Fishing & Hunting Tips

Top 6 Best surf fishing rod and reel combo | Review & Guide in 2020

Surf fishing! Only for fishes or something more? As the breeze caress away your face, the sand feels like as if it is a thousand dollar carpet. The blue lagoon! Crystal clear blue beauty! Which is absolutely meaningless if you don’t have the best surf fishing rod and reel combo.

Best Pick: Best surf fishing rod and reel combo

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Last updated on January 20, 2020 1:12 am

All the feelings will shatter if you get frustrated because you just can’t hook one! And inside you’re probably yelling”why didn’t I get the best surf fishing rod and reel combo?’

That’s why we’re here folks. Our expert team has tested and reviewed some of the best surf fishing rod and reels so you can complete your journey to the surf fishing realm.

Now, wait a minute, what if you already got a reel and just looking for the best saltwater spinning rods for the money? Or its the opposite?

You got the blank, and browsing for the best saltwater spinning reels for the money? Either way, we got you covered baby.

A good surf rods combos should have the following attributes:

  • Corrosion resistant rod and reel
  • Graphite composite or fiberglass body
  • Watertight reel design
  • Premium quality ball bearings and guides
  • Manufacturer warranty

Before we jump in to find out the best surf fishing rod and reels let’s see which product our expert has chosen to be the best of the best.

surf fishing rod and reels

Top review team choice

And the winner is Penn Spinfisher V & VI spinning combo.

And the reasons are

  • Incredible reel performance
  • Great value
  • Offers a lot of models to choose from

Now, hold on there cowboy. Have picked up the sand spike yet? How about a rod carrier? If not then hurry up and pick up some of the most essential stuff for surf fishing.

1. Penn battle 2 Spinning fishing rod and reel combo

penn battle 2 combo review



  • Graphite composite construction
  • Full metal body, side plate, and rotor construction
  • Heavy duty aluminum oxide guides
  • Classic comfortable cork handle
  • 1 instant anti-reverse & 5 stainless steel ball bearings

Intro: It’s important to cast the line accurately when you surf fishing. A good fishing tackle can make the task easier to achieve. That’s where the Penn battle 2 fishing rod and reel. If you are looking for a reliable surf fishing combo then this one would be an absolute steal.

Rod size: I used to think, the bigger the rod, the greater the casting distance. But it just doesn’t work like that. The distance of the cast depends on the rod’s ergonomic, compatible size, rod components and most importantly, the reel.

Penn offers 9 different types of the rod which are variable in sizes. There’s 6’6” rod, five 7’0 rod with a different power of course and 8’0, 9’0, 10’0 model a piece. Penn grants you the option to take over the saltwater realm with class and confidence.

Rod material: If you like sensitive blank then you’re gonna love this rod. Forged from a graphite composite construction, the Penn blank offers sensitivity and durability with a fraction of a cost. Just do a fake cast right out of the box. The ergonomic design allows the blank to maintain perfect balance as you sway in the air.

Reel: Oh boy, there’s a lot going on with this all-metal build reel. Crafted to last a long time, the Penn battle 2 fishing reel is engineered to catch fish efficiently. With it’s five stainless steel bearing, you can expect your line cast and retrieve smoothly.

What I admire about this reel is the drag capability. And it’s no ordinary drag system. To get the much-needed leverage, Penn has equipped this reel with HT-100 Versa-Drag carbon fiber drag system with built-in drag washer for drag efficiency.

It also has anti-reverse bearing and rubber gasket mounted with the spool that allows you to use a super line which won’t slip off. Hence eliminating the need for any monofilament backing. It also shows how much line is remaining with the help of line capacity rings. It also has a heavy duty aluminum bail wire so your line will return to the spool evenly.

Overall this spinning reel is designed to land big Saltwater gamefish.

Handle: If you can’t hold the blank for a long time, the. It’s no use. No matter how well built or expensive it is. Thankfully, the Penn rod series are equipped with either classic cork or Eva handle depends on models.

Action & power: The power of these rods varies from model to model. You will find power rated medium light, medium, medium heavy and the biggest model is 10” heavy.

Good news, you’re gonna bag some striped bass with these rods. Because most of them are extra fast, fast and medium fast action rated.

Special features: Most of the special features lie within the reel. But the rod got a couple, like those stainless steel guides that allow your line slide smoothly.

You guys like to jig, these rods got you covered. Another cool thing, you can use it in both salt and freshwater. And if you travel a lot, there is also two piece blank available.

Reputation: Yep, customers have mixed reaction with this one. But mostly positive. There are some complaints about poor packaging and broken tip which are quite rare incidents. Other than these, it’s all good.

Look, the Penn battle 2 combo review may not be as appealing as it should be, but I suggest you no to judge this product unless you use it first. I am currently jigging and cranking without zero issues. So, it’s up to you.

Overall: It’s a solid build blank with an outstanding reel. You can’t ask for a better combo that compliments a competitive price tag.

  • Very good reel features
  • Interchangeable retrieve
  • Drag washers make dragging smooth and fun
  • I personally haven’t encountered any issues yet

2. Penn pursuit 2 and 3 spinning combo

penn rod and reel combo reviews



  • Graphite composite construction
  • Corrosion resistant frame
  • Lightweight and super sensitive blank
  • Split EVA grip for ultra comfort
  • Graphite reel seat and stainless steel guides

Intro: Another battle tested Penn surf rod and reel combo.  Excellent choice for saltwater jigging. The intent is to land big Saltwater gamefish and this blank doesn’t disappoint.

Rod size: In Penn pursuit 2 combo lineup, there are 12  7’0 blanks with different power and action. There are also two 8’0, and a piece watch of 9’0 and 10’0.

In the pursuit 3 combo lineup, there are 13 7’0 blanks with different power and action. There are also two 8’0 and 10’0 blank and alone 9’0 model.

Rod material: These rods are forged from graphite composite which makes them lightweight and sensitive. Worried about corrosion? Don’t worry, the frame is corrosion resistant and the graphite reel seat makes sure your reel stays tight and protected.

Reel: This is a spinning reel that is designed to battle with the saltwater gamefish. How many times our reel stutter as we start to retrieve! With Penn combos, stay confident and enjoy a smooth retrieve with the assist of a techno-balanced rotor.

The spool is aluminum that helps hold the line and prevent any slide off. Imagine the amount of time we fight to win our prize fish! It takes a toll on the reel’s overall longevity. Guess what, with Penn combos, you are protected with HT-100 carbon fiber gear washers and oil filled drag system that ensures smooth dragging.

A reel cannot operate smoothly without quality ball bearings. Penn reels have 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse that ensures an amazingly smoother performance.

Handle: For longtime angling, a blank should have at least some sort of padding that offers comfort. The Penn combo blanks are equipped with EVA grips and soft cork handle depending on models.

Action & power: Oh boy, Penn has produced nearly all sizes of rods with different power. Now let’s see what we have here.

Pursuit 2: This lineup offers a total of 6 rods. Single piece construction 7’0 Medium and Medium heavy rated power. For compact demand, they offer 2-piece medium powered blank.

All the other models are 8’0, 9’0 & 10’0 blanks with the rated power of medium-heavy and heavy.

Pursuit 3: With this lineup, there are 12 different models each varies in sizes and powers. Ranging from light to heavy and both single and double blank construction is available for your convenience.

Action: All the models are either extra fast, fast or medium fast actions. So let the stripe bass fishing begin.

Special features: The body is corrosion resistant. So you can afford to be a little clumsy after an angling session. Those stainless steel guides offer smooth transition off the line off the spool.

Those aluminum oxide inserts ensure guide stability. Line capacity rings allow you to see how much line is left on the spool.

Reputation: This Penn 2 and 3 series scored an impressive 70% positive customer feedback. A few of them are annoyed because of o poor packaging and shipping services. And there is also complains about snapping tip, and even the pole in half.

Overall: Other than a few scattered incidents, the overall Penn rod and reel combo reviews are mostly positive. And my personal experience with some of these combos was productive.

  • Both Penn 2 & 3 series offers a variety of blanks to choose from
  • Lightweight & durable
  • The reel performance is praised by every angling community in the US
  • There are a few concerning reviews about the blank integrity

3. Okuma Longitude surf graphite rod

okuma longitude surf rod review



  • Graphite composite blank
  • Stainless steel guide frames are dual footed
  • Reel seats are integrated with a stainless steel hood
  • Guide inserts are aluminum oxide made
  • 6+1 guides depending on models
  • Single and dual piece blank construction depending on models

Intro: Okima has slowly made its way to an already dominated angling marketplace by established brands. What Okuma produced was simple yet packed demanding features. Making it possibly the best surf rod for the money.

Throw an  Okuma reel with that and turn it into the best 12 ft surf rod combo if you wanna go with that model of course.

Rod size: Okuma surf fishing rods come with different sizes. Each offers unique expertise with different lure size and lines as well as fishing styles.

And these rods are big and powerful. Aimed to bring down the big Saltwater game fish. The sizes are 8’0, two 9’0, 10’0, 11’0 and two 12’0 models.

Of course, each size offers different like and lure weight and also peer and action ratings.

Rod material: Like most surf rods, Okuma also forged their rod with graphite composite. Designed to bring down big game fish, the construction method also allows the angler to feel even the smallest bite. For more rod features, please jump to the “special features” section. Thanks for your valuable time.

Handle: A good blank can be useless unless it offers a quality grip. Because who knows how long you’re gonna end up holding it. Thankfully, Okuma equipped their blank with soft EVA cushion above and beyond the handle.

Action & power: You can choose from 7 different sizes that vary in power and action. The 8’0 model has Medium power rating and other than that, all the other blank has heavy power.

As per action, all the rod have fast and medium fast action which is perfect for crankbait and striped bass fishing.

Special features: Okuma longitude surf graphite rods are built from graphite composite, meaning it will give you the flexibility of a glass rod and sensitivity of a graphite rod.

You can place the blank upright without the worry of sliding off. Thanks to the Pac Bay rubber butt cap. The stainless steel hooded reel seats make sure your reel is well secured and the extra EVA padding ensures greater leverage against the resistant fish.

Double footed stainless steel guide frame with aluminum oxide inserts make sure your line and guides stay intact under severe tension.

Reputation: Okuma longitude surf rod review is satisfying enough. With 74% positive customer feedbacks, you can stay confident with this product.

Other than a few broken rod and missing guides incidents, the angling community has mostly good things to say about this one.

Overall: This rod can be unstoppable with the best Okuma spinning reel combination. Instead of buying different brands, I suggest you equip with the best Okuma saltwater reel so the combination complements each other’s performance.

  • 1-year warranty
  • Offers a good foregrip
  • Has the flexibility of a glass rod and sensitivity of a graphite
  • Using it for 5 months, no issues yet mate

4. Penn Spinfisher V & VI spinning combo

best penn spinning reel for saltwater



  • Tough full metal body construction
  • Sealed spinning reel prevents saltwater and sand from getting in
  • 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing
  • HT-100 drag washer for smoother drag
  • Stainless steel guides with aluminum inserts

Intro: Do you dream about getting on a boat with your buddies and catch some of the best game fish the ocean has to offer? Or maybe you already went on such a trip and know the thrill and excitement. Do you have the best surf fishing rod and reel combo?

But if you don’t, then let’s order the Penn spinfisher rod and reel combo. For over 50 years, Penn has been perfecting their spinfisher lineup. This is the 5th generation Penn fishing reel that offers some nifty features. Some angler considers the reel as the best spinning reel for saltwater.

Rod size: If you opt for the spinfisher V lineup, you will get to choose from 9 different sizes. If you love the 7’0 model you will get 6 different power and actions and single or double rod construction.

There is a 6’6” single piece construction. Also, those 8’0 and 10’0 model comes with dual blank construction.

Now let’s see what the spinfisher VI has in store for us.

This lineup offers 3 models. There are two single-piece 7’0 rods with different stats of course. And the heavier 10’0 model is a 2-piece blank construction.

Rod material: The inshore and jigging rods are graphite composite construction. Meaning you can get the flexibility of fiberglass blank and sensitivity of a graphite blank.

The boat rods are forged from a single piece tubular glass with a solid tip. These rods are designed to land some big saltwater game fish.

Reel: Penn spinfisher spinning reel is one of the toughest reels in the market today. The goal is to make the most reliable and durable spinning reel ever. And they didn’t fell short on their intent.

The body and the side plate is full metal built. The entire construction is processed with deeper anodization that helps it to be more corrosion resistant.

The water entry point of the reel is sealed to prevent saltwater from entering into the reel. You can get dual drag pressure out of this reel, thanks to the HT-100 Slammer drag washers. The bail wire is thicker so you can feel the difference upon engaging and disengaging the line.

Bail wire also helps the line to stay aligned when you start to retrieve. A high strength alloyed main gear and stainless steel main shaft produce the much-needed power when pulling up a resistant monster.

There are also 5 stainless steel bearing that ensures smooth reel operation. Want more control? That single anti-reverse bearing grants much-needed fish stopping power.

More good news, the spinfisher V comes with standard super line design style. Means it is braided ready without needing the backup from monofilament.

There’s more, oh boy. You can also check out the remaining line because of that added line capacity ring. Want to mix up the bait? Don’t worry, the spinfisher got you covered. It comes with 3 live liner models that ensure total free spool for live and dead bait skills.

The state of the art modern construction system makes it the best Penn fishing reel for surf fishing.

Handle: Only two 7’0 models, SSV4500701M & SSV550701MH have soft cork handles. Other models are equipped with much-anticipated EVA soft touch handle for more comfort. It also allows you a solid non-slip grip even in wet condition.

Action & Power: Although spinfisher V & VI offers a lot of 7’0 model but with the exception of different power & action. Let’s see how it pans out for us anglers.

Spinfisher V

We’re gonna decide these blank into 2 categories here.

  1. Single piece rod

Under this category, there are 7 rods available. 6 of them are 7’0 size with estimated power from Medium light, Medium, Medium heavy and heavy. It’s up to you and your intended fishing style depends on the rod you need.

There’s only 6’6” size available in the Spinfisher V single-piece line up which is medium power rated.

  1. Two-piece rod

Only two rods are within this category. One of them is 8’0 medium heavy power, and the other one is 10’0 heavy powered blank.

Spinfisher VI

These line up are consists of only 3 models.

  1. Single-piece rod

You can grab two 7’0 blank that has rated the power of medium-light and Medium. The last one is a 10 footer with a heavy power rating.

Reputation: Depending on Penn Fisher V rod review, it’s overall feedback is mostly positive with a few drawbacks. With 73% satisfied customer, this spinning combo is here to stay of course.

A few incidents like broken tip, eyelet, and the entire rod snapping in half is reported by some of the customers.

Overall: I’ll be honest here, despite a few issues found by a handful of angler with the rod, no one is complaining about the reel. It performs elegantly and thus manages to get considered as one of the best surf fishing rod and reels of all time. Let the battle begin!

  • Reel has so many features
  • Watertight reel design
  • Lightweight & sensitive blank
  • Some customers expressed their concerns about blank integrity

5. Penn Battle 6000 II 9’0 2PC Surf spinning combo

penn battle 6000 combo



  • Full Metal frame & side plates
  • Graphite composite construction
  • High-quality aluminum oxide guides
  • 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Infinite anti-reverse bearing

Intro: The Penn battle ii surf rod and reel spinning combo are designed to land the biggest saltwater gamefish. What makes this combo so unique, is the durable build quality and affordable price range. If you’re browsing for your next surf fishing fiesta, then the Penn battle 6000 combo would be an ideal choice.

Rod size: The series only offers a rod that is 9’ only available in two pieces. Dual pieces will allow the angler to store and travel more conveniently.

Rod material: It’s a graphite composite construction blank. Which allows it to be flexible like fiberglass blank and sensitive for the graphite component.

Reel: The reel is the ultimate attraction from Penn. It is packed with features and premium components that makes it durable and long lasting.

Those 5 stainless steel ball bearings ensure smooth drag and cranking power. To add more control, you have an instant anti-reverse bearing at your disposal as a fish stopping power.

The machined and anodized super line spool lets you use super line without mono backing. It also has HT-100 drag washers which ensure twice the dragging power even under heavy pressure.

You also get an oversized bail wire so you can engage or disengage your line more conveniently. The wire also aligns the line accordingly as you reel in.

The entire body of the reel is metal build including the side plate and rotor for added durability.

Handle: A blank is useless without a comfortable grip. No matter how feature packed it might be, it won’t attract anglers unless it’s comfortable to hold for a longer duration.

The 6000 series however produced with an EVA soft padding handle. Not only it would be pleasant to hold for longer but also it won’t slip away when you cast or engage in a tugging war with your prey.

Action & power: The single model from Penn 6000 series offers a medium heavy power rod combined with a medium fast action. Say hello to your trophy striped bass!

Special features: This combo offers a few useful features that also delivers. This aluminum oxide guides let the line slide off the spool smoothly without any friction.

The retrieve rate is also impressive. You can roll back 41” of line in a single rotation of the reel handle. Also, the maximum drag of 25 lbs will allow the angler to aim for the big game fish without snapping the tip of the rod.

There is a foregrip above the reel seat for more leverage when you’re trying to pull out the big one off the water.

Reputation: There isn’t any significant feedback from the customers yet. But, as a new combo in the block, it’s doing good as it reflects from a few satisfied customers.

We have to wait for more customer to make Penn battle 2 combo review.

Overall: The Penn battle 6000 model is relatively new in the market. Like every Penn combos, it will impress the angler community no matter what.

  • Premium quality reel
  • Limited 1-year warranty
  • Line ring indicator lets you see the remaining line
  • Not that I know of

6. Okuma Tundra Surf spinning combo

okuma tundra surf spinning combo



  • Fiberglass construction
  • Graphite spoke is corrosion resistant
  • Single ball bearing
  • Multi-disc drag system
  • EVA padding for comfort

Intro: Okuma has earned the trust of the angler community with it’s reliable and durable fishing products, especially rod and reel combo.

As usual, they produced the Okuma Tundra Surf spinning combo that performs better as we expect from Okuma. The ergonomic design of the blank combined with a feature packed reel delivers optimal performance.

As an icing to the cake, I still can’t believe Okuma reels for sale at an unbelievably affordable price.

Rod size: There are 4 sizes offered by Okuma in their Tundra surf fishing line up. The biggest one is  10 footer blank that is light and balanced. The design is to aim at the heavy fish in mind.

Then comes the 7’0, 8’0 and 9’0 sizes combined with less powerful reel performance.

Rod material: Well, things aren’t so complicated or premium here. It’s a good old fashioned fiberglass blank that is lightweight and flexible enough to withstand a lot of tension, especially when you’re in a tug of war with a big saltwater game fish.

Reel: Things are kept simple here by Okuma. They didn’t give the reel a lot of ball bearings, instead, they kept one good bearing that performs smoothly.

Those multi-disc oil filled drag system is so handy when you’re trolling your prey. The lubricant allows the bearings to operate without too much friction thus increasing the overall integrity of the reel.

The spool is constructed from graphite that also offers corrosion resistance. That means you can afford to be a little clumsy with the reel.

The size 80 spinning reel is ideal for landing small sharks, stingrays and other saltwater species that is close to the surface. The reel has said gear ratio of 4:9:1, ideal for moderate size catch.

As I said, Okuma kept the reel basic and at an affordable price range. That’s why many anglers gave it the title of best Okuma spinning reel for the money.

Handle: No matter how long a combo is offered, it won’t interest a single angler if the blank isn’t comfortable to hold. Simple stuff but can have a negative impact on product success if not given.

Thankfully, Okuma kept a comfy EVA padding that offers a non-slip comfortable grip for a long time.

Special features: You are getting a few features at this price range. Can you believe that? The blank is lightweight and reliable. There are 6 aluminum oxide guides with ceramic guide inserts that offer smooth transition of your line. Reinforced double footed guides ensure stability, especially when needing under tension.

You will also get a nice foregrip just above the reel seat to have great leverage over those big game fish.

Reputation: Despite its simplicity, Okuma maintained a very positive customer feedbacks over the years. With 72% satisfied customers, it’s no wonder Okuma earned trust with its reliability and longevity over the years.

Overall: If you want a rod, that is easy to operate, less complicated and offers longevity, get the Okuma Tundra spinning rod and reel combo. This combo will be an asset to your tackle box, bank on it.

  • Limited 1-year warranty
  • Lightweight and sensitive
  • Smooth and durable reel
  • Lacks modern tweaks and features

Surf fishing tips

Surf fishing may not be very productive but it still can deliver a nice amount of fish, especially If you have one of the best surf rods combos.

But is it enough? I mean imagine you had a half a thousand dollar best surf rods and reel combo set up at your disposal, yet lacking the right knowledge to deploy!

In this section of the article, we’re gonna discuss some of the tips of surf fishing.

  • You can get much more productive if you dare to play with 2 rods. Get a nice 12-foot surf rod combo and keep it locked into rod holders after casting. Meanwhile, get yourself busy with a medium sized combo and cast the line. The big rod is for those big game fish, while the smaller rod is for landing those kingfish, spot, croaker etc.
  • It’s better you get sand crucial with your best budget surf rod. You might not always have the opportunity or time to cast from a boat. For close shore fishing, a sand spike is very crucial.
  • Use doodlebug rigs. Basically, it’s a rig that uses small floats on the hook. The float serves the purpose of keeping the bait away from unwanted bites from crabs and other species.
  • Use the wave of the ocean as leverage, especially when you’re surf fishing off the shore. As you hooked in your prey, wait for the wave to collapse at the shoreline. Just time and synchronize with the wave as you’re reeling in.
  • If you get satisfied with small random fish like kingfish, spot, and flounder? Then try casting close into the breakers. Because these guys often feed just away from the waves impact.
  • For the more elusive catch, try to cast beyond the waves, into the calm of the ocean. There you will find some pleasant and appetizing surprises.
  • Look for a deeper blue spot in the water. These spots are great for bottom fishing such as flounder. Beneath these deep colored water surface, there are deep holes.
  • Look for small rocks along the shoreline. These obstacles act as protection and feeding ground for some of the small vulnerable fish.

I hope these simple yet effective tips will result in a bountiful surf fishing session.

Q. Do I need a license for surf fishing?

A. Apparently not. If memory serves me correct then you just need to obtain a daily pass before heading towards the beach. But don’t take my words for it.

These are sensitive issues that cannot be overlooked by any means. Just check your local license guidelines just to be sure before you make a move.

Q. Is shark fishing legal?

A. Nope if you’re casting from the beach. Even if you catch and release. Which is really harder than it sounds.

But from a boat, yes. Just need a license. For more accurate Information check out catch and release rules on sharks.

Q. What should I use to catch something big?

A. Use cut fresh bait method. What you need to do is, fillet a chunk of the baitfish and hook it. Who knows, maybe out will end up landing a tarpon, or shark and stingray. Live baits are the best kind no matter what others say.

In the end

Everything in this article is designed to help you identify the best surf fishing rod and reels. Surf fishing may not be the definitive art of angling, but it’s a style nonetheless.

A style that ensures you to get the biggest saltwater gamefish. So, next time or for the first time you get ready for surf fishing, read the tips section. Those ideas are based on years of practical experience which will help you succeed.

That’s it, folks. Hope you enjoyed this little trip to the surf fishing combos as well as some extra info. If we missed any valuable tricks or tweaks, or if you wanna feed your curiosity, feel free to comment below. We will reply at a lightning speed. To everyone, cast away!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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