The Best Rods For Surf Fishing: 2021 Buying Guide

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods (click to see)
“With a premium cork grip for sustained comfort and a graphite construction for increased durability, the Okuma Longitude Rod is designed for anglers who spend countless hours on the water.”

Best Budget Rod: Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod (click to see)
“The Fiblink Rod is built with solid carbon fiber for enhanced performance and increased sensitivity. Ideal for anglers searching for impressive performance at an affordable price.

Best Rod Kit: Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos (click to see)
“The Sougayilang Rod Combos has a telescoping design and collapses to a length of 16 inches, making it ideal for anglers looking for portable surf rods. It also comes with a reel, monoline, lures, and carrying case.

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Surf fishing is undoubtedly fun, and at the same time, presents a new experience to those who wish to catch saltwater fish but do not own a boat. There is dedicated gear specially designed for this type of fishing. One of the first things that you should grab is a surf rod.

Surf fishing rods have the perfect blend of strength, resilience, and length – allowing an angler to cast with good range yet fight with incredible power. In addition, top-tier surf fishing rods are designed with anglers’ comfort in mind.

There are hundreds of options out there, so finding the one that’s perfect for your surf fishing needs can be pretty challenging, especially if you’re still new to this game.

That’s why we’ve listed the best surf fishing rods in 2021 to save you time and energy.

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Hours spent testing
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Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods (Large, Black/Blue/Silver)
Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 2-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (9-Feet)
Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with Telescopic Fishing Pole Spinning Reels Fishing Carrier Bag for Travel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing-1.8M/5.91FT
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Our Rating 93/100
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Graphite construction for increased durability
Solid Carbon Fiber construction for enhanced performance
High Density carbon stock for enhanced durability
Feature 2
Premium cork grip for sustained comfort
Stainless Steel and Ceramic guides for smooth casting
Telescoping design for ultimate convenience
Best Overall
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods (Large, Black/Blue/Silver)
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Feature 1
Graphite construction for increased durability
Feature 2
Premium cork grip for sustained comfort
Buy Now Button
Best Budget Rod
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 2-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (9-Feet)
Our grade
Our Rating 93/100
Feature 1
Solid Carbon Fiber construction for enhanced performance
Feature 2
Stainless Steel and Ceramic guides for smooth casting
Buy Now Button
Best Kit Rod
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with Telescopic Fishing Pole Spinning Reels Fishing Carrier Bag for Travel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing-1.8M/5.91FT
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
High Density carbon stock for enhanced durability
Feature 2
Telescoping design for ultimate convenience
Buy Now Button

Best Surf Fishing Rods 2021

  1. Best Overall: Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods
  2. Best Budget Rod: Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod
  3. Best Rod Kit: Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos
  4. Most Durable: KastKing Perigee II
  5. Best Telescopic Option: PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
  6. Strongest Rod: Ugly Stik Bigwater
  7. Best High End: Okuma Rockaway

Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods

Best Overall: A rod of superior quality, which will surpass expectations of even the most discerning angler

Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods (Large, Black/Blue/Silver)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Braid compatible aluminum oxide rod eyes
  • Premium cork grip for sustained comfort
  • Graphite construction for increased durability

If you are in the market for an ultra-sensitive surf fishing rod that is also extremely durable, then the Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods should be worthy of your consideration. This rod’s graphite construction offers the perfect blend of characteristics, making it outwardly responsive yet tougher than most similar rods on the market.

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The Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rod also features the highest quality components, including braid-compatible Aluminum oxide guide rod eye inserts and double footed stainless steel guide frames. This should be highly appreciated by those who are looking for a rod of unparalleled quality.

Also of note is the Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rod’s comfort-related features. Among these features are a premium cork fore and rear grip, which is of a non-slip design. This should be appreciated by all who spend countless hours on the water.

Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing Rod 2-Piece Graphite Travel Fishing Rod (9-Feet)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Solid Carbon Fiber construction for enhanced performance
  • Stainless Steel and Ceramic guides for smooth casting
  • Backed by a one year warranty

The Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod is likely to be the perfect choice for any angler who is looking for quality performance, at a cost-effective price. This rod is constructed of solid carbon fiber for enhanced performance and increased sensitivity. The Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod’s stainless steel and ceramic guides allow smooth long-distance casting while magnifying the sensitivity.

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Those purchasing the Fiblink Surf rod should be extremely satisfied with the versatility of this product. The Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod is engineered to perform flawlessly, no matter the size of lure that is chosen for use.

The rod also features a rubber shrink tube handle with a non-slip feature. In addition, the unit’s high-strength reel seat has stainless steel tapered hood transitions on the reel seat protecting cap, thereby providing secure containment for your reel. A one-year warranty also backs the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod against any defects.

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos

Best Rod Kit: An excellent on-the-go alternative to the use of traditional surf rods

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with Telescopic Fishing Pole Spinning Reels Fishing Carrier Bag for Travel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing-1.8M/5.91FT
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KEY FEATURES

  • High-Density carbon stock for enhanced durability
  • Telescoping design for ultimate convenience
  • Includes mono line, lures, and carrying case

The Sougayilang Fishing Rod should be perfect for any angler who is in search of a portable surf rod, which can be easily stowed away within a vehicle when heading to the beach for vacation. This rod is of a telescoping design and collapses to a length of only 16 inches. Even better is that this rod also comes with a matching reel, effectively doubling in value.

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Many anglers are also likely to be quite fond of the Sougayilang Fishing Rod’s robust construction. Though many anglers shun the idea of using a telescopic rod for heavy-duty applications such as saltwater fishing, this rod is more than capable of holding its own. In addition, the Sougayilang Surf Fishing Rod is constructed of high-density carbon-composite base stock, making it highly durable.

The Sougayilang Fishing Rod also comes with 100-feet of monofilament line, an assortment of lures, and a soft-sided carrying case. This allows you to get out on the water as soon as you received your new rod.

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

Most Durable: Durable enough to face even the harshest of conditions on a repeated basis

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Spinning Rod 7ft - Medium and Medium Heavy - Fast - Twin-tip Rod (2Tips+1 Butt Section)
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KEY FEATURES

  • 24-ton Carbon Matrix stock for unsurpassed durability
  • PTS technology for increased fighting power
  • High-Density EVA grips for all-day comfort

If you are currently searching for an extremely durable surf fishing rod, that should last a lifetime, then you will likely find immense favor in the KastKing Perigee II. This rod is constructed of KastKing’s proprietary 24-ton carbon matrix base stock. Additionally, the Perigee II features premium-grade hardware.

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The KastKing Perigee II also features KastKing’s PTS technology, Power Transmission system. This allows the reel to load precisely, thereby promoting better hook sets and increased fighting power. This also provides anglers with the confidence to maximize their time on the water.

Many anglers should also find favor in the Perigee’s high-density EVA grips. These grips are designed with angler comfort in mind and are sure to reduce hand and arm fatigue when hitting the water for your next all-day excursion.

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Best Telescopic Option: A portable solution to every surf fishing need

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Sea Saltwater Freshwater Kit (2 Sections & Extended Handle Full Kit with Carrier Case, 2.74M 9Ft)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Telescopic design for outstanding portability
  • Double locking reel seat for reliable stability
  • Includes reel, lures, monoline, and carrying case

The Plusinno Fishing Rod should be ideal for anglers who travel frequently, and require a mobile solution to meet their saltwater angling needs. This rod is telescopic by design and easily stored in a vehicle or tucked away in a larger suitcase. When collapsed, the Plusinno Fishing Rod measures less than two feet in length.

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Many anglers will also likely find favor in the Plusinno Fishing Rod’s double-locking reel seat. This reel seat features a cushioned hood that keeps an angler’s reel secured in place, no matter how intense a fight might become. This should be a favorite feature of those who regularly target sizable species of fish.

The Plusinno Fishing Rod also comes as a kit, including a high-quality spinning reel, multiple lures, terminal tackle, monofilament line, and a handheld carrying case. This should be significant to any angler looking to hit the water as soon as possible.

Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Fishing Rod

Strongest Rod: Robust beyond compare, yet sensitive enough to detect even the lightest of bites

Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Rod
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KEY FEATURES

  • Graphite and fiberglass construction for enhanced strength
  • Straightforward tip design for improved sensitivity
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides for unparalleled durability

The Ugly Stik Bigwater Casting Fishing Rod should make the ideal choice for any angler looking to take on the largest of saltwater gamefish species. The rod is constructed of a graphite/fiberglass composition that is innately durable and more than capable of waging battle against trophy-size fish.

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The Bigwater Fishing Rod features corrosion-resistant, double footed 1-piece stainless steel guides for maximum durability, eliminating concerns regarding guide insert popouts. The clear tip design on the Ugly Stik Bigwater should also give any angler the sensitivity and responsiveness they seek to feel even the lightest of bites. 

Long days of surf fishing are eased by the comfort of the lightweight EVA grips featured on the Ugly Stik Bigwater fishing rod. As a result, both hand and arm fatigue are significantly reduced.

Okuma Rockaway

Best High-End Rod: A feature-rich rod that is sure to come through in the clutch

OKUMA RA-S-1002M Rockaway Surf, 10', Black
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KEY FEATURES

  • UFR-II Rod tip technology for superior sensitivity
  • 24-ton Carbon blanks for enhanced durability
  • Zirconium inserts for increased versatility

For the angler that is searching for an ultra-lightweight, yet extremely responsive surf rod, the Okuma Rockaway Saltwater Surf Rod is hard to beat. The Rockaway is constructed from carbon rod blanks and uses Ultimate Flex Reinforcement technology, which offers a unique combination of durability and sensitivity.

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The Okuma Rockaway Rod also features SeaGuide XQH series angled 316 stainless steel guide frames and Zirconium inserts compatible with braid and monofilament lines. In addition, the thin tapered shrink tube grips found on this rod provide a non-slip surface and give the Okuma Rockaway rod a lightweight feel, conducive to all-day comfort. 

The Okuma Rockaway is also constructed with an EVA butt cap that’s rounded for superior leverage when casting and a tip-over butt ferrule connection for improved balance. And the best part? You get a one-year limited warranty.


Surf Fishing Rod Buying Guide

The following is a comprehensive guide to all that one should know before purchasing their first surf fishing rod.

Spinning Rod vs Casting Rod

Surf casting rods differ from standard spinning rods in several ways. The most significant of these differences are intended to promote a high rate of castability. In addition, surf fishers often cover vast expanses of water in a bid to connect with large schools of actively feeding fish. Efforts of this nature are made possible by using special rods that cast unlike anything else currently available on the market.

Surf rods range between 9’-14’ in length, which are typically much longer than standard spinning rods. This additional length allows a surf rod to cast greater distances than that of a spinning rod.

Additionally, surf rods are typically constructed in a way that makes them far stiffer than standard spinning rods. This rigid construction provides the necessary backbone to sail a lure or bait far out into the surf.

Types of Surf Fishing and Rod Length

The term “surf fishing” actually describes several individual saltwater angling endeavors. The most common of these endeavors include pier fishing, cast/retrieve fishing, and shorebound big game fishing. Each of these specific endeavors requires the use of dedicated equipment, including a well-chosen rod.

Pier Fishing

Many saltwater anglers initially begin by fishing from a pier. Pier fishing can be gratifying, as well as productive. This generally requires a shorter pier fishing rod than the usual rod, ranging from 7-10 feet. 

Cast/Retrieve Fishing

Cast/retrieve fishing involves repeatedly working an artificial lure in hopes of landing some fish. This type of fishing can yield a high catch ratio when conducted in good locations. Anglers typically use rods that measure between 9’-12’ for such endeavors.

Shorebound Big Game Fishing

Many anglers become infatuated with the idea of catching the largest possible fish while still ashore. As a result, these anglers often pursue species such as sharks and tarpon that reach significant weights. When surf fishing, anglers typically use large fishing rods, which measure 12 feet or greater in length.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Fishing Rod

Casting Distance

A casting rod is only as good as its ability to cast at great length.

The best surf fishing rods are specifically designed to provide effortless long-range casting. Rods of this nature are of sufficient length and action to propel an angler’s lure or bait far into the open water. Any rod that does not feature these characteristics will prove to be of little value in a surf fishing situation, as one must first reach the fish they seek to catch.

Baits or Lures

So you can accurately choose a rod with the correction action, you need to consider whether you intend to fish with artificial lures or live baits

Different fishing styles often require the use of various equipment, with one’s selection of rods being no exception. While little outside of sheer castability is of concern when selecting a surf rod for fishing with live bait, far greater emphasis is placed upon a rod’s functional characteristics when fishing artificial lures

Target Species

To maximize efficiency, an angler should always attempt to match their rod selection to the particular species of fish they intend to pursue.

Before purchasing a fishing rod, one must determine the size of fish that they intend to pursue. In general, the larger the species of fish, the more robust a rod must be. However, one must ensure that they are not fishing with “too much” pole for a given application. For example, if you were to fish for small to moderately sized fish, there would be little need for a rod that features an extra-heavy action.

Materials

Surf rods come in many different compositions, all of which offer their distinct merit.

Today’s surf rods are constructed from numerous materials, the most common of which include graphite and fiberglass. These materials are of significant value due to their innate strength and unwavering durability. However, before purchase, an angler is wise to research the exact composition of a particular road, to ensure that it is constructed of only top-tier materials.

Durability

A surf fishing rod must be capable of withstanding a significant amount of abuse or risk failing in the most untimely manner.

Naturally, some rods are more resilient than others. However, any points of weakness in a surf fishing rod will be quickly exposed. Rods of this nature are frequently pushed to their brink by continuous casting and strenuous fights. A rod that is anything less than hearty will seldom not fare well over time.

Rod Action and Power

A rod’s best-intended use can be determined by studying the particular model’s action and power ratings.

All rods feature designated power and action ratings. A rod’s power rating describes a unit’s relative strength. It ranges from light to heavy, with the latter being the strongest of rods. Some manufacturers even offer extra-heavy rods, which are rated to meet the most strenuous demands.

A rod’s action is used to describe a unit’s flex rate when placed under a load. More specifically, a rod’s action denotes the point of flex within a blank’s shaft. These ratings range from slow to fast. For example, slow action rods flex in the middle of their blanks, while fast action rods load most heavily at their tips.

Questions & Answers

What is surf fishing?

Surf fishing is characterized as saltwater fishing from the shore or while wading out into the surf. This style of fishing is trendy, as it allows anglers to enjoy saltwater fishing without the additional expenditure associated with purchasing or chartering a boat. Surf fishing is also delightful. You simply never know what you might catch. During one outing, you might catch a flounder, only to catch a shark during your next outing.

Another favorable characteristic of surf fishing is that one can enjoy such activity at nearly any coastal location. Thus, an impromptu surf fishing excursion can even be integrated into a typical summer vacation to the beach.

What’s a surf fishing rod?

A surf fishing rod is a specialized rod, which is expressly designed to possess several key traits. Perhaps the most important of these traits is that which relates to castability. Since surf fishers do not employ a boat, their rods must be capable of casting extensive distances to reach the fish they intend to catch.

A quality surf rod is also designed to withstand the rigors of a sizable fight. Because one never knows what they might catch when surf fishing, the angler’s rod must be capable of manhandling fish of epic proportions.

Why do I need a special rod when surf fishing?

You need a specific rod when surf fishing because surf rods are designed to cast a sufficient distance to reach fish holding in deeper water. The best surf fishing rods often measure over 10-feet in length. This additional length allows an angler to propel their bait and line forward with a significant degree of force. This is something that would not be possible with the use of a shorter rod.

Surf Fishing rods are also designed with extensive backbone, to withstand the occasional fight with a shark or other large species of saltwater fish. In such situations, a lesser rod would be pushed beyond its operational capacity.

How do I clean a surf fishing rod?

A surf fishing rod can be cleaned in a relatively simple manner with freshwater. However, if a surf rod is to be cleaned with a reel still attached, the reel’s drag knob should be tightened down to minimize water intrusion into the drag system.

A garden hose can then be used to lightly rinse each surf rod that is to be cleaned. Doing so eliminates the presence of potential corrosives, such as salt. Once an angler’s surf fishing rod and reels have been washed, they can be dried off gently using a towel.


Conclusion 

If you find yourself mesmerized by the idea of hitting the shore in search of surf fishing success, then the purchase of a quality surf fishing rod is likely in store. However, one must carefully consider every detail of such a purchase or risk hampering themselves in their efforts.

If you currently find yourself searching for a top-tier surf fishing rod, then the information above is sure to point you in the right direction. By taking stock of all available options and basing your purchase upon the key criteria previously mentioned, you will be well on your way to experiencing some of the most enjoyable surf fishing that one can take part in.