Tips for Selecting the Best Size Reel for Surf Fishing

Tips for Selecting the Best Size Reel for Surf Fishing

If you’re looking to go surf fishing, then you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. One of the most important pieces of gear is your reel, and selecting the best size reel for surf fishing can be tricky. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to select the best size reel for your needs.

Surf fishing can be a completely different type of fishing than anything you’ve ever experienced. It is loads of fun and there are all sorts of target fish you can go after. But it’s completely different than almost ever other type of fishing and it creates it’s own unique challenges to get right. We’ll take a look at some of these challenges especially when it comes to selecting the best reel for your surf fishing adventure.

Which is Better for Surf Fishing? Baitcaster, Conventional Reel, or Spinning Reel

When it comes to surf fishing, there is no easy answer as to which style of reel is the best. It really depends on personal preference and what kind of fish you’re targeting. However, spinning reels are generally considered a good choice for surf fishing and can handle most fish caught fishing from the surf. Spinning reels are typically lighter weight than conventional or baitcaster reels, and they are also easy to use, making them a great choice for surf fishing.

Tips for Selecting the Best Size Reel for Surf Fishing

Determining The Size of a Fishing Reel

When selecting the best size reel for surf fishing, there are a few key factors to consider. The first is line capacity – how much fishing line can the reel hold and how many pounds of drag can it handle? Second, what type of fish will you be targeting? If you’re going after smaller species like whiting, Pompano, or Bluefish then you don’t need a reel with large line capacity or drag. On the other hand, if you’re going after larger species like Redfish, Tarpon, or Jacks then you may want to opt for a larger size reel.

Finally, determine what type of surf fishing you’ll be doing – light tackle or heavy tackle? For light tackle surf fishing, a smaller spinning reel with light drag is perfect. If you’re surf fishing for larger fish, then you need to make sure the reel size you get will handle the target species.

Reel Size by the Numbers

When selecting the best size reel for surf fishing, it’s helpful to think of reels in terms of numbers. Generally speaking, spinning reels are sized according to their line capacity and drag rating. A reel with a size number of 1000-3000 would be good for light tackle surf fishing, while a 5000-6000 size reel is better suited for heavy tackle surf fishing. For much larger species such as shark fishing from the surf you may want to get a size 30000 which can handle the much larger target fish.

Couple Your Reel with the Best Line for Surf Fishing

Once you’ve selected the best size reel for surf fishing, then it’s time to pick out the right line. Monofilament line is generally your best bet for most types of surf fishing, as it tends to be more durable and has less memory than other lines. It also comes in a variety of sizes and strengths so you can find the perfect line for your reel and the fish you’re targeting. When you need to make longer casts however you may want to use braided line.

Consider These Points First When Buying a Surf Fishing Reel

In summary, here are a few key points to remember when selecting the best size reel for surf fishing:

  • Determine what type of fish you’re targeting and then select the right size reel.
  • Consider line capacity and drag rating when selecting the best size reel.
  • Opt for spinning reels as they tend to be lighter and easier to use.
  • Best size reels for surf fishing range from 1000-3000 up to 30000 depending on the target species.
  • Monofilament line is usually your best bet, but braided can be used for longer casts.

Best Surf Fishing Reels

Penn Spinfisher VI

The Penn Spinfishing VI is a great reel for surf fishing. It has a size rating range of 2500 to 10500 so it can handle most surf fishing species.

Penn Slammer IV

A good starter spinning reel for surf fishing is the Penn Slammer. Although it is rated at a size of 2500 it can still handle many target fish when surf fishing. Since it is a bit smaller, hooking up with a larger fish can put undue stress on the reel and may end up running your line out.

Penn Battle

This spinning reel is a great reel that comes in sizes ranging from 1000 to 10000. It is great when targeting a smaller variety of fish while surf fishing.

Daiwa BG

A 3500 sized reel that is very durable and can stand up to the sand and other problems you may encounter when surf fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a spinning reel or baitcaster cast further?

A spinning reel and a baitcasting reel both can cast quite far, however spinning reels are usually the preferred choice for surf fishing because they are easier to use and require less maintenance. Additionally, spinning reels tend to be lighter so you can cast for longer without getting tired.

Can I use a baitcasting reel to cast out far enough while surf fishing or will I just get backlash?

A baitcasting reel can be used for surf fishing, but it will take some practice to learn how to cast with minimal backlash. Spinning reels are usually preferred as they are much easier to use and require less maintenance.

What size rod should i use for surf fishing?

The rod size you should use for surf fishing will depend on the type of fish you’re targeting and how far out in the surf you plan to cast. Generally speaking, an 8-10 foot long medium-heavy action rod is a good choice. For longer casts, a 10-12 foot long heavy action rod would be more suitable.


Selecting the best size reel for surf fishing can be a daunting task but with some knowledge, you can make an informed decision and get the most out of your surf fishing experience. Keep in mind factors such as line capacity and drag ratings when selecting a spinning reel, and determine what type of fish you are targeting. Surf fishing can be a great experience, but making sure you have the right gear is key to success. By following these tips on selecting the best size reel for surf fishing, you’ll be ready to take on any challenge that comes your way!