Choosing a surf fishing rod and reel combo is challenging since the manufacturers are there with numerous options available. Sifting through multiple options doesn’t guarantee that you can make the best choice, as there are many features to consider when buying the combo.
Thus, to make things easier for you, we are here with a buyer's guide that will assist you in making a quick decision. In the guide, we have covered almost everything that you should know about surf fishing rod and reel combo.
Note the below-mentioned factors to make an informed decision and to buy the best rod and reel combo for the money. You need a reliable rod that can withstand the force when you battle with the fish while rewarding you with the ease of using the reel.
Most of you might be thinking about why buying a fishing rod, and reel combo is important when you can buy them separately! Well, there are many benefits you will get while buying a combo. The foremost benefit is that you have to stress less to search for a compatible reel with the rod.
Here are some benefits you should know before buying the combo.
When you buy a combo, you get a perfect combination that works together to make fishing fun and easy. It can be challenging to buy the best compatible reel with the surf rod, especially when you are a beginner.
The reel that comes with the surf rod fits nicely, and you can enjoy fishing without worrying about anything.
When you buy the combo, you have to pay less as compared to purchasing these items separately. Buying this combi will save you a lot of money that you can spend to purchase hooks and other fishing accessories.
The reels that come with the surf rods offer longer reach so that you can throw the bait up to a considerable distance. You can check the length of the reel to ensure that it's perfect for catching the species you want, as some species swim away from the shore, so you need a long fishing line.
You will find a plethora of options when buying surf rod and reel combo, that’s why this combo is highly versatile. Moreover, you can use it to catch a variety of species, which makes it a better deal.
Now you can get rid of the hassles of mounting the reel on the surf fishing rod. When you buy a combo,
the reel comes mounted on the rod, or you can mount it quickly on the dedicated slot.
If you want the reel and rod combo to render excellent performance, then it is essential to consider these factors before buying it. We have listed almost everything you should know to invest your money in the right product.
When you are buying a combo, you should check the combined weight of both the accessories i.e., the rod and the reel. Handling a heavy and cumbersome rod can be challenging, and it may possess multiple difficulties while fishing.
Check if the weight of the combo is something you can handle. You can also check the rod and reel weight to reckon the total weight you have to carry while fishing.
Usually, these surf rods are lightweight, but there are some options available that are heavy and difficult to handle. Buying a lightweight rod has multiple benefits. These rods are sensitive, and you can quickly find out when the fish strikes on the bait.
Also, traveling with a lightweight rod is easy, which is another reason why surf anglers choose combos that are extremely lightweight and durable.
The material and the build affect the weight of the rod and reel combo, so don't forget to check the material to make a rewarding buying decision.
The weight capacity is how much weight the fishing rod can bear as you are buying a combo, so you should check the weight capacity of the line as well. The weight capacity depends on the species you want to target.
If you want to catch small fishes, then you need a rod with less weight capacity. However, to deal with catfish and other bigger species, you need a powerful rod that helps you in fighting with the catch.
If you use a low weight capacity rod to catch bigger species, then the rod can break, or it can severely injure you. Some anglers even call it the line rating, so don't get confused between the eight capacity and line rating as both have a dramatic impact on the durability of the rod and the fishing line.
The length of the rod decides how farther you can cast and the species you can catch. Surf fishing rod and reel combos are available in multiple options when it comes to the length of the rod. You will find rods ranging from 7 to 15 feet.
Bigger rods have better elasticity, so they are perfect for casting to a great distance, and you can battle with bigger fishes. On the other hand, smaller rods are better for shore fishing, and they are more sensitive, so you will quickly find out when the fish strikes the bait.
The length of the rod depends on where you want to fish. If you are in a crowded place with many anglers, then long rods are good as you can cast from a distance. Look for rods ranging between 8 to 10 feet if you don't want a heavy rod.
In case you are comfortable carrying some heavyweight for the sake of a powerful rod, then consider rods between 11 to 14 feet. To target species such as redfish, pampo, whiting, and shark, you need to put the rod into the holder so that a bigger rod would be the best.
For targeting smaller species like stripers, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, or flounder, you should go for small rods as you will be carrying the rod in your hands most of the time.
If you want to target bigger species that swim on a distance from the shore, such as small sharks, then cut off the rod's length and limit it to 11 feet. Using a longer rod will allow you to cast farther, but it would be hard to battle with the fish.
Long rods aren’t the best always as sometimes you need smaller rods for their unquestionable benefits. Choose the length of the rod according to your purpose if you need ultimate performance from it.
There are multiple things that depend on the material, such as durability and longevity. Also, the rod's weight depends on the material, so you should make a wise decision when choosing the material.
Surf fishing rods are available in different materials, as some anglers prefer lightweight rods, whereas some love heavy rods. You should buy a rod that's lightweight and durable to give you an advantage while fishing.
The common materials used to manufacture surf fishing rods are:
If you want a fishing rod that's highly stable, go for graphite. The material may not be the lightest, but with these rods, you will surely fill your basket with good catches. Most surf fishing rods that come in a combo are made using graphite.
Furthermore, with a graphite rod, you can cast a great distance because of the rod's flexibility. Graphite is highly flexible, which makes the fishing rod suitable for the powerful hooksets.
However, there are some downsides to using these rods. The material isn't much durable as compared to composite and fiberglass, so you have to buy a new rod after some time.
Also, the rods are expensive, and that is why only expert anglers prefer graphite rods over other materials.
When compared to graphite, fiberglass is more durable. The material may have less elasticity, but it can withstand for a long time so that you will get a good return for the money. Fiberglass rods should be your choice if you need a stronger rod to battle with bigger species.
The tip of the rod has excellent weight capacity, so the rod won’t break when you are in a tussle with the fish. Furthermore, these rods should be your choice if you want to spend less.
The downsides of fiberglass surf fishing rods are less sensitivity and weight. The rods are heavy, and the sensitivity isn't that good, so you should use them to catch medium and large-sized fishes.
Composite surf fishing rods have a combination of fiberglass and composite, so these rods are durable and have better strength. Also, the sensitivity of the rods is excellent, and then you will get a fast action required to cast farther.
These rods are expensive, and only limited options are available in the market.
Choose the material that suits your budget and is perfect for your needs. You will find some other materials as well, but most rods are made using the above-listed materials.
When buying a surf fishing rod and reel combo, you should keep in mind the species you want to target. It is not viable to use the same rod to catch all types of species, so you should pick the most suitable option.
Most surf anglers go for general purpose rods as these are suitable for catching different species. If you don't have a specific species in mind, then you should go for general purpose rods. On the other hand, if you want to catch medium-sized sharks and catfish, then you should go for a species-specific rod.
These rods are made for the specific species, so you will get an advantage to catch them. Compare different surf fishing rods when deciding.
The next thing to consider should be the action or speed of the rod. The action of the fishing rod means how fast you can cast with it. Some rods offer slow cast action, whereas some rods have fast cast action. The cast action should depend on why you are buying the rod and where you will be using it.
The performance of the rod depends on the cast action, so you should choose it carefully. Surf fishing rods with faster action are highly accurate, and you can cast to a considerable distance.
The rod’s tip is highly flexible, so the elastic force helps you in throwing the lure farther in the water. Surf rods with a faster action gives you an advantage when catching bigger species.
Rods with medium action prevent bending so you can fight with the fish without worrying about the rod. If you want to fish with live bait, then medium cast action rods should be your choice.
You can throw the bait farther using the rod properly. Also, it is easy to load the bait on the rod as compared to fast action rods.
Surf rods with slower action are ideal to hook-up the fish for a long time. Furthermore, these rods should be your choice for using live baits.
If you need a highly accurate and sensitive rod that handles powerful hooksets, then go for faster cast action. The rods are suitable for catching soft bite species such as trout and flounder.
On the other hand, if you want to hook-up the fish for a long time so that it gets tired and you can pull it out from the water, then go for slower action rods.
The casting will be slow, but the rod will help you in catching bigger species.
Checking the reel seat is essential when buying a surf fishing rod and reel combo. The reel seat is the area where the reel is attached, so it should be functional and durable. Go for combos that have the best reel seat, which doesn't get loose over time as it will impact your performance.
Also, check if the seat is durable enough to withstand the environmental conditions, as some of them can get corroded due to the exposure of saltwater. The reel seat is a critical component of the fishing rod, and it impacts how you can pull the fish out of the water.
The best reel seat should be made using materials like graphite, which are non-corrosive in nature.
The rod's power is how much it can bend without snapping and breaking. Powerful surf fishing rods can bend a lot, so they are suitable for catching bigger species that pull you with immense power. Surf fishing rods with less power are ideal for smaller species such as trout, and flounder.
While buying a surf fishing rod and reel combo, you must decide whether a one-piece rod is suitable for you, or you should go for the two-piece options. The primary advantage of a two-piece rod is the compactness and ease of traveling.
If you want to travel with the rod in your compact car, then look for two-piece rods. One-piece rods should be your choice if transportation isn't an obstacle.
A problem many anglers face with two-piece rods is the time required for the assembly, and the rod can get separate while casting. Also, the locks can get damaged over time, which means they aren't as dependable as one-piece rods.
When you are traveling, the 10 feet two-piece rod transforms into two pieces of 5-feet each, so traveling becomes easier. Look for branded rods with a sturdy lock mechanism if you want a two-piece surf rod.
When you are buying a surf fishing rod and reel combo, how can you forget to check the reel setup! The two common setups that come with surf rods are conventional and spinning. Both reels have their own pros and cons, which we have described below.
If you need a reel with no or fewer backlashes, then the spinning reel setup should be your choice. The setup is ideal for fishing at night, which is a significant benefit. Most anglers choose a spinning reel to catch larger fishes because of its durability.
However, there are some downsides, such as the line's twist when pulling it back into the reel. Also, if you use braided lines, then it can cut your fingers when using heavyweight casting.
To cast further with proper skills, you should go for a conventional reel setup. The setup has a stronger top-end drag, and you can cast heavy weights without any issues. The only problem you will face with this setup is backlashes.
Also, the setup isn't great to fish at night due to the backlashes.
The surf fishing rod and reel combo may be affordable as compared to buying these items separately, but still, you should make your budget beforehand. Go for a combo that fits in your budget as you need to buy some other accessories like hooks and baits as well, which will add up to the total cost.
You will find a plethora of combos available at reasonable rates. Just look for the customer reviews and ratings to make sure that you are buying the best combo.
When buying the combo, don't forget to add these accessories to your list to enjoy surf fishing.
Buy durable fishing waders that keep you dry even if you have to step down into the water while fighting with the fish. Go with waders made using polyester and nylon.
If you don't need a wader, consider buying fishing boots. You will always get a better grip on the ground while keeping the feet dry and protected.
If you want to keep the hooks and other accessories handy, go for surf fishing vests. The jacket will help you during fishing, so you don't need to come to your vehicle multiple times to get the accessories.
It would be great to carry an extra fishing line in case the one loaded on the reel snaps or twists badly during fishing.
A: The durability of the rod depends on various factors, such as the material, weight capacity, and the brand. Most of the rods are made using non-corrosive material so you can use them in freshwater and saltwater.
Check the weight capacity and material if you want the rod to last longer without snapping during fishing.
A: No, surf fishing rod and reel combos are less expensive as compared to the separate units. Buying these items in a combo will save you money, so you shouldn’t miss the chance.
A: To choose the ideal length, consider the casting distance and weight. If you need a rod that casts farther and is good for bigger species, then you need an 11-13 feet long rod. On the other hand, shorter rods are good for traveling and fishing near the shore.
With this surf fishing rod and reel combo buyer's guide, you can buy the best option for the money. Consider all the factors listed in the guide to make sure that you are selecting a rod that's perfect for your needs.
Also, consider the accessories and FAQ section for more info on the fishing rod and reel combo. If you want to come home with a bucket full of catches, then it is indispensable to buy the best surf fishing rod and reel combo.
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