Surf fishing is a popular and adventurous pastime thanks to its unpredictability and thrill. You can expect to catch a variety of different fish in larger water bodies when you surf fish. However, to maximize your surf fishing experience, you should have the proper equipment. This means buying the best surf casting reel to support your endeavors.
The right reel should be built to handle the rough seas and be durable enough to last. If you’re looking to catch some big fish, the reel will have to be designed to fuel your aspirations. Since choosing the right fishing gear can be confusing, we have compiled an in-depth review for your benefit.
Our Picks For Best Surf Casting Reels
Penn Battle II Surf Fishing Reel
- Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
- Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
- Foam grip pads
- Fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing
- Superline spool requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3,...
Penn Battle II Surf Fishing Reel is built to operate effectively for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. This makes it a versatile product and the best surf fishing reel for a fishing trip to any location. It is practically priced, given the kind of performance it delivers time and time again. You can think of it as a long term investment that’ll last you a while.
What makes it so durable is its full metal body, with a completely metal side plate and rotor. It is thus built to withstand the pressure of catching a larger fish and also heavier to use. Keep in mind that its weight and density reduce flexibility and ensure stability.
This surf fishing reel can be used on a charter boat as well without any issues. It has HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers, which give the reel greater longevity. Not to mention, the drag is smooth with no jerky action even when encountering larger fish on the retreat.
Penn Battle II Surf Fishing Reel comes with multiple upgraded features, like a super-line spool. This feature makes the fishing reel a popular and efficient one. There are extra line capacity rings on the spool that indicate how much line is left to be used, for your convenience. Moreover, the rubber inlay on the spool lets you easily and directly load a braided line. On this reel, you can load a braided line without backing it up with a monofilament line.
Whether you’re a fisher who enjoys spending your weekends at sea or a more serious angler, this reel is perfect. It is one of the best surf casting reels if you’re looking for an adaptable and premium quality device.
- HT 100 carbon fiber drag system
- Superline spool
- 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings
- Durable fishing reel with full metal body
- Effective drag power
- Corrosion and rust-resistant
- Easy loading of the spool
- Heavyweight fishing reel might be hard to handle
Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel
This is the best surfcasting reel for getting value for money thanks to its durability. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is suitable for those who want a reel that doesn’t wear down even with prolonged use. Shimano’s classic Hagane gearing and Hagane body designs are meant to add to longevity and security. These features also make it suitable for inshore as well as offshore fishing experiences.
This surfcasting reel is great for older fishers to use since it is light at just 5.6 ounces. Additionally, it is designed with a mono-line capacity and perfect for fishing at long-distances. The gear ratio is 6:0:1, ensuring smooth and easy operations with no line tangling. The bearings are not only sturdy and long-lasting but also built to be resistant to rust. The water repellent coating on this reel ensures that no water can leak inside, adding to its lifespan.
This surf casting reel reduces the friction between gears and spool shaft to make gears last longer. This is part of its X-ship technology that ensures better performance by letting you cast further.
Another great feature is the built-in Dyna balance rotor and fluid drive ii system with Shimano’s propulsion line management system. These high-end settings allow enhanced smoothness and fewer mishaps with fishing lines.
The drag power associated with this surf fishing reel goes up to 7 pounds. This means it can support moderately sized catches and any stubborn fish you are looking to find. Although it is more expensive, this reel will save you from frequently buying new equipment for maintenance.
- X-ship technology
- Shimano’s Hagane gearing and Hagane body
- Built-in Dyna-balance rotor and fluid drive ii system
- Magnumlite rotor
- The maximum drag of 7 lbs.
- A gear ratio of 6.0:1
- Comes in 4 different sizes
- Great gear ratio
- Lightweight build and user-friendliness
- Enhanced sturdiness
- Water-resistant manufacturing
- Relatively expensive
Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
- Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ("Hard Bodyz" Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear...
- Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
- Braided Line Ready Spool, Waterproof Drag System, Carbon ATD, Line Per Handle Turn: 43.1"
- Manual Return Bail (4500 and Larger), 6BB+1RB, Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, Drag Max:22
- Line Capacity (Lb. Test / Yards): 14/350, 17/280, 20/210 J-BRAID: 40/340, 50/270, 65/230
Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is one of the best surf casting reels from this company. Not only is it reasonably priced, but the construction is also built to give you outstanding functionality. It has a black anodized machined aluminum housing and an over-sized Digigear system to ensure better performance.
This surf fishing reel is best suited for those who enjoy fishing saltwater bass. This is because it is built with technological upgrades and sturdy features. It has a waterproof drag system that doesn’t rust or corrode in hard environments. Additionally, its aluminum frame gives it a longer lifespan than most reels you can find.
You will have no complaints about convenience since the fishing lines will easily slide off and have no issues spinning. The line management system is compatible with the smoother spool, making this reel an intuitively designed product. Moreover, Daiwa BG Spinning Reel supports a variety of fishing lines like braided lines and fluorocarbon lines.
The water sealed drag system is ideal for enjoying a smooth surf fishing experience. It conveniently adjusts with the smallest changes to give you greater efficiency. Thus, technical fishers can benefit from using this equipment with its lightweight build. Even with regular use, you won’t struggle with the discomfort and pain that heavier reels come with.
- Drag Maximum drag of 4.4 lbs
- Dynamic Cut ABS Spool of Aluminum
- Waterproof Drag system
- Oversized Digigear system
- Sleek and thoughtful design
- Practical pricing
- Durable build
- Spool design is effective
- Easy to use and comfortable for prolonged usage
- No line lock on the side
Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel
- Dfd: precision dual force drag System
- Precision click drag adjustment for more precise settings
- Multi-disc, carbonite and felt drag washers for dfd
- DFD: Precision Dual Force Drag system
- Precision click drag adjustment for more precise settings
This is one of the best surf casting reels built for saltwater fishing purposes. It comes from a reliable brand name and has multiple streamlined features.
The Dual Force drag system allows for casting into longer distances, suitable for surf fishing. If stability is what you look for in a reel, then this one comes with carbonate and felt drag washers. You can expect to fish proficiently with Okuma Azores surf fishing reel thanks to this feature.
Moreover, this surf casting reel doesn’t lack in the durability department. It has a sealed gearbox that is protected from dirt and sand for maintenance purposes. The gearbox is also highly efficient due to its anti-reverse system built for your ease.
Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel comes with an accurate click-drag feature that allows a greater range of adjustment. Anglers will have the option of easily setting the drag when they cast their lines.
Not only is it lightweight to build and design, but it also promises a comfortable fishing experience. The spool is a specialized machine spool with handles that give it complete efficiency. The bearings are constructed of durable steel and further coated with stainless steel to last even in saltwater environments.
You will be able to load more fishing line onto your spool with this surf casting reel. The knurled spool design is such that it stops braided lines from slipping off or sliding for enhanced stability. This feature, combined with the Dual Force Drag system, is ideal for larger catches and more ambitious fishing expeditions.
- Precision Dual Force Drag system
- Quick-set anti-reverse bearing
- Carbon and felt drag washers
- Stainless steel bearings
- Enhance drag power
- Easy to handle
- A rust-resistant build of stainless steel
- Comes with bait hooks built for accuracy
- Low drag weight when fishing in longer distances
Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel
- ULTRA-DURABLE PERFORMANCE: One of our most popular saltwater reels, the Cabo size 60 spinning reel...
- TROUBLE-FREE SALTWATER USE: Equally at home in freshwater or saltwater, the Quantum Cabo reel...
- SUPERIOR DESIGN: This spinning reel features a NiTi indestructible bail, a 4.9:1 gear ratio and a 37...
- VERSATILE USE: With a mono capacity of 300/14 yds/lbs and the ability to hold up to 320-yards of...
- ROCK-SOLID PROTECTION: All Quantum gear is protected for a rock-solid 5-years from original date of...
This reel is the best surf casting reel for stability that you can find. Quantum Cabo PT is a versatile pick because you can choose from several sizes with multiple advantageous features. The size varies from 4000 to 8000 to give you a wide range to choose from. Most fishers prefer the 4000 sized reels because they come with plenty of great systems.
This well-built reel is guaranteed to be worth your money thanks to its longevity. Not only will you save on frequent repairs, but it also benefits from its compatibility with several fishing styles.
The crank knob is constructed for user-friendliness and allows for substantial drag power. It also ensures that you are comfortable as you fish. You can expect a maximum drag power of 30 pounds while using braided fishing lines at distances around 270 yards. For monofilament lines, you can expect drag power of up to 10 pounds at distances of 230 yards.
The titanium-grey manufacturing ensures added sturdiness but might be a little heavier for older fishers to handle. While the reel is compact in design, it has a greater casting range compatible with any kind of fishing line. Lastly, the gear ratio is 5:3:1, ensures both smoothness and efficiency of operations.
- Sealed magnum CSC drag system
- TiMag fail-proof bail system of Titanium
- LMS line management system
- Built with PT technology
- Compatible with braided and monofilament lines
- Built with durable materials
- Comfortable for prolonged use
- Great drag power
- Impressive casting distance
- Multiple options for size
- Heaviness might cause discomfort for older users
SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel
- Introducing the Rapid fresh and saltwater spinning reel featuring an anti-corrosive coating for salt...
- The Rapid offers an enhanced thicker main shaft, stainless ball bearings, and a carbon fiber drag...
- Exquisite craftsmanship employing advanced production technologies and outfitted with high quality...
- The Rapid also features a sealed aluminum spool and rotor structure, preventing water and sand from...
- The Rapid is a fast, powerful, durable reel suited for heavy freshwater and light saltwater use....
The best surf casting reel doesn’t just need to perform well but must also fit into your budget. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel does just this with its cost-effective pricing and quality.
This surf fishing reel has a monofilament line capacity and smoother operations thanks to a gear ratio of 6:2:1. Your lines won’t get tangled, and you can fish without any minor hassles. Additionally, you can benefit from a massive drag power of 33 lbs. This is a suitable amount of drag for even the biggest fish you’d be interested in catching.
The weight is light at only 10 ounces, making it the perfect pick for older fishers. It is not only comfortable but also durable with its rust-resistant make. The spool is made of aluminum for suitability to harsh saltwater conditions, as well as longevity.
Given its low pricing, this surf casting reel goes above and beyond to deliver. It is a great pick for casting your lines further and thus perfectly built for surf fishers using monofilament lines. You can cast your lines up to 250 yards and make use of multiple fishing styles and experimental techniques.
- Thick main shaft
- 10 + 1 covered stainless steel ball bearings
- The maximum drag of 33 lbs
- Sealed aluminum spool
- Sealed rotor
- Impressive drag capacity
- Built for deep-sea fishing
- Rust-resistant manufacturing for longevity
- Lightweight build for comfort
- Affordable pricing and value for money
- The reel doesn’t come with a spare spool.
Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel
- 6 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
- Patented On/Off Auto-Trip Bait feeding Function
- 1 Quick-Set Anti-Reverse Roller Bearing
- Hydro Block Water-Tight Drag Seal
- Precision Machine Cut Brass Pinion Gear
This surf casting reel comes with some intense features for both durability and performance. It has a six-ball bearing structure for sturdiness. The bait-feeding system adds to its efficiency with a simple on and off switch. Okuma Avenger ABF Reel also comes with a free-running line and disengagement feature of the spool. These allow you to conveniently disengage the fishing reel without having to open the ball.
The multi-disk drag system allows fishers to maximize their fishing experience. The washers in the drag system are each oil-soaked to ensure fully smooth operations. You will be able to rapidly pull the fishing line from the spool without any hassles, thanks to these washers.
The gearbox on this device is closed, unlike the gearbox on some other reels. You can maintain the gearbox by cleaning out sand or debris to keep your reel in tip-top condition.
The rotor of Okuma Avenger is made of graphite and affords greater durability than aluminum reels. As a result, it has a greater lifespan, as well as user-friendly features. The reversible retriever allows for easy switching between your left and right hand.
- On and Off auto trip bait feeding system
- The quick Set anti-reverse bearing
- Oiled felt drag washers
- Seven stainless steel ball bearings
- Smoother retriever
- Efficient bait-feeding system
- Rust-resistant build
- Graphite manufacturing for longevity
- Sealed gearbox
- Easy maintenance
- Not compatible with braided fishing lines
- Plastic parts of the reel are prone to wear and tear
Best Surf Casting Reel Buying Guide
Why Is Surf Fishing Popular?
Surf fishing a favorite among many. Its popularity is based on the fact that you can fish even without a boat, making it more affordable. Those who live near oceans can conveniently surf fish without traveling much. Others can enjoy surf fishing during vacations to the beach. Since surf fishing is done from locations like rocks, beaches, and piers, you can fish without moving away from land.
If you’re surf fishing near the shoreline, you can find newer species of deepwater fish. These specimens are different from the ones you are likely to find in the usual ponds or streams. The larger fish usually go after smaller fish near the shore, making them accessible to you. If you’re someone who likes exploring different species, you have greater chances of catching some at sea.
Your location and the choice of bait can determine the kind of fish you catch while surf fishing. A few interesting catches you can look forward to are flounders, sheepsheads, snappers, mackerels, and so on.
What Features Should The Best Surf Casting Reels Have?
All of our reviewed reels come with multiple outstanding features that make them a great pick. However, you need to understanding these important features in detail to choose the best surf casting reel for you. Depending on your surf fishing preferences and style, a reel will have greater or lesser suitability.
One of the crucial factors you need to keep in mind is what kind of fish you want to catch. For heavier catches, the best surf casting reel will have a maximum drag weight of around 12 pounds.
Additionally, you will have to consider the durability of the reel. This means checking out the quality of the materials used in its manufacture. The best surf fishing reel should be corrosion resistance, given that saltwater can cause damage over time. This will help save on maintenance costs for replacing your gear and act as an investment.
The other specifications are as follows.
Baitcasting Vs. Spin Reels
Which kind of reel you pick will depend on your preference as well as skill as a surf fisher. Baitcasting reels are suitable for casting into long distances, while spin reels are better designed for surf fishers.
Before making your choice, consider the fact that saltwater fish will be much heavier and larger than freshwater ones. Moreover, you will also have to cope with the force of ocean waves while fishing. As a result, your fishing reel has to be able to sustain against greater weight.
The Right Reel Size
Choosing a suitable reel size for your surf fishing needs can be confusing. To narrow down your options, decide on what kind of fish you will be catching. You can then choose from fishing reels of large, medium, or small size.
A small reel will have a size range of 1000-4000. With this kind of reel, you can catch whiting, bass, bream, and trout.
Those who are interested in medium-sized reels should look for reels ranging from 4000-6000. These are suitable for catching cod, morwong, snapper, tailor, and such fishes.
Larger fishing reels will be in size ranges 6000 or higher. These can be effectively used for catching mackerel, salmon, mulloway, kingfish, and others.
Monofilament Vs. Braided Fishing Lines
You will have to choose a fishing line that is built to suit your surf fishing style. It will have to be hardy enough to help you catch bigger fish. It should also be able to stand the pressure of sea waves. Both monofilament and braided fishing lines have pros and cons that need to be studied.
Firstly, monofilament fishing lines are more user-friendly. They can easily be tied into knots for quicker and more efficient use. However, they also require the surf fisher to have excessive know-how of fishing patterns and techniques.
On the other hand, braided fishing lines are great for casting in longer ranges. They are preferred by many for these very reasons, especially for surf fishing. Braided fishing lines can also take on greater drag tension even when cast into further distances.
Number And Quality Of Bearings
Each surf fishing reel will come with a certain number of bearings. However, that does not mean that the best surf fishing reel has to have more bearings to be satisfactory.
A suitable number of bearings will also depend on the quality of each bearing. This means that the materials need to be corrosion resistant to begin with. They should also last you several years and not succumb to abrasion easily.
Once these requirements are met, a fishing reel with multiple bearings can smoothly and easily be cast into long distances. The best surfcasting reels will come with high-end ball bearings constructed from stainless steel to ensure streamlined functions and sturdiness.
Materials And Manufacture
Surf fishing reels are meant to be used in saltwater bodies. This means that your fishing reel will be subjected to a harsh environment that is likely to cause corrosion. A high-quality reel should thus be build to withstand difficult natural conditions and be made of durable material.
Instead of buying a new fishing reel every few months, you should be able to count on one for years. You can save on new expenditure by checking out the materials beforehand. Most older fishing reels were manufactured using graphite material.
With time, the main material for construction has switched to a mixture of multiple elements. This combination includes metals like Titanium and aluminum, in addition to elements like carbon. These materials are chosen to ensure lightweight as well as durability for your fishing reels.
Corrosion-Resistance And Sealings
The primary challenge you will face while buying and maintaining your fishing equipment will be corrosion. That is why the best surf casting reel will be made of rust-resistant alloys.
The sealings indicate protection against dirt, water, and sand, which would otherwise deposit in your reels. Always check for fishing reels that offer this feature and multiple protective coatings as well.
The gear ratio is related to the rotations of the spool in one rotation of the handle on the reel. This indicates how quickly the fishing reel can pick up the fishing line. For instance, if a fishing reel has a gear ratio of 5:2:1, the spool rotates 5.2 times in one rotation of the handle.
As a result, a higher gear ratio means you can quickly reel in fish. However, higher gear rations also mandate lighter catches. On the other hand, a lower ratio will be slower but more suitable for heavy loads. Lower ratio fishing reels are designed to balance out the greater weight drag.
The best surf fishing reel should have a gear ratio ranging from 5:3:1 to 6:2:1.
The drag is the resistance that is felt when you pull in a catch. This resistance is usually due to the weight of the fish. Fishing reels with higher drag power are suitable for heavier and bigger catches. If you know the drag power of a reel, it helps understand the tension the spool plates can take.
The drag tension is indicated in pounds. The settings for this will have to be made before you cast out your fishing lines. If the casting increases, it is likely that the drag tension will slightly decrease.
Weight Of Reel
The size of the fishing reel will determine its weight as well. It’s important to know the weight you’re comfortable with since it influences your comfort and the balance of the rod.
If you are interested in a bigger reel, keep in mind that it will also have a greater weight. This is because it will be made of heavier material and be denser in nature. Fishing reels in the size range of 8500 are larger and usually weigh around 38 ounces. Whereas lightweight reels are in the size range of 4000 and weigh about 8.1 ounces.
Durability is especially important in surf fishing reels since they have to endure larger catches and greater currents. If the reel isn’t built for longevity, it’s likely to break off during pull in a big fish. As a result, you should look for features like sealing of all moving parts, corrosion, and rust resistance. Also, keep an eye out for various coatings against tough saltwater environments.
Types Of Brake
Baitcasting reels come with the feature of brakes. The purpose of brakes is to reduce the speed of the spool. This is necessary to match the speed of the fishing line and lure with that of the spool. Ultimately, this will decrease the chances of backlash and prevent the line from tangling.
There are two types of brake systems you will have to consider, a magnetic or a centrifugal brake system. The brakes in the centrifugal system can only be adjusted if you remove the side from the fishing reel. Whereas, for magnetic systems, the adjustment is made through a dial located on the side of the reel.
Although pricing doesn’t always reflect the quality of a reel, it does play a part in your decision for purchase. The cost of a fishing reel can differ according to materials, weight, size, quality, and so on. Thus, to find out if the fishing reel is worth the price, you will have to consider all its features. Finally, to get the best surf casting reel for your requirements, check that your preferences match the product’s description.
What is the right reel size for surf fishing?
The right reel size will depend on your choice of fish, but a larger size is better for surf fishing. Reel sizes ranging from 6000 to 8500 are usually suitable. That’s because you can catch bigger fish with such reels.
The surf fishing rigs themselves have a weight of about 6 ounces. This means that a larger reel is required just for the purpose of retrieving these. Additionally, check that the reel is built with sealed ball bearings and a covered drag system.
Which is the best fishing line for surf fishing?
For the purpose of surf fishing, a 50-pound braided fishing line is the best choice. For durable options, 15-pound monofilament fishing lines are also available. Thinner lines are preferable since they allow you to store more of the fishing line on the spool. In this case, braided lines are much thinner than monofilament lines.
The lightweight 50-pound braided line has lesser line resistance and is thus effective for casting further. If you want to attract more fish, try adding a fluorocarbon leader for fish that are hesitant around fishing lines. For sharp-toothed fish like mackerels, sharks, and bluefish that can bite through the line, use a wire leader.
Are surf fishing reels the same as long cast spinning reels?
Surf fishing reels are also known as long cast spinning reels since these reels are commonly used for this purpose. Long cast spinning reels have tall spools that effectively decrease line friction. These reels are also placed on longer fishing rods. Thanks to these features, long cast spinning reels are perfectly designed for casting into longer distances. They can be cast as far as 100 yards, which is beyond the shallow depths and close to the shoreline.
What length of surf fishing rod should be used with surf fishing reels?
A suitable fishing rod should measure from 10 to 13 feet in length. The longer a rod is, the longer the distance you can cast your line. Thus, longer rods are preferred for surf fishing so that you can reach the deeper waters.
Apart from length, you should also consider factors like portability and the size of the catch. For catching bigger fish, a long rod might not be as preferred as a short and stabler rod.
Surf fishing is a thrilling and enjoyable sport that anyone can get into. Not only does it give you access to newer fish species, but it lets you in on new adventures. As long as you are equipped with the best surf casting reel and gear, you are sure to have fun. With this buying guide and review, pick out the right reel, and make a smart purchase at the earliest.
This page was last updated on 2022-08-29. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI