Best Overall: Daiwa Millionaire (click to view)
“The Millionaire has plenty of line capacity, smooth casting, and enough drag to put pressure on large fish you’ll run into. Ideal for anglers who spend long hours on the surf since it’s lightweight.”
Best Premium Option: Shimano Calcutta B (click to view)
“The Shimano Calcutta is famous for its quality, longevity, and power, making it ideal for long-term anglers. It’s recommended for surf fishing since it won’t rust or fill with sand.”
Best Budget Option: KastKing Rover Round Reel (click to view)
“The KastiKing Rover is a low-cost reel that stands up with its bay in terms of features and performance. Ideal for beginners and anglers on a budget who don’t want to buy low-quality junk.”
Sometimes in surf fishing, the distance you can cast makes all the difference. Casting reels can help you get that extra distance that traditionally used spinning reels can not.
Ideally, you’ll want a reel with a Levelwind to make it easier to spool line, a smooth, free spool for less friction on casts, and a silky anti-brake to keep the spool from over-turning.
We’ve put together this list of the best casting reels for surf fishing so you can make a smart buying decision before heading out to your next surf fishing holiday.
What Is The Best Beach Casting Reel?
Top 5 Casting Reel
Table of Contents
- The Rundown
- What Is The Best Beach Casting Reel?
- Best Surf Casting Reels: 2022 Guide
- What To Look For When Buying A Surf Casting Reel
- Questions & Answers
Best Surf Casting Reels: 2022 Guide
These are the best reels you need to grab for your next surf fishing trip:
- Daiwa Millionaire
- Shimano Calcutta B
- KastKing Rover Round Reel
- Okuma Andros 2-Speed Reel
- Daiwa Saltist 20 Levelwind Reel
Best Overall: High tech, easy to operate, and plenty of line capacity for long casts and big fish.
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- 330 yards of 30-pound braided line
- Infinite anti-reverse system
- Solid carbon fiber drag
The Daiwa Millionaire is an excellent choice for a surfcasting reel. Plenty of line capacity, smooth casting, and just enough drag to put pressure on larger fish you’ll run into. A lightweight reel with a comfortable handle, the Millionaire is a solid choice for any surf fishermen looking to use a casting reel.
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Shimano Calcutta B
Best Premium Option: A reel that will perform for generations with just a little bit of care.
- Super-strong, ultralight, aluminum frame
- 24” retrieval rate
- Huge line capacity and great drag power
The Shimano Calcutta B is famous for its quality, longevity, and power. The reel is easily worth the entry price, especially for long-term anglers since the reel will last and perform nearly inevitably. It makes an excellent reel in any situation and a great surf reel since it won’t rust or fill with sand.
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KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel
Best Budget Option: A low-cost reel that stands up with its bay in terms of features and performance.
- Comes in both left and right-handed models
- Low cost for the number of features
- Up to 30 pounds of drag
KastKing has a habit of making incredible reels for a low price, and the Rover Round doesn’t disappoint. With various sizes to choose from and a huge number of features packed into a low-price package, the Rover is an excellent choice for beginners and anglers on a budget who don’t want to buy low-quality junk.
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Okuma Andros 2-Speed Reel
Best 2-Speed Option: An incredibly lightweight reel that packs plenty of power and all of the advanced features Okuma has to offer.
- Quick flip between two gear ratios
- Ergonomic level makes adjusting drag a breeze
- Silent retrieval shows the perfect fit of gearing
The Andros is specifically designed to give you all the power and quality possible in the lightest and most agile reel possible. Easy adjustments make casting, switching gear ratios, and adjusting drag on the fly all incredibly easy, and with a bit of practice, you’ll be casting huge distances with ease.
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Daiwa Saltist Levelwind Reel
Most Versatile Option: An excellent choice for surf fishing, as well as jigging, trolling, and working lures.
- Super smooth line guide
- Automatic clutch engage
- Fast gear ratio, 35” per crank
A fantastic all-around reel, the Daiwa Saltist makes for a great surf fishing reel. Excellent line capacity, fast retrieval, and good drag power give it an edge over fish prowling the surf.
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What To Look For When Buying A Surf Casting Reel
Perhaps the most important thing you need in a casting surf reel is a solid anti-reverse. Without it, you won’t be able to get the distance you’re after on your casts since you’ll have to slow the spool down manually. So not only is it a matter of convenience, but it’s near a necessity to avoid backlash, over pool, possible injuries, and to quite simply give you a better experience.
Surf fishing means you need to be able to cast significant distances, up to and over 100 yards. Factor in the fact that big fish can run that far, and you need a spare line for break-offs, cuts, and maintenance, and you need at least 300 yards of line on the reel to be effective. The braided line gives you the advantage of using heavier lines while taking up less space than monofilament, which is also needed for long-distance casting to avoid snapping your line.
Any time you surf fish, you’ll be exposing your reel to salty spray and sand. Even if you don’t drop it, these things have a way of finding their way into reels and destroying them from the inside. The best thing you can do is look for sealed parts and resistant metals. Aluminum and stainless steel are some of the best options for reel part materials, and shielded bearings should be part of your qualifications to keep that stuff out.
Fish in the surf have the advantage of using the waves and currents to their advantage on runs. Therefore, you’ll want slightly more power than usual if you want to be able to turn them. The lowest I would go is ten pounds of drag. However, that won’t be enough if a medium shark or bigger game fish grabs your bait. Twenty pounds of drag is a pretty standard baseline that will get you through most fish you’ll encounter.
Questions & Answers
Do Levelwinds hurt casting distance?
Unfortunately, yes, a Levelwind adds friction to the line as it leaves the reel, reducing casting distance. The trade-off is that it evenly spools your line back onto the reel spool. Without a Levelwind, you’d need to do this by hand on every retrieval, and if done improperly, it would reduce your casting distance anyways. A smooth Levelwind like those on this list is simply the better option for less experienced anglers and those who want a smoother, less-involved experience.
Are casting reels or spinning reels better for surf fishing?
Back in the day, casting reels had a significant advantage in both casting distance and drag power. Nowadays, it’s much more of a personal preference since spinning reels have caught up in both aspects. You should fish with whichever is more comfortable for you. Therefore, make sure you’re using the proper size reel for the types of fish you plan on and could be hooking into to minimize failures.