Surf Casting Florida

Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.

What is the best rod for surf fishing?

The best rod for surf fishing is the one that you can master to catch more fish more consistently. There are many factors to consider when you are choosing the best rod for surf fishing wherever you live.

Some of the questions that you might want answers to are below.

Are you going to use a conventional bait casting reel or a spinning reel?

Are you going after big fish or smaller fish?

How important is casting a great distance to you?

What sized weights will you be casting?

How strong and flexible are you? Some rods require more strength and flexibility to cast.

Will you be fishing mostly with lures?

How long of a surf rod can you handle?

I am a kayak fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, mangroves, grass flats and just about everywhere else in Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will teach you what I have learned about getting the best rod for your surf fishing needs.

Let’s get started.

Watch the video below to learn how far you will need to cast to find fish off of the beach.

What is the best surf fishing rod length for you?

The longer the rod the harder it is to handle. Obviously, the longer the rod is the more speed and power you can create at the top end of the rod. Just like a major league baseball player wants to create more bat speed to hit the baseball farther, more rod tip speed will cast a bait farther.

It is harder to cast a 14 foot surf fishing rod than a 10 foot surf fishing rod. The 14 foot surf fishing rod will cast farther but are harder to control. A 10 foot surf fishing rod can be cast more precisely and accurately but it will cast less distance than a longer rod.

I am 5 feet and 9 inches tall and my 10 foot surf rod is perfect for me. If I was 6 feet and 9 inches tall a 14 or 15 foot surf rod might be a better choice for a fisherman of that size.

Practice makes perfect is the old saying that is best for choosing the right surf fishing rod for your individual needs. You have to ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you want a surf rod that is better for your needs but takes some time to master? Or would you rather have an easy to use surf rod that may under perform when you get better at casting? Only you can answer those kinds of questions.

What level of power does your best surf fishing rod need to have?

Surf rods come in power levels ranging from medium to heavy. There are light powered surf rods but those are not the best choice for most surf fishing scenarios. You can choose from medium action, medium/heavy action or heavy action based on your needs.

Power is the measure of the amount of pressure needed to load the road. Load the rod refers to the point along the rod shaft that the rod begins to bend.

The power ratings vary between different surf rod manufacturers. The best way to figure out if your best surf rod has the power that you will need is to read the recommended line strengths and lure sizes.

Example: My 10 foot medium/heavy surf fishing rod has a recommended line rating of 15 to 30 pounds. This means that less than 15 pound test will cause the rod to under perform. A lighter rod would be better for lighter lines.

Conversely, a line heavier than 30 pound test will over stress the rod and may cause it to snap. You should definitely use the line weights are are suggested by the manufacturers of the surf rod that you are choosing.

Your surf fishing rod will also tell you the weight range of the lures and weights that it can handle. You will want follow the manufacturers’ recommendations concerning the proper lure sizes to use.

Example: My medium/heavy surf rod recommends lure weights from 2 to 6 ounces. This means that my surf rod will perform at its best with lures and weights between that size range. This means that on a rough day with a lot of current that I shouldn’t try and cast a surf rig with a 7 ounce sinker because the rod might fail or crack under that much pressure.

Watch the video below and catch more pompano.

What amount of action does your best surf fishing rod need to have?

Rod action is very different from rod power. Rod action refers to flexibility of the top and middle of the rod. There are 3 basic factors that create less or more rod action. The material that the rod is made out of; the taper of the rod from base to the tip; and the thickness of the rod are all factors that create the various action of a fishing rod.

Simply put, rod action is measured by the point at which the rod initially starts to bend, where it stops bending and how fast it goes back to straight. The higher up on the rod where this occurs, the faster the rod’s action will be.

A fast action surf rod will bend more near the tips of the rod and bounce back to straight faster than a medium and slow action rod. A medium action surf rod will bend more from the middle of the rod and a slow action rod will bend over the entire length of the rod.

The fast action surf rod is you best bet if you are mostly fishing off of the beach with lures.

The faster the action of the rod, farther the casting distance and more sensitivity your rod will have. BUT only that top part of the rod is doing the work and the rest of the stress is passed down to you. For instance, you will have a very sore neck and shoulders if you are fighting big bluefish all day with a fast action rod.

If you were in that same scenario with a medium action or slow action rod, then the rod would be taking most of the pressure and stress and you would be less achy at the end of the day.

You don’t really need to have a lot of sensitivity when you are surf fishing for pompano and whiting because you are not holding onto your rod. It is sitting in a rod holder. All that you have to be able to see the rod tip bounce when a fish hits your bait.

You cast out your baits and sit it in a rod holder so you don’t need a super sensitive fast action surf rod. I like a medium action rod because sometimes I fish with lures for tarpon and sharks and other times I fish for whiting with the same rod. I just change out the reels. It gives me the best of both worlds.

You can test the action of your surf rod by putting the base against a wall and grabbing the top of the rod.

Bend it slowly and you should have a nearly perfect half moon shaped bend in the rod if it is a medium to slow action rod. That half moon or parabolic bend to the rod is what you are looking for when choosing the best surf fishing rod for all around fishing requirements.

What type of reels does your best surf fishing rod need to have?

There are two types of surf fishing reels that you can choose from. You can use a conventional bait casting type of reel or a spinning reel. Each type of reel requires a specific type of surf fishing rod to accompany it.

The surf rods for conventional bait casting reels have smaller guides that are closer to the rod. This is the case because the line comes straight off of the reel through the guides.

A surf rod with a spinning reel will have very large guide near the reel and they will get smaller and smaller because the line comes off of the reel in large loops. Make sure that you get the right type of surf rod to match your surf reel.

Make sure that your surf rod has plastic rod seats or corrosion resistant metal seats or they will rust out quickly.

Conclusion:

Only you know what you are going to use your surf rod for most of the time. You may need a fast action rod but you may not. It all depends on what species that you are going for and what baits and lures you plan on using to catch them.

I would not recommend buying the top of the line surf rods and reels unless you plan on getting very serious about surf fishing. They are usually not too much better than the middle of the road priced surf fishing gear.

I hope that this article helps you get the best surf fishing rod for your individual needs.

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