Best 4 Surf Fishing Reels Compared in 2018

Surf fishing reels – Buying guide, Reviews and Comparison


If you’ve set out to find the best surf fishing reel but haven’t had any luck up until now, we’re here to help you. After carefully analyzing the feedback coming from professional and amateur anglers alike, we’ve reached the conclusion that the Penn FRC4000 Fierce is the first one you should include on your list. This model has been constructed with the needs of fishermen and women in mind as it boasts a metal body and sideplates, an infinite anti-reverse, and a handle that’s a pleasure to use and touch. The main shaft is made out of stainless steel, so it is functional, rugged, and durable. With its four stainless steel ball bearings, it goes without saying that the FRC4000 is worth giving some thought to, especially if you haven’t decided on another reel just yet. If the FRC4000 is unavailable, your next best choice should be the Penn Spinfisher V.



Comparison table




Our top choices


Penn FRC4000 Fierce


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.

Click to see the price on Amazon!





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.

Buy from for ($126.73)





Daiwa M7HTMAG Millionaire


3.Daiwa M7HTMAGWith 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 for ($226.2)





Shimano Thunnus CI4


2.Shimano Thunnus CI4The 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 for ($299)





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


Penn Fishing FRC8000 Fierce


1.Penn Fishing FRC8000Proven 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.



Click to see the price on Amazon!




Interesting, right? Here are a few more posts that might be interesting for you as well:


1) A list of the best fishing knives

2) Telescoping fishing rods

3) Top 10 fishing magazines in the US


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