph is at home in pier fishing tournaments as well as casual pier fishing with your friends. It really can do it all!

The St Croix Triumph Pier Fishing Rod also comes with a 5-year warranty backed by St Croix’s world-class warranty service.

Components

The St Croix Triumph Pier Fishing Rod features a premium SCII graphite construction. The rod has mid modulus graphite fiber with a higher strain rate than other more common fibers. It’s St Croix’s most popular rod material due to its durability and sensitivity. 

The St Croix Triumph also features a handmade premium-grade cork handle with sturdy rubber butt. This ensures you maintain a good grip while fighting even the most aggressive redfish or mackerel, and helps you cast your bait even further. The Fui DPS reel seat has a frosted silver hood made out of aluminum oxide. It’s also coated with two coats of flex-coat slow cure finish to prevent corrosion and rust.

Specifications

There are 4 different models of10’ and 10’6” since they make the most sense for pier fishing. The 10’ comes in two pieces and is rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. The 10’6” also comes in two pieces and is rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. Both the 10’ and 10’6” weigh approximately 6.7 oz.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty frame with durable components
  • Premium-grade cork.
  • 5-year warranty.

Cons

  • Price.

Reasoning

If budget isn’t a big issue for you, we highly recommend the St Croix Triumph Pier Fishing Rod. It has all the features that an expert pier fisherman requires, and will perform at the highest levels under pressure. Another great choice for best rods for pier fishing. Check Price




Runner Up Economical Rod for Pier Fishing

Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod

Features

The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod comes with everything you need to start pier fishing, and it’s ridiculously cheap. Berkley is also a renowned brand in the fishing world and comes with its limited warranty. If you didn’t like the Penn Squadron II, check out the Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod.

The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is crafted from the highest quality graphite and comes in two pieces for portability. The graphite allows for great sensitivity when hunting tentative fish under the pier or out in the surf. The guide inserts are made from stainless steel with zirconium overlays that are resistant to oxidation and rust. The hooded reel seats are also made from stainless steel, which also prevents rusting and corrosion.

Components

The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod was built with the input of saltwater fishing professionals from around the world. The foregrip and rear grip are both made from high-quality EVA and TVC that prevents slippage. The foam stays comfortable in your hands even after long tarpon or bluefish fishing sessions and tough battles.

The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is also great for travel, as it only weighs 4.2 oz. It breaks down into two pieces that allow you to store compactly and efficiently. Even though it costs less than a nice lunch, the use of quality components will keep the Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod pier fishing for many years.

Specifications

The two different models of the Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod have varying specifications. The 7’ comes in two pieces and is rated at 15 to 60 lb test line. The 8’ also comes in two pieces and is also rated at 15 to 60 lb test line.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable.
  • Berkely is a time-tested brand.

Cons

  • No extra features.
  • Foam grip not as nice as cork.

Reasoning

The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod has everything you need to start pier fishing. The 8’ size is the most appropriate for fish you’ll catch at a pier and comes with everything you need to get started. The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is an excellent option for pier fishermen on a budget. Check Price




Best Rod & Reel Combo for Pier Fishing

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Pier Fishing Combo

Features

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Pier Fishing Combo includes one of the best rods for pier fishing and one of Shakespeare’s time test entry-level saltwater reels. This combo is an excellent choice for pier fishermen just starting out that want a reliable combo without breaking the bank.

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Pier Fishing Combo has a durable time-tested design that will outlast any large saltwater game fish you throw its way. We’ve used Ugly Stiks when fishing for tuna offshore to battling a strong bull shark. It’s a great choice if you’re looking to get into saltwater fishing.

Components

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Pier Fishing Combo comes with a durable aluminum spool and a one-way clutch mechanism for reliable winding and hooksets. It also has light EVA grips for accuracy of casting and comfort when battling strong fish. Its clear tip design provides immediate response when battling large game fish and know when to set the hook. The rod has Shakespeare’s Ugly Tech proprietary blend of graphite and fiberglass for utmost strength.

Specifications

There is one model for the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Pier Fishing Combo: a 7-foot rod and Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik reel. Both have the capability needed for pier fishing.

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t have as many features as other options.
  • Entry-level performance.

Reasoning

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Pier Fishing Combo is our choice for fishermen looking to buy a pier fishing rod and reel combo. It comes with everything you need to get started pier fishing and is an excellent choice for a first rod or a backup rod for more advanced pier fishermen. It’s our favorite for fishing for California halibut. Check Price




Best Light Rod for Pier Fishing

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Features

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod is our winner for the best light pier fishing rod. The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod is jam-packed with all the necessary features for pier fishing and is a great option for fishermen going after smaller fish. They have been making quality rods for years, and the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod shoes their top expertise and craftsmanship.

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod comes in many sizes from the ultralight 4’6” to the medium-light 7’6”. We suggest going with the 6’ and above rods for pier fishing, as the longer length gives you more control. They also give you the assurance that if you hook into a monster, you’ll stand a chance.

Components

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod is built out of spun graphite for increased sensitivity while maintaining lightness and strength. Its cork handle is etched with the brand’s logo and fits comfortably in many different hand sizes.

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod has stainless steel guides that provide a durable response and eliminate insert pop-outs. The Ugly Stik tip design also helps with sensing the smallest of bites and disturbances. The reel seats are made out of stainless steel as well for protection against corrosion.

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod comes with Ugly Stik’s 7-year warranty, which is an added bonus as well.

Specifications

The many different models of the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 6’6” and 7’ since they make the most sense for pier fishing. The 6’6” comes in both single and double piece versions and is rated at 6 to 14 lb test line. The 7’ also comes in both single and double piece versions and is also rated at 6 to 14 lb test line. The 6’6” weighs 7.2 oz while the 7’7” weighs 8 oz.

Pros

  • The best combination of features and price for small fish.
  • 7-year Ugly Stik warranty.

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than the most economical options.

Reasoning

The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod is a great spinning rod for pier fishermen looking to target smaller pier fish like mackerel or coho salmon. Add that to its 7-year warranty, and you’ll rest easy knowing that if anything happens to it you can get it replaced for free. Check Price




Best Mid-Level Rod for Pier Fishing

Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod

Features

The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod is our mid-level winner. It has many features of a premium pier fishing rod but isn’t as expensive as the St Croix Triumph. The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod only comes in two sizes: 10’ and 12’. Both break down into two pieces. The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod is designed in China and built with high-density graphite fiber. 

Daiwa is known for its dominance in saltwater fishing reels and has built a pier fishing rod to match its world-class reels. The Beefstick pier fishing rod is a great choice if the other rods on this guide don’t catch your eye.

Components

The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod comes with premium stainless steel guides. The guides are hardened and coated so that they will withstand the highest pressure pier fishing battles. They’re also extremely sensitive and will pick up even the slightest bites from a tentative striped bass or king salmon

The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod is finished in a glossy black and blue finish that pairs excellently with many reel colors. It also comes with a Daiwa’s quality assurance against any manufacturing defects or complications. The Daiwa Beefstick is perfect for large, strong saltwater fish like tarpon or bluefish.

Specifications

There are two models for the Daiwa Beefstick that are 10’ and 12’ long Both models of the Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod break down into two pieces for easy storage and travel. They both can handle 20 to 40 lb test lines with lures ranging from 2 oz to 8 oz.

Pros

  • Great price from a saltwater proven brand.

Cons

  • More expensive than the budget options.

Reasoning

The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod is an awesome choice for the experienced pier fisherman looking for something a little more than the rod they learned to pier fish on. The Daiwa Beefstick Pier Fishing Rod performs well in all categories and brings the Daiwa standard of quality to the forefront of pier fishing. A great choice if the other rods meant for pier fishing don’t do it for you! Check Price




Final Thoughts

We wanted to highlight a few defining features we reviewed when picking these rods. These were the qualities we reviewed them by, and make the most sense for pier fishing.

Long Length and Casting Efficiency

Pier fishing rods are long in order to help pier fishermen cast their lures and bait far out into the pier. The longer the rod, the easier it is to fling your bait further. All the rods we reviewed had a minimum length of 10 feet with some going up to 12 feet. The longer length also helps when battling a large fish like tarpon, grouper, or kingfish as the longer rods allow you to put more pressure on the fish you’re battling.

Comfortable Rod Grip

The comfortability of the grip on a rod is very important for pier fishing. Pier fishermen hunt saltwater fish by casting far out from the pier, which can be very uncomfortable if the grip doesn’t fit your hand. Having a well designed ergonomic grip alleviates the pressure put on your hand from casting, and allows pier fisherman to fish for a very long time. It also makes sure when it’s time to set the hook, you don’t slip and lose your grip.

Sensitive Graphite Construction

Another important feature of an excellent pier rod is its ability to sense even the slightest disturbance on the line. It could be a small fish taking a bite out of your fish finder rig! This means that a good pier rod needs to be made out of the most sensitive graphite. The guides on the rod must also be designed with sensitivity in mind. You’d hate to lose out on catching a monster redfish because you didn’t feel it take your bait!

Happy Hunting!

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