7 Best Surf Fishing Reels For The Money (Saltwater and Freshwater)

 
Best Surf Fishing Reels For The Money
 

Whether you are new to the fishing game or are an experienced angler, you need not necessarily venture into the water to land a good catch. Surf fishing is an excellent sport to catch some great game fish like Redfish, Bluefish, Striped Bass, Trout, Flounder, Mackerel, or even a huge monster.

 

However, surf fishing does require you to be well-equipped to put up a great fight, and one of the important gears is a surf fishing reel. But, before we get down to the best surf fishing reels in the market, let us quickly understand what surf fishing means.

 

What Is Surf Fishing?

Surf fishing is a generic term that implies catching fish while standing on a sandy or rocky shore or fishing from rock jetties or fishing piers. Surf fishing is usually done in saltwater, but freshwater is not excluded from this term. It is also a good place to start if you don’t own a boat yet and still want to test the waters.

 

Anglers involved in surf fishing usually use a longer rod, ranging 9 to 16 feet in height, to cast long distances. Since the movement in surf fishing is restricted, it does require some expertise to cast the bait or lure far out, and also knowledge about the fishing conditions such as high tide, current, temperature, wind, season, etc. Understanding these factors is also crucial to catch different types of fish.

 

In addition to that, surf fishing also requires patience and tactfulness to land a good catch. So, if you are confused about which would be the best surf reel for upping the ante of your fishing game, we are here to bail you out.

 

Our Top Choices For The Best Surf Fishing Reels

 

Table of Content

 

In this best surf fishing reels review, we are going to talk about the seven best surf casting reels that should be on your wishlist, their special features, as well as their pros and cons. We have shortlisted these best surf reels based on their performance, durability, corrosion resistance, and several other factors, which we will also cover under a buying guide to help you select the best surf casting reel conventionally.

 

If you are a newbie, unsure of which fishing reel you should opt for, you can first check out our guide on the fishing reel types and the best surf fishing rods, as they are considered to be ideal for new surf fishermen.

 

And now, let’s dive straight into our top choices for the best surf fishing reels for 2021.

 

 

Comparison Table

ProductRatingPrice
Best Surf Fishing Reel For The Money

Dr. Fish Saltwater 10000/12000 Spinning Reel

Dr. Fish Saltwater 10000/12000 Spinning Reel for Surf Fishing

4.4

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PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Long Cast

PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Long Cast Fishing Reel

4.7

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Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series

Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels

4.5

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Best Budget Surf Fishing Reel

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel – New Spinning Reel

4.6

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Overall Best Surf Reel

PENN Battle II & III

PENN Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel

4.8

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Best Spinning Reel For Surf Fishing In Freshwater

3G

Shimano Ultegra 2500FB XG; Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel

4.6

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Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

4.8

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7 Best Surf Fishing Reels

1. Fish Saltwater 10000/12000 Spinning Reel for Surf Fishing

Best Surf Fishing Reel For The Money

 

Dr. Fish Saltwater 10000/12000 Spinning Reel Check Price on Amazon

 

The first contender in our best surf fishing reels is the Dr. Fish saltwater spinning reel. This tough machine weighing 30.9 Ounces is meant for tougher fish and will make big games look like an easy catch.

 

High Quality Material: Made of high-density, corrosion-resistant material, this best surf reel has an impact-resistant body that can take the beating of the weather and saltwater and still perform seamlessly every time it is cast out in the waters.

 

Aluminum Spool: This best surf fishing reel for the money has a CNC aluminum spool with a larger capacity, designed specially to enhance its performance by offering faster casting speed and 5% distance improvement. So, you can also use heavier braided lines on the real and still cast our longer and faster.

 

Ambidexterous Use: The Right-Left interchangeable and heavy-duty aluminum handle will also give you better control and help you dominate the game even when you are up against the biggest monsters.

 

Powerful Performance: The reason we call it the best surf casting reel is because this 1000/1200 model offers a massive 48 lb Max Drag, powered by a multi-disc carbon fibre front drag system that helps you maneuver big fish bites with much finesse.

 

Gear Ratio: Dr. Fishing is also the best conventional reel for surf fishing with a gear ratio of 3.9:1 that offers better torque while retrieving larger fish.

 

Rust-resistant Ball Bearing: Another excellent feature of this best conventional reel for surf fishing is its 13+1 rust-resistant ball bearings that ensure smooth casting and retrieving. The side plate and rotor are also sealed and waterproofed so that the best surf spinning reel’s mechanism functions as good as new each time you set foot on the shore. Plus, it comes with a durable bail wire and extra gear protection line guard that prevents line snags behind the spool.

 

In our opinion, it is a tried and tested and one of the best saltwater surf fishing reels out there with some great features. It is surely the best reel for beach fishing for beginners who are not keen on investing a lot of money in their initial fishing gear.

 

 

Features:

  • Handle Material: Stainless steel
  • Bearing: 13+1 Stainless steel bearings
  • Weight: 9 Ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 9:1
  • Max Drag: 48 lb, front
  • Line capacity: 17/400,20/310,30/220
  • Reel handle position: Right/left

 

Pros

  • Can hold a good length of line
  • One of the best reel for beach fishing that can cast really far
  • It offers a good and smooth drag
  • One of the best surf casting reels that are affordable

 

Cons

  • A few users state that the reel feels a little bulky
  • Changing the handle can be challenging as there is no instruction manual
  • The gear tend to slip

 

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2. PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Long Cast Fishing Reel

 

PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Long Cast Check Price on Amazon

 

The next best surf reel is from PENN in Black-Gold color, one of the most popular brands in the fishing gear arena. Though it has an excellent rating, this best spinning reel for surf fishing doesn’t come cheap. However, we will not look at the price point at this time and focus more on what this best surf reel has to offer.

 

Highly Rated: Starting off, the PENN Spinfisher VI comes with an IPX5 rating, so no matter what wrath you expose your reel to, the saltwater cannot mess up the gearbox or the smooth drag system of this best surf casting reel.

 

Stainless Steel Bearing: It integrates 5+1 stainless steel bearings to offer a buttery-smooth performance.

 

Gear Ratio: All the variants of this best spinning reel for surf fishing offer a gear ratio of 6.2:1, which ensures quick retrieval.

 

Other Features: The HT-100 drag washers seated well inside a completely sealed spool, and the instant anti-reverse can help you retrieve a big catch easily. This best beach casting reel features a metallic body and side plate that keep the gear system aligned even under pressure.

 

This best surf casting reel conventionally offers all the above features in its standard model but also has other variants like Live Liner, Long Cast, and Bail-less models.

 

As already mentioned, this fishing reel may not be the cheapest on our list, but it definitely the best surf fishing reel for the money if you have mastered your fishing game.

 
 

Features:

  • Handle Material: Carbon fibre
  • Bearing: 5+1 Stainless steel bearings
  • Weight: 70 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 2:1
  • Max Drag: 15 lb, front
  • Line capacity: Braided – 240/10, 220/15, 160/20, mono – 255/6 175/8 140/10
  • Reel handle position: right/left

Pros

  • The sealed metal body keeps the mechanism safe from corrosion
  • The reel is very smooth
  • Excellent customer service offered by PENN
  • It offers one of the best line lay
  • It offers better durability than the battle series

Cons

  • Some users complain of a grinding sound when the handle is cranked
  • Drag tension issues reported
  • Some users complain about PENN’s quality control as they received defective pieces

 

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3. Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels

 

Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Check Price on Amazon

 

This is one of the best surf fishing reels by Sougayilang that features a Propulsion Line Management System with a new propulsion spool lip design.

 

Casts Longer: The special spool lip of this best surf casting reel covers longer casting distances and also works extremely well in preventing backlashes and wind knots.

 

Premium Built Quality: What makes it one of the best saltwater surf fishing reels is its DYL spinning graphite body, stainless steel shaft, CNC aluminum spool, and interchangeable handle. Rest assured that this best surf spinning reel is here to stay for years and will deliver optimum performance even for big fishing games.

 

Gear Ratio: The Sougayilang spinning reel is one of the best beach casting reels that comes with a 4.7:1 gear ratio, capable enough to put up a good fight against the biggest saltwater monsters. It offers a wide range of drag adjustments with an oversized shaft and compact self-balanced system rotors to retrieve your big catch.

 

Durable Performance: This reel is also one of the best surf reels that has a strong aluminum spool capable of holding a heavy-duty monofilament or a braided line for longer casting. Its pinion gear, supported by bearings on both sides, aligns well with the drive gear and will stay put even under heavy loads. It also eliminates the friction between parts. Consequently, it enhances the casting performance of this best reel for beach fishing with lighter lures and longer casts.

 

 

Features:

  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Graphite
  • Bearing: 10+1 BB Stainless steel bearings
  • Weight: 26 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 7:1
  • Max Drag: 15 lb, front
  • Line capacity: Mono – 0.40/240, 0.45/230, 0.50/200 (mm/M)
  • Reel handle position: right/left

Pros

  • One of the best conventional reel for surf fishing that can handle big fish
  • Casts well on the surfs
  • One of the best budget surf fishing reels

 

Cons

  • The line tends to wrap behind the spool
  • It can be heavy to hold for an extended period
  • The crank knob is flimsy and comes off easily

 

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4. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel – New Spinning Reel

Best Budget Surf Fishing Reel

 

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel Check Price on Amazon

 

KastKing is one of the known and trusted brands for fishing gears. And to keep up its name, it also offers one of the best surf fishing reels. In fact, KastKing also offers the best Baitcasting reel for surf fishing.

 

The new KastKing Sharky III has a Red-Black color tone and is surely lighter and more versatile than its previous two models. It is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Whether you are a newbie or are looking for the best budget surf fishing reel, this one should definitely be on your list.

 

Building Material: Made of lightweight, fibre-reinforced graphite, this best surf reel can handle the brunt of a bigger catch under different fishing conditions. Its stainless steel shaft, triple-disc carbon fibre drag, and manganese brass pinion gears can handle up to 40 lb of fish load.

 

Multiple Sizes: This best surf casting reel is available in five variants, but the 4000 and the 5000 ones are best suited for saltwater surf fishing.

 

KastKing Special Feature: The one feature that is worth mentioning about this best surf casting reel is K.I.S.S. (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) that offers it a secure and water-resistant design. Plus, you can directly spool a braided line on its Shark Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool, no need for a backing line. Its anti-twist line roller also prevents tangles and snarls.

 

Ball Bearings and Other Features: KastKing Sharky III is certainly one of the best saltwater surf fishing reels integrating high-quality 10+1 ball bearings, a quick lock anti-reverse system, strong & sturdy graphite body, and aluminum handle with an EVA grip.

 

It offers smooth performance and a better line capacity than most of the best surf fishing reels out there. And don’t forget the affordable price tag it carries, which truly makes it the best fishing reel for the money if you are starting off.

 

 

Features:

  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Graphite
  • Bearing: 10+1 BB stainless steel bearings
  • Weight: 15 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 2:1 (Brass Pinion Gear)
  • Max Drag: 5 lb, front
  • Line capacity: Mono – 12/220,14/190, Braided – 50/220, 60/190
  • Reel handle position: right/left
  • 10% thicker stainless steel main shaft

Pros

  • One of the best reel for shore fishing
  • Suitable for beginners
  • One of the best surf spinning reels that works quietly and effectively
  • It offers a smooth drag system

Cons

  • It does not come with spool turning washers
  • The knob of the handle feels small in the hand
  • Users reported problems in quality after fishing in saltwater

 

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5. Penn Battle II & III Spinning Fishing Reel

Overall Best Surf Reel

 

PENN Battle II & III Check Price on Amazon

 

Another best surf reel coming from PENN is the Gold-Black colored Battle II & III fishing reel. PENN has really worked on its Battle series, and its 3rd generation model has rightfully earned a position in the top surf fishing reels.

 

Reel Body: Featuring a corrosion-resistant metal body, side plate, rotor, and aluminum bail wire, this best surf casting reel is designed to catch the best game fish year after year.

 

Bearing and Drag Control: Its concealed 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings and the HT 100 Versa-Drag carbon fibre drag system offer smooth functioning and optimum performance even with a heavy catch. The instant reverse bearing also eliminates pullbacks.

 

Line Capacity: Designed to work with some of the best fishing lines, this best surf spinning reel has a large line capacity, and its rubber gasket fitted on the spool prevents the line from slipping. Its best surf casting reel conventional mechanism can also be used to spool a braided line without a monofilament backing.

 

If you know your fishing game and are looking for the best beach casting reel, then PENN’s Battle Series is one of the best saltwater surf fishing reels that should be on your radar.

 

However, it works equally well in freshwaters. The PENN Battle is available in different versions and line capabilities, so you have a lot of options to choose from.  Personally, we would recommend the 6000 /8000 model for their better line test ratings. Our verdict – it is the best reel for beach fishing and an all-round winner.

 

 

Features:

  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Bearing: 5+1 stainless steel bearings
  • Weight: 53 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 2:1
  • Reel handle position: Adjustable – Left and Right

Pros

  • One of the best surf fishing reels highly recommended by seasoned anglers
  • Offers smooth and fast retrieval
  • Durable and corrosion-resistant body
  • It offers a higher spinning ratio than the other good surf reels

Cons

  • Some users state that the reel feels stiff initially
  • Pricier than the other good surf fishing reels
  • Damaged reel received by many anglers. Do buy from verified sellers only.

 

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6. Shimano Ultegra 2500FB XG; Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel

Best Spinning Reel For Surf Fishing In Freshwater

 

Shimano Ultegra 2500FB XG Check Price on Amazon

 

Next up in the best surf fishing reels is Shimano’s new Ultegra that has proved to be a reliable gear in different fishing situations. What makes it the best surf casting reel is its flagship Hagane gear system that offers a smooth and strong performance each time you head out for a fishing game both inshore and offshore.

 

Advanced Technology: Its Cross Carbon Drag system also ensures a smooth retrieval. Adding to the durability of this best conventional reel for surf fishing is the X-Ship technology that eliminates friction between the spool and gear, and the Aero Wrap Oscillation ensures perfect line winding, longer casting, and durability.

 

Superior Construction: Its engineered construction aligns its centre of gravity closer to the rod, which also helps in perfect casting in the very first go. In addition to that, this ergonomic alignment also makes it comfortable to use for longer casting periods, making it the best reel for shore fishing.

 

Water-Resistant Technology: Shimano’s Coreprotect water-resistant technology is another nifty feature that makes it the best spinning reel for surf fishing that can take the beating of harsh fishing conditions.

 

Value For Money: Talking about the price, it is not the cheapest on the list but is surely one of the good surf fishing reels if you are ready to splurge. What more? The proprietary spool construction prevents snares and twists and ensures that the line covers more casting distance.

 

 

Features:

  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Graphite
  • Bearing: 5+1
  • Weight: 5 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 0:1
  • Max Drag: 20 lb
  • Line capacity: Power Pro – 10/150, 15/145, 30/100, Mono – 6/200, 8/140, 10/120

Pros

  • It comes with several patented features that may not be found in other good surf reels
  • It offers smooth casting and retrieval
  • Sleek design with G-free body

Cons

  • The product image shows a T-shaped knob, but many users received the standard round knob
  • Expensive than the other top surf fishing reels

 

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7. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

 

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel Check Price on Amazon

 

The last best surf casting reel on our list is from Daiwa, which is meant to deal with both freshwater actions and serious saltwater games.

 

Construction Material: Made of black anodized machined aluminum, this best surf spinning reel is built to last. It can easily be disassembled and reassembled for deep cleaning between regular cleaning sessions.

 

Gear System: This best conventional reel for surf spinning houses the oversized Digigear System that facilitates a smooth operation.

 

Sizes: Available in different sizes ranging from 3000 to 6500, this reel is designed to tackle sea monsters and withstand the abuse of a severe saltwater environment.

 

Line Capacity: The Daiwa Bg is one of the best saltwater surf fishing reels that come with a large line capacity, and you can also directly spool a braided line.

 

Other Features: It features 6+1 ball bearings and has a gear ratio of 5.6:1. The double Anti-Reverse System in the larger models also ensures smooth and fast retrieval. The other worth-mentioning features of this best surf reel are its air rotor, a sturdy screw-in handle, waterproof drag system, and the Dynamic Cut Aluminium ABS spool that keeps it ultra-light.

 

Our verdict: The Daiwa Bg surely is surely the best surf casting reel conventionally, living up to its claim of being highly durable. As long as you take care of this reel, it will work just fine for a good number of years.

 

 

Features:

  • Material: Black Anodized Machined Aluminum
  • Bearing: 6+1 Stainless steel bearings
  • Weight: 4 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 6:1
  • Max Drag: 4 lb
  • Line capacity: 8/240, 10/200, 12/170, J-BRAID – 15/280, 20/240, 30/190
  • Infinite Dual Anti-Reverse System
  • Fishing Line Type: Braided

Pros

  • Powerful and smooth operation
  • The big gear system offers enormous cranking power
  • Sturdy aluminum body that keeps the mechanism up and running for long
  • This best reel for shore fishing is available in different sizes

Cons

  • It is bulkier compared to other good surf fishing reels
  • The bail is thin and flimsy

 

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Buying Guide For The Best Surf Reel

Still confused between the good surf reels? Don’t worry. Here is a quick buyer’s guide to help you make a choice.

 

Type of Water You Will Fish In

If you are going to surf in saltwater, you need the best surf casting reel that is durable and corrosion-resistant. Look for ones that come with a special protective coating. On the other hand, freshwater is more forgiving, and any reel meant for saltwater fishing will work well for freshwater.

 

 

Sealing And Corrosion Resistance

Salt can easily corrode metallic parts of reels, therefore, ensure that the internal parts and side panels of your reel are sealed and protected from rust. Irrespective, you should still clean your reel thoroughly after every use.

 

 

Ball Bearings

Check for the number of ball bearings present in your chosen reel. The more the number of bearings in your reel, the smoother will be its operation and retrieval. Also, check for the anti-reverse bearing that will prevent the line from going loose when you are away from your reel. The best surf casting reel conventionally has an anti-reverse bearing.

 

 

Drag Power

The more the drag power, the easier it will be to handle a large or resistant fish without breaking your line. Also, the larger the reel, the larger is its drag force.

 

 

Reel Size

Choosing the right reel size is important and will depend on the type of water and the variety of fish you are planning to catch. Also, the bigger the reel, the more line you can have on the spool. The best surf casting reel conventionally varies from 1000 to 9000 in size. Select size of 1000-3500 for smaller fish like trout or perch. Choose 4000-6500 for a medium-sized catch like cod, snappers, etc. Go for 7000 and above for kingfish, tuna, or any other giant.

 

 

Gear Ratio

It implies the number of turns the spool will make per turn of your handle. So higher the ratio, the faster it will reel in the fish. However, when you are dealing with larger fish, having a lower gear ratio will give you better torque to prevent the fish from escaping. Go for a ration 5:1 or above for faster retrievals.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Surf Fishing Reels

Q. How do you Surfcast?

Ans: Surf casting involves behind-the-back casting. While the majority of anglers use a spinning reel, if you are experienced enough, you can also opt for the best Baitcasting reel for surf fishing.

 

Stand facing the direction you wish to cast and keep your feet shoulder-length apart. Hang your bait and the weight 1-2 feet from the tip of the rod.

 

Now, hold the line against the rod using your index finger. Open the bail and wrap your left hand around the grip of the rod. Now, bring the line over your right shoulder, almost in a horizontal position.

 

At this point, your right hand should be close to your right ear. Now, bring the rod forward and let go of the line from your index finger. In case you are left-handed, follow the same process by switching sides.

 

 

Q. What is the ideal size of a reel for surf fishing?

Ans: Since you are fishing from afar, opt for a large reel. Opt for 3000 or above with a large spool size and line capacity.

 

 

Q. Are baitcasters any good for surf fishing?

Ans: Though spinning reels are most commonly used for this sport, the best baitcasting reel for surf fishing can also be a game-changer. They can cast out farther and can handle larger fish. The best Baitcasting reel for surf fishing also comes with added features and newer technology to give you optimum control on your catch.

 

 

Q. What is the ideal gear ratio for surf fishing?

Ans: The higher the gear ratio, the faster the reel pulls in the line. The ideal gear ratio for all types of fishing conditions would be 5.1:1 or 6.1:1.

 

 

Q. How to care for the surf fishing reel?

Ans: Caring for your reel is important to improve its longevity. However, the process is pretty much the same as any other reel. You must wash it thoroughly with freshwater and use a brush or toothpick to pick out any stuck dirt. Also, thoroughly grease the parts to keep them smooth.

 

 

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our best surf fishing reels’ reviews. Selecting from the good surf fishing reels isn’t such a mind-boggling task, once you are aware of all the features that you must look for. Selecting the right one will also greatly depend on your level of expertise, the type of water you will be venturing in, and the type of fish you aim to catch. Nonetheless, try to opt for the one that is durable, smooth in operation, and the best surf fishing reel for the money. Do let us know if you would like to add any other model to this list of top surf fishing reels.