Fishing

10 Best Surf Fishing Rods of 2021

Best Surf Fishing Rods

Surf fishing involves catching fish while wading in the surf or standing at the shoreline. As such, the rod required for this type of fishing needs to be long enough to hurl the lure further out. It should also be stiffer than others to handle large and heavy saltwater fish.

That said, surf fishing rods come with varying length, power, and action characteristics, which are suitable for catching different types of fish.

We have broken all these down in the review below to give you a detailed analysis of the best surf fishing rods in the market. Take a look!

10 Best Surf Fishing Rods – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros

1. Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros (Best Overall)

  • Sensitive 30-ton carbon blank
  • Moderate-fast action for smooth casting stroke
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless-steel guide frames
Ugly Stik Bigwater

2. Ugly Stik Bigwater (Best Budget)

  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Sensitive & high-strength composite construction
St Croix Triumph

3. St Croix Triumph (Best Graphite)

  • Premium SCII graphite construction
  • Lightweight (10.3 oz.)
  • Grippy long cork tape handle
Okuma Tundra

4. Okuma Tundra (Best Combo)

  • Rod & reel combo
  • Comes with a pre-spooled line
  • Ball-bearing with multi-disc oiled-felt drag system
Fiblink SpeedMaster

5. Fiblink SpeedMaster (Best for Long-Range Casting)

  • Long 15-ft length
  • Portable 4-piece design
  • Sensitive & powerful solid carbon fiber construction
Tica UGSA Series

6. Tica UGSA Series (High Performance)

  • High modulus TC3 graphite construction
  • Very sensitive & lightweight
  • High-quality Fuji Alconite tip-top guide
Okuma Longitude

7. Okuma Longitude (Sensitive)

  • Sensitive graphite composite blanks
  • Durable double-footed stainless-steel guide frames
  • Durable stainless-steel hooded reel seats
Fiblink Super Monster

8. Fiblink Super Monster (3-Piece)

  • Portable 3-piece design
  • Comes with a rod protection bag
  • Tip over butt ferrule connections
Fiblink Moonsniper

9. Fiblink Moonsniper (With a High-Strength Reel Seat)

  • Durable high-strength reel seat
  • Tough & sensitive solid carbon fiber blanks
  • Sturdy stainless-steel guide frames
Berrypro Monster

10. Berrypro Monster (With High-Density EVA Grips)

  • High-density EVA fore/rear grips
  • Easy-to-grip diamond X wrap shrink-tube design
  • Wear-resistant rubber butt cap

PRODUCT

1. Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros

(Best Overall)

Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros
  • Sensitive 30-ton carbon blank
  • Moderate-fast action for smooth casting stroke
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless-steel guide frames

2. Ugly Stik Bigwater

(Best Budget)

Ugly Stik Bigwater
  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Sensitive & high-strength composite construction

3. St Croix Triumph

(Best Graphite)

St Croix Triumph
  • Premium SCII graphite construction
  • Lightweight (10.3 oz.)
  • Grippy long cork tape handle

4. Okuma Tundra

(Best Combo)

Okuma Tundra
  • Rod & reel combo
  • Comes with a pre-spooled line
  • Ball-bearing with multi-disc oiled-felt drag system

5. Fiblink SpeedMaster

(Best for Long-Range Casting)

Fiblink SpeedMaster
  • Long 15-ft length
  • Portable 4-piece design
  • Sensitive & powerful solid carbon fiber construction

6. Tica UGSA Series

(High Performance)

Tica UGSA Series
  • High modulus TC3 graphite construction
  • Very sensitive & lightweight
  • High-quality Fuji Alconite tip-top guide

7. Okuma Longitude

(Sensitive)

Okuma Longitude
  • Sensitive graphite composite blanks
  • Durable double-footed stainless-steel guide frames
  • Durable stainless-steel hooded reel seats

8. Fiblink Super Monster

(3-Piece)

Fiblink Super Monster
  • Portable 3-piece design
  • Comes with a rod protection bag
  • Tip over butt ferrule connections

9. Fiblink Moonsniper

(With a High-Strength Reel Seat)

Fiblink Moonsniper
  • Durable high-strength reel seat
  • Tough & sensitive solid carbon fiber blanks
  • Sturdy stainless-steel guide frames

10. Berrypro Monster

(With High-Density EVA Grips)

Berrypro Monster
  • High-density EVA fore/rear grips
  • Easy-to-grip diamond X wrap shrink-tube design
  • Wear-resistant rubber butt cap

1. Best Overall Surf Fishing Rod: Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros

Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros

Photo: Okuma

  • Rod Length: 11 ft.
  • Power: Medium-Heavy
  • Action: Moderate Fast
  • Rod Weight: 12.7 oz.

With its excellent responsiveness and durability, Okuma’s Cedros takes the top spot and this is made possible by its 30-ton carbon blank construction. This material increases power and quickens action as compared to IM-6 graphite units.

That said, the rod has two pieces and their tapers have moderate-fast actions. This allows you to have a smooth casting stroke while propelling the line much further into the sea.

The rod is fitted with ALPS 316-grade stainless-steel guide frames that have small diameter Zirconium inserts. These are rigorously tested for corrosion resistance by continuously spraying using saltwater. As a result, they will remain as good as new when used for surf fishing.

These inserts are designed for braided loops because they are super hard with quickly transitioning loops from the reel through the running line to the tip.

Other features include durable shrink tubes that grip tightly to each end of the reel seat using anodized aluminum rings and a refined non-slip rubber handle with a long tapered rear grip (23.75 inches). Overall, it has a clean design that delivers fluid handling when surf fishing.

The only issue is that you don’t get a reel in the set.

Pros:

  • Sensitive 30-ton carbon blank
  • Moderate-fast action for smooth casting stroke
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless-steel guide frames
  • Durable shrink tubes
  • Long tapered rear grip

Cons:

  • No reel

2. Best Budget Surf Fishing Rod: Ugly Stik Bigwater

Ugly Stik Bigwater

Photo: Ugly Stik

  • Rod Length: 7-12 ft.
  • Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy

High-quality surf fishing rods can be quite costly but Ugly Stik’s Bigwater is very economical. The product is actually available in 6 sizes (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 ft.), which are split into two pieces for easy transportation.

All rods are made using composite material (graphite and fiberglass combo), which gives you the benefits of both (sensitivity and high-strength).

The 7 and 8-ft sizes are available in medium and medium-heavy power options. On the other hand, 11 and 12-ft sizes come in heavy power. The medium 10-ft size is available in a medium-heavy power.

Regardless of the power, all have a clear tip design that provides extra responsiveness plus additional strength. You also get durable 1-piece double-footed stainless-steel guides, which eliminate insert pop-outs.

However, even though you get two durable EVA grips, the distance between them is quite long. This makes it a bit uncomfortable to hold.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Sensitive and high-strength composite construction
  • Clear tip design for extra responsiveness and strength
  • Durable 1-piece double-footed stainless-steel guides

Cons:

  • A bit uncomfortable to hold

3. Best Graphite Surf Fishing Rod: St Croix Triumph

St Croix Triumph

Photo: St Croix

  • Rod Length: 9 ft.
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Moderate Fast
  • Rod Weight: 10.3 oz.

St Croix’s Triumph is built using premium SCII graphite, a mid-modulus graphite fiber with a higher strain rate than other fibers. This gives the rod 3 advantages. It is durable, super sensitive, and very lightweight (weighs only 10.3 oz.).

Aside from that, the unit has a long cork tape handle that gives you a good grip at the rear when surf fishing. There is also a short fore cork grip and in between these is a high strength Fuji DPS reel seat, which has a frosted silver hood.

Other features are an easily portable 2-piece design, hard aluminum-oxide surf guides that work well with braided lines, and two coats of flex-coat slow-cure finish for salt/corrosion resistance.

On the downside, the rod is quite expensive, and it has a relatively low lure weight range of 0.5-2.5 oz.

Pros:

  • Premium SCII graphite construction
  • Lightweight
  • Grippy long cork tape handle
  • High strength Fuji DPS reel seat
  • Hard aluminum-oxide surf guides

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Low lure weight range

4. Best Surf Fishing Rod Combo: Okuma Tundra

Okuma Tundra

Photo: Okuma

  • Rod Length: 10 ft.
  • Power: Medium-Heavy

If you are looking for a complete set, Okuma’s Tundra gives you the best rod and reel combo. The 10-ft rod comes with an 80-size spinning reel that holds 260 yards of a 25-lb test line.

This rod is made using fiberglass, which is a very durable material. On it are reinforced double-footed aluminum-oxide guides with ceramic inserts to minimize wear-n-tear.

On the other hand, the spinning reel is equipped with a ball bearing for smooth running and a multi-disc oiled-felt drag system to minimize friction when reeling in. It also has a durable corrosion-resistant graphite spool, which comes pre-spooled with a line.

More features include a stainless-steel hooded reel seat, comfortable rear/fore EVA grips, and a durable rubber butt cap. The only problem is that the fiber-glass blank is not very sensitive.

Pros:

  • Rod and reel combo
  • Comes with a pre-spooled line
  • Durable fiberglass construction
  • Ball-bearing with multi-disc oiled-felt drag system
  • Corrosion-resistant graphite spool

Cons:

  • Not very sensitive

5. Best Surf Fishing Rod for Long-Range Casting: Fiblink SpeedMaster

Fiblink SpeedMaster

Photo: Fiblink

  • Rod Length: 15 ft.
  • Power: Heavy
  • Rod Weight: 26.1 oz.

Measuring in at 15-ft in length, Fiblink’s SpeedMaster gives you the longest swing so that you can cast your line very far out into the ocean.

That said, the rod has a 4-piece design that is easily portable and each piece is made using solid carbon fiber. This ensures you get incredible sensitivity and power when reeling in your catch.

High-quality stainless-steel guides are lined on these pieces and these have ceramic inserts for smooth reeling with minimized friction. They enhance sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line, through the guide then rod, and into your hand.

You also get an extreme exposure plastic reel seat with stainless steel tapered hood transitions and rubber shrink tube grips for strong gripping in the slippery saltwater.

On the downside, this rod is quite heavy (26.1 oz.). It might cause fatigue during long fishing periods. 

Pros:

  • Long 15-ft length
  • Portable 4-piece design
  • Sensitive and powerful solid carbon fiber construction
  • High-quality stainless-steel guides with ceramic inserts
  • Extreme exposure plastic reel seat

Cons:

  • Heavy

6. High-Performance Surf Fishing Rod: Tica UGSA Series

Tica UGSA Series

Photo: Tica

  • Rod Length: 10 ft.
  • Power: Medium-Heavy
  • Action: Fast
  • Rod Weight: 12.91 oz.

Tica’s UGSA Series is a specially designed surf casting rod that is built for high-performance use by experts. For starters, it is built using high modulus TC3 graphite, which is capable of casting hard baits like spoons over long distances.

The material also makes the rod very sensitive and lightweight (12.91 oz.), which means you can walk along the beach without experiencing fatigue.

Aside from that, the rod is equipped with a high-quality Fuji Alconite tip-top guide plus Fuji Hardloy ring guides for smooth reeling with better heat dissipation from friction with the line.

You also get a high-quality Fuji DPS reel seat that is a perfect match for Tica's Talisman/Samira/Scepter/Abyss reel series, a Tica sliding foldable hook keeper, non-slip fore/rear cork handles, and a rubber butt cap. The only problem is that the product is quite expensive.

Pros:

  • High modulus TC3 graphite construction
  • Very sensitive and lightweight
  • High-quality Fuji Alconite tip-top guide
  • Fuji Hardloy ring guides
  • High-quality Fuji DPS reel seat

Cons:

  • Expensive

7. Sensitive Surf Fishing Rod: Okuma Longitude

Okuma Longitude

Photo: Okuma

  • Rod Length: 11 ft.
  • Power: Heavy
  • Action: Fast
  • Rod Weight: 26.8 oz.

With its graphite composite blanks, Okuma’s Longitude is built to be very sensitive. It is also very durable and has enough backbone to cast heavy baits out to sea.

Apart from that, the unit has premium quality components, which are designed to withstand harsh fishing environments. These include durable double-footed stainless-steel guide frames with aluminum-oxide inserts and stainless-steel hooded reel seats.

A 2-piece design makes the 11-ft rod easy to fit in your car’s trunk and these are easy to join/dismantle. Other features include non-slip cork-wrapped fore and rear grip handles, and Pac Bay rubber butt caps to prevent slipping.

On the downside, the rod is quite heavy and this might wear you down as you walk along the beach.

Pros:

  • Sensitive graphite composite blanks
  • Durable double-footed stainless-steel guide frames
  • Durable stainless-steel hooded reel seats
  • Non-slip cork-wrapped fore-and-rear grip handles

Cons:

  • Heavy

8. 3-Piece Surf Fishing Rod: Fiblink Super Monster

Fiblink Super Monster

Photo: Fiblink

  • Rod Length: 11 ft.
  • Power: Heavy
  • Rod Weight: 14.5 oz.

Fiblink’s Super Monster is characterized by a 3-piece design that can be dismantled to a compact size for easy transportation, which is made easier by the inclusion of a rod protection bag.

The pieces are made using carbon fiber and have tip-over butt ferrule connections for maximum sturdiness. 

These composite blanks are fitted with ceramic guide inserts that prevent the line from sticking as you cast or reel it in. The guides are precisely aligned along the bottom of the blank’s spine for smooth casting.

A rubber diamond X-wrap shrink tube handle with a tapered rear grip is attached to the rod for non-slip use while the reel seat has stainless steel tapered hood transitions above and below for protecting the cap.

You also get a rubber tail sleeve to prevent slipping but there’s no clear tip for enhanced sensitivity.

Pros:

  • Portable 3-piece design
  • Comes with a rod protection bag
  • Tip over butt ferrule connections for maximum sturdiness
  • Non-slip rubber diamond X-wrap shrink tube handle
  • Stainless steel tapered hood transitions for protecting the cap

Cons:

  • Lacks a super sensitive clear tip

9. Surf Fishing Rod with a High-Strength Reel Seat: Fiblink Moonsniper

Fiblink Moonsniper

Photo: Fiblink

  • Rod Length: 9-13 ft.
  • Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy
  • Action: Moderate Fast
  • Rod Weight: 9.77-19.86 oz.

This fishing rod is fitted with a durable high-strength reel seat that has stainless steel tapered hood transitions for protecting the seat cap. The seat is attached to solid carbon fiber blanks that are both tough and sensitive.

Stainless steel guide frames are built-in for holding the line and these have ceramic inserts to reduce friction when casting or reeling in.

The rod is composed of two pieces for easy portability and these are linked to each other via tip over butt ferrule connections for maximum strength.

You also get multiple rod length options ranging from 9-13 ft. Each size has a non-slip rubber shrink tube handle and a rod protection bag.

The only problem is that the long 13-ft size is quite heavy because it weighs 19.86 oz. However, the smallest 9-ft option is very lightweight (9.77 oz.).

Pros:

  • Durable high-strength reel seat
  • Tough and sensitive solid carbon fiber blanks
  • Sturdy stainless-steel guide frames
  • Ceramic inserts for reducing friction
  • Strong tip-over butt ferrule connections

Cons:

  • The large option is quite heavy

10. Surf Fishing Rod with High-Density EVA Grips: Berrypro Monster

Berrypro Monster

Photo: Berrypro

  • Rod Length: 9-13 ft.
  • Action: Moderate Fast

Having high-density EVA fore/rear grips makes the Berrypro Monster very comfortable to use and easy to control. Additionally, these have a diamond X wrap shrink-tube design that enables you to hold the rod firmly, especially when casting or reeling in.

A wear-resistant rubber butt cap is fitted at the rear handle’s end to protect the rod from damages and also prevent your hand from slipping out.

On the other end, the rod is built using IM7 X-carbon technology, which gives it incredible power and sensitivity.

More features include sturdy stainless-steel guide frames with ceramic ring inserts for reducing wear-n-tear and a textured carbon fiber rod surface for enhanced grip all through to the tip. However, you don’t get a super sensitive clear tip.

Pros:

  • High-density EVA fore/rear grips
  • Easy-to-grip diamond X wrap shrink-tube design
  • Wear-resistant rubber butt cap
  • Powerful and sensitive IM7 X-carbon technology-built rod
  • Textured carbon fiber rod surface

Cons:

  • Lacks a super sensitive clear tip

How to Buy the Best Surf Fishing Rods

How to Buy the Best Surf Fishing Rods

1. Length

With all factors like action kept constant, a long rod enables you to swing it further to cast the line deeper into the sea. This comes in very handy when surf fishing because you want to get the bait/lure as far out as possible. As such, Fiblink’s SpeedMaster stands out due to its 15-ft length.

However, there is a downside to this. Long rods are not very accurate. Therefore, if you know precisely where fish reside close to the shoreline, a short 9-11-ft rod is ideal. Otherwise, get a long piece.

2. Power

Power is a measure of the energy required to bend a rod and it is measured on a scale of ultra-light to heavy. The more you head toward the heavy side, the stiffer the rod is.

This is ideal for catching large, heavy fish or fishing where there is vegetation underneath because the hook might catch onto some roots.

However, ultra-light rods bend very easily and these might break when struggling to set the hook on a strong fish. Therefore, this should only be used on small fish.

3. Action

Action is measured in speed (slow to fast) and this shows the point on the rod where it bends.

Slow rods bend around the middle to form a wide U shape. This makes them ideal for long-distance casting because they flex more and store more energy.

However, they are not very sensitive because a small bite makes them bend easily without transferring the vibration to your hand.

On the other hand, fast action fishing rods bend very little toward the tip and this makes them very sensitive to even the slightest bites. As such, these can help you set the hook very easily but are not very good at long-distance casting.

Moderate fast action falls between these two.

4. Materials

Graphite

Graphite is very stiff and sensitive. This helps you to feel even the slightest bites. The only problem is that the material can snap very easily if you fight a strong, heavy fish.

That said, these have different stiffness levels, which are referred to as modulus. The higher this value is, the stiffer the rod and this means it can be built using less material but still have the same level of stiffness as one with a low modulus rating.

For instance, IM7 graphite is stiffer than IM6, which means a rod made using the former can be more lightweight as compared to the latter but still have the same stiffness level.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the exact opposite of graphite. It is very durable and can take almost any amount of pressure without breaking. The only downside to this is that such rods are not very sensitive.

Composite

Composite rods combine different materials, usually fiberglass and graphite. As such, they give you a perfect balance of strength and sensitivity.

5. Handle

Lastly, you should check the handle and this can be made using EVA, cork, rubber, etc. Whichever the material is, ensure it has a good grip and is comfortable to hold. That said, cork is generally considered to be better because it is more resistant to saltwater.

Conclusion

To sum it up, Okuma’s Cedros is the overall best surf fishing rod because it has a sensitive 30-ton carbon blank. It also has durable corrosion-resistant stainless-steel guide frames and Zirconium inserts that are rigorously tested to withstand saltwater.

However, if you want a long rod for long-range casting into the sea, check out the 15-ft Fiblink’s SpeedMaster. It can be split into 4 pieces after use for easy transportation.

If you want a ready-to-use unit though, we recommend Okuma’s Tundra because it comes as a rod and reel combo with a pre-spooled line.

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