If you’re looking to head out and net your next big fish, or if you’re a beginner looking to get into surf fishing then you need to have a great rod and reel to back you up.
This is one of the most important combinations in angling and if you don’t want to use a fishing net or a spear, you’d be stuck without them. It’s no wonder that so many anglers feel a little overwhelmed when looking at the options available to them.
The market is very crowded at the moment, and it might seem impossible to make the right choice. Don’t worry, this handy guide has done all the legwork for you. We’ve gathered together the very best products available right now so you can have a look and find something that suits you and your needs.
We’ve also put together a guide to the most important features on any rod and reel combo, so you’ll know what to look out for when you go at it alone. At the end of the guide, you’ll find an FAQ section that will answer all your most important questions.
So let’s crack on and have a look at some of the best products available for you right now!
Top 5 Best Surf Rod and Reel Combo
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
One of the most popular rod/reel combos currently available this rod from Penn is pretty powerful but doesn’t sacrifice sensitivity for a boost.
The rod is made from a graphite blend that is capable of sensing even the tiniest of bites but can hold up under the pressure of the bigger fish as well.
There are a variety of sizes available from a medium-light option all the way to heavy power design, so whatever you’re looking at catching or your style, you should be able to find something that suits you.
The rod is very comfortable to use, and the EVA foam handle and aluminum guides make it so you can easily use this rod for hours on end without getting tired.
The reel has a full metal rotor, side plate, and body, while the spool is made from anodized aluminum. The line capacity is around 200 yards which most anglers will find to be ample to keep them on the water all day.
The heavy-duty drag system will help you catch the larger fish with no issues, and the 5+1 steel bearing system includes instant anti-reverse, aluminum bail wire, and line capacity rings all of which will help you make the most out of your trip.
You’ll be able to get some long casts with this model, which will increase your chance of landing something a bit bigger than you might be used to.
If you’re an angler looking for versatility in your rod and reel combo than this really could be the one for you. This is a great value rod and is an excellent choice for a beginner angler looking for something that’ll be able to handle all sizes of fish.
This is a rod that won’t shy away from a monster but is still sensitive enough to nab you something a bit more smaller too. Durably constructed and well balanced, this model from Penn is well worth a go.
- Well balanced
- Made from high-quality materials and is capable of holding up in both saltwater and freshwater
- Durable and lightweight
- The versatile combo that allows for a variety of angling styles and abilities
- Large enough line capacity to keep you going all-day
- A little stiff in the rod
If you’re a saltwater angler looking for the next big thing than this is an 11-foot model worth taking a look at. When looking to catch some of the biggest and most aggressive fish on the shoreline or out to sea, then this is a great rod to have in your arsenal.
Daiwa has worked hard to craft a rod that’s powerful enough to handle the larger fish but remains very sensitive. They’ve achieved this by using a full graphite rod that retains sensitivity without compromising strength and the results are pretty awesome.
The length of the rod helps with maximum distance casting thanks to its heavy power. It also has been very well protected against saltwater corrosion thanks to the stainless steel hooded reel seat.
The reel is a D-Wave 3Bi spinning reel and has also been constructed from graphite while the spool is made from aluminum. Daiwa has included a Gyro Spin rotor balancer and a Twist Buster II line roller to encourage smooth operation even on windy days or bad ocean conditions.
The shape and surface of the gear teeth improve the performance of the reel and elongate its useful lifespan, thanks to Daiwa using their patented Digigear technology during construction.
If you’re looking for a reliable and sensitive rod to take saltwater fishing then this is a great rod for you. It is a little less suitable for beginners simply because it lacks the versatility of other similar models, and won’t do as well in a freshwater setting.
So, not a great one if you’re still trying out angling and don’t know what your preference is yet. Making accurate casts with this rod also takes some practice, and this might be a better rod for those with some experience under their belts.
If you do fancy giving it a go than just practice as much as possible, once you’ve mastered casting with this rod you won’t want to go back.
- Very sensitive
- Excellently smooth reel
- Very powerful with a heavy backbone
- Durable and well protected from corrosion due to saltwater
- Not suitable for smaller fish
- Made Using The Highest Quality Components
- Used By Professional Fishermen Worldwide
- Tested For Durability And Quality
- Package Dimensions: 7" ( H ) x 49" ( L ) x 8" ( W )
Another offering from Penn, which really proves their reputation for delivering good quality rods without needing to break the bank. This is a very recognizable rod due to its consistently good performance and the quality of the construction.
There’s a very sizable line capacity on this model, and it’s a great one for jigging. As you’d expect its corrosion-resistant thanks to the all-metal body, side plate, and rotor and the whole thing is watertight to prevent damage over long periods of time.
If you do plan to do a lot of saltwater fishing then this is a pretty go option given the quality of the corrosion-resistant construction. The drag system is designed to offer maximum power and includes features like line capacity rings which let you know how much line you have left and an oversized bail wire.
The rod itself is made from a graphite composite that promotes sensitivity and power. The EVA foam handles are very comfortable to use and help you get less tired in your wrists and hands over longer periods. The guides are made from stainless steel and also contribute to the overall strength of the rod.
The reel is a bit better than the rod in this combo, but you shouldn’t discount the rod completely. While it may struggle with the really big fish, anything small or mediumly sized it should be able to handle. The reel is beautifully designed, and the whole package is a great one for saltwater. For the reel alone, this option is worth checking out.
- Water sealed to prevent damage
- Durable construction
- Excellent drag system
- Very sensitive rod thanks to the graphite construction
- A little on the heavy side
- Line, 5BB + 1RB, 6.2: 1, alum spool, 390/4, 250/6, 210/8, 7'
- Watertight spinning reel performs reliably in saltwater and sand environments
- Durable construction with full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
- Sealed HT-100 Slammer drag system provides robust, silky-smooth drag, while friction trip ramp prevents premature bail trip when casting
- Fluid cranking with 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing
Whether you’re an experienced angler or a straight beginner, you’ve probably come across the name Okuma in your tackle before.
Okuma is well known for manufacturing some of the best value and most sensitive tackle about, and this option is no exception to their reputation for quality kit. This is a popular model for reeling in large fish out on the open sea, and it’s easy to see why.
Okuma knows that you need a little bit more power out on the open sea and the choice to construct their rod from full fiberglass fully displays their commitment to excellence and the thought that goes into the creation of their rods.
There’s plenty of versatility in the options they offer and their rods range from a seven-foot to ten-foot so there is certainly something for you. All their rods are comfortable and easy to use thanks to the EVA foam handles and the ceramic guide inserts.
The multi-disc oiled felt drag system is designed to pack a bit of punch whilst also being consistent and reliable. The line capacity on this combo is also fairly large coming in at around 260 yards of line, which comes pre-spooled.
And if you want a little bit more protection than you’ll like the inclusion of stainless steel, hooded reel seats, which further add to the anti-corrosion features on this rod and reel combo.
If you want a great value combo than look no further. You’ll be constantly surprised by the power this model is capable of giving you, and the construction and quality of this one is very hard to beat.
- Large line capacity to keep you on the water all-day
- Strong and durable thanks to the excellent construction
- Powerful rod thanks to the fiberglass construction
- Versatile options
- A good one for all skill levels
- Quite heavy
- 1BB ball bearing drive for smoothness
- Corrosion resistant graphite spool
- Multi-disc oiled-felt drag System
- Multi-disc oiled felt drag system
- Durable glass fiber rod blank construction
Another well-known brand in the fishing world, Shakespeare are known for making rods suitable for a variety of skillsets that last and last. This is one of their most popular rod and reel combos and it’s easy to see why.
Constructed with a tubular fiberglass blank this is a rod that can hold its own against larger fishes and can take a few bumps without any issues. The fiberglass construction does make it a bit of a heavier option than a graphite rod, but the boost to the strength and power of the rod makes it no issue.
The fiberglass blanks are also what makes it a good option for the beginner, you won’t have to worry about banging this rod about while you’re learning- a huge bonus for some novices. The foam handles are comfortable and made from EVA to help combat fatigue and help you fish for longer periods.
The rod comes in a stylish, dark red color which makes standing out a sure thing among the standard blues and blacks.
You have the option of a spin-cast or spinning reel design, and both come with a 20-pound Stren line pre-spooled. If you’re a beginner, we recommend the spin-cast option which will help stop your line from growing tangled.
If you’re a bit more of an advanced angler than the spinning reel offers more accuracy and precision as well as being a little more versatile.
This a durable rod that’s easy to use and surprisingly effective, making it one of the best rod and reel combos available for beginners.
More experienced anglers might want something a bit more advanced and challenging, but this rod can handle most larger fish and is sensitive enough to stand up to smaller bites too. If you’re a beginner or a novice then this is an excellent rod to have in your toolkit
- Great rod for beginners
- Durable and effective
- Stylish and stands out from the crowd
- Very strong
- Not the greatest line capacity
Best Surf Rod and Reel Combo Buying Guide
Hopefully, you now feel a little more up to date about what sort of options are available to you, whether you’re a beginner or have a lot of years angling under your belt.
But it might be you want a little more information before you make a purchase, and that’s what this section of the guide is for. We’re going to show you some of the most important features to consider before you reach a decision to make sure you always get the right rod for you!
Obviously, everyone wants to make sure they get a good deal, and that the rod/reel combo they get is good value and isn’t going to break quickly and need replacing. There are all sorts of options out there, and you’re certain to find one at the price you want. Sometimes though purchasing a rod that’s a little more expensive proves to be a better investment than a cheaper choice.
Make sure your rod is made with quality materials and you might find a rod that lasts for years and consistently performs rather than one that breaks after just a few months.
Length and power are tied together in fishing, and surf fishing is no different. When surf fishing a longer cast is normally needed to reach the best fish and get the great catch-all anglers are looking for, so most surf rods are slightly longer than average at around 9-10 feet long.
You also need to combine this length with weight, you want your rod to be relatively lightweight to help you detect those tiniest of nibbles. Keep this in mind when you’re looking and you won’t go far wrong.
Best Surf Rod and Reel Combo - FAQ's
Can I Use a Freshwater Fishing Rod For Saltwater?
It seems very tempting, not to mention convenient, to only use one rod when fishing in a lake or river and on the coast, but unfortunately, it’s really not the best idea. Freshwater rods can’t take the corrosive power of saltwater and the oxygen, salt, and moisture can really ruin untreated metal like most freshwater rods are made from.
Many new anglers are surprised by how quickly ocean water can ruin and untreated rod, so make sure your rod is suitable treated before using it. You can get rods suitable for both fresh and saltwater, so check these out if this is really important for you.