Best Surf Fishing Rods: Buying Guide

May 6, 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.

Welcome to our best surf fishing rods buying guide for 2020! Here you will find our reviews and selections of the best surf fishing rods for advanced and novice surf fishermen. We’ve reviewed surf rods that cost under $50 as well as rods that cost over $200! Whether you’re going after a huge migratory tarpon or a small striped bass, we’ve got the right surfcasting rod for you.

Surf fishing can be a great way to get into fishing, as it’s one of the easiest ways to catch big fish. Many surf fishing rigs are great for catching all types of saltwater fish from big game fish like tarpon or smaller pelagic fish like bonito. It’s also a great way to hook into a monster; many massive sharks and big predatory fish patrol the surf zones for food. Surf fishing rods also work great for gar fishing!

We’ve spent significant time researching and reviewing the best surf fishing rod options for 2020 and have put together the following buying guide. We take into consideration many aspects for a good surf fishing rod: the price, overall fit and finish, durability, and ease of use. If you’re looking for a matching reel, head over to our best surf fishing reel guide to make an educated purchase. 

We’ve also put together a guide on our favorite surf fishing lines and surf fishing waders to pair with your rod.

There’s a quick summary of our favorites for the best surfcasting rods below. Scroll further down for more in-depth reviews of the best surf fishing rods for 2020!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Overall Winner for Surf Fishing

Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod

Features

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

The Okuma Longitude Surf 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 surf fishing, as the longer length gives you farther casting distance. They also give you the assurance that if you hook into a monster, you’ll have more leverage to get it out of the water.

Components

The Okuma Longitude Surf 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 Surf Fishing Rod has aluminum oxide guide inserts that provide durability 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 Surf Fishing Rod comes with Okuma’s limited lifetime warranty which also adds to its value.

Specifications

The seven different models of Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 10’ and 12’ since they make the most sense for surf 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 Surf Fishing Rod is a great long-range rod for surf fishermen looking to have it all. Add that to its lifetime warranty and high-quality components and you get a surf fishing rod that will last from generation to generation. It’s our overall winner for the best surf fishing rod in 2020. Whether you’re fishing for Jack Crevalle or Tarpon, the Longitude will do its job like a pro.


Most Economical

Penn Squadron II Surf Fishing Rod

Features

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

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

The Penn Squadron II Surf 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 Surf Fishing Rod fighting surf for many years. It also comes with Penn’s 5-year warranty!

Specifications

The four different models of the Penn Squadron II Surf Fishing Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 11’ and 12’ since they make the most sense for surf 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 Surf Fishing Rod has everything you need to start surf fishing. The 11’ and 12’ sizes are the most appropriate for surf fishing and come with everything you need to get started. From Roosterfish to Giant Trevally, the Penn Squadron II Surf Fishing Rod is an excellent option for surf fishermen on a budget.


High-End Winner for Surf Fishing

St Croix Triumph Surf Fishing Rod

Features

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

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

Components

The St Croix Triumph Surf 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 Surf Fishing Rod 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 saltwater fish, 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 surf 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 can’t recommend the St Croix Triumph Surf Fishing Rod enough. It has all the features that an expert surf fisherman requires, and will perform at the highest levels under pressure.


Balanced Winner for Surf Fishing

Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod

Features

The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod is our mid-level winner for best surf fishing rods. It has many features of a premium surf fishing rod but isn’t as expensive as the St Croix Triumph. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod only comes in two sizes: 10’ and 12’. Both break down into two pieces. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf 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 surf fishing rod to match its world-class reels. The Beefstick surf fishing rod is a great choice if the other rods on this guide don’t catch your eye.

Components

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

The Daiwa Beefstick Surf 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 Surf Fishing Rod is perfect for large, strong saltwater fish like tarpon or bluefish.

Specifications

There are two models for the Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod that are 10’ and 12’ long Both models of the Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod break down into two pieces for easy storage and travel. They both can handle 20 to 40 lb test line 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 Surf Fishing Rod is an awesome choice for the experienced surf fisherman looking for something a little more than the rod they learned to surf fish on. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod performs well in all categories, and brings the Daiwa standard of quality to the forefront of surf fishing. A great choice if the other rods don’t do it for you!


Final Thoughts

We wanted to highlight a few defining features we reviewed when picking these rods for our top surf fishing rods for 2020.

Long Length and Casting Efficiency

Surf fishing rods are long in order to help surf fishermen cast their lures and bait far out into the surf. 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 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 surf fishing. Surf fishermen hunt saltwater fish by casting far out into the surf, 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 surf fisherman to fish for a very long time.

Sensitive Graphite Construction

Another important feature of an excellent surf rod is its ability to sense even the slightest disturbance on the line. It could be a small fish taking a bite! This means that a good surf 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 trophy saltwater fish because you didn’t feel it take your bait! We also love using surf rods when fishing for sturgeon from shore.

Happy Hunting!

Share:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
[custom-facebook-feed]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts