best surf fishing reels

Best Surf Fishing Reels

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Having the right reel when surf fishing can make a huge difference to your results, more-so than many other types of fishing.

I have listed some of the best surf fishing reels currently available and have given you a rundown of what you can expect from each one.

There is a good variety of surf reels here, as they all have their own strengths that will be suited for the nuances encountered when surf fishing. The range of budget in these reels should also ensure there is something here to suit your requirements.

Okuma Surf-8K (best overall)

fish finders for kayaks

Best overall surf fishing reel

Okuma Surf-8K

Okuma Surf-8K Spinning SURF-8K

Product Feature's

  • Designed purely for surf fishing
  • Deep spool for added line capacity and casting distance
  • Tapered spool design for reduced casting resistance
  • Slower oscillation for perfect line lay on retrieve
  • Graphite rotor, side plates and frame for light feel
  • Strong drag system with Carbonite drag washers

Designed purely for surf fishing, the Okuma Surf-8K is a very good surf fishing reel available at a very good price.

The long cast spool on this reel allows for a lot of line to be held, and the tapered design encourages efficient release for optimal casting distance.

There are a lot of really cool and well thought out design concepts on the Okuma Surf-8K reel, and this is what makes this reel an excellent choice for anyone that wants to go surf fishing.

For example, when you open the bail arm to cast the handle will lock in place, so you don’t have to worry about the handle rotating when you launch a long cast. The anti-reverse bearing that kicks in instantly, allowing zero play.

The rotor has brush guards that reduce the possibility of the line slipping underneath the spool. Even the design and shape of the precision aluminum handle feels like it has been crafted to perfection, and makes winding the line in and fighting fish that much more efficient.

Fighting larger fish on the Okuma Surf-8K is greatly assisted by the substantial 40 pound drag system. This coupled with the 5BB+1RB stainless steel ball bearings make for a very smooth and efficient operation.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: 8000

- Max drag: 40 lbs (18 kg)

- Weight: 26.9oz

- Bearings: 5+1

- Gear ratio: 4.7:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 15/550 Mono

- Handle Side: Left or Right


Diwa KCN3 Fishing Reel (best budget option)

Best budget option - Diwa KCN3 Fishing Reel

Diwa Fishing Reels Spinning 8000 10000 14000 Series Spool Freshwater Saltwater Big-Game Surf Fishing 12+1 Stainless BB 70 LBS Max Drag Carbon Fiber Ultra Smooth Powerful Oversize Gear (14000)

Product Feature's

  • Great budget surf reel option
  • Very powerful drag system
  • Deep spool with huge line capacity
  • Extremely smooth operation
  • Intrusion Shield System for impressive durability
  • Comes with a spare spool
  • Available sizes: 8000, 10,000 and 14,000

If you want a good budget surf fishing reel, then the Diwa KCN3 is a great option.

This reel has some excellent design features that you would often find on more expensive reels. I loved the thought that went into the design of this reel, you can see that Diwa has clearly thought about how they can provide such great features at a budget price.

The deep spool used on the Diwa KNC3 reel is ideal for surf fishing. Not only does it allow for a large amount of line to be spooled, but it also allows for some big casts to be achieved as well.

Diwa Fishing Reels Spinning 8000 10000 14000 Series Spool Freshwater Saltwater Big-Game Surf Fishing 12+1 Stainless BB 70 LBS Max Drag Carbon Fiber Ultra Smooth Powerful Oversize Gear (14000)

Another very impressive thing about this reel is just how smooth it is to use, with the insane 12+1 bearing system really working well. Line retrieve is slick, although not that fast with a 4.6:1 gear ratio.

The drag system is equivalent to what you would find on a more expensive reel. It is silky smooth (sounds great too), but it also offers a huge 70 lbs (31kg) in resistance, so it will handle most big fish you hook into while surf fishing.

The ‘Intrusion Shield System’ has a fancy name, but has a purpose and has been designed to keep salt water and sand out of the important internal components, although I cannot personally attest to how effective this system is.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: 8000

- Max drag: 70 lbs (31 kg)

- Bearings: 12+1

- Gear ratio: 4.6:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 30/400 Mono

- Handle Side: Left or Right


- Reel size: 10,000

- Max drag: 70 lbs (31 kg)

- Bearings: 12+1

- Gear ratio: 4.6:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 60/500 Mono

- Handle Side: Left or Right


- Reel size: 14,000

- Max drag: 70 lbs (31 kg)

- Bearings: 12+1

- Gear ratio: 4.6:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 70/480 Mono

- Handle Side: Left or Right



Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Conventional Saltwater Reel (best baitcaster style reel for surf fishing)

Best baitcaster style - Daiwa Sealine-X SHA

Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Conventional Saltwater Reel SL-X50SHA 6.1:1 High Speed

Product Feature's

  • Two-position power handle with oversized soft touch grip
  • Huge six-element sealed drag
  • Free-Floating high-tensile aluminum spool
  • Two-position power handle
  • Rod clamp included

The Daiwa Sealine-X SHA makes a great surf fishing reel due to its long casting ability. It can also be used for jigging and trolling too, so you are getting quite a versatile reel here.

This reel certainly looks the business. The gold on black design adds a really stylish finish to it, and the design has been really well thought out.

The Daiwa Sealine-X SHA has been really well made and feels very comfortable to use. The soft touch grip makes winding the line in a comfortable experience, even when battling hard fighting fish. It also feels like it has a decent amount of grunt, so you know that each wind is going to make headway on the fish.

The free-floating spool on this reel allows for long casting distances. It is fairly easy to cast, and probably a good option for anyone that is looking to move over from a spinning reel style to a baitcaster reel.

The sealed drag on the Sealine-X SHA is very smooth, and runs up to 38.8 lbs resistance on the largest model. There are four different size reels in the Daiwa Sealine-X SHA range.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: 20

- Max drag: 15.4 lbs (7 kg)

- Weight: 15.5 oz

- Bearings: 3 CRBB

- Gear ratio: 6.1:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 12/420 Mono

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 30

- Max drag: 15.4 lbs (7 kg)

- Weight: 17.1 oz

- Bearings: 3 CRBB

- Gear ratio: 6.1:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 14/490 Mono

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 40

- Max drag: 17.6 lbs (8 kg)

- Weight: 18.7 oz

- Bearings: 3 CRBB

- Gear ratio: 6.1:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 25/400 Mono

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 50

- Max drag: 17.6 lbs (8 kg)

- Weight: 19.6 oz

- Bearings: 3 CRBB

- Gear ratio: 6.1:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 30/350 Mono

- Handle Side: Right side only


Daiwa M7HTMAG Millionaire Surf Cast Reel (best for long casting)

Best for long casting - Daiwa M7HTMAG Millionaire Surf Cast Reel

Daiwa M7HTMAG Millionaire Surf Cast Reel (5.8:1 Gear Ratio)

Product Feature's

  • High quality components used throughout
  • Infinite anti-reverse functionality
  • Adjustable spool tension
  • Designed for long surf casting
  • Lightweight aluminum spool
  • Counter-balanced power handle
  • Magforce®-Z cast control

For those that prefer a baitcasting reel for surf fishing, then the Daiwa M7HTMAG is a very good option. This type of reel is not for the beginner though, you really need to know how to use these reels to get the best out of them.

If it’s long casting you need then the Daiwa M7HTMAG is a beast for this! But it offers a lot more than just long casting ability, and for those more experienced anglers that prefer baitcasting reels, then it’s hard to look past this reel.

The Magforce®-Z cast control technology used on this reel will help control the high-performance spool, which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 30,000 RPM.

This technology will apply smooth and applicable braking to the spool as it reaches its top speeds. This is crucial in ensuring that the spool doesn’t over run and cause all kinds of birds-nest tangles.

It works extremely well and you have full control over the settings for this, but it will take a little bit of tuning to get it working to perfection.

The Daiwa M7HTMAG features a 7-bearing system (5CRBB + 1BB + 1RB), and this provides a very smooth operation. The star-adjust drag is easy to operate and does provide a very smooth and efficient system for battling larger fish.

The one-piece frame on this reel provides a very rigid and stable platform to wind in harder fighting fish, you won’t get any flex at all.

*NOTE* there is also a Daiwa M7HTMAGST Millionaire surf reel available too. The “ST” stands for ‘Super Tuned’, and refers to the machine cut spool, which is super-balanced, super-lightweight aluminum alloy. The ST model is more expensive, but also an extremely good reel for surf fishing.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: One size

- Max drag: 24 lbs (11 kg)

- Bearings: 7 (5CRBB + 1BB + 1RB)

- Gear ratio: 5.8:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 15/330 Mono, 40/300 Braid

- Handle Side: Right side only


Other great surf fishing reel options

These other surf fishing reels are also very worthy of a mention here too, and certainly provide some great quality to consider for your beach fishing trips.

SHIMANO Ultegra XSD

SHIMANO Ultegra XSD

Shimano Ultegra 5500 XSD Surfcasting Spinning Fishing Reel, ULT5500XSD

Product Feature's

  • Designed for surf fishing
  • Uses latest Shimano technology like XShip, Super Slow Oscillation 50, and Aero Wrap II
  • Instant Drag feature to ensure high hook-up rates
  • Comes with extra spool and four line reducers
  • Strong and durable reel

The Shimano Ultegra XSD has been designed with the surf anglers in mind. The spool capacity will give you plenty of room for enough heavier line, and it also comes with a spare spool if you want to change up your line strength mid-trip.

Although the Ultegra XSD has a robust design, it is light for its size and makes long casting out past the surf an easy task.

The drag on this reel is excellent. It is super-smooth, which we have now come to expect from modern Shimano reels, and the Ultegra XSD certainly lives up to this.

The drag is also very strong, so if you are getting into the big fish in the surf then you can rely on this to do the job.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: 5500

- Max drag: 33.07 lbs

- Weight: 17.64oz

- Bearings: 5

- Line Retrieve: 41.34 in per crank

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 10/425, 12/315, 16/230 Mono

- Handle Side: Left or Right


- Reel size: 14,000

- Max drag: 44.0 lbs

- Weight: 22.08 oz

- Bearings: 4

- Line Retrieve: 40.55 in per crank

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 12/600, 16/440, 20/330 Mono

- Handle Side: Left or Right


PENN Fierce Live Liner

PENN Fierce Live Liner

PENN Fierce Live Liner Spinning Fishing Reel

Product Feature's

  • Strong and durable design
  • HT-100 carbon drag system
  • Handle can be switched to left or right side of the reel
  • Instant auto reverse
  • Smooth operation
  • Excellent value for money
  • Available sizes: 2500, 4000, 6000 and 8000

Penn make some excellent reels that are very versatile. The PENN Fierce live liner is a great option for surf fishing, and it has a wide range of sizes available so you can really match it to the specific type of surf fishing you want to be doing.

This Penn reel looks incredible, but it is a lot more than just a good-looker. The HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers (available on the Live Liner 3 models) provide a very smooth drag system, and with a max drag of 30lb (14kg) on the 8000LL model, you have plenty of grunt to do battle with those hard fighting fish in the surf.

The ‘Live liner’ version of the PENN Fierce reel (there is also a spinning model that does not have the live liner feature) uses a rear drag system.

PENN Fierce Live Liner Spinning Fishing Reel

The Live Liner feature on the PENN Fierce ‘LL’ models is what really makes this an excellent option for surf fishing. It’s ideal for using with a running rig, and the system works extremely well.

Once you have pulled the Live Liner lever back, the line will run freely (you can hear the spool running though, so it provides a great audible indicator when a fish runs with your bait), you then simply need to turn the handle for the drag to engage quickly and you can then set the hook. An extremely effective bait running system that PENN has executed so well on this Fierce LL reel.

PENN has made the Fierce Live Liner into a very durable smooth operating reel. The sealed pinion bearing on the reel will ensure that this smooth operation will last for a very long time as it is protected from the salt water and sand.

For the price of the PENN Fierce Live Liner, you are getting a lot of reel for your money. A great option to have for your surf fishing trips.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: 2500

- Max drag: 12.1 lbs (5.5 kg)

- Weight: 12.2 oz

- Bearings: 4+1

- Gear ratio: 6.2:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 8/175 Mono, 10/240 Braid

- Handle Side: Left or Right


- Reel size: 4000

- Max drag: 14.9 lbs (6.8 kg)

- Weight: 14.9 oz

- Bearings: 4+1

- Gear ratio: 6.2:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 10/260 Mono, 20/260 Braid

- Handle Side: Left or Right


- Reel size: 6000

- Max drag: 25.1 lbs (11.4 kg)

- Weight: 24.2 oz

- Bearings: 4+1

- Gear ratio: 5.6:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 20/230 Mono, 40/390 Braid

- Handle Side: Left or Right


- Reel size: 8000

- Max drag: 29.9 lbs (13.6 kg)

- Weight: 32.0 oz

- Bearings: 4+1

- Gear ratio: 5.3:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 25/310 Mono, 50/475 Braid

- Handle Side: Left or Right


Penn Squall Star Drag

Penn Squall Star Drag

PENN Squall Star Drag, SQL15

Product Feature's

  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Made using only the highest quality components
  • Features a graphite frame and sideplates
  • HT-100 drag system
  • Instant Anti-Reverse bearing with silent back up ratchet
  • 6 shielded stainless-steel ball bearings

It was a very close battle for the best baitcaster reel for surf fishing, and although we favored the Daiwa Sealine-X SHA, the Penn Squall Star Drag was only just behind by a very close margin.

This reel was made for long casting, and it does make slinging a bait out beyond the surf break pretty easy. It is also very comfortable to use, so if you plan long days down at the beach with a lot of casting required, you will find the Penn Squall Star Drag very accommodating.

This reel is quite versatile, and can be used on longer rods for surf fishing, or shorter rods for in-shore fishing. It is also available in 5 different sizes so you have plenty of range to fit your needs.

Penn 1206096 Squall SQL60LD Lever Drag Conventional Fishing Reel, SQL60LD - 50lbs/370yd

The Penn Squall has plenty of grunt to it. You just feel when a big fish is on that you can confidently lean back into it and let the reel do the work. And it does that work very well, I was extremely impressed by this.

As with all PENN reels, the Squall is very robust and built to last. There is no give to the reel when hauling in a hard fighting fish, it holds its form very well. As long as you take care of your PENN Squall, you can expect to get years of good usage from it.

Reel specs:

- Reel size: 12

- Max drag: 15 lbs (6.8 kg)

- Weight: 14.4 oz

- Bearings: 7

- Gear ratio: 6.0:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 12/270 Mono, 15/525 Braid

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 15

- Max drag: 15 lbs (6.8 kg)

- Weight: 14.6 oz

- Bearings: 7

- Gear ratio: 6.0:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 15/280 Mono, 20/500 Braid

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 25

- Max drag: 20 lbs (9 kg)

- Weight: 18 oz

- Bearings: 7

- Gear ratio: 6.0:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 20/320 Mono, 30/650

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 30

- Max drag: 20 lbs (9 kg)

- Weight: 18.5 oz

- Bearings: 7

- Gear ratio: 6.0:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 20/440 Mono, 50/625

- Handle Side: Right side only


- Reel size: 40

- Max drag: 20 lbs (9 kg)

- Weight: 19 oz

- Bearings: 7

- Gear ratio: 6.0:1

- Line Capacity (lb-yds.): 30/350 Mono, 50/725 Braid

- Handle Side: Right side only


There are some really good surf fishing reels here, and plenty of variety in both style and price range. 

Fishingmyway Admin
 

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