Top 5 Best Surf Fishing Rods Every Angler Should Have

Being a surf fisherman is definitely one of the most thrilling yet difficult tasks to take on. It requires skill and patience as you wait for a catch, but you can ease yourself with one of the best surf fishing rods. Staring out at the beautiful shoreline waiting to have your line snapped by a hungry fish will be better with the right equipment on hand. Here are the top five brands you definitely need to check and try out.

My top five picks are Okuma Cedros, Berrypro, St Croix, Penn Carnage, and Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater. Whether you’re a seasoned surf angler or just starting out, these top-rated rods are sure to elevate your angling experience and help you land that trophy catch.

What Is Surf Fishing?

Surf fishing is a type of angling that takes place along the shoreline or in shallow waters where the waves break. It involves casting a fishing line and bait from the beach or rocks into the surf zone in hopes of catching fish species that are found in those coastal waters.

This kind of angling is popular among people who enjoy the challenge of catching fish such as striped bass, redfish, snook, and various common species of surfperch. It offers a unique fishing experience as it combines the excitement of battling the waves with the thrill of reeling in fish from the surf.

Why Do You Need a Special Rod for This Type of Fishing?

Just as some fishermen need special rods for deep-sea angling, you will need the best rods for surf fishing too. And there are several reasons why. Let’s check them out:

  • Casting distance – This type of angling often requires casting your bait or lure far out into the water beyond the breaking waves. Specialized equipment is typically longer and stiffer than regular poles, allowing for longer casting distances and improved accuracy.
  • Strength and power – This equipment is built to handle the challenges of angling in turbulent conditions of surfing. They are designed with greater strength and power to withstand the forces of the waves and handle larger fish species commonly found in coastal waters.
  • Sensitivity – These poles are designed to provide better sensitivity and responsiveness. This is important for detecting subtle bites and nibbles from fish that may be feeding near the shoreline or in the zone of surfing.
  • Line control – The longer length of a pole enables better line control, especially when dealing with strong currents or when you need to maneuver your line around rocks, jetties, or other structures commonly found along the shoreline.
  • Durability – These rods are constructed using durable materials that can withstand exposure to saltwater, sand, and other elements typically encountered in coastal environments. This ensures that your pole will remain in good condition even after repeated use in challenging conditions.

In summary, specialized gear provides the necessary casting distance, strength, sensitivity, line control, and durability required to fish effectively in the surfing zone and handle the unique challenges posed by coastal waters.

Fishing trolling boat rods in rod holder
This type of angling offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature

Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rods Allows Anglers to Reach Distant Targets With Ease

Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod is a series of high-quality rods specifically designed for surf angling enthusiasts. I recommend this rod, especially to beginners, but I must say that it’s also the number one for most experienced anglers. These rods are crafted with precision and attention to detail, delivering exceptional performance and durability.

With their powerful and lightweight construction, the Cedros CSX Rods offer excellent casting distance and accuracy, allowing anglers to reach distant targets with ease. Whether you’re targeting striped bass, redfish, or other coastal species, these poles provide the performance and reliability needed to elevate your surf-angling experience.

Key Features

Here are some of the most impressive specifications of this angling gear:

  • Length – 10 ft 6 inches,
  • Action – Moderate – fast,
  • Composition – 1 piece,
  • Power – Medium,
  • Handle – Rubber shrink tube,
  • Cost – $169.99.

Pros and Cons of Okuma Cedros Surf CSX Rod

Find all the pros and cons of this pole in the table below.

Pros Cons
Durable construction No reel included
Lower price than other brands
Wide specification range

Customers Reviews

The online rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is an amazing score. Users mostly point out the rod’s lightweight and affordable price. However, there are some comments where people complain about having their poles broken after the first use.

fishing rod during the sunset
Okuma is a great combo of a cost-effective and well-performance pole

BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 10’6” Can Help You Reach Those Hard-To-Reach Spots

BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod is a top-notch option for anglers seeking reliable and high-performance angling gear. Designed with precision and built to last, this pole combines power, sensitivity, and durability to tackle the challenges of this sport. It features a strong and lightweight graphite composite blank, offering excellent casting distance and accuracy. Its sensitive tip allows for enhanced bite detection, ensuring you never miss a nibble.

Made from high-quality materials, the BERRYPRO pole is both lightweight and durable, making it easy to handle and withstand the toughest conditions. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice angler, this gear is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their experience while casting the line.

Key Features

This angling gear has many key features, but here are some of the most important ones:

  • Length – 10’6”,
  • Action – ‎Fast,
  • Grip type – Split,
  • Material – Graphite,
  • Pieces – One,
  • Cost – $66.99.

Pros and Cons of BERRYPRO Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Check out the pros and some cons of this product in the table you’ll find below.

Pros Cons
An optimal blend of strength and flexibility Graphite is not as quality as high carbon fiber
High-quality ceramic guides
The handle offers a comfortable EVA grip

Customers Reviews

With the 4.4 out of 5 stars rating online, you can assume many customers find this product more than just good. In fact, many positive comments are about the rod’s fast action and its cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, there are some comments regarding how fragile this pole is, and for some, it’s just too sensitive.

Fishing rods, spinning rods with fishing line
If you want a comfortable rod, choose BERRYPRO

St. Croix Rods Seage Surf Spinning Rod Is Crafted With Meticulous Attention to Detail

St. Croix Rods Seage Surf Spinning Rod is the ultimate tool for any fisherman who takes their angling seriously. Built to deliver exceptional performance in the most challenging conditions, this pole features a high-modulus graphite blank that provides unparalleled sensitivity and responsiveness.

The pole also comes equipped with Fuji K Series guides that help reduce friction and allow you to cast longer and more accurately. With its sleek design and durable construction, the St. Croix Seage pole is a must-have for any serious angler looking to up their game.

Key Features

St. Croix is one of the most popular brands in the angling world, so of course, they have a tool for this kind of casting the line. Let’s check the specifications of this product:

  • Length – 10’6”,
  • Material – Carbon fiber,
  • Power – Medium – light,
  • Pieces – One,
  • Action – Moderate – fast,
  • Composition – 1 or 2 pieces, depending on length,
  • Handle – Cork,
  • Cost – $320.

Pros and Cons of St. Croix Rods Seage Surf Spinning Rod

Find all pros and cons of this angling gear in the table below.

Pros Cons
Numerous length options Expensive
Extremely light
Excellent casting

Customers Reviews

As I already mentioned, this brand is well-known in the angling world, so no wonder why it’s the first choice for many fishermen. This pole has 4.5 out of 5 stars, with most comments talking about its lightweight and durable construction. Some negative comments mention only the high price, though.

A fishing rod near water during sunset
St. Croix is one of the most famous angling brands

PENN Carnage III Spinning Fishing Rod Performs Exceptionally Well but Also Looks Impressive in Your Hands

PENN Carnage III Spinning Fishing Rod is a powerful and versatile tool for serious anglers. Designed to handle the toughest angling conditions, this pole features a high-quality blank made from 100% graphite, which provides superior strength and sensitivity.

It is also equipped with Fuji K guides with Alconite inserts, which help to reduce friction and increase casting distance. The ergonomic Winn grips provide a comfortable and secure hold, even in wet conditions. Whether you’re targeting big game fish or casting for hours on end, the PENN Carnage III is a reliable and high-performing choice.

Key Features

Be sure to explore all the special features this piece of gear has:

  • Length – 7′,
  • Action – ‎Fast,
  • Material – Graphite/fiberglass,
  • Grip type – ‎Split,
  • Color – Silver/Black/Gold,
  • Handle material – ‎Rubber,
  • Cost – $219.

Pros and Cons of PENN Carnage III Spinning Fishing Rod

Check out the table below with some pros and cons of PENN Carnage III.

Pros Cons
Excellent durability Not as light as some other gear
Great casting
Strong blank

Customers Reviews

This product has the best online rating so far – 4.7 out of 5 stars. Many customers noted that the pole is lightweight but also strong. Also, most comments are about the high quality and comfortable handle. But there are some negative reviews about bad package transportation.

A man with his grandson holding a fish on a pole while both stand against waterside
This pole is designed for strength and durability

Ugly Stik Bigwater 12′ Spinning Fishing Rod Is Renowned for Its Legendary Toughness

Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Fishing Rod is a durable and versatile pole designed for saltwater environments. Made with a combination of graphite and fiberglass, it is tough enough to handle the biggest fish while still being sensitive enough to detect even the slightest bites.

The one-piece stainless steel guides help prevent line twists, while the EVA foam handle provides a comfortable grip. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, the Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning pole is an excellent choice for your next angling trip.

Key Features

Here are the specifications of this pole:

  • Length: 12′,
  • Handle – Split EVA foam,
  • Material – Graphite and fiberglass composite,
  • Action – Heavy- fast,
  • Lure weight – 3-8 oz,
  • Line weight – 20-40 lbs,
  • Pieces – Two,
  • Cost – $78.

Pros and Cons of Ugly Stik Bigwater 12′

Here are all the pros and cons you need to be aware of the Ugly Stik Bigwater 12′

Pros Cons
Good quality for an affordable price A split handle may not be suitable for everybody
Excellent guide quality
Extremely tough

Customers Reviews

With 4.6 out of 5 and more than 965 global ratings, I can easily say this is one of the best-rated rods out there. Many customers say it’s a versatile pole with the utmost quality. Some comments, though, are about not the best shipping process.

A man holding a fishing rod on a boat
Ugly Stick is the most popular among many Shakespeare models

How to Choose the Best Surf Fishing Rods?

You always want to make an informed choice and select a gear that suits your fishing style, target species, and the surf conditions you’ll encounter. That being said, here are three key criteria to consider.


The length of the pole is an important factor to consider. Longer poles typically offer better casting distance, allowing you to reach fish that are farther out in the surf. A length between 6 to 12 feet is commonly recommended if you want to cast the line in this manner, as it provides the necessary leverage and control to handle large fish and challenging conditions.

Power and Action

Power refers to the rod’s strength, while action refers to how the pole flexes when pressure is applied. For this kind of angling, a pole with medium to heavy power is generally preferred, as it can handle the weight of larger fish and withstand the powerful forces of the surf. As for action, a fast or medium-fast action pole is typically recommended, as it offers a balance of sensitivity and power for casting and hooking fish effectively.

Construction and Materials

The construction and materials of the pole determine its durability and performance. Look for poles made from high-quality materials like graphite or a graphite composite, as these offer a good combination of strength, sensitivity, and lightweight design. Additionally, consider the rod’s guides and reel seat.

High-quality guides, preferably made of corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or ceramic, ensure smooth line flow and reduce friction during casting. A sturdy and secure reel seat is also essential for maintaining a solid connection between the pole and reel.

Check Out Some Tips Before Buying the Final Product

If you’re still not sure what product will suit your angling needs the best, take some time to research different brands, models, and customer reviews. Look for feedback from experienced anglers who have used the specific pole you are considering. Their insights can provide valuable information about the rod’s performance, durability, and overall quality.

If possible, visit a local tackle shop or attend angling expos where you can handle and test out different poles. Getting a feel for the pole’s weight, balance, and overall comfort can help you make an informed decision about which one suits you best.

Fly Fishing Rod on Truck
Dedicate some time to completely explore the product you want to buy

In the Vast Sea of Surf Fishing Rods, Don’t Get Caught in a Tangled Line of Indecision

Although it took quite a while to decide what is my best pole, I’ll always choose the PENN Carnage III because of its durability and how lightweight it is. However, this doesn’t mean the other options aren’t worth your attention. Quite the contrary – finding the best surf fishing rod is a fantastic adventure waiting to happen. So bait up, cast out, and get ready for unforgettable angling escapades that will leave you hooked for life!