Riding the Waves – Pick the Best Rod for Surf Fishing

Are you ready to take your surf fishing experience to the next level? If so, you’ll need the best rod for surf fishing to have a successful day spent at sea. Finding the appropriate piece of equipment is often not easy, but with proper guidance, it can be. With my carefully selected recommendations, as well as a couple of tips and tricks, you’ll be able to hit the sea sooner than you might think.

What Is Surf Fishing?

Surf fishing, often called surfcasting, is one of the most popular types of angling, which takes place on the beach, where the casting is done from the shoreline and into the ocean. This style of fishing requires specialized gear, including a lengthy rod and heavy-duty fishing reel to cast the bait or lure out past the waves.

Surfcasting Is a Difficult Technique to Master

For any beginner fisherman, angling through the waves of the ocean is a difficult technique to master. That’s because a successful surfcasting experience requires lots of knowledge – you have to be familiar with how the tides and currents work, as well as with the behavior of the fish you’re planning to target.

Experienced surfcasters most commonly catch species such as striped bass, bluefish, and red drum, and that’s due to the simple fact that these species inhabit the surf zone. It’s a challenging technique, but it can be a really rewarding experience for those who enjoy the outdoors and the thrill of the catch. But to actually land the reward, you need to have the proper gear.

A Brief Overview of the Best Rods for Surfcasting

Before I discuss each of these options in more detail, here’s an overview of their main specifications:

Surfcasting Rod Length Action and Power Material Price
PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod 9′, 10′, 12′ Moderate-fast, heavy to medium SLS3 Graphite $190-$230
Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 7′, 8′, 9′, 10′ Fast, medium-heavy TC3 Graphite $180
Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod 9′, 10′, 10’6”, 11′, 13’3” Fast and heavy SVF Nano Plus Graphite $350

PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod – Top-Of-The-Shelf Surfcasting Gear

Let’s start out this selection as strong as possible with one of the best choices available for surfcasting – the PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod. This high-quality piece of equipment is designed specifically for this type of outdoor activity, and serious surfcasters swear by it.

Available in a variety of sizes suitable for surfcasting, this is one of those two-piece rods you can easily store and bring with you wherever you go. Its lightweight yet durable carbon fiber blank provides excellent sensitivity and power for casting long distances and fighting even the heaviest of hitters.

Key Features of the PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod

Here are the main specifications of the PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod:

  • SLS3 graphite blank,
  • Fuji eight-piece guides,
  • Stainless steel ending,
  • Fuji reel seat,
  • Non-slip foregrip.

Pros and Cons of the PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod

Sure, this particular piece of equipment is not exactly cheap, but for around $200, you will end up with a reliable and high-performance companion on your surfcasting adventures. There are many pros to this model, including its lightweight body and variety when it comes to sizes and power options.

The biggest benefit is probably the two-piece body, which makes it easy to transport and store without having to compromise on the length of the pole. On the other hand, the thin blank diameter can take some getting used to, even for the most seasoned veterans, but that’s about it when it comes to the downsides.

Customer Reviews of the PENN Carnage II Surf Spinning Rod

As expected, customer reviews for this model are overwhelmingly positive, with many saying that they’ll keep using it as long as they’re engaging in the sport. Several of them report catching heavy hitters of up to 60 lbs with this piece of equipment. While the negative reviews are few and far between, some customers claim that the product is not as durable as it seems. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to how you intend to use it.

A man surfcasting
A lengthy and strong pole such as this one is needed for your surfcasting experience to be a success

Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod Is the Best Value-For-Money Option Available

If you’re looking for a more affordable option while still being able to provide the high performance and responsiveness needed for surfcasting, look no further – the Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod is the right choice for you.

It’s a great value-for-money piece of equipment that offers exceptional strength and sensitivity for long casting distances and accurate lure presentations. This makes it a great choice for anglers that would like to try out fly fishing and its variants, such as nymph fishing, in between the surfcasting sessions.

Key Features of the Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

For a price of about $180, here’s what the Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod brings to the table:

  • TC3 graphite blank,
  • Non-slip cork handle,
  • Fuji Alconite top guide,
  • Fuji DPS reel seat,
  • Fuji Hardloy ring guides.

Pros and Cons of the Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Besides the great specifications listed above, one of the biggest benefits of this particular piece of equipment is the fact that it’s available in both one-piece and two-piece configurations. On the other hand, the material used might not be as durable as the more expensive options. But if you take good care of it, it’ll surely serve you well for years to come – and you’ll save a couple of bucks on the way.

Customer Reviews of the Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

A big chunk of customer reviews for this model is positive, with most raving about its superior action, perfect for surfcasting adventures. There are several reports about the incorrect model being delivered or other problems with the shipment, but none of them are concerned with the actual quality of the product. With Tica’s good customer service, ending up with the wrong package is not that bad – sooner or later, you’ll end up with a great piece of equipment by your side.

fisherman fishing from the shore
Looking for a reliable piece of gear such as this one

Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod – Designed to Win Any Competition

For the last recommendation, I’ll bring out the big gun – the Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod. It’s one of those high-performance rods designed for serious surfcasting enthusiasts who are planning to win some tournaments.

This piece of equipment is easily the best out of the bunch, with its fast action and impressive backbone, making it ideal for targeting a wide range of species, including striped bass, bluefish, and red drum. For those ready to spend a bit more and take their surfcasting game to the next level, this should be the top pick.

Key Features of the Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod

Sure, the Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod is not exactly cheap, but here’s what you’re getting:

  • SVF Nano Plus graphite blank,
  • Three-piece configuration,
  • Fuji Alconite guides,
  • Adjustable weights for balance,
  • Line weight of up to 60 lbs.

Pros and Cons of the Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod

Aside from the impressive specifications mentioned above, this particular pole has one more impressive benefit, and it comes in the form of a limited lifetime warranty. While the three-piece configuration makes transport and storage more convenient, it can be a bit less sensitive. Thankfully, the difference is so small that not even the most experienced surfcasters notice it, really.

Customer Reviews of the Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod

This might be the first – this model doesn’t have any negative customer reviews. Most buyers are perfectly satisfied with what they got, and they were able to land even the heaviest of hitters with it. There’s no secret here – this particular piece of equipment might just be the best in the game.

Man surfcasting from a rock on a beach
The Daiwa Tournament Ballistic Surf Rod is probably the best option available

How to Choose the Best Rod for Surf Fishing

When it comes to any angling technique, it’s important to have the right gear, from the fishing pole all the way to the fishing hook. If we’re talking about surfcasting specifically, there are a few important aspects to consider:


Rod’s length is an important factor to think about no matter the style of angling you want to master, but it’s especially important when it comes to surfcasting. Because you need to cast farther to target the species far from the shore, the best rod length for surf fishing is, well, as long as possible. The minimum length should be somewhere around 10 ft, but if you’re casting in calm waters, an 8 ft pole should do just fine.


When you’re casting in saltwater, it’s important that your equipment is made from durable, high-quality materials. It’s best to go for either graphite or fiberglass, as both are lightweight materials that will last for a long time. However, if you’re particularly targeting heavier fish and angling in rougher conditions, I’d recommend going for fiberglass, as it’s more durable.

Power and Action

The power describes the rod’s ability to handle heavy fish, while the action refers to the way the pole bends when pressure is applied to the tip. For surfcasting, it’s best to go for a fast-action heavy pole, as it will get you the best of both worlds – responsiveness that’s able to detect even the weakest of bites, as well as enough power to fight even the heaviest of hitters.

Tips Before Buying a Product

Besides the aforementioned aspects, here are a few additional tips to ensure you’ll find your perfect match. First and foremost, you should think about the number of pieces included in the equipment, as the best choice will depend on your personal preferences. Additionally, consider the type of guides used, as well as the quality of the reel seat.

It’s best to try out different rods before making your final purchase, as it’s the only way to really feel the model you’re interested in. If a fellow enthusiast on the beach has it, they’ll surely be more than happy to let you take a swing. Just make sure you’ve properly tied the hook, and be careful not to end up with it caught on your finger.

Reeling in the Best – It’s Time to Find Your Perfect Surfcasting Rod

No matter if you’re a beginner surfcaster or a seasoned veteran, there is no doubt that finding the right pole for your needs will make your fishing adventures more enjoyable and successful. So don’t stay stuck on shore – make the most of your time by bringing in those delicious fishies with one of these amazing rods. Happy angling!