If you’re a beginner or experienced beach or surf angler looking to invest in some high-quality gear, look no further than this great guide to the top surf fishing gear on the market.
Fishing can be as exhilarating and exciting or relaxing and laidback a pastime as you want it to be. There’s plenty of different ways to enjoy it.
Some people like to fish in a kayak, on a stand-up paddle board or just sitting on the edge of a lake. One of the most intense ways to enjoy the pastime is by surf fishing.
For any style of fishing, there’s important gear you need to invest in to enable you to enjoy the activity to the fullest and surf fishing is no different. With that in mind then, you may wonder where do you start when looking for the best surf fishing gear?
After all, there’s so many different options out there. If you’re new to the pastime, trying to work out which gear for surf fishing you should be investing in and which you should avoid might stress you out enough to put you off the activity all together.
However, don’t let it. Instead, let us be your guide and show you what you should be spending your hard-earned money on with our surf fishing gear list.
In it we highlight some of the leading surf fishing gear including a rod, reel, line, rigs, rod holder, beach cart, fillet knife, tackle box and hook remover.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Surf Fishing Gear Guide
Take a look at our recommendations and be sure to let us know what you think down in the comments section! We'll start with our favorite rod.
Recommended Rod: Penn Battalion Surf Casting Rod
Obviously, one piece of kit you can’t fish without is a rod and if you’re a veteran angler, you’ll have probably come across Penn products before, and probably have used them before.
The important thing is when you’re looking at surf casting rods, you need one robust enough to cope with the tussles you’re likely to have with bigger fish and bigger, less forgiving waves.
This is where Penn products and the Battalion 2-piece surf spinning-style casting rod comes into its own. Despite it’s tough and rugged graphite construction, it’s still an exceptionally lightweight piece of kit. Most importantly, it has clearly been properly balanced. The handle is another key component that contributes to the overall balancing, thanks to its rubber shrink tubing design.
It’s not all work and no play, though, as it’s still a very good-looking and stylish rod without compromising on its performance. Along with the rubber shrink tubing handle, it comes with a Fuji reel seat, seven aluminum oxide guides and composite blanks.
As a 2-piece construction it measures at 9-inches and has been designed to cater to medium power casting for lures weighing from 0.2oz to 2oz and a line between 12 and 20lbs. With the seven aluminum oxide guides you have as smooth operation as possible without your line getting stuck.
As Penn have been producing fishing rods and fishing gear since 1922, you know when you invest in their products, you’re getting great value for money.
The Bottom Line
There’s many great products out there, and if you’re looking for something that will handle heavier fish, it may not be for you. However, the Penn Battalion Surf Casting rod is an excellent choice for beginners to intermediate anglers.
Recommended Reel: Shimano Ultegra 5500 XTD
If you’re looking for a high-quality surf fishing reel, you need look no further than the Shimano Ultegra XTD reel. Originally released in 2016, it was one of the most widely anticipated releases with many in the fishing world considering it to being probably the best reel for carp fishing made.
This is a stunning piece of gear, with a very classy and sophisticated matte black finish. Shimano came to the decision to color it this way because they asked experienced anglers what they were looking for in a top-end tackle. Aside from its minimalist design, you’ll note the upgrade on the line guard.
It’s not just a good-looking design but performs its function of protecting the line from catching to the back of the spool. This line guard is designed to taper against the reel. The line lay is one of the neatest when compared with other Shimano offerings. This is thanks to Shimano slowing down the oscillation even further.
Other magnesium reels from Shimano tend to have a 100 coils per turn oscillation rate, while the Ultegra XTD only runs at 50. As a result of the slow oscillation rate, the line spools up precisely. This helps most specifically with long distance casting for carp or whatever’s biting. Its parallel construction also helps with the distance casting.
The Bottom Line
This is a lot heavier than other reels, but what you get with the heavy weight is a smooth and slow oscillation rate, that leads to a neater laying line that just makes for nicer functionality than others on the market.
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Recommended Line: KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line
Regardless of what distance you’re casting out to, braided fishing lines are rather expensive. You can, though, save fill up your reel with a decent length of line, without spending a fortune.
Particularly if you choose the KastKing SuperPower braided line. You have the option of a 4 or 8-strand weave which gives you a responsive and tough line. You get the thin diameter line that won’t stretch that’s ideal for surf fishing.
There are some fishing enthusiasts who swear by the KastKing SuperPower braided line, while others say it’s rougher than is necessary. It doesn’t really matter what your preferences are for fishing, though, because the facts are facts, it’s a lot less expensive than other top-range lines.
The strands that make up the braided weave are made from Dyneema and these strands are braided together much tighter than alternatives on the market, to produce that tight and small diameter. The tighter weave and thinner diameter enables you to load more line onto the reel spool you’re using.
Additionally, they utilize a special treatment process to help with the line’s preservation and lasting power, without leaving it with that waxy feel you often get with other braided lines. It also helps to ensure the line can slip through your rod guides more easily and makes for a livelier and more active lure action in the water.
Another key aspect of this braided line is its high resistance to any abrasion. Dyneema is one of the toughest fibers in the world and because of such, is used in various industries. Although any dragging of the line across hard surfaces won’t break it, a very sharp object just might.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is even though it may be rougher than others on the market, we recommended this because it’s the most robust braided line for the price range.
Recommended Rigs: Tailored Tackle Saltwater Surf Fishing Kit
In order to have success wherever you’re fishing, an important part of your surf fishing gear is fishing rigs. There are obviously several different rigs out there, so it helps to have a wide variety of them at your disposal and that’s what you get with the Tailored Tackle Saltwater Surf Fishing Kit
There are 82-piece types of tackle. The low price and high quantity of accessories and rigs makes this exceptional value for money. You get a spoon you can use for jigging and casting, 1 pompano rig for cut and live bait, 2 jetty rigs, 2 bottom rigs, 5 painted jigs, 5 grub bait lures and surfcasting popper lure. Just about everything you need to get out there and saltwater fish.
Additionally, though, there’s also essential beach fishing equipment too, including 5 snaps, 5 three-way swivels, 5-barrel swivels, 10 beads, 5 leader sliders, 2 floats, 10 wide gap hooks, 5 j hooks, 10 circle hooks, 4 wire leaders and 4 bottom bouncers.
The great thing about this comprehensive set is it’s been designed by real pros who know what they’re talking about and know what makes a good lure, rig or jib. Are you looking to land croaker, surf perch, corbina, lingcod, flounder, fluke, blue fish, speckled sea trout, shark, red-drum, snook or even striped bass – this is the set that can help you catch those and many more.
The one thing we would say about this set is if you’re a complete beginner and are just starting to find your feet and have no real idea what you’re looking to land, it’s a great buy. Whereas if you’re more experienced and not the kind of fish you’re looking to cast off for, it may be too general.
The Bottom Line
As we’ve noted, this is ideal for beginners looking for a cost-effective way to kit out their surf fishing gear haul. However, more experienced fishing enthusiasts may want to look elsewhere.
Recommended Rod Holder: Angler’s Fish-N-Mate 266 Sand Spike
Every self-respecting angler who loves to beach and surf fish, should have a good quality rod holder in their surf fishing gear. The rod holder, as the name suggests, is designed to secure your rod in place to prevent it being swept into the sea either you land a catch that doesn’t want to be caught or when the water is rough.
It also means you can have a handsfree setup – ideal if you’re casting more than one rod off at the same time.
The best type of rod holder when beach or surf fishing is a spike rod holder. As you can guess and by looking at the pictures of the Fish-N-Mate 266 Sand Spike, this is a rod holder made with a large spike that makes it easy to push down into the sand to keep your rod where you want it at all times. If necessary, spike rod holders like this one can also be placed in the water, depending on the length.
Why have we singled out the Fish-N-Mate spike? Well for one thing it’s a nice and generous 50-inches long, giving you a large enough section of holder that sits above the sand. It also has two practical and sturdy footholds that make it easy to push into the ground.
Most importantly, though, is the fact it’s made from anodized aluminum. This means it has a very robust construction, which you need so you can rest assured it’s going to stay put, even if a bite starts fighting back in the water. You still want a rod holder that’s lightweight enough it’s not too hard to control or transport and its aluminum construction is ideal.
Moreover, it’s aluminum finish prevents it from rusting.
The Bottom Line
Customers have noted it’s a little roughly finishing on the inside, so may cause some damage to your poles. However, for its affordable price, the two footholds and the strong, but lightweight aluminum construction, we couldn’t find a better surf fishing spike rod holder.
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Recommended Beach Cart: Mac Sports Collapsible Utility Wagon
Being properly prepared will help you have the best surf fishing experience possible. Given how much equipment and gear is involved, not to mention the food and drink you may want to take along if you’re going to spend a good bit of time out casting off and trying to land those big catches, you need somewhere to put it all.
Instead of using a bag, which is a little fiddlier and does not allow enough room for the larger pieces of equipment, you’ll probably be looking for beach cart. We recommend this collapsible folding utility cart manufactured by MAC Sports as a great investment.
Not only does it have a ridiculously low price, especially compared to much of the competition, but the fact its designed and developed by MAC Sports is a sign of quality. It has a high-quality and robust frame lined with durable 600D material for a rugged, but appealing solution to all your surf fishing storage and transportation needs.
It only takes a few minutes, even seconds to assemble and despite only weighing 24.5lbs, it can hold up to 150lbs. When collapsed it’s only 8-inches thick and it features an adjustable handle that makes it easy to maneuver over all terrains and 2 mesh cup holders to keep those beers secure.
The Bottom Line
The major downside to this beach cart, is like many others. Once it’s full, the lightweight cart is no longer quite as lightweight. However, it still makes it easier to carry all your gear in one fell swoop than trying to carry it on your person.
Recommended Fillet Knife: KastKing Filler Knife 6-inch
Maneuverability is almost as important as sharpness when it comes to choosing the best fillet knife when working with fish, Whether it’s for filleting those prize catches, steaking larger fish and trimming the meat from the bone or simply cutting baits, you need a versatile blade that will keep its edge for a long time. That’s why we recommend the KastKing 6-inch fillet knife.
There’s longer blades out there, but we love its compact nature and the elegant black stainless-steel blade with that slight curve offers the flexibility you need. Obviously, though you need to also think of the handle as that’s the part of the knife you’ll be coming into contact with most directly. With this KastKing offering, you get the benefit of a polymer non-slip grip.
As well as comfort every time you use it, it also gives you confidence you’re not going to have any problems or accidents. Both the blade and the handle are easy enough to keep clean and in the best condition possible. To help protect the knife when you’re not using it, you also get a durable and lightweight sheath.
Given how expensive good quality knives can be, especially for specialist uses such as filleting fish, we were really bowled over by the affordable price tag the KastKing carries.
The Bottom Line
There’s many great fillet knives out there. Depending on your budget, you may wish to look at one of the fancier models. However, given KastKing’s reputation for high-quality products and the affordable price tag, we think this is a winner.
Recommended Tackle Box: Plano Guide Series Tackle System
Plano are a company synonymous in the fishing industry as being behind some stunning and practical tackle boxes. The Plano 7771-01 Guide Series we want to highlight here is yet another exception entry into their family of products.
As important as it is your tackle box can hold all the bait, lures, rigs and other tackling you need, it’s also crucial everything is easy to access. This box has an access point to the top, giving you direct contact with your gear. What really makes it stand out though is the DuraView lens at the top which allows you to look at your box without opening it. Great for when you’re trying to repack.
It’s also designed with three completely removeable racks. At 22 x 13 x 13-inches, it’s generously sized and you’ll find you can even store and transport larger lures within it, rather than just the smaller kinds. It even comes with a compartment designed specifically for large spinnerbaits. However, the required bait rack is only available separately.
Given its size, the design and how functional it is, you’ll never need to endure another fishing trip where you must pack more than one tackle box to fit in everything you need for the weekend, morning or however long plan on angling. It doesn’t hurt it’s backed by a full Plano lifetime limited warranty.
The Bottom Line
The tackle box you choose for surf fishing should not be an afterthought. It’s one of the most important parts of your surf fishing gear, in fact, as it holds all those important lures, rigs and baits. We think, give its sturdiness, the price tag and size, the Plano 7771-01 Guide Series box is the best of the bunch.
Recommended Hook Remover: Rose Kuli Fishing Pliers
The last key piece of surf fishing gear you need to ensure you invest in before you hit the beach or anywhere is a hook remover. Hook removers are important as not only do they make it easier and safer to remove hooks from the mouths of your catch, but they can help with cutting fishing lines.
One affordable set of plastic handled and stainless-steel bladed hook remover you should give serious consideration to is this Rose Kuli multitool. They can cut just about anything and various types of lines such as fly, nanofilm, fluorocarbon, mono filament and braided lines.
The Bottom Line
Although it’s not a flawless solution, if you’re looking for a lightweight and practical option for removing hooks, changing lines or anything like that, this is a great affordable option.
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So, there we have it, we’ve highlighted the 9 best pieces of surf fishing gear you should consider investing in.
While more experienced surf anglers and beach fishers may find it a bit basic, beginners will benefit greatly from the selection above.
What do you think? Know if anything deserving of a place on this list? Let us know down below!