Top 9 Most Wanted Surf Fishing Reels in 2023

Surf Fishing Reels

*Disclosure: We only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.”

Generally, surf reels come in a wide variety of styles, all claiming to be the “same size”. However, the materials, performance, retrieve, water dipping, and corrosion resistance will be so dissimilar that you will be unable to tell if you have never touched them. 

In this article, we would like to present you with 9 trustworthy surf fishing reels.

Side Note:

It would be extremely beneficial if the tackle industry established standards for spinner spool capacity, let alone reel physical size. There are far too many “same size” reels that differ greatly in size and capacity. 

Comparing reels with similar numbers from various manufacturers can reveal significant differences in both size and capacity. In other words, not all reels with the designation X000 have the same size and line capacities, retrieve rates, drag strengths, and so on.

If you don’t have time or are too busy to choose, consider our quick recommendation:

(WINNER-UP): Shimano Spheros 5000 (Best For Overall) 4.9*
A great fishing reel with a variety of cutting-edge features and technology. It is appropriate for a wide range of fishing tactics and fish species because of its durable construction, strong drag mechanism, and adaptable design.
↓Jump to Review
(RUNNER-UP): Penn Slammer III 4500-5500 4.8*
A tough reel for fighting large fish with a powerful drag system. The Penn Slammer III 4500 is ideal for catching large redfish, black drum, and snook on bridges and other heavy structures.
↓Jump to Review
(TOP3): Penn Spinfisher VI 6500 (High Performance, Durable and Affordable) 4.8*
My surf reel of choice is the Spinfisher 4500 series. The total force of the drag is a little lacking, but I have enough lines on it just in case. I do, however, utilize that 6500 series reel when I’m near inlets.  I feel comfortable pulling them away from the rocks with a bit more force.
↓Jump to Review

Best Spinning Reel For Surf Fishing

1. Shimano Spheros SW5000XG (Best For Overall)

At the top of our list is The Shimano Spheros SW series offers an impressive balance between cost-effectiveness and technology. 

Available in a wide range of sizes to cover almost all saltwater methods, from light-medium in-shore lure fishing up to tropical Big Game Popper fishing for the most aggressive species, the Spheros SW contains many technological features found on high-end SW heavy-duty models.

However, in this article, we would like to recommend the SW 5000XG version. As the name implies, it comes in size 5000, which is a good match for surf fishing. 

In terms of features, first off, it has a high-quality Hagane body, which offers the level of stiffness and durability that is necessary to bear the torque of larger fish species. Reality shows that, with a rigid body, you will not lose any cranking power as a result of body flexing. What a wonderful benefit, isn’t it?

Also, Hagane cold-forged gearing produces an extremely smooth gearing system for the Spheros SW model. This is achieved via a cold-forging process, which enables the consistent production of a more precise gear than a cutting process.

Next is the X-Ship gearing for maximum winding power. So grateful that the manufacturer decided to create the Spheros SW series with X-Ship technology for perfect gear alignment. By using two bearings, one on each end of the pinion gear, to support it, the gears remain perfectly aligned. 

A common problem with many reels is that the torque created by a big load, such as a sailfish or a large pelagic, may tend to twist the gears out of alignment. When this occurs, the reel may bog down or bind when you crank it, and the gears will wear out more quickly.

Now, if you are still not satisfied with these features, here comes the X-Shield. 

It can prevent water penetration by offering robust sealing structures and gaskets at crucial locations throughout the reel. When Spheros SW5000XG is utilized in extreme fishing conditions, this protection offers exceptional reliability and durability.

Until now, if you’re looking for a quality reel for surfcasting or offshore fishing that won’t break the bank, the Shimano Spheros SW is probably the best bang for your dollar.

What we like about this reel

Frankly, the guys and I have a total of about 5 or 6 SWA, most of which are a little Geary but are incredibly free spinning. I used them for Tarpon from a boat and in the surf. I dunked and splashed them, ran them 100 to 200 yards, applied tremendous pressure to the fish, and so on. Still, they keep trucking. 

Over the weekend, the 5000 Spheros I purchased this season fought the Gator bluefish up to 36″. The reel is still smooth, even after I must have caught over 15 blues. 

Key features:

  • Weight: 445g
  • Monofilament line capacity in yd/lb: 240/10
  • Max Drag: 22 lb


  • Waterproof design
  • Affordable price
  • Smooth gearing and drag


  • Low line capacity compared to other reels available on the market
  • Not a full metal body

2. Penn Slammer III 5500

The Penn Slammer III 5500, was introduced in 2016 and won the “Best Saltwater Reel” category at iCast 2016 for the best new product. Since then, this model has been famous for its durability over a long period of time. 

At first glance, you might be attracted by its stunning beauty, which comes from a full metal body, sided plate, and a rotor. This is a solid aluminum body reel. So if you are looking for a tough tool to battle huge monsters, the Pen Slammer III is an ideal fit for your arsenal.

Due to its extreme strength and durability, aluminum is a fantastic material to use to keep all the components in alignment. Additionally, it is anodized, which considerably increases its long-term resistance to the elements and endurance to the harm that surfing places on a reel.

Aside from its sturdy body, the Penn Slammer also wins over anglers’ hearts with its huge drag power. This is the first spinning reel that has a sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-Drag, which is a proprietary material that is super strong and durable.

In order to increase longevity and create an incredibly smooth drag, the drag washers are coated with a unique substance called Phenolic. Thanks to this, Penn is able to reach a max drag of 60 lbs on the model 10500 Slammer III.

And finally, it would be a big mistake if we did not mention the IPX6 seal rating. It is an independent, international water ingress testing standard. Several seals are installed around the shaft, main pinion, and drag system to prevent seawater from entering.

What we like about this reel

The Penn Slammer III will treat you right. My 4500 hasn’t missed a beat while I’ve been shore togging with occasional big sheepsheads. On some days when I’m out on the jetty tip, I get drenched quite severely. It can feel a little harsh after some usage and abuse, but not in a way that makes it impossible to use.  

Key features

  • Weight: 454g – 1678g
  • Monofilament line capacity in yd/lb: 240/10
  • Max Drag: 30 lb – 60 lb


  • Smooth, strong, and durable
  • Sufficient line capacity
  • Hardcore drag, up to 60 lbs.
  • IPX6 water-resistant


  • The aluminum body makes it heavier than some other inshore reels

3. Penn Spinfisher VI 4500 – 6000 (Best For Corrosion Resistance)

Next is the Penn Spinfisher VI, a work of art that will astound you with its incredible features. First of all, it is created with a metal body and side plate, offering fishermen exceptional strength and durability.

Apart from that, the creator also introduced new CNC gear technology made of aluminum and brass. With this advancement, the longevity, smoothness, and accuracy of the reel are improved.

In terms of protection, the IPX5 sealing ensures that the reel is shielded from low-pressure water streams. This prevents water from entering the drag system and gearcase. 

And what’s more? Another crucial part of the Penn Spinfisher VI is the HT-100 drag system. It is one of the reasons that Penn’s reels are the go-to favorite of most anglers. The systems can give you the stopping power that is needed to catch any giant saltwater fish without much resistance. 

However, the 4500 to 6000 size reels have an auto bail trip, which is a vulnerable mechanism. So use these sizes with caution, especially when live baiting, as you may want to have control over the bail arm.

What we like about this reel

With a Penn Spinfisher, I don’t have to worry about corrosion at all, as the reel is effectively sealed. There are some arguments between sealed bearings and shielded bearings in the Saltist. Personally, I would much rather have excellent sealing than corrosion resistance on the beach.

I’ve used my 5500 to fish on a 9′, 9’6, and 10′ Tiralejo surf rod, casting everything from tiny plugs and bucktails to larger 3-ounce baits.

If you don’t need heavier than 30lb braid and aren’t fishing in extreme current or surf conditions, the 15-ounce size (Daiwa 4000, Shimano SW 5000, 6000) is excellent for a variety of plugs. And you won’t spend all day skiing or winching fish.

Key features:

  • Weight: 345g
  • Monofilament line capacity in yd/lb: 425/8 (4500), 430/10 (5500)
  • Max Drag: 20 lb (size 4500), 25 lb (size 5500)


  • A solid list of features at this price
  • Excellent spool and drag capacity
  • Outstanding versatility 


  • Anti-reverse mechanisms and auto bail trips might be a little vulnerable
  • Not as smooth as many comparable reels

4. Shimano Saragosa 6000 SWA ( Best For InShore & Offshore)

The Shimano Saragosa is a heavy-duty, upper-mid-priced spinning reel designed for chasing larger fish in tough conditions. By adding several enhancements to this reel series, the team at Shimano offers anglers impressive affordability, reliability, and durability. 

The first noticeable improvement is the body shape of the reel. Like many of the other Shimano 2020 reel releases, it is smaller, more compact, and lighter. The reel is an ideal match for Shimano’s new 2020 rods since it is lighter. As a result, the weight distribution between the reel and rod when used as a pair can be effectively balanced.

Even better, the reel’s body is constructed from XT7 graphite and hybrid aluminum, which makes the reel extremely stiff and ensures that it won’t bend under pressure. 

Also, the Saragosa incorporates several high-end reel innovations. Start with the AR-C spool design system. This has an angled lip that reduces friction as the line peels away from the reel, allowing for longer casting and fewer wind knots.

Next is the Infinity drive system, which adds support to the pinion gear and Hagane gears for overall smoother performance during winding. 

And one more feature worth mentioning is the high-level waterproofing capability of the  IPX8-rated waterproof Cross Carbon Drag and X-Protect Labyrinth sealing system, making the reel even more durable without sacrificing performance. So you should feel confident even in wet and wild fishing conditions.

What we like about this reel

For me, the line capacity is determined by what pound-test line I am going to put on. For example, I use the 5000 for Albies, Schoolie Bass, etc (20# pp). On the other hand, I use the 6000s for livening Macs for large stripers (40# pp). Depending on the application, such as a boat, or shore/surf casting, I’ll switch them all from rod to rod. 

Key features

  • Weight: 455g
  • Monofilament line capacity yd/lb: 265/12, 170/16, 120/20
  • Max Drag: 22 lb


  • Excellent endurance
  • Strong, smooth, and powerful
  • Excellent sealing
  • Great speed and ratio


  • Objectively none
  • Quite a high price

5. Penn Battle III (Best For Money)

Following Penn Slammer III’s success in 2016, Penn Battle III, another series from the same well-known brand, was named the winner of the iCast Online Best Of Category “Saltwater Reel” in 2020. 

These reels are stronger, smoother, and more durable than ever before. Available in a wide range of sizes from 1000 to 10,000, Penn Battle III can fit almost any angler’s requirements and goals. Additionally, there are three high-speed models in the 4000, 6000, and 8000 ranges. 

By having a full metal body, the reel ensures an unrivaled level of durability. The mainframe is constructed of heavy-duty aluminum, while the handle and bearings are made of stainless steel. You may relax knowing that your reel is tough and can withstand even the most demanding fishing expedition.

Combined with CNC gear technology on the reel, you get a much smoother, stronger crank. In addition, the lack of movement between teeth reduces wear. Your spinning reel will operate at its best for a much longer period of time.

If you have to deal with a large, aggressive fish, the trustworthy HT-100 drag system ensures your power to maintain your stance and successfully reel it in. Also, the Battle III offers smooth operation for any saltwater fishing experience with 5 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 immediate anti-reverse bearing.

And guess what? It only costs between $97 and $157 to get one model of this outstanding reel series. Such a good bargain! So have this masterpiece in your arsenal for any surf fishing trip next time.

Key features

  • Weight: 250g – 950g
  • Monofilament line capacity: 270/8 (size 4000) – 395/30 (size 10000)
  • Max Drag: 25 lb


  • There are numerous spool sizes available
  • Solid framework
  • Line slipping is reduced with the help of rubber pads
  • Anti-reverse system to help battle big fish


  • Repairs at home might be challenging.
  • After repeated use, reel parts become loose

6. Daiwa BG 5000 (Smooth Movements)

Next, it’s time to take a look at the Daiwa BG 5000. 

The Daiwa BG spinning reel is a mid-priced saltwater spinner that operates well inshore and offshore. The huge cutting gear, for example, allows for the provision of a considerably expanded gear-to-tooth contact area for smooth drives. It was a brilliant combination of several unique features.

In this model, Daiwa features an all-aluminum frame while including the innovative Digigear system. Thanks to that, the gears are 20% to 40% bigger than most of the competition. Also, they have a bigger tooth design, which gives them a substantially longer gear life and durability than competing reels. 

What we like most is the Air rotor, which is a unique design on Daiwa reels. As it stands out for its balance, robustness, and sensitivity, the rotor is about 15% lighter than traditional ones, resulting in smoother shaft movement.

Another benefit of the Daiwa BG 5000 is its versatility. It is suitable for various fishing techniques such as surf fishing, jigging, and live bait fishing. You can be sure that it is great for catching a number of fish, from tiny to medium-sized fish to larger saltwater species like tuna and tarpon.

It is true that the drag mechanism is smooth and strong enough to capture large fish, but on the downside, it can only support 17.6 lb of drag. In comparison to other reels, this figure is a little lower.

All in all, considering the price point, durability, and performance, the Daiwa BG 5000 is still a great investment for serious anglers.

What we like about this reel

I have a couple of Daiwa BGs (a 13, 15, and a 30) and a Mitchell 306 on hand for friends and family to use on the beach. The main reason is simply that I don’t have to worry about those old tanks if they get left in the sand or dropped in the suds.

Key features

  • Weight: 405g
  • Monofilament line capacity yd/lb: 300/10, 260/12, 210/14
  • Max Drag: 17.6 lb


  • Smooth operation
  • Simple maintenance
  • Affordable price


  • Lower maximum drag (compared to other reels)

7. Daiwa Saltist 5000 (Best For Water Resistance)

If you are looking for a reel that is strong, durable, and dependable under the harshest conditions, the Daiwa Saltist 5000 is a fantastic choice. As the name implies, this is a reel designed specifically for saltwater fishing. Therefore, you can add it to your arsenal and go surfing without worry.

To be honest, the charm of the Daiwa Saltist first start with the lightweight air rotor design. A 15% weight reduction is made possible by this feature, which also helps the reel dry out more quickly, especially where saltwater is a known problem – under the spool area.

Also, while the majority of businesses now use bail designs made of solid metal for robustness, Daiwa has developed its own option called Air Bail. The design makes advantage of the tubular principle to increase strength while also lowering weight. 

The waterproof carbon ATD drag system is also a great feature of this reel. 

However, do you know what the best part is?

What really makes this reel stand out is the Mag Sealed technology. It also keeps dirt, seawater, and dust from getting between the rotor and the body. Thus, the magnetic oil that Daiwa uses is not something you will find in other reels since it was originally created by NASA and is now produced by Daiwa.

In essence, the “metal oil” molecules are changeable, allowing for a nearly watertight barrier. The idea is to prevent water from getting near the reel in the first place to stop corrosion.

And not to mention the “HardBodyz” body and side cover. The Daiwa Saltist reel employs its own proprietary metal alloy to give strength and durability while keeping weight to a minimum.

Key features

  • Weight: 649g
  • Monofilament line capacity yd/lb: 470/14, 380/17, 280/20
  • Max Drag: 22 lb


  • Waterproof Drag System
  • Almost watertight design
  • Daiwa warranty
  • Large line capacity


  • Heavy
  • High price

8. Shimano Ultegra surf reel

Finally, let’s wrap up our list today with a product that comes from the famous Shimano brand.

The Ultegra was created by Shimano with toughness and durability in mind. The reel has a lightweight, sturdy feel that is just harder than the many brands that attempt to match the level of excellence that Shimano is known for.

This reel is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a surf fishing reel that isn’t too heavy and will hold up well against saltwater fish species that pull aggressively. 

Furthermore, the reel is notable for having one of the smoothest drag systems of any reel in its general price range. The majority of anglers claim that the Ultegra feels quite similar to some of the most expensive spinning reels now available.

Throwing a large lure at trophy fish requires the best spinning reel for surf fishing. That being the case, the Shimano Ultegra reel uses very slow oscillation to securely wrap the line around the spool and decrease friction on the cast in order to maximize the casting distance.

However, despite having long casts and smooth bearings, we only rank last since the plastic material can’t withstand waves, sea sand, or salt water. It has an extremely high possibility of corrosion compared to other reels on the list.


  • Compact body
  • Well balanced


  • High possibility of corrosion compared to other reels

If you are looking for reels with a greater casting distance (long cast), then round baitcasting will suit you in the following models.

9. Penn Fathom II (High Maximum Drag And Long Cast)

The Penn Fathom II offers effortless casting and simple maintenance to get ready for any situation. It has a rigid full metal body with metal fast gear access side plates, a live spindle design, and a free-floating spool.

The charm of Fathom does not stop there. The manufacturer puts in 6 shielded stainless steel bearings with 1 instant anti-reverse bearing, which offer smooth operation for any fishing experience and guard against losing tension once your hook is placed.

Regarding performance, the HT-100 Star Drag Versa-Drag system gives smooth and consistent drag. The Fathom prides itself on a maximum drag of up to 30 pounds to fight large fish. Also, the Centrifugal braking system can be adjusted easily as the battle wears on.

What we like about this reel

I’ve had the size 15 for a while. It has been used off of local beach and sea wall marks, a couple of which are a bit snaggy, and a few boat trips uptiding out on the Thames Estuary. I think the reel is fantastic, and I find nothing wrong with it at all.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve tried a variety of reels, and this one works for me. To be honest, it won’t cast as far across a field as a Daiwa 7HT Mag or an Akios Shuttle. But from a fishing perspective, I think there’s no difference in the casting, while it outperforms them in terms of other needs, which are drag, retrieval speed, and frame and gear toughness

Key features

  • Weight: 485g
  • Monofilament line capacity yd/lb: 305/15
  • Max Drag: 30 lb


  • Magnetic casting break
  • Large line capacity
  • Accessible side plate


  • More practice is required than spinning reels

How We Picked the Best Surf Reels

To be completely honest, there are a plethora of unique challenges that come with being a surf angler. When fishing on the beach, the angler and his equipment must come into direct contact with sand, dirt, and saltwater. Also, to capture the fish, he must make lengthy and precise casts. 

Moreover, after casting the reel, the angler must pay close attention to bite marks and be constantly prepared to fight a Gulf redfish for more than 30 minutes while smoothly operating the reel. 

When surf fishing, some fishermen place a lot of attention on casting distance, while others do not. It depends on where you’re fishing, whether it’s in a spot with challenging waves, on a serene beach with stunning scenery, or whether you’re casting all day while battling flounder over 30 pounds.

Typically, we consider casting distance to be of utmost importance for surfing. Indeed, it is challenging to set up your decoy to fall more than 50 meters. Therefore, in this post, we will look at how your surf fishing reel may increase your casting range, give you greater sensitivity and control during battles, and demonstrate how you can catch more or different fish just by swapping reels.

We will also go over all the other factors to take into account in order to have greater leverage in each round of your battles, as well as how to choose the size of your surf fishing reel for optimal success. 

So let’s get started right away!

How To Choose A Good Gear Ratio For Surf Fishing


In surf fishing, anything between 5.3:1 and 5.7:1 should work well from shore. Commonly, a higher gear ratio would be much better. However, the problem with surf reels is that they are huge and do not offer high gear ratios. And as a result, it is typically difficult to find surf reels above the 6:1 ratio.

Okay, so what if you have a wide range of choices? Which one should you choose? 

As we previously stated, the greater the gear ratio, the faster you take up the line. So it all comes down to what type of fishing you want to do. Or, in other words, if you rely on fast line retrieval to catch fish, you should select the largest gear ratio you can find.

In detail, a high gear ratio can be helpful and may provide you with more options when using techniques like jigging or spinning or when depending on the bait/lure animation to draw a fish’s attention. 

Additionally, predatory species like bonito, mackerel, and bluefish favor fast-moving prey. Simply put, they dislike food that is slow or wounded. Therefore, a high gear ratio can aid with that and enable you to move the bait more quickly.

Apart from that, swift line retrieval is necessary to avoid frequent snags on rocky shores. In this case, a high gear ratio is the best choice since it prevents the terminal tackle from getting tangled in the bottom when the line is being collected.

On the other hand, if you are fishing in open waters with sandy seabeds or using the conventional way of casting the bait and waiting for the fish to bite, any choice of gear ratio wouldn’t be a matter.

In other words, do not spend too much time choosing your gear ratio if your catch count and productivity are not determined by how quickly you gather the line. However, bear in mind that you can always make a reel pick up the line slower but cannot make it go faster than its maximum speed. 

For this reason, choosing the highest gear ratio available for the reel size you desire is recommended. You never know when a quick retrieve will be required. 

Best Surf Fishing Reel Sizes?

For surf fishing reels, size is the key consideration. As a good rule of thumb, 5000 – 6000 reels are the most suitable for fishing on the beach. Smaller reels can also work incredibly well. However, they typically aren’t large enough to hold a sufficient amount of line.

Let’s go ahead and clarify things.

Generally, you need to have at least 250 – 300 yards of line in the reel when fishing off the shore. This allows you to cast behind the breakers and find the best areas while still having enough lines on the spool to combat and turn fish. 

Therefore, if you use a compact reel, it is possible to fit that amount if the line diameter is tiny. Instead, you may not have enough space on the spool to fit 250 yards when using the thick line. This is such a conundrum for anglers who are using small reels.

Commonly, a normal monofilament surf fishing line is between 15 and 30 lb test. It is around 0.30-0.55 mm in diameter and quite thick enough to swiftly fill a spool. Anyway, small reels might not have enough space to fill 250 yards of that diameter.

As a result, you only have two options when using a small reel: either use a thin line and take the risk that it will frequently break off when fighting big fish. Alternatively, you can decide on a strong line and accept the fact that the reel has a finite supply of it. 

Both choices are risky and may land you in difficult situations when things get rough. So that’s why 5000–6000 reels are the most recommended. It is simply because most of the lines we use in the surf, which are typically 300 yards long, can fit nicely on 5000–6000 reels.

By using these reels, you can be sure of having a sufficient amount of lines, as they can offer enough space to fit thicker lines. On top of that, there’s no need to worry about breaking or losing your entire spool due to large fish.

Alright! But what if you are using braid? A braided line is an advancement that allows such small diameters while maintaining the line’s strength. Wouldn’t that be useful for a small reel? 

Yes, it definitely will. In comparison to monofilament, braid can fit more on a reel. So that might be a turnaround in this situation.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that large reels offer several advantages beyond simply being able to carry more lines. First off, they are indeed stronger and can handle bigger fish efficiently. A small reel may not be able to endure the huge strain placed on the line by large fish. 

Besides, a larger reel can help you cast further. The reason is that small reels produce greater friction on your line when loading, which prevents your bait from going far enough. Additionally, the bigger the spool, the more line it releases when the bail arm is open. And as a result, your casting distance is enhanced.

Furthermore, large reels allow anglers to retrieve line faster. Thanks to this, you will be more successful when jigging lures or going after species that prefer healthy, fast-moving prey. Plus, when fishing rocky seabeds and rough terrain, being able to take up the line quickly helps to avoid snags.

Finally, keep in mind that, rather than replacing the whole reel, changing the line is simpler and more cost-effective. Therefore, even if you favor light lines, it is advisable to have a big reel. It will be helpful if one day you want to give sharks a try.

Up to this point, you may be confused: “If large reels are that good, then why do we only go for sizes 5000–6000 reels?” It is indeed true that larger reels are available on the market. But why aren’t they the best options?

First of all, it is obvious that the larger the reels, the more expensive they are. And aside from that, it’s quite difficult to control the rod with a heavier reel. So consequently, you will receive fewer signals from fish strikes and bites. 

In other words, if the reel is too large, you lose connection to the rod’s tip and can only feel the weight of the reel tugging you downward. As an angler, being unable to control your rod effectively is a critical drawback since it reduces your sensitivity and combat skills.

Not to mention the fact that after a dozen casts and struggles, you will feel worn out and weary because of the heavy equipment. Never assume that you are strong enough to be completely fatigue-free. You may underestimate how much time and work go into fishing.

Once you feel exhausted, the time you spend on the beach will be reduced, as will the number of fish you catch. 

Also, keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to leave the line on the spool only halfway full. Why? Your line will hit the reel’s walls more frequently while you cast, and the casting distance will be limited. 

So consider this when you still want to try a large reel, as the cost of purchasing additional lines to fill the spool can be high. 

These are good reasons why you shouldn’t just pick the biggest reel in the store. In addition, I believe that reels larger than size 6000 are overkill for surf fishing. In fact, when fishing from the beach, we hardly ever need all that space in the spool.

Sharks, tuna, and other huge monsters steal a lot of line before giving up. Therefore, numbers over 7000 are often used for boat and offshore fishing. 

It’s necessary to verify the reel’s maximum drag as well. Your reel should have at least 20 pounds of drag. Even though we rarely need all of that when surf fishing, it occasionally ends up being the last card you play to stop the loss of line and regain control during battles with big fish.

Take caution here. Never set the drag higher than your real pound test. By doing this, you run a significant chance of crossing the line. To prevent the reel from starting to release the line before it reaches its breaking point, always keep the drag lower than your line power.

Generally speaking, you ought to set the drag at 30% of the pound test. To obtain an advantage in battles, it is also possible to change that number.

Here are some general recommendations for picking a good surf fishing reel:

  1. Pick a reel size large enough to accommodate 250–300 yards of your preferred line. The size range from 5000 to 6000 is often ideal for surf fishing.
  2. Select the gear ratio that is the highest available for that size. Anything greater than 5.3:1 should work well.
  3. Make sure the reel is for saltwater fishing.
  4. Double-check that the reel has at least 20 pounds of drag.
  5. Make sure that it is watertight.


1. What is the average casting distance for surf?

You should cast 100 yards out when surfing. Casting distances for surf fishing often range from 20 to 100 yards. However, some incredible surf-fishing anglers can cast astonishing distances of up to 300 yards.

Focus on these key elements to enhance your performance if you want to increase your surf casting distance:

  • The weather conditions
  • Your fitness level
  • Your height
  • The gear you use
  • Casting technique
  • Using proper angle
  • Your Practice Frequency

2. What is the weight leader for surf casting?

 The best weight leader for surfing depends on the conditions and goals you have for your fishing. You must decide what to keep and what to give up in a circumstance when trade-offs are involved.

Going with a light leader will make your bait presentation look better to the fish, increasing your chance of getting more bites. A light leader also shields your line from impassable obstacles. However, lightweight leaders are prone to abrasion and so may perform badly in certain conditions.

On the other hand, when fishing abrasive objects or for fish with sharp teeth, having a strong leader prevents line cut-offs. High-pound tests, on the other hand, make the leader thick and less alluring to the fish. A powerful leader also runs the danger of breaking your main line if you get stuck in mixed seabeds.

However, you should use the lightest leader that will allow you to cope with the conditions you are fishing in. You can use a leader at around 15-20 lbs if your main line is a 20-30 lb test line. Which means it is 20-30% lighter than the main line.


For an all-around surf reel, the Shimano Spheros size 5000 should be a decent option. This appears to be among the greatest reels you can get. Strong reel, lots of drag, good ratings, and an excellent deal for the money. 

These reels are all included in our series of the top saltwater spinning reels, and Shimano has a reputation for providing exceptional customer service. Or equip your trunk with top-notch saltwater baitcasting reels

I recently picked up a Battle III as a backup reel for the spring and it seems well-built and tough. For a few dollars more, you could look into the Penn Spinfisher VI, which also seems to be a solid reel with the added bonus of partial water sealing.

After all, all opinions are personal opinions according to the evaluation of the best reel fishing experience for surf fishing, so you can consider them.

Yes, it is the end of the list! We have introduced you to the best 9 surf fishing reels. So take your time to choose wisely and get a great addition to your tackle box. 

Rate this post
Related Post
saltwater spinning reels
Top 7 Favorite Spinning Reels For Saltwater In 2023

*Disclosure: We only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may Read more

7 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels
7 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels Of 2023

*Disclosure: We only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may Read more

Saltwater Fishing Rigs
Top Saltwater Fishing Rigs To Maximize Your Catch

Are you ready to take your saltwater fishing game to the next level? A fishing rig can make or break Read more