Best surf fishing reels – Buying guide, Reviews and Comparison
If you want to acquire the best surf fishing reel, but you are out of luck and cannot select a model because you lack the time to do the necessary legwork on the topic, we can help. After doing the research for you, we have concluded that the Penn Battle II Surf Spinning Reel is the item you should check out. This product features an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that can supply you with a powerful drag without compromising smoothness and five sealed stainless steel ball bearings. The choice is durable, and it was explicitly designed to be used by those that love angling in saltwater. It can be utilized by right and left-handed fishers. The spool that it includes requires no backing, and it is braided easily. If this sturdy unit is out of stock, feel free to consider the KastKing Sharky III as it is equally versatile and durable.
Our Top Choice
With a full metal body and a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, this option can provide you with all the power that you need to handle saltwater gamefish. The model features an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, and it includes five sealed stainless steel ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing.
There have been users that noted that this item is not suitable for surf fishing. Yet, not all owners saw this as a significant drawback of the choice.
This reel is made of sturdy materials, and it can deliver maximum drag for best results and long-lasting performance.
If you need a product that looks good and that can land you trophy fish, this might be it. It can be used in both saltwater and freshwater, and it includes a high percentage fiber reinforced graphite body for increased sturdiness. Its main shaft is oversized, and it was made of stainless steel.
Some customers have noted that this choice might not retrieve the line on the spool evenly when compared to other similar counterparts.
If you need a device that is silky smooth and quiet, add this one to the list. It comes fitted with instant lock anti-reverse.
This alternative has an anodized body for extra durability and 6+1 stainless steel bearings. The item can provide you with a great drag. Because the model has a gasket around the spool, it is effortless to spool braid without any type of hassle. The handle of the unit has to be screwed on.
One user was unhappy that he was shipped what he described as a refurbished reel that apparently did not function as expected.
This option is light in weight for its size, and it is a perfect fit for those anglers that need a model that is first of all highly durable.
Our top choices
Penn Battle II Spinning
This model is highly thought of by fellow anglers because it comes fitted with numerous features while still remaining accessible. This option is covered in quality paint and, as a result, it won’t be affected by the corrosive effect of saltwater. Additionally, the unit features five stainless steel ball bearings.
Because of the increased drag pressure that the item delivers, many users recommend it. Its performance is possible because the product comes fitted with the HT 100 drag system that uses carbon fiber drag washers that are quite powerful.
Line capacity rings have also been added on the spool so that the angler is aware of the remaining line at all times. The unit additionally includes a rubber inlay on the spool so that the user can easily load it with a braided line directly. Seasoned fishers will be happy to know that an anti-reverse instant bearing is also incorporated in the deal.
To make the item as easy to use as possible, this device lets the fisherman know of the marked spool capacity that is already braided.
Furthermore, this unit features a smooth drag system and an anti-reverse bearing system that has received great reviews so far.
This option has an overall solid feel as it was manufactured using high-quality materials, which is a reason why so many like it.
Because of the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that it includes, this option can supply you with the necessary drag power without sacrificing its smoothness.
Although this product has received positive feedback ratings, some users noted that it tends to lose its sturdiness after using it for more than a fishing season.
There have been some customers that remarked that they were shipped used choices that did not perform as expected. However, the number of anglers that pointed to this problem is limited.Buy from Amazon.com for ($93.99)
KastKing Sharky III
At a glance, this spinning reel seems quite versatile as it was designed to help you land your dream fish in both saltwater and freshwater. The unit stands out as it is particularly light in weight and because it is very durable.
The sturdiness of the item is linked to the fact that its rotor and body were constructed using high-percentage fiber reinforced graphite. The item also features an oversized stainless-steel main shaft as well as a reliable triple disc carbon fiber drag.
This reel is water resistant, and it features a special construction that keeps the water out of its rotor, body, and spool. According to the seller, the unit has a smooth and quiet retrieve. To make sure that the user has control over the device, the manufacturer has fitted it with a high-density EVA handle that is slip-free in wet conditions. An anti-twist line roller is featured.
This device comes provided with what the seller calls the KastKing Shark Fin braid fishing line ready spool that can apparently eliminate the need for backing and that can prevent line slipping.
If you do not like snarls and tangles, you will be happy to find out that this reel comes equipped with an anti-twist line roller.
The choice is ideal if you intend to use it to catch big saltwater fish that put up a fight.
Because it is almost entirely made of aluminum and stainless steel, this unit can remain undamaged by the corrosive action of water.
One previous angler that invested in it said that he was shipped a product that did not look sturdy and that did not include spool tuning washers.
It has been noted that this choice might not be the right fit for those that intend to use it to cast hundreds of lures on a single day out fishing.Buy from Amazon.com for ($55.98)
Daiwa BG Spinning
This medium-sized option is perfect for you if you happen to own a light to medium 10-11ft surf rod or on a barra or snapper model that can hold up to 22 pounds. This alternative delivers smooth performance and a great drag that many appreciate. The body of the choice has been anodized for extra durability.
The handle of the model is sturdy, and it has a screwed-in design that adds to its appeal. As a plus, this item also features an air rotor, a waterproof drag system, and a dynamic cut aluminum spool.
For extra convenience, it also comes fitted with an infinite dual anti-reverse system. This model features 6+1 bearings. You can use it whenever you go fishing in a lake, bay, harbor or boat. It is ideal for catching popular fish types such as mangrove, cod, snapper or mulloway, but it can also prove practical for several other applications.
This choice comes equipped with an aluminum body and it features a protective cover that increases its resistance against scratches and corrosion.
Plus, all BG models come supplied with a large drive gear that boosts all gear-tooth contact points, so that the angler is provided with more power and with increased torque.
The solid, screwed-in handle that this model incorporates determines zero movements or play between the handle arm and the main gear so that you have total control when rotating the handle.
Besides, because the air rotor that the product uses is 15% lighter than regular rotors, its shape and weight minimize the presence of any unnecessary weight, and it promotes even load distribution.
Some users were quick to point out that the main issue with this device is that it is covered by a warranty policy of just one year.
A handful of customers claimed that they were shipped defective or used models. The number of such reports is limited.Buy from Amazon.com for ($95.95)
Penn Pursuit II & III Spinning
This fishing reel can supply you with all the power that you need to handle difficult fish that put up a challenge. The model has a durable construction as it was manufactured using an aluminum side plate, a graphite body, and a graphite rotor. Because of the oiled felt drag system that it incorporates, this item delivers considerable drag pressure without sacrificing smoothness.
Even more so, this device comes provided with four shielded stainless steel ball bearings as well as with an anti-reverse bearing that is instant. The handle of the reel is comfortable, and it was built ergonomically.
The body of the item is corrosion free and light in weight for extra convenience. Line capacity rinds have been added for increased practicality. According to other anglers, this choice is also worthy of your attention because of its accessible price. The brand that manufactured it is well thought of in the fishing community.
This alternative comes fitted with a graphite body and rotor that make the product sturdy, corrosion resistant and light in weight.
Because of the 4+1 shielded ball bearing system that this model features, it delivers a smooth retrieve; also, it can perform well for years to come, depending on how you decide to care for the reel.
The spool of the unit is made of machined anodized aluminum that is very sturdy so that you can enjoy smooth line releases from the spool.
The oiled felt drag system that the seller used on this reel has been tried and true, and it allows for drags ranging between 10 and 25 lbs.
It has been said that this spinning reel might not actually be compatible with all available rods, which is an aspect that some buyers consider frustrating.
There has been one customer that said that the info provided by the seller is misleading as the fact that the product does not feature anti-reverse is not stated.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Penn Spinfisher V
Available in multiple sizes and configurations so that it speaks to the ever-growing needs of as many anglers as possible, the Spinfisher V is a series that never disappoints. As with other models manufactured by the same brand, this particular one boasts a full metal body and sideplate which give a pointer as to whether or not the unit is durable.
Not only this, but the reel both sturdy and watertight, thus allowing you to use it as you deem fit. We all know how inconvenient it can be to come back home from a tiring fishing trip and have to care for the tackle so that everything remains in top shape. Therefore, one of the most notable benefits provided by the Spinfisher V is that you can even let it ride in the spray.
Another factor you may need to give some thought to is that the Spinfisher V comes equipped with five ball bearings made out of stainless steel. You won’t have to worry about getting an imbalanced reel as this one might be able to serve you as best as possible.
Since it has acquired the appreciation of over three hundred buyers, we say that the Spinfisher V is worth taking into account.
Geared sufficiently to help you dominate in demanding saltwater fights with the catch, this reel has considerably strong fish stopping power by enabling you to sustain fish handling during protracted battles.
The long-range castability of the reel allows you to hurl the lure far out in the water to make it land beyond the waves where the big fish are, expanding your angling possibilities.
It has a durable, watertight design that keeps the critical internal components from getting damaged or losing their integrity with exposure to the water.
Suitable for adventurous saltwater fishers, this model endures years of exposure to the spray and surf while ensuring consistent castability and retrieves. The HT-100 Slammer drag system delivers sizable drag range and smooth reeling action.
The bearing assembly operates smoothly so you can cast farther and reel in the catch with less effort.
The absence of an anti-reverse switch may cause the reel to get stuck if you accidentally reel in too fast.Click to see the price on Amazon!
With its proven record-level performance in European casting competitions, the Daiwa M7HTMAG Millionaire Surf Cast Reel is the ideal long distance surfcasting reel for the avid angler. Designed for casting long distances in the surf, this fishing reel is manufactured in the company’s Japanese plant to ensure that it conforms to world-class quality control standards. The high performance spool is controlled easily with the Magforce Z, enabling it to reach maximum speeds up to 30,000 rpm. The legendary system is Daiwa’s exclusive component that delivers smooth magnetic braking as the spool gets to its maximum designed speed. This prevents over runs as it backs off when the spool slows down.
This fishing reel allows the angler to start and build speed faster, while spinning longer in the process. You can fully adjust the amount of control in order to suit any fishing condition or application, while also ensuring suitability for your specific style of casting.
The Daiwa M7HTMAG Millionaire has a seven-bearing system composed of five corrosion resistant ball bearings, one ball bearing component and one roller bearing component, ensuring smooth loading and retrieve. The lightweight aluminum spool prevents user fatigue, not being unduly heavy in the hand to enable extended fishing sessions. The power handle is counterbalanced to eliminate difficulty in control while enabling problem-free use. This fishing reel has a fast 5.8:1 retrieve so every 360-degree turn of the handle means the spool turns 5.8 times, reducing the work you have to do. The retrieve picks up 28 inches with every crank, so your angling experience becomes less stressful.
The high-grade brass drive gear works smoothly with the stainless steel pinion to ensure smooth operations while ensuring resistance to chipping and corrosion. The infinite anti-reverse feature ensures that the handle will not turn backwards when the drag is utilized and the line gets pulled from the reel. The tighter machining tolerances offer complete control during solid hook sets and stop-and-go retrieves. This adds extra security to the bearing when fighting the fish. This fishing reel boasts a rigid one-piece frame for lasting use. The smooth star-adjust drag offers effortless performance for the fishing reel.
This model features a machine-cut spool that ensures a balanced configuration in addition to the lightweight aluminum alloy construction that guarantees a trouble-free handling during a full day of fishing.
This fishing reel comes with a carbon swept handle that also works to decrease the overall weight while delivering optimal control and leverage.
Thanks to the EVA double-handle knob, it is easy to gain control over the fish so you can release as little or as much line as possible depending on the progress of the battle with the catch.
Outfitted with a quality brass drive gear plus a stainless steel pinion, this fishing reel can deliver lasting use and will not succumb to the corrosive effects of the harsh water.
Make the most of the infinite anti-reverse system that enables you to release more line without getting the reel stuck because of the quick flow.
According to one customer, there is no clicker in this model so you can’t leave it unattended. You won’t know when the fish starts pulling because there’s no sound-producing element to alert you to the event.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.95)
The Shimano Thunnus CI4 is designed as the brand’s premium baitrunner on the market. The unit has a reinforced carbon fiber that allows 7 to 10 ounces of weight to be removed. Featuring Shimano’s Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement, this fishing reel is equipped with a special cold-forged aluminum gear drive along with a hardened brass pinion gear, enabling it to retain its out-of-the-box smoothness for a long time. It uses a combination of metals that proves to be more durable than any all-stainless steel system while ensuring unparalleled smoothness. The fishing reel is lightweight yet boasts the power to control even large fish.
Utilizing carbon metals in high impact situations, the fishing reel has been engineered to address the need for ease of use and functionality that all anglers have. This lightweight fishing reel doesn’t sacrifice power despite being more lightweight than its predecessor. Employing the new drag systems for its baitrunner and main drags, the fishing reel is a most efficient piece of fishing gear with matchless adjustability so you can fish any type of bait in any condition. Offering smooth stopping power, this reel has 6 Stainless Super Stopper bearings that eliminate backplay to deliver instant hook setting power. The single roller bearing also contributes to that functionality so the bearing system delivers smooth cranking and bearing capabilities.
The fishing reel features reinforced carbon fiber, giving it more than one and a half times strength compared to the brand’s regular XT-7 graphite model. The absence of metal makes this unit resilient against rust, while also ensuring adequate strength and light weight as well as tolerances that are quite precise. The CI4 material is 250 percent stronger than what is found in this model’s predecessor and is also more than 20 percent lighter. The unit has a maximum drag from 15 to 25 pounds and a retrieve-per-crank range of 30 to 37 inches. Offering years of trouble-free performance and longer distance casting, coupled with the drastic weight reduction, thus fishing reel makes fatigue a thing of the past. Primarily useful for free lining live bait along eastern seaboard and gulf coasts, this model is an integral part of the brand’s lineup of stronger, lighter and more powerful technical fishing systems.
Enjoy fast line release and retrieves thanks to the 4.4:1 gear ratio that makes the reel easy to control during hard battles.
Because of the reversible design of this unit, both right and left-handed anglers can use it comfortably and confidently without any complicated adjustments.
Lightweight and compact, this option is equipped with the power to stop large species without sacrificing manageability in handling.
You will be happy to know that this specific reel is made up to 7 ounces lighter compared to the earlier model but without compromising on power.
The 6 S SUS bearings.on the reel ensure smooth retrieves so you can land the fish with less effort and release line as needed during a protracted battle.
Because of the high-quality components in this fishing reel, great care has to be taken to use the unit only as recommended. This is to avoid damaging any of them.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($308)
If you are considering taking up surf fishing but find it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to all the information that is available online, we’re here to give you a helping hand. Just remember, the more research you perform, the better choices you can make in terms of buying gear and equipment, including the best surf fishing reel. We’ve put together a short buying guide to assist you in understanding the basics of this sport.
What is Surf Fishing?
Unlike other types, this one relies on catching fish while standing on the shoreline or by wading in the surf. Since there are a lot of terms describing the method, you might encounter words like surfcasting or beachcasting. What you need to know is that these two differ from the basic type of surf fishing, which is generally performed in saltwater and in accordance with the formerly mentioned methods.
Several of the species one might catch thanks to this method range from bluefish and redfish to blackfish, flounder, and Spanish mackerel. Occasionally, you might even target snooks or even sharks.
While it is illegal in some regions, some areas allow users to take their 4×4 trucks or SUV’s to the beach, to get the most of their hobby. Our advice to you is to check with your local legislation before rushing into using beach buggies, as often times permits are mandatory.
Surfcasting and beachcasting
These casting techniques differ from regular surf fishing. With surfcasting, the fisher utilizes a very long rod and two main methods of actually catching the fish. A two-handed cast approach is sometimes required in order to get the target, and some people prefer to use the pendulum cast to lengthen the distance even more.
Skishing is a variety of surf casting that has been invented in Montauk, NY, back in 1995. A wetsuit and flippers are required in this case, as the fisher will actually swim into the ocean and fight with the catch.
Beachcasting is usually the preferred method in Britain. It asks for very long rods. Beachcasting can be performed on a beach or shoreline.
Surf Fishing Reels Described
What is the best surf fishing reel? There are several ways of understanding which reel works best. For one, having the greatest reel in the world might do nothing good if you have the wrong rod. Rods used in this technique have to be at least 10 to 11 feet long.
A high-quality reel can have anywhere between two and thirteen ball bearings. The more bearings, the best. When prospecting the market for a new unit, you should consider the following details: the number of ball bearings, the drag, the resistance, the characteristics of the spool and the line roller. The handle is another consideration, but it mostly depends on the size of the hands of the user and on what he or she is comfortable using.
Whatever model you think is the best reel for surf fishing, just make sure that it comes with an anti-reverse.
Prices of models can vary widely depending on the materials that have been used in the build to the brand that has launched the item on the market. As a general rule, all-metal parts take the cake in terms of durability and usability. A low-end alternative can cost as little as $20, while a medium-quality one can be as expensive as $70.
If you have little to no experience when it comes to buying new gear and equipment, it might be a good idea for you to invest in a rod and reel combo.
Caring for your reel
Saltwater takes its toll on a fishing reel, which is why you might need to learn the basics of cleaning a unit. You might be tempted to skip this activity altogether, particularly if you’ve recently bought a corrosion-resistant product. However, rinsing it right after using it or leaving it in running water or freshwater for a while can considerably increase its life.
Don’t be afraid to ask the opinion of a professional if you’re unsure how to clean the unit yourself.
Lures are available at tackle shops or online tackle retailers. The most practical ones for surf fishing are spoons, jigs, and plugs. Soft plastics can be used as well. If you have the possibility, purchase several types and keep them in a surf bag, as this way you’ll be able to replace the one you’re using according to the fishing conditions.
Products that are no longer available
Proven by many users to be smooth and solid, the Penn Fishing FRC8000 Fierce Spinning Reel is equipped with a reliable bearing system and a clean and quick spool. The 4 + 1 stainless steel bearing system is placed strategically within the unit to deliver support, stability and smooth operations. A top of the line model thanks to its 4 + 1 ball bearings, this model boasts a durable design suitable for any condition. It has long lasting aluminum components that give it a light weight plus a rust resistant design to ensure lasting use. Offering dependability and peerless power, this fishing reel is also pocket friendly as well.
The long lasting full metal sideplates and body maintain a precise gear alignment no matter how heavy the load. The fishing reel has a field-proven oiled felt drag system that is unquestionably reliable. The aluminum spool is machined and anodized, thus it won’t flake or chip like paint. The anodization of its components also makes machining really fast and delivers tight tolerances so the reel can withstand the punishment of rugged use. The lightweight reel has a hard and durable surface, ensuring years of use. The stainless steel shaft is resilient against corrosion and chipping, for reliable strength and usability.
Thanks to the infinite anti-reverse system, the fishing reel enables the line to be pulled when the drag is used, without allowing the handle to turn backwards. Thus, the angler can choose to back reel or engage the drag when doing battle with a fierce fighting fish. The techno-balanced rotor delivers smooth retrieves. The handle has a soft touch knob that ensures quick response at all times.
The Penn Fishing FRC8000 Fierce Spinning Reel has a fantastic capacity of 90 yards for 20 pound test line, 350 yards for 25 pound test line and 260 yards for 30 pound test line for monofilament. For braid lines, this model offer a line capacity of 50 pounds test line for 550 yards, 65 pound test line for 450 yards and 390 yards of 80 pound test line. It is equipped with protection against the harshest saltwater conditions.
Penn FRC4000 Fierce Beach Casting Reel
As one of the trusted manufacturers in the industry of tackle and all items related to improving fishermen and women’s performance, Penn invests a lot of time in designing excellent products. The Fierce series is one of the popular choices we have come across, which is why it might be worth bearing in mind.
The FRC4000 is a rugged alternative that can withstand the test of time. It’s made out of metal, which means that you will be able to enjoy many angling seasons in its company, without worrying about getting it damaged. Also, the construction makes it possible for the unit to perform rather well under heavy loads.
The model has been outfitted with four ball bearings constructed out of stainless steel, but the neat thing about it is that it comes with infinite anti-reverse. What this means is that, above all, the product is versatile and easy to use as it can assist with controlling line payout.
As for the user feedback, there are few things worth mentioning in this sense as most of it is favorable. Some anglers say that it is heftier than other reels they’ve used over time, but that’s due to the rugged construction boasted by the model.
With its full metal body and side plate, this surf fishing reel is able to maintain a precise gear alignment even under heavy loads. There is full support for the internal components, so the entire reel setup remains stable.
The anodized and machined aluminum spool offers easy winding of the fishing line around it. The material of the component adds no excess weight to the rig, so you have no difficulty handling the reel.
The four stainless steel ball bearings are supported by the stainless steel shaft to ensure smooth and easy operations. This prevents the premature breaking of the fishing line.
The infinite anti-reverse techno-balanced rotor keeps the line flowing smoothly along the rod from the reel.
The soft touch knob on the anodized aluminum handle facilitates the effortless release of the fishing line so you can get one-handed control.
Those who prefer fishing with braided lines might find that this reel doesn’t quite work well with that type of fishing gear.