6 Surf Fishing Rods – Best Bang for the Buck

Last updated on February 3rd, 2024 at 05:01 pm

Surf fishing, like most other types of fishing, has some specialized gear for the conditions you’ll be fishing in.

One of those specialized pieces of equipment is Surf Fishing Rods. Surf fishing Rods are longer and heavier duty than standard freshwater or bay fishing rods.

The extra length is for casting baits longer distances as well as keeping your line up out of the wave action.They are heavier duty to handle the heavier weights, waves, and potentially fight some large fish.

There is a wide range of quality and price, as you might expect, when choosing surf fishing rods. The goal of this article is to help you make an informed decision about what will give you the best value for your money.

Surf rods - Young lady in a bikini fishing with her surf spinning rod

My Recommendations

Best Surf RodsShakespeare Big WaterPenn Squadron
Key Features:Best surf fishing rods - Shakespear Bigwater Surf Spinning rodBest Surf Fishing rods - Penn Squadron Surf Spinning Rod
Strength and DurabilityAwesome can take a lot of abuseGreat toughness
CastabilityGreat long casting rodheavier action with good castability
PricingBest Value for your moneyGreat price for high end features

What Makes a Good Surf Rod?

When surf fishing, keep in mind that at times there are strong currents, large waves, strong winds and big fish to fight. These factors make stronger and longer rods necessary. The saltwater environment is also very hard on equipment, so surf fishing equipment needs to have corrosion resistant components if it’s going to survive for any length of time.

When choosing surf fishing rods, you will need to look for a rod from 9 feet on up to 15 feet in length. For beginners, something in the 9 – 11 foot range will be easier to fish with as you get used to handling and casting a larger rod and larger baits, while battling the waves 😉

The rod components need to be not only durable, but corrosion resistant as well. The rod eyes should be stainless or some other corrosion resistant material. Better rods will also have more eyes to distribute the load more efficiently over the rod. A good rule of thumb is one eye per foot of rod, so an 11-foot rod would have 11 eyes. Less expensive rods will have fewer eyes, but don’t worry, they will still catch fish.

How much do they cost?

When shopping for most anything these days, you will notice a wide range of prices and surf fishing rods are no different. You can plunk down $200-$300 dollars on a top of the line high end brand name rod, and you can also find rods in the $40-$70 dollar range. I’ll be the first to admit, price is not always a valid indicator of quality. In my humble opinion, there isn’t $250 dollars difference in quality or performance. If you’re interested in good starter rod and reel combinations for surf fishing, check out my recent post here.

Best surf rods - 8 best surf fishing rod and reel combos

That being said the higher end rods will generally have higher quality components with the latest in rod building technologies and materials.

You should try to strike a balance between cost, quality, and your budget of course. What’s the best bang for the buck?

A good quality rod, with quality corrosion resistant components that will stand up to the conditions and perform adequately. This will help ensure you enjoy your surf fishing experience without breaking the bank.

Good Surf Rods – Good Value

Here are some examples of good quality, well built surf fishing rods that can take the tough conditions of surf fishing and not bust the budget.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod 

I have several Ugly Sticks, some for over twenty years now. They have never let me down and really are some of the toughest rods I have ever used. Not the most expensive, and there are more advanced rods out there of course, but dollar for dollar, it’s hard to beat the Shakespeare Ugly Stick. And, their surf fishing rods are no exception.

  • Durable and tough fishing rod designed for the challenge of big water fishing
  • Ugly Tech blank construction with a combination of graphite and fiberglass
  • Clear Tip design delivers added responsiveness and strength
  • Lightweight EVA grips provide comfort during lengthy fishing outings
  • 1-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides eliminate insert pop-outs
best surf rods- Shakespeare Ugly Stick Big Water Spinning rod
ugly stick big water rod review

A newer entrant into the surf fishing rods and saltwater fishing rod market, Fiblink has built a very high quality rod with high end components and features and kept it at a very affordable price. You’ll enjoy many years of service from these rods.

  • Sensitive and Solid Carbon Fiber Construction – Carbon construction for improved performance-action and increased sensitivity. The rod delivers the extraordinary toughness of solid carbon fiber construction and precisely tuned action for boat fishing.
  • High-Quality Guides – Stainless steel mixed with ceramic guide makes it more smooth, avoids line sticking in the guides, minimize friction for smooth, long casts, while also enhancing sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line through the guide to the rod and to your hand. The guides are precisely aligned, along the bottom of the spine of the blank which is perfectly straight and true.
  • Non Slip Rubber Shrink Tube Handle – Non slip rubber shrink tube handle with tapered rear grip Tip over butt ferrule connection for maximum strength and durability Machined tapered hood transitions above and below.
  • Extreme Exposure Reel Seat and Cork Grip – Wheel seat with stainless steel tapered hood transitions above and below reel seat protecting cap. With high quality cork grip, for comfortable and traditional look and feel.
  • Excellent Design – Precise data calculation and the perfect combination of performance presents a cost-effective pole
fibilink surf fishing rods
Fiblink surf rod review

Okuma Fishing Tackle CSX-S-1102MH Cedros Surf CSX Graphite Saltwater Spinning Rods

Okuma makes a variety of quality rods and reels. I have used both, and found them to be exeptional performers in the harsh saltwater and beach front environments. The Cedros series of surf fishing rods is a bit more expensive, but you get the very latest in rod building technologies for you money and a “Lifetime” warranty.

Okuma Cedros Surf Spinning rod
  • 30-Ton carbon, ultra-sensitive and responsive blank construction
  • ALPS stainless steel double footed guide frames for increased distance
  • Non slip rubber shrink tube handle with tapered rear grip
  • ALPS blazing Zirconium guide inserts
  • Cedros CSX Surf rods are backed by a limited lifetime warranty
Okuma Cedros Surf Rod Review

Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Tica produces some of the finest fishing rods in the world. Their Surf fishing rods are built in this same tradition. You will get the finest materials and the most advanced rod building technologies available. They do come with a bit of a higher price point however.

  • Constructed of high modulus TC3 graphite material
  • High quality FUJI ALCONITE tip-top guide, FUJI HARDLOY ring guides, FUJI DPS reel seat
  • Specially designed Tica sliding fold able hook keeper
  • Non-slip cork handle; custom diamond wraps handmade in Tica’s state-of-the-art facility
  • Perfect match with Tica’s Talisman/Samira/Scepter/Abyss reel series

Tica Surf Spinning rod
Tica Surf Rod Review

Okuma’s Solaris Surf Fishing Rods-SS-C-1102H-2

Another of Okuma’s great Surf Fishing Rods is the Solaris line. Again a bit more on the higher end, but still budget freindly. You will get the latest in fishing rod technologies and materials with a lifetime warranty. That is saying something with a saltwater rod.

Okuma Solaris Surf Spinning rod
  • IM-6 graphite blank construction
  • Fuji aluminum oxide guide inserts
  • Stainless steel double footed guide frames
  • Cork wrapped non-slip for and rear grips
  • Limited Lifetime warranty
Okuma solaris rod reviews

Penn Squadron II Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

If you have read any of my other articles, you know that I am a huge Penn fan. I have been fishing with Penn rods and reels for over 50 years now. They are, by far, the most durable and reliable on the market. And, you get a 5 year warranty with Penn surf fishing rods. They are very moderately priced making them one of the very best buys for you buck. If you are looking for a great reel to pair with your new rod, check out my Penn Reels Review HERE:

Penn Squadron II Surf Spinning rod
  • Smooth intermediate modulus carbon fiber blank
  • Fuji reel skeleton and full reel seats
  • Sea guide Ss316 stainless sloped guides with Zirconium inserts
  • Premium cork and TAC grips in split and full handle 1404020
  • 5 Year limited Warranty
Penn Squadron Rod Review

How to Choose?

All of these are good quality rods with good components that can stand up to the elements and provide for a quality surf fishing experience. There is a wide range of prices that will fit most any budget.

There are much more expensive rods of course, but we are looking for value for the money. Ultimately it will be up to you and your budget.

When someone closes the tailgate or car door on your rod, it hurts a little less when is a $60 dollar rod than if it’s a $140.00 rod.

The Jack Crevalle, in the picture on the right, was caught using a $65 surf rod. You don’t have to break the bank to get a good surf rod and reel set up.

Surf fishing rods - Ken Kuhn with jack crevalle
Ken Kuh with a surf Jack Crevalle

Check’em out and get Fishin

Take a look at these rods, I’ve provided links to the reviews etc. See if they will work for you and go try it out. Let me know what you think. The ultimate test is landing a nice fish on the beach front. What ever surf fishing rod you choose needs to fit you and your surf environment and how you personally fish.

best surf rods - Lady holding a mahi mahi

Essential Surf Fishing Gear:

  • Surf Fishing Rods, surf rods are typically longer and heavier duty than standard rods. read more.
  • Surf fishing Reels,larger and stronger with greater line capacity to handle big fish. read more.
  • Surf fishing Rod and Reel Combos, pre-matched rod and reel set ups for surf fishing – read more.
  • Sand Spike Rod holder, holds your rods securely while you wait for that big bite. – read more.
  • Surf Fishing Rigs, terminal tackle for fishing the surf. – read more.
  • Surf fishing Carts, for beaches that won’t allow vehicles you need a way to carry your gear – read more.
  • Rod Racks for Vehicles, carry your rods out of harms way and easy to access- read more.
  • Beach Camping Gear, in case you want to fish all night or for several days – read more.

Good Luck, good fishing, safe travels and enjoy the journey. Please leave the beach cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas or suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you asap. You can follow us on Facebook: Rex The Beach Angler, Instagram: thebeachangler7, Twitter: @AnglerBeach, and YouTube: Man Art Creations.

4 thoughts on “6 Surf Fishing Rods – Best Bang for the Buck”

  1. Great info. I surf fish mostly at the jersey shore but we vacation at the outer banks once a year. I also surf fish there. Granted, it’s usually July, when the fishing isn’t great, but it’s still fun. I caught a couple nice sized puppy drum (which looked exactly like the fish pictures on your site). Has the black dot towards the tail. Are red fish and puppy drum the same thing? Anyhow, I really like your website and good luck fishing.

    • Hey Spencer,
      We call the fish pictured Redfish in Texas, technically they are Red drum, so puppy drum would be the smaller ones of course. We also have a fish called a Black drum here. We use puppy drum to describe small black drum and the term Rat Red, to describe small Red Drum or Redfish.

  2. Honestly I am not that familiar with surf fishing all that much. I have seen it done though in the Caribbean when I go to visit in previous summer vacations . But I can see why you recommend the rod with good quality corrosion resistant components that will stand up to the conditions. Since there is alot of salt water that can be corrosive to metal and steel components.


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