Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Top Picks

Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Top Picks

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Larry Stark

Professional fisherman, who loves to review new fishing gadgets.

No matter how experienced an angler you are, it takes a lot of skill to do surf fishing and select the best surf fishing rod and reel combo. Just imagine you are sitting on a sandy beach enjoying your time preparing to cast out your lure when suddenly you see that your line is not long enough and the casting distance is too short.

So, to help you avoid that kind of situation, we have prepared a review of the 5 best reel and rod combination for surf casting in different categories.

Top 3 Picks

Best Overall

Daiwa BG Surf

Daiwa BG Surf Combo

Best Warranty

Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf

Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf Combo

Best Beginners

Penn Battle III

Penn Battle III Combo

What To Look For In Surf Fishing Rod And Reel Combos


There are different opinions about the size of the rod and reel combos, but generally, surf fishing anglers select a rod between 12 and 16 ft long and pair it with a minimum 6000 series reel. A longer rod enables you to make long casts. So the longer the rod, the farther you will cast the lure.


A fast action rod is an excellent rod for surf fishing, providing anglers relative control and high-level of sensitivity. Also, it offers an ideal casting distance and is best used with single-hook lures. A slow action is better suited for lures with treble hooks.


The rod’s strength refers to its lifting power which ranges from light to heavy. Anglers usually choose a medium-heavy rod and reel combo since they provide enough strength and lifting power. They also add to the sensitivity of the rod tip.

Blank Material

Graphite, fiberglass, and high-density carbon fiber are considered to be the best materials for blanks because they are light and strong. The blank is the essence of the rod and gives it its strength, flexibility and sensitivity.


Surf rods have long handles because anglers need a good two-handed grip to be able to cast the lure far from the shore. EVA and cork are the most usual materials used for surf-fishing rod handles. These materials provide a comfortable grip that will allow anglers to hold the surf rod for long periods of fishing.


The standard surf rods have about six guides, usually in 9-10 feet long rods. Although, in custom rods, there are about four to five guides.


To keep your line capacity manageable, you will need to get 250-300 yards of line to heat the hotspots for productive fishing. Most manufacturers write the line capacity so you can be sure you’re getting the right line for surf fishing. Overall, surf anglers choose a 20-30 pound monofilament or braided line that has enough capacity to fish from the beach.


You should always check the composition of the beach you are planning to catch fish. Every beach is different, and knowing what type of composition the rod has will make your line choosing much more manageable. On the plus side, nowadays you can check everything online so it won’t be hard, and you will have a better chance for success.

5 Best Rod and Reel Surf Fishing Combos

  1. Daiwa BG Surf Combo Best Overall Surf Fishing Rod and Reel
  2. Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf ComboBest Warranty Surf Fishing Rod and Reel
  3. Penn Battle III ComboBest Beginners Surf Fishing Rod and Reel
  4. KastKing Centron Spinning Combo – Best Sensitivity Surf Fishing Rod and Reel
  5. Daiwa D-Wave Spinning ComboBest Budget Surf Fishing Rod and Reel


Best Overall Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Daiwa BG Surf Combo

Daiwa BG Surf

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Daiwa BG Surf is a great option for anglers searching for durable and reliable saltwater fishing rods. It is made of anti-corrosive materials suitable for demanding saltwater conditions. And we appreciate the beautiful, balanced construction and a medium-power action combo of this surf fishing reel that ensure a smooth fishing experience. This is the best surf fishing rod and reel combo.

  • Material: Graphite & Carbon Composite
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 10 ft
  • Fishing technique: Spinning
  • Fishing line rating: Monofilament
  • Reel size: 5000
  • Rod power: Medium Heavy



BUYING ADVICE: The Daiwa BG Surf Combo is compact; both the reel and the rod fit perfectly, and, most importantly, it doesn’t twist. Overall, this surf spinning combo with the 6000 reel series works well, and the line is long enough for long casts. You can easily change the reel if you wish, or read our reviews for the best surf fishing rods to find an alternative product.

FEATURES: The Daiwa BG Surf Combo manufacturers use high-tech in producing all of their gear, and this series is not an exception. The excellent blend of graphite and carbon will give you the desired stiffness and the perfect sensitivity to control your line and lure.


Best Warranty

Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf Combo

Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf

WHY WE LIKE IT: One of this combo’s many qualities is the beautiful design constructed from fiberglass and graphite for a strong yet lightweight feel. Another advantage is the superior line control that the steel guides provide.

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black/Red/Yellow
  • Size: 9 ft
  • Fishing technique: Spinning
  • Fishing line rating: ‎Monofilament
  • Reel size: 
  • Rod power: from medium to heavy



BUYING ADVICE: It is not the first time we have tested the Ugly Stick series, and we are always surprised by its robust craftsmanship and endurance. We were satisfied with the casting distance and comfortable EVA handle that will help you cast lures for hours on end.

So, if you are up for some medium-heavy power rod and reel combo that will always bring you a catch, you’ve found it!

FEATURES: What sets aside this combo from others on the market is the proven durability of the Ugly Tech Construction, which will not fail you even in the most challenging circumstances. And it comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.


Best Combo for Beginners

Penn Battle III Fishing Rod Combo

Penn Battle III

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like this medium-lightweight surf fishing rod combo for its flawlessly balanced metal body that can easily withstand big fish. It is a fast, flexible, and fierce graphite rod combo for accurate surf casting, and it might be the best surf fishing setup we have encountered in a long time. 

  • Material: Graphite Composite
  • Color: Black/Gold
  • Size: 6 ft 6 in +4 other sizes
  • Fishing Technique: Spinning
  • Fishing line rating: Spinning



BUYING ADVICE: This versatile surf combo targets many game fish, from trout to redfish. We spooled the combo with an 80lb braid line and managed to throw long casts and targeted big predators. The rod tip bent almost in a U position and did not break. We’ve also made a list of beginner friendly surf casting reels.

So, if you are preparing for an inshore or out-on-the-sea fishing trip and want to impress everyone with a trophy catch, this is the rod for you!

FEATURES: The Penn Battle III Combo features a reel constructed using CNC technology, carbon fiber drag washers, and stainless steel ball bearings. It’s a tough surf fishing combo ideal for novice anglers.


Best Sensitivity Combo

KastKing Centron Spinning Combo

KastKing Centron Spinning Rod

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like the KastKing Centron Spinning reel and rod combo for its design and the manufacturer’s dedication to perfection. The blank is made from IM6 Graphite that makes the rod lightweight and adds to its sensitivity. The rod bends in many unexpected ways yet remains stiff enough to hold a hefty catch. This is the best surf casting rod and reel combo for anglers who prefers sensitivity.

  • Material: Stainless Steel/Toray IM6 Graphite
  • Color: Black/Blue
  • Size: 6.0, 8.0, 7.0 ft
  • Action: Moderate fast
  • Fishing line rating: ‎Braided
  • Fishing technique: Spinning



BUYING ADVICE: We tested the 5.2:1 gear ratio paired with a 1/4 oz lure for inshore fishing. We can say that this is a combo you can use effortlessly, even if you are a novice in the fishing pond! The casts were long and the EVA handle and fighting butt made this rod comfortable and easy to hold for hours.

FEATURES: The well-thought-out graphite framework and aluminum spool are among the best characteristics of this product. The reel combo also features a powerful triple-disc felt drag system that guarantees a smooth reel pairing.


Best Budget Combo

Daiwa D-Wave Spinning Combo

Daiwa D-Wave Spinning Combo

WHY WE LIKE IT: We love this 2-piece fiberglass rod for its powerful reel combo, adjustable smooth drag, and anti-reverse feature. It’s versatile, which means you can use it for bottom fishing and casting. It’s a durable combo that will give you great value for money.

  • Material: Synthetic
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 7 ft
  • Fishing Technique: Spinning
  • Fishing line rating: Monofilament



BUYING ADVICE: The 2-peace is easy to assemble and as compact as a one-peace rod. We matched it with a 12 lb/350 yd line capacity and a live shrimp bait for heavy surf fishing. The cast was great, but you will still need a longer line size for a wider strike zone.

If you want exciting and full-on-deck surf fishing, this lovely rod and reel combo will provide the day’s catch. Just don’t leave the reel on the sand, and you’ll do great! 

FEATURES: The Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo (2 Piece) stands out due to its clever design. Equipped with a corrosion-resistant graphite body, 5+1 ball bearings, and ABS aluminum spool which make it a dangerous tool for heavy prey.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can use a saltwater rod and gear if it is suited for surf casting, meaning the rod length must be between 12 and 16 feet long with extensive line guides. You will also need long surf reels.

Surf fishing rod and reel combos are essential when your targets are far away and the bait is cast more than 100 yards from the shoreline. That is when your surf rod and reel combo need to be 12-16ft with 5000-6000 (50-60) series for optimal functionality.

However, we recommend the following surf fishing combo for novice anglers: an 8ft to 10ft in length rod, a 6000 to 8000 series reel, and a 25lb to 50lb braided fishing line.

Generally, surf fishing rods range between 9 and 14 feet long. However, they can be too complicated for anglers that are just starting. Also, they are impractical if you are not using them for long casts. So you can find good surf rods 10 and 12 feet long and work your magic.