How to choose Surf Fishing Rods (Part 1)
How to choose the best surf casting fishing rod that will work for you? We tried to put together an extensive guide to make it easier for you to choose the right, perfect surf fishing rod!
Several times in the past weeks we've been asked what type of surf spinning rods would we recommend. There were people that were also curious why there were so few suppliers in the Australian market offering high reel mounts and almost every manufacturer was selling low reel mounts surf rods.
In this article, we will try to cover some of the aspects of surf fishing and what type of rods should you use and when.
There is no general rule as to what makes an excellent “surf rod”. A big portion of the rods available in Australia are nothing more than general purpose rods advertised as true “surf” rods. Some rods have very low mounts to work with sidecast reels, while others are normal two hands low mounts spinning rods, but there are very, very few that are true surfcasting rods.
Which gets us to the definition. Surf and casting. That translates into your rod has to have been purposefully built for (1) saltwater use from the beach and (2) for long casts.
Can you use any rod from the surf? Sure. But that doesn’t make that rod a true surfcasting fishing rod.
Such a rod has a number of distinct properties.
To start with, that rod would have to have a minimum of 3.00m length. Normal ones vary from 3.60m to 4.50m, sometimes even longer. The taller one is (and stronger), the bigger the rod he/she would prefer to cast when trying to reach long distances. Personally, I am 5’11”and prefer 4.00-4.20m rods, but I have a friend that is 6’2” and he swears by his 4.50m surfcasting rod to reach 100-150m casts.
In our opinion, best surfcasting rods would have to be only those with high mount reels.
The biggest problem with low reel mounts is that while they might work reasonably well for medium casts (mostly overhead, under casts and side casts), they are less than ideal when reeling in or fighting a big fish in various surf conditions, as you effectively use one hand and you have no available lever.
The other problem is that ground casts and mainly overhead casts cannot be approached with low reel seat rods.
Casting Weight: In our view, you need to buy a rod that has been purposely designed to cast at least 100 grams (approx. 4 oz.). Anything less than that and you are wasting your time. If you have reasonable swell and tide running in/out, you will need to be able to cast out a heavy lead at a reasonable distance (>50m) that will hold on the bottom. The strong backbone required for such a rod helps you with the cast of the heavier sinker when facing any sort of headwind. At the same time, the bait will also add both weight and wind resistance (and some angular momentum, if not controlled properly) when casting.
Depending on casting weight, true surfcasting rods can be divided in two categories: beach ledgering and “true” surfcasting. Beach ledgering is bottom fishing from the beach using more sensitive blanks. Beach ledgering fishing is different from surfcasting, as the tackle is much lighter and sensitive.
ledgering rods may come as telescopic or multi-piece, but all show a high
sensitivity and a maximum casting weight within 130-140 grams, usually around
70-100 grams. Beach ledgering fishing rods are today technically advanced,
sensitive and extremely capable and allow us to cover long distances using
lighter weights. Just to name a few beach ledgering rods we sell: COLMIC AMANTE MORMORA 4.00m, DAM STEELPOWER BEACH QUIVER 4.20m
or COLMIC BLUE WAVE 4.00m
If you have the option to get into “true”, heavy surfcasting tackle, get a rod designed to cast between 150 to 250 grams (5.3-8.8 oz.). At Adore Tackle we have you covered with rods that are designed for very long casts, with immense reserves of power, such as SPORTEX MAGNUS SURF DeLUXE or TURBO or sensitive and more forgiving such as COLMIC MISAR SURF or BALZER DIABOLO VARIO SURF (comes with 2 tips) SUNSET MAGICA SURF or DAM STEELPOWER SURF G2.
Rod Length: As mentioned earlier, you need a rod of at least 3.00 m (9’10”), but preferably from 12 feet (3.60 meters) in length. Depending on how
tall and strong you are, and if you have a choice, and can afford it, go for the
longer rod possible that you feel comfortable with, when throwing out bait and
retrieving the weight. A 14-footer is ideal for surfcasting. Personally, I
prefer a 14-foot rod, but many prefer 15 feet ones when fishing the rough surf.
Longer rod length is a must for casting any sort of distance. Although, I
have found that the longer the rod the greater the leverage advantage you are
giving up to a fighting fish, but that is not necessarily the case if you know
how to use your two-hands, high mount rod. The most important job your rod must
perform is that of tossing your baited hooks and lead out over the breakers and
into position. Most experienced surfcasters fish with several rods at the same
time. I like to cast out baits on at least 2 sets by two surf rods.
After fish with different rods at the beach, you will find you prefer
some rods more than others.