Surf Casting Florida

Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.

How long should a surf rod be?

A surf rod should be long enough to cast your baits out to where you target species of fish are. The best surf rod size for most scenarios will be 10 or 11 feet long to cover the fish near the beach and cast to those out by the sandbar during the lower parts of the tide.

In other words, this is a hard question because you can fish for all kinds of different species of fish and in all kinds of different conditions.

Let’s start with the most obvious question.

How far out do you need to cast your bait? If you live in a place where the first sand bars are very far away then you will need a longer rod to get your bait out to where the fish are.

How deep is the water where you are fishing off of the beach? If you are in a deep water scenario, then you will need more weights and a bigger, stronger surf rod to get those weights out far enough. You can read the side of the surf rods to see the recommended amount of casting weight that they can handle.

What kind of fish are you going to be targeting? If you are going after big sharks and tarpon with lures, then you will need a different rod than if you are fishing for pompano and whiting.

I am a kayak fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, mangroves, oyster bars…… all over Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will tell you what I know about getting the right surf rod for your needs.

Watch the video below to learn about how long your surf rod should be?

You will need a surf rod somewhere between 10 and 15 feet maximum for 99% of the surf fishing that you might want to do. On that surf rod you will need a reel that is from a size 4000 up to maybe 6500. This all depends upon what you are fishing for and how much line you will need to be able to hold on the reel.

You might be going after fish that tend to take a lot of line once they are hooked. Some of those species would be sharks, tarpon, permit, king mackerel……. If you are going after species like that then you will need enough line to not only cast to where they are but also enough to not get spooled once they start pulling drag.

If you are going after fish that do not pull much drag, then you just need enough line to get your bait out to the right distance off of the beach. Pompano, whiting, croakers, bluefish, Spanish mackerel will not spool you unless they are gigantic and your drag is too loose.

I like to catch tarpon and sharks off of the beach with top water lures. I need a 50 pound braided line and a full reel to not get spooled every time. I use a Penn Spinfisher V 5500 series for that. You might be able to get away with a 20 pound braid or mono filament line for 90% of the surf fishing that you plan on doing.

You will need a big strong rod if you are planning casting heavy weights in the 5 ounce plus range. You will need a rod that is rated for heavy weights like that. Where I am at you never really need anything bigger than 3 ounces or so. Make sure that you get the right strength rod for your individual preferences.

The bottom line is that you want to think about a few different things before you spend your hard earned money on surf fishing rods reels and line because it can get expensive.


Finding the proper surf rod for your own personal surf fishing requirements can be daunting if you are not sure what you are doing. I hope that this article helps you make the right decision based on your own personal needs.

If you live in a place where you have to cast to the outer sand bars then you will want a long rod up to 15 feet in length. If you are lucky enough to have sand bars within 50 yards of the beach then you can get away with a 10 foot surf rod.

You might be able to get away with a regular sized fishing rod if you only plan to fish around high tide. If you are doing anything else, then you will have to invest in a surf rod. Sorry, but those are the facts. Just don’t spend all of your money buying the top of the line surf fishing gear until you know that you are going to like doing it.

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