Collection of the Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for 2024 (Complete Guide)

Want to know why I love surf fishing? The possibility to catch almost anything. The ocean is vast and full of exciting things!

You want in on the action, right? The good news is that surf fishing is generally pretty simple, but you’ll have to have the right gear to be a success.

It’s a little rough and ready, but pick the best, and you’ll see success.

I want to show you some of the best surf fishing rod and reel combos on the market.

That way, you can get out on the beach in no time at all and catch!

Our 3 Favorite Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for 2024

ProductAwardOur RatingReview
PENN Battle Spinning Combo
PENN Battle Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Best All-Rounder
Read review
Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo

Best On a Budget
Read review
Penn Spinfisher VI Saltwater Combo

Penn Spinfisher VI Saltwater Combo

Best of The Best
Read review

The best all-around surf fishing rod and reel combo is the PENN Battle Reel and Fishing Rod Combo. Everything in this combo is designed to perform and last in the surf.

Long casting distances, sensitivity, and power are all provided by the rod. While the reel is made from quality materials that last, holds a ton of line, has a great drag, and runs smoothly.

If you are shopping on a budget then I would recommend considering the Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo.

This combo comes with an excellent surf rod that casts beautifully, pulls big fish with ease, and is going to last. The reel is not quite as good, but it will work fine for 6+ months and eventually need placing after the surf does its thing.

But, for the price, this is a very hard combo to beat.

The best surf rod and reel combo (and the most expensive) is the Penn Spinfisher VI Saltwater Combo. Both the rod and reel in this combo are top-of-the-line and will catch a lifetime of fish in the surf with proper care.

This is the combo you buy once and use forever, unlike other more affordable combos where the rod or reel isn’t quite built to handle the surf.

How to Choose the Best Surf Fishing Combo – A Quick Guide

For a surf fishing rod and reel combo to survive the salty conditions, handle the big fish you find in the surf, and perform well, there are a few tick boxes they need to meet.

You will find an in-depth buying guide below all the reviews, but if you are in a rush, here is a quick summary.

  • Rod Length: When fishing in the surf, casting distance is important and therefore longer rods work best. Look for a rod that is around 10 feet or above.
  • Rod Action & Power: Action and power also translate to casting distances and fast/medium action rods with a medium/heavy power are what you should be looking for.
  • Weight: If you are casting lures all day, a lighter rod will make this task a lot easier. But, if you are casting bait and waiting for a fish, a heavier rod will sit in your rod stand more easily.
  • Reel Type: Spinning reels (fixed spool) and multipliers are both great for surf fishing. Spinning reels are easier to use, while multipliers have a longer casting distance, but get more tangles. Pick the reel type you are most comfortable with.
  • Reel Size: When surf fishing, having enough line is imperative for long casts and fighting big fish. You want a reel that can hold at least 200-300 yards of line, usually a 4000 size reel or above is ideal.
  • Reel Drag: The drag on your reel needs to be reliable but also strong enough to subdue the big fish that live in the surf. A reel with a smooth drag and a max of 20-25 lbs of drag pressure is ideal.
  • Corrosion Resistance & Durability: Sand, salt, spray, and wind are part of surf fishing. Any surf rod or reel not made for this will have a short life. Look for materials like graphite, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum in your rod and reel, and sealed drags in your reel so that they survive.

If the surf rod and reel combo you are looking at ticks these boxes, then you have found a good one.

TOP 10 Best Surf Fishing Rod & Reel Combos for 2024

Berkley Glowstik Surf Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

If you’ve ever lure fished, you’ll already know about Berkley.

Like me, they know a thing or two about fishing.

They have produced a rod and reel combo set that is well worth a look for the money. Besides being a great rod for surf fishing, I really like that it has one or two interesting features.

This 10′ rod has a medium through action, perfect for throwing out big weights and big baits. It’s pretty heavy-duty, which is just what you need considering the size of some of the fish residing in our oceans.

It has one standout feature that I really need to mention.

Notice anything in the name? ‘Glowstick’? This rod has an integrated LED light that causes the tip to illuminate bright red. This is super handy for low light conditions and is even super visible during the day, making bite detection much easier.

I really like the rubberized shrink wrap handle too, it is easy to keep clean and gunk-free.

Oh, and the reel and Berkley trilete line! The reel is powerful with plenty of capacity, so you should be able to cast with ease.

It’s made of stainless steel, which doesn’t corrode, exactly what you need for saltwater.


  • Heavy-duty and made for saltwater.
  • Stiff through blank with plenty of backbone.
  • The highly visible LED rod tip.


  • The rod is a little heavy.
  • The LED is powered by a battery, which will need changing eventually.


A great rod, for a low price, with reel and line included. This represents a one-stop-shop to get you out and fishing quickly. All you need is a rig and bait, and you’ll be away!

Dr.Fish Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Speaking of solutions for ‘out of the box’ fishing… Check this out.

This is a fairly big setup in more ways than one.

First, you get a gigantic 12ft surf rod. This is a great size for casting a long way and out to the fish. It comes with a 9000 size reel. That’s a pretty big reel! It has plenty of capacity, so you can load it up with more than enough line.

The reel has a triple carbon disc drag system, with over 35lbs of drag that is more than enough to handle pretty much any species.

But here’s what I really like.

It comes with everything you need to fish multiple styles and techniques. Have a go with the included pyramid weights for bottom fishing or target sight feeders with the included bucktail lures and surface poppers.


  • A powerful surf rod and reel combo.
  • Ability to fish multiple styles from the get-go.
  • Bright, easy to see tip.


  • I would find it just a little heavy for spinning and lure fishing. It is more suited to fishing big weights on the bottom.


If you are an entrant to surf fishing, this rod and reel combo will let you hit the ground running. Granted, it’s a heavy setup, but that means you won’t need to upgrade when targeting bigger species.

Sea Striker ST5080 Surf Spin Combo

Are you sure that you want to get into this?

No, I’m serious. If you are just looking to give surf fishing a try or want to figure it out, it makes sense to look at a budget option.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

This surf rod and reel combo is a budget set, and I’m not saying it’s amazing… It will offer you the basic tools needed to get over that third breaker and into a fish or two.

This 8-foot rod is more suited to surf spinning than casting huge distances, but beginners don’t need to be slinging huge weights anyway.

The rod comes with a reel and around 200 feet of 10lb mono which is more than enough to get going.

Because it is a slightly shorter rod, it will be lighter and much easier to manage.


  • Very low price.
  • Easy to manage size.
  • Relatively lightweight.


  • The rings are steel, so they will corrode on contact with seawater over time.
  • There are better rod combos out there.


You already know that I’m a big believer in ‘you get what you pay for’… But that said, for a budget rod and reel combo for surf fishing, or if it is used infrequently, I think this fits the bill nicely. A good surfcasting rod and reel combo for beginners.

Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

The Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is a pretty incredible buy for anyone shopping on a budget. But, like a lot of combos, one of the components is excellent and the other, not so much.

In this combo’s case, the Ugly Stik Bigwater Surf Rod is impeccable. Ugly Stiks are made of composite, a mixture of graphite and fiberglass which creates a rod that is close to unbreakable.

Almost every fisherman in the world has owned an Ugly Stik and loves them. They cast very well, aren’t too heavy, and have a lot of sensitivity to bites.

They also have an incredible amount of pulling power to subdue the bigger species you find in the surf. The rod guides are Ugly Tuff and are just as good as the rod.

However, the reel that comes with this combo isn’t the best. It will cast well and fight fish, but it won’t last in the surf for more than a few months. I would recommend swapping it out quite quickly.


  • A close to indestructible rod.
  • Rod provides great casting distances.
  • Guides are built to last.
  • Sensitive to bites.
  • Quite light for long fishing days.
  • Reel size and drag pressure is on point.
  • Super affordable.


  • The reel is not the best quality and may not survive long in the surf.


A great combo for anyone on a tight budget. The rod is incredible in every way and will handle a lifetime of surf fishing. The reel on the other hand is not of the same quality and should be swapped out for a more durable version.

PENN Battle Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Now, let’s move away from budget…

And start looking at some serious players. Penn is about as serious as it gets when it comes to surf fishing.

If I were buying, I’d opt for the 7′ rod and 6000 reel size. This will give you the necessary muscle to cast beyond the horizon and enough line to do it. And it will allow you to handle both big and small species with ease. This is a quality setup, and it shows.

The rod and reel are perfectly matched and from the same manufacturer, so you can be confident that they work well together. The reel, in particular, is a joy to use.

With 5 stainless steel ball bearings, you can be confident that it will be pretty corrosion-proof. It has a silky smooth action with a quick retrieve ratio, making it perfect for fishing over long distances.

The carbon fiber drag washers also provide excellent resistance, especially when you have hooked a big one that wants to take line!

This rod would be ideally suited to cast out big leads. You will be able to lure fish with it but will find it performs best with bigger lures.


  • A quality setup from a trusted sea fishing brand.
  • The reel is excellent, an often overlooked feature of combo surf setups.
  • An excellent all-rounder for a variety of species.


  • It’s a little more expensive than my budget sets.
  • The all-metal reel performs well but is slightly heavy.


I’m maybe a bit biased. I tend to use Penn for surf fishing when I can. I think this is a superb surf combo for the money. It’s strong enough to fish big lures, which gives you the flexibility to use big weights on the bottom too. I like it!

Daiwa BG Surf Spinning Combo

Daiwa BG Surf Spinning Combo

If Penn isn’t your thing, let me show you something else that’s just as good.

Daiwa is another heavy hitter in the world of fishing. This medium-heavy rod is sizeable (10′) and is ideally paired with a 5000 size reel.

As with my Penn suggestion above, both the rod and reel have been designed to work together, so it will save you time trying to find a reel to match the rod.

Speaking of the reel, this holds a great deal of promise. With 6 + 1 ball bearings, you can be sure of great and reliable action. The body is made from aluminum, which is super resistant to saltwater corrosion.

And there’s more…

The rod rings are also made of aluminum oxide. No rusty rings here, thanks!

The rod’s handle is high-quality EVA. I always try and steer clear of cork when looking at sea fishing rods as it tends to degrade fairly quick. This should last a good while.

The 10′ rod is rated to cast around 2-6oz. That’s a huge amount of scope to throw out pretty much any size of bait, giving you real flexibility in how you fish and what you fish for.


  • Really great value considering the quality of the rod and reel.
  • The reel looks like it would perform great.
  • The rod is medium-fast, perfect for distance casting.
  • Great across the board for big and small weights.


  • Honestly? There isn’t too much to dislike. At a push, I’d say 10′ might be unwieldy for a beginner.


Hands down one of the best rod and reel combo for surf fishing. The price is similar to more budget surf combos but with a premium performance from a very well-known rod manufacturer. Try it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Tsunami Shield Surf Spinning Combo

Tsunami Shield Surf Spinning Combo

There’s a real downside to surf fishing.

Here, let me explain…

Surf fishing is super harsh on your gear. Like I said at the start, it is rough and ready. So you are going to want something purpose-built to stand up to punishment.


This surf combo from Tsunami. They aren’t a well-known brand name, but this kit offers everything you’ll need to stand up to the saltwater.

The rod is tough as a tank with a responsive graphite blank and aluminum oxide line guides. The reel seat is a screw type, keeping your reel firmly fixed where it belongs. I also really like the rubber shrimp wrap grip. It is easy to clean and should last a long time.

And the reel?

Equally as tough! Tsunami has integrated 13 independent seals to prevent saltwater ingress. This, combined with a heavy-duty aluminum body and sealed stainless steel ball bearings, means that you will need minimal maintenance to keep fishing.

Like with all good surf reels, it contains a carbon drag system to give you just the right amount of pulling power when you need it most.


  • A super-tough yet lightweight setup.
  • A good all-rounder with fast action, perfect for many situations.
  • An easy to maintain surf setup.


  • I think this is a superb surf combo… I’m not going to pick to find something I don’t like.


If you’d have asked me five minutes ago, I’d have said Penn always produces the best surfcasting rod and reel combos. Now, I’m not so sure. This looks like a great surf combo. For the money, I can’t fault it.

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo

Daiwa is a trusted manufacturer when it comes to saltwater fishing gear and their Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo is pretty solid all around.

The rod is built from fiberglass, is 10 ft long, and comes with a medium action and power. This is everything you want for a surf fishing rod and it performs that way too.

You can cast heavy lures, get great casting distances, fight big fish, and it is a tough rod that isn’t going to break on you.

The reel that comes with this combo isn’t as good as the rod, but it’s not bad, especially considering the price. It holds enough line, has enough drag, and it works pretty smoothly.

But, the reel is not quite high-end enough to work for a long time in the surf. After 6 months or a year of catching fish, especially big ones, the inner gear and drag systems seem to bend and eventually retire the reel.


  • Very affordable.
  • Rod is built to last in the surf.
  • Great for casting heavy lures and baits.
  • Rod provides excellent casting distances.
  • The rod is strong enough to handle large fish.
  • Good size reel with enough line capacity and drag.


  • The reel is not of great quality and might not last that long.


This combo is an incredible deal and ideal for anyone on a budget. The rod performs well in every way from casting distances to sensitivity and power. The reel is ok, and you will get a lot out of it, but in the end it will need replacing.

Penn Spinfisher VI Saltwater Combo

While the Penn Spinfisher VI Saltwater Combo is a bit more expensive than other combos, it comes with an excellent rod and reel, unlike a lot of other combos.

The rod is 10 feet long, has a heavy power and a medium action. It is the ideal length and action for long casts, is sensitive to bites, and has all the power you need to land big fish.

Casting this rod is a dream as it loads with ease, is light, and sends your lure/bait way into the distance. It is also tough, and built to last, so it will be with you for life if you look after it.

The reel that comes with the rod is just as epic. It has more than enough line capacity, an excellent max drag, and is built for the salt.

The reel body and spool are sealed to stop dirt and water from getting inside. It is also built with CNC gears, a carbon drag, and aluminum body. It is a true saltwater reel that gets the job done smoothly.


  • Rod casts very well and is durable.
  • Rod breaks into 2 for portability.
  • Sensitive to subtle bites.
  • Great power for big fish.
  • Light enough for comfortable fishing.
  • Tough, durable reel.
  • Excellent drag and line capacity.
  • Reel is smooth.


  • A little more expensive.


This is a surf rod and reel combo of note. Both the rod and reel are excellent and will last for years, even a lifetime of use against big fish and big waves. For the extra money, it is 100% worth it in my eyes.

PENN Squall II Star Drag Conventional Combo

PENN Squall II Star Drag Conventional Combo

Ok, here’s a secret on how to cast further and harder.

Use a multiplier reel.

They aren’t for everyone, but if you want to power cast huge baits a long way, they are ideal. When they come as a surf combo… Even better.

The ideal option here would be a 10′ rod paired with a 25 or 30 sized reel. You could comfortably go all the way up to around 4oz without breaking a sweat (or your rod).

Both the reel and the rod are superb quality, but I’d expect nothing less from Penn. The reel is super lightweight with a corrosion-resistant graphite frame and side plate. It has a total of 6 ball bearings and a start drag system so you can perfectly control the pressure on the fish.

And get this…

The rod is awesome too. It features Penn dura guides, normally found in many higher-end rods. The composite graphite blank is rated as ‘medium’ power. This means that you’ll get a nice blend of casting action and bite detection, even for smaller species.

As a final cherry on top, the rod features a graphite reel seat which is great for keeping the weight down.


  • A premium setup.
  • The reel is excellent for distance casting.
  • Lightweight with medium action, a great all-round rod and reel set.


  • It’s a little on the pricey side (I think it’s worth it, however).
  • Multipliers can be a little tricky for beginners.


A rod that has a medium action but is heavy enough to deal with any conditions? Where do I sign? Multipliers are real ‘big boys toys’, but once you have mastered them, you’ll be able to fish in areas where others can’t get to.

Complete Guide to Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

One of the most vital pieces of equipment is your rod and reel.

That’s obvious, right?

It will be used more than any other piece of gear, so you want your combo set up to be right. Here are some things that I look for when choosing…

fisherman fishing at the ocean

Rod Length

Don’t believe what they say.

Size matters. Especially when talking about rods!

Your rod length will determine how it performs overall. Here’s a quick rundown on what a long and short rod provides:

Long Rods (the good)

  • Cast further.
  • Give better bite detection.
  • Are more suited to varied fishing styles.
  • It can be fished heavier.

Long Rods (the not so good)

  • Difficult to transport.
  • Are always a multi-piece rod.
  • Tend to be heavier in weight.

Short Rods (the good)

  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to transport.
  • Great for lighter fishing.

Short Rods (the not so good)

  • Don’t cast as far.
  • Are limited in how you can fish.
  • Are less sensitive in bite detection.

Where you go from here is entirely up to you. I prefer a longer rod. Around 10′ is the ideal size. This will give you the flexibility to cast a long way and have the required backbone to catch a range of species.

Don’t neglect ease of transport either. You may be walking a long way. I make life easy and take a really lightweight tackle bag. Still, if you don’t have this luxury, you will want to make life as easy as possible with an easier-to-carry rod.

fisherman fishing in ocean from beach

Rod Action and Power

Rod action is a big one.

“Fast” means that it is really whippy. This is great for casting light weights and pulling in small fish, but you want an action that is at least ‘medium’ for real casting power. This rod will be stiffer but will ultimately allow you to do more as you progress.

If you are unsure, medium-fast is a great compromise between the two.


You need to have a think about how you are going to fish most of the time. Will your rod be held in your hands or on a beach spike?

Are you intending to spend all day working a lure? Or are you going to go down the line of ‘chuck and wait’ with a juicy lump of bait?

The answer to both of the above should give you an idea of how heavy you want to go with your rod.

I’ll make it simple.

Lighter-weight rods are great for fishing lures and being held in your hands. Heavier rod and reel combos are better in a rod rest or stand.

Corrosion Resistance and Durability

If you are new to surf fishing, this is a big one that you might not be aware of.

And it’s super important if you want to get value for money.

I’m talking about…


Saltwater is super corrosive to pretty much everything, given enough time. It will cause your rod rings to rust, your handles to disintegrate, and your reels to seize up.

Here’s how I deal with it.

First, I always give my sea fishing gear a good rinse with fresh water after an outing. Easy, right. It would be, but I’ve lost count of how many pairs of fishing pliers I’ve lost due to rust… Well, I used to until I found these

Second, I always make sure that any combo I buy is made from material that doesn’t corrode easily. Look for materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and carbon in your tackle’s makeup.

That way, if you can’t find time to give it a wash, it will last longer.

fisherman fishing in the beach sunny day

Reel Type

There are different types?

Yup, but don’t worry, when it comes to surf fishing, there are generally two…

Fixed Spool Reels for Surf Fishing

These are generally the most common. They are really easy to use, and they are a breeze to maintain. The downside is that poor quality reels tend to get their inner gears stripped when pulling against obstructions (or big fish… lucky you). They don’t tend to tangle easily.

The downside is that they are limited in casting range, especially when using big sinkers.

Multiplier Reels for Surf Casting

These are the ‘big guns’ of the surf fishing world. They are normally really heavy-duty and are pretty bulletproof when it comes to maintenance. There are fewer moving parts.

You can cast a heavy lead colossal distances using a multiplier.

Don’t’ believe me? Check this out

The downside to multipliers is that they can be a little technical to master.

Oh, and one other downside…

They tend to get in a tangle if you so much as look at them in the wrong way.

Reel Size

Let me tell you something about the sea…

It’s pretty big.

I know… You already knew that! The point that I’m making is that you may need to cast a long way over a lot of ground to find the fish. And for that, you’ll need a lot of line.

Surf reels tend to be a lot bigger as a result.

I’d say as a minimum, you want a 4000 size reel. The optimum is more like 5-6000.

Reliable Drag

If you are surf fishing, there’s a pretty good chance that at one point or another, you are going to hook something pretty big.

That’s the point.

As a result, you may need to apply pressure to the fish or even do a ‘pump and wind’. This puts a lot of stress on the rod, the line, and the reel.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

By being able to ‘set the drag’, you allow a fish to take line, but in a controlled way, with resistance. Eventually, this will tire the fish out, then he’ll be ready to be reeled in.

A good drag will allow you to fine-tune your reel to give just the right amount of pressure.


Got questions? Sure, here’s what I get asked all the time:

Should I buy a combo or rod and reel separately?

There are merits to getting rods and reels separately. But to get the best pairing, you really have to know what you are doing.

I’ve lost count of the number of guys I see trying to cast with a boat rod or fishing with a too-small reel.

So here’s the answer…

If you are a beginner, go for a combo deal.

That way, you can be reasonably assured that the setup you purchase has already been paired up in a way that works.

What is the best surf rod and reel combo?

For the money, I think you won’t go far wrong with the Tsunami set above. It is super durable, relatively lightweight, and an excellent all-around kit. You can fish in a variety of styles… And it looks pretty good too!

What is the best size rod for surf fishing?

You’ll find a whole range of surf rods, ranging all the way down from 7′ up to 16′. For short-range heavy fishing, 7′ is ok… But I’d suggest going for something around the 10′ mark to give you the best range of options.

Can I use a 7-foot rod for surf fishing?

Yes, you can indeed! Often the fish are pretty close in, so you won’t need to cast far. A 7′ rod is great for shorter casts. However, you might find it a little limiting if the fish are further out!

If you cant’ reach them, then you might need to wade to them… I do offer some guidance on wading boots for sea fishing!

What is the best time to go surf fishing?

I’ve always had the most success about two hours after the sun rises and the preceding two hours before darkness.

If you want to know what time of year you can go, the answer is, absolutely any time. Different species arrive on the shore depending on the time of the year. There’s never a bad time to go surf fishing (weather permitting, of course).

Where should I cast when surf fishing?

The general advice when surf fishing is to try and cast just beyond the third breaker or wave. This normally indicates a ledge or drop-off where the fish will be lurking.

That said, the fish haven’t read the rule book, so if you aren’t successful, try casting as far as you can and then working back 5 yards at a time.


It’s not too difficult to choose the best surf fishing rod and reel combo. As long as you know how you want to fish, have a general idea of the ground you want to cover, and have a length in mind, the rest is straightforward.

Go for a medium rod and a decent reel, and you will be able to get out there and catch!

What’s your idea of a perfectly paired rod and reel for surf fishing? Let me know in the comments!

Jamie Melvin

Growing up fishing on streams and lakes in Kenya and the UK, Jamie has traveled the world in search of fishing nirvana. From his time managing bonefish lodges in the Bahamas and running fishing safaris in East Africa, all the way to guiding on the flats of Seychelles and offshore, there are not many species or environments he hasn't experienced firsthand.

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