How to Choose a Surf Fishing Reel

How to Choose a Surf Fishing Reel | Things You Should Know

Once you know how frequently the quality of a surf fishing reel improves, you will be utterly surprised. To speak the truth, surf fishing is one of the most challenging sports nowadays. Similarly, to cope up with the ever-changing surf-fishing, manufacturers are on a constant surge of development.

Yet, the saltwater and marine environment quickly corrode the fishing reel. On the other hand, larger fish with their brute strength as well as current and wind power, I ready to test the reel strength. So, the surf fishing reel needs to be durable and robust that it can withstand all these negativities.

But for a beginner choosing the right fishing reel for surfing isn’t an easy task by any means. But fear not.

We came up with the guideline on how to choose a surf fishing reel and also to take care of it.

Which Type of Reel Should You Choose for Surf Fishing?

There’s a constant debate on the usefulness of different fishing reels for challenging surf fishing.  Out of these reels, the spinning reel is the most popular one these days. Then there’s the conventional baitcasting reel. And the less common but popular in the North American fishing community is the side-casting fishing reel.

So, let’s check which one you should choose for you.

  • To decide which type of fishing reel you should opt for the surf fishing, at first, determine your angling skill. Also, assess your comfortability.
  • The spinning fishing reel is easy to operate, and so is more suitable for beginners. Moreover, a spinning reel will allow you to throw the cast at an extended distance with smoothness. The spinning reel also has lesser tangling issues.
  • On the contrary, if you want to cover really a long-log distance with the rail, you should go for a baitcasting fishing reel. It also has a firm finger control. However, the bail-casting fishing reel comes with a backlash or complications with the birds’ nest.

As a thumbnail rule, for beginners spinning reels are suitable whereas, the baitcasting reels are for the more experienced anglers.

The Appropriate Size of the Fishing Reel for Surf Fishing

Before we get to know which factors to consider for choosing the best surf fishing reel, you should also decide the reel length.

Since mostly you will be fishing in the marine water bodies with enormous open space, you need more colossal reels. It will permit you to cover a more significant area. A lager fishing reel will come up with the three following things-

  • Large spools
  • Stealthy drag system
  • Extended lining facility

And all these three factors are essential for marine water fishing. Also, when you surf fish, you are most likely to face the larger species. Hence, you will need a substantial line drag and large spool, which you will only get in a large fishing reel.

How to Choose A Surf Fishing Reel: Most Considerable Factors?

Now that we know which type of fishing reel is suitable for surf fishing, it’s time to identify the factors to choose the best one for you.

So, let’s kick-off the journey towards finding the best surf fishing reel.

Reel Durability:

When you start surf fish, you will have to face two crucial complications-

  1. Standing on a shore, you will have to line the reel from a certain distance.
  2. And as you feel the fish bites, you will need to reel the fish from thousands of yards. It needs strength.

So, the reel should be able to withstand the wind and water velocity as well as the bite strength of the fish. A less durable fishing reel will have the chance to break down with the current and fish losing. So, a fishing reel with full metal construction will withstand all these abusive things.

Resistance Against Saltwater:

Saltwater during surf fishing tends to corrode the fishing reel quickly. Also, salty wind, sand as well as sea debris can promptly destroy your fishing reel. So, to protect your fishing reel from these disturbing elements, we recommend you to choose a fishing reel with corrosion-proof metal.

It will also undoubtedly, add to the overall durability of the reel.

Ball Bearings:

As you cast and retrieve the fishing reel, the smoothness will depend on the ball bearings of the reel. As a standard rule, for increased smoothness, a reel should have more ball bearings. Fishing reels with fewer bearings will not be much smoother.

Also, good-quality reels have reverse or roller bearing so that you can set the reel after fishing. The ball-bearings are mostly made of stainless steel and should withstand the corrosion against saltwater.

Strength of The Drag System

The drag strength will determine the capacity of the reel to hold on to a larger fish or the fighting fish during the angling session. So, you should equip with a powerful drag system. You can get the brute strength from the larger fishing reels along with the solidly built drag.

With low drag capacity, your reel is prone to break or damage.

Gear Ratio

The last key aspect of choosing the most suitable surf fishing reel is the gear ratio. It determines the number of spool rotations in a single turn of the reel handle. Consequently, it permits you to line up the reel faster or slower.

For large fishes, the gear ratio needs to be on the lower side, whereas for fast reeling, you should opt for the higher gear ratio. Nonetheless, the best way to choose the gear ratio for surf fishing is to choose a midrange with optimal speed and torque capacity.


Although not so prominent, the fishing reel price can be an issue for beginners sometimes. So, check the pricing of the reel you are going to purchase so that it doesn’t empty your pocket. After all, you need to buy artificial lures or living baits for surf fishing.

How to Choose a Surf Fishing Reel


We genuinely aspire that this in-depth guideline on how to choose a surf fishing reel will evaporate all your worries about the selection process. Once you follow this guideline, you should be pretty much sure to pick the best surf fishing reel for you.

So, what’s your plan for today’s dinner- salmon or a tuna recipe?

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