Best Reel For Surf Fishing

Best reel for surf fishing

Let’s say you already have your surfing rod, so what’s next to have is of course a reel for surf fishing and there are a lot of good reels out there that you can choose. However, be aware that not all reels will be suitable for your chosen rod. So if you’re a beginner, check your rod first if it needs a spinning reel or a casting reel? Or how flexible or stiff your surf fishing rod is it should match with your choice of a fishing reel.
 Best Reel for Surf Fishing Shore fishing is an exciting hobby but it also involves some challenges that you cannot experience with boat fishing and this is why you need specialized equipment for the job. You will need a long rod and a reel that are designed for land fishing so you’ll be casting your lures far out off shore to reach behind the sandbars.

Best Reel for Surf Fishing

In this article, we will review three of the most trusted best surf fishing reel types that can empower your rod and offer you a more exciting fishing experience. We will also give you tips on what to avoid when shopping for the best reel for surf fishing and what to look for so that you won’t regret having a reel that’s not perfectly suitable for shore fishing. Just to note, we also have an article about how to choose the best rod for surf fishing in case you are looking for the ideal rods and also some tips to speed up your search for  more reliable rods.  

Best Surf Fishing Reel Types Known for Their Accuracy and Durability

Best Reel for Surf Fishing

Shimano is a Japanese brand known for its very durable and high-quality bike components, MTBs and have in the past incorporated fishing gear such as fishing reels in their manufacturing business. So you can never go wrong with Shimano-made mountain bikes, you should also never doubt the fishing tackles that this company creates. Basically, Shimano manufactures some of the world’s best reels for fishing and with this Stradic type, there’s been a lot of improvement with these gear from its previous versions. This Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel will always provide you a very smooth but strong when tackling your fish. It is also efficient in fast retrieval thanks to its high-quality bearings that are made of hardened steel.

For its HAGANE body, this is made of  rigid metal that can really tolerate an impact. If you put this best reel for surf fishing on a stiff rod, you will  get the best results because this reel is made to be strong. Unlike other fishing reels that can get misaligned due to heavy load, this Shimano reel supports its pinion gear with SA-RB shields on both sides thus the pinion gear will remain aligned while eliminating friction between the gear and the spool shaft. As a result, your casting performance will be more efficient while allowing you to throw your cast farther.

The CrossCarbonDrag is also another feature that offers variability in the drag setting of this reel plus its gravity-free body technology is made to shift to the reel’s center of mass much closer to the handle thus reducing the potential for hand fatigue and enhancing your casting accuracy. If you want a more balanced reel with an affordable price but at the utmost quality level, this Shimano model should not be left behind on your shopping list. Very versatile, can handle the heaviest drag, easy on the hands and with loads of quality parts, naturally, we see this very popular  as the best surf fishing reel for your spinning rod.

Best Reel for Surf Fishing


With a taller spool designed for saltwater fishing

Allows farther casting 

Durable, smooth, with anti-gravity design to adapt to many types of rods

Hagane body for impact resistance and for preventing body flexing

X-Ship feature to improve gear durability

G-Free Body to balance your rod’s center of gravity


The drag can get a bit sticky overtime which requires opening the lid and greasing the washers and bearings

This casting reel looks like an old-school reel-type you used to see on your grandpa’s old fishing rods. But don’t be fooled by its classic design because this is the best reel for surf fishing both for saltwater and freshwater. With its 9-bearing system, its bearings are made of hardened steel thus are resistant to corrosion and cracking. Its magnetic braking system will also aid you in adjusting the breaks during spool rotation and backlash while its handle support is made of aircraft-grade aluminum so you won’t worry this will give up when fighting with heavy fish. For the knob, this is made to be very smooth and soft for excellent grip.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

This reel is an XT Low Profile which is the improved version of the traditional round bait casting reels which becomes lighter but more compact than the older versions. Weighing only .5 pounds, the reel’s body is made of full aluminum so it should be durable, strong and very light to use. With easily adjusted controls, this reel can also help the beginner’s skill especially because its mechanisms are encased.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

Some users have been able to haul up to 16 pounds of fish like pikes with this reel and the drag is accordingly smooth but with a lot of stopping power. You can also cast light lures down to 1/8 of an ounce so even young people can have it for their fishing rods and they will appreciate it. For the price, this is where this best reel for surf fishing is also very much appreciated because it is even under US$75 price and yet can beat other expensive and popular reel brands in terms of durability, performance and smoothness.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing


Body made of aluminum

Handle support made of aircraft-grade aluminum

9-bearing system for corrosion-free against saltwater

Weighing only half a pound

Soft touch knob

XT Low profile – improvements from the older round bait casting reels

Reliable magnetic braking system

Smooth to use but durable and strong

Very affordable


Made only for right-handed fishers

This is what they call the Next Gen Kastking Sharky III because it is built to be tough and is already known to catch fish of trophy size both on freshwater and saltwater. Made of reinforced graphite including its rotor, this reel possesses pure power while it is also built to be water-resistant. With a very smooth and quiet drag system, it has an instant lock and anti-reverse mechanisms and is loaded with 11 bearings made of stainless steel. For durability, this reel is almost entirely made of stainless steel though its handle is of aluminum material for flexibility and lightness.  

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

For beginners on surf fishing and still undecided on what could be the best reel for surf fishing, they should check also on this reel because this is lightweight and very feasible for use on any kind of bay fishing. Though this is an entry-level reel, this tool uses a triple-disc carbon fiber mechanism that can put up to 40 pounds of drag. With a body made of graphite, you are ensured that this will be strong and will always perform beyond your expectations.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

What is unique with the KastKing’s reels is that these are sealed using the latest technology to protect its internal system from water and debris that might jeopardize its mechanisms and diminish its performance. So if you are a newbie in surf fishing and you worry you might mishandle your fishing gears, this Sharky III reel for surf fishing will suit you fine. With an oversized stainless-steel shaft, and mesh manganese brass pinion gears, you won’t be needing a backing line to spool using a braided line.

best rod for surf fishing


Belong to the Next-Gen series built for freshwater and saltwater use 

Lightweight but durable due to reinforced graphite body and rotor

Can put up to 40 pounds of drags

Triple disc carbon

Large stainless-steel main shaft

Sealed for protection against water and dirt

Aluminum handle and instant lock anti-reverse system

High-density EVA grip handle

Braid-ready spool

Anti-twist line roller

Can be switched for left and right hand

Best surf fishing reel under $60


After a few uses this may need to be opened and lubricated for a smoother reeling

Freshwater or saltwater reel

 Fishing reels are also available in freshwater and saltwater  options. Saltwater, as we know, can be corrosive to any metal so you might want to consider buying a reel as well as a rod made of graphite and carbon which are naturally resistant to corrosion. However, there would be some metals on the inside of most reels and some reels are not fully covered so don’t forget to check on the reel first if it has enough protection against water splash and moisture. 

best rod for surf fishing

Needless to say, if you choose a freshwater reel, you should not use it on saltwater fishing because it will eventually corrode. So what are the advantages of having a freshwater reel for freshwater use? It’s the price. The costs of the saltwater reels are pricier because these are designed to be corrosion-proof, more heavy-duty and heavier as they are made for dragging bigger fish. That being said, you can use the best surf fishing reel for saltwater fishing without any issue with freshwater. 

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

Drag Weight

Drag weight is also called the line tension which means this is the drag power of the reel to carry the resistance that will be put up by the fish when pulling the line. The higher the drag capacity, the thicker your line should be and the heavier fish you can reel in. You can set the drag weight of the reel based on the capacity of your line and the ideal drag for all reels is 20% to 30%. For example, if you have a 10-pound line, you have to set your reel’s drag weight to 2 to 3 pounds. If you have a 30-pound line, your drag weight should be 6 to 9 pounds.

Experts also suggest that if you are the kind of surf fisher who enjoys fighting it out with the hooked fish longer, you can set your reel for the lower drag weight and choose a 20 or 30-pound line. But if you are to catch bigger fish that can go up to 80 lbs like on bottom fishing, choose a reel that is capable of up to 20 drag capacity and with the thickest line possible.  

Weight of the Reel

Yes, it’s true that a heavy reel can be loaded with tougher and more solid parts. But since you will be fishing from the shore, you will also need a longer fishing rod or 10 feet at least. Which means a long rod could also be heavy. Not only that, but you should also consider the weight of your line. If you intend to use a lightweight line, you should also use a lighter reel. So consider the weight of your rod first and also the size and weight of your line before having your best surf fishing reel.

Also, you may also fish from the boat which means you will be tackling larger and more aggressive fish so you have to manually hold your fishing rod most of the time and a heavy reel can have an effect on your holding capacity. So choose a reel with the proper center of gravity to offset the weight if you are to prefer a fully-loaded fishing reel.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

Line Capacity and Gear Ratio

Having the best surf rod will

Think about how much line capacity and gear ratio you need with your fishing reel. Line capacity means the capacity of your reel to be loaded with a certain line size. But be aware that you will never know the size of fish that lives behind the sandbars. So to be safe, choose medium-size reels that can carry fishing lines of many sizes.  

The gear ratio is the capacity of the reel on how fast it can reel the line per complete rotation of the wheel. A high gear ratio would be better if you will be casting your line repeatedly. But if you are the type of fisher who wants to reel the line slowly and steadily, you may prefer the best reel for surf fishing with a lower gear ratio.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

Want to Try Electric Fishing Reels

You probably heard about the electric fishing reels. Nowadays, these are what they call the most reliable fishing reels for deep-sea fishing and some can reach up to 100 meters deep just to bait the heaviest fish. You can bait tuna with it, swordfish, queen snapper, tilefish, rockfish, black cod and even the giant halibut. Yes, this type may not be suitable as a reel for surf fishing because these are designed with heavy-duty, tougher gears but in case you want to have another diversion with your shore fishing and want to go into deeper waters, we suggest you try any of these electric reels.

The advantages of using electric fishing reels are vast. As they are powered by rechargeable batteries usually of 12V, once you release its line, you can be able to read on the digital display the depth of the line’s reach. You can also release the gear or limit the depth of your line according to your choice and the line can be reeled in automatically by the reel’s mechanism once you press the reel up button.

You can also manually operate the reel if you want to feel the weight of the fish or if you want to fight the drag and feel the excitement. Moreover, an electric reel can make reeling easy for you. Probably, using one can catch you the biggest fish that lives deep in the ocean but you’ve been dreaming of catching. As a backup plan, while having the best reel for surf fishing, in case you want to try catching those huge deep-sea fish, the electric reels can be your best investments.  


Having the best surf fishing reel can give you the best advantages while fishing from the shore. As long as you have a reel with the right weight, balance, durability and accuracy, you can never go wrong. Surf fishing can be your safest trip to the exciting world of fishing. There’s not deep water around you and you can relax on the beach while waiting for a fish to bite.

Best Reel For Surf Fishing

And though you may not get the largest fish, every haul with your reel for surf fishing would still make you feel satisfied while every member of your family can also enjoy surf fishing in a safer environment. 

Since we have talked about fishing rods from our other blog and now about the best reel for surf fishing, on our next blog we will be discussing

fishing lures and bait

 to complete your search for gears and accessories and enjoy every moment with surf fishing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *