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Best Surf Fishing Reels

Surf fishing is hard on reels – the saltwater marine environment corrodes them more easily, and the stronger, larger fish, currents, wind, and other water conditions test the strength of even the best surf fishing reels.

people surf fishing on a beach

If you’re an avid surf fisher, you’ll need a strong reel to withstand the rigors of surf fishing.

Investing in a strong surf fishing reel that is durable and built to last will save you from broken reels, lost fish, and wasted money. Spring for one of the best surf fishing reels to maximize your success on the shoreline.

Get the most out of your surf fishing reel by picking from the best. We’ve reviewed the top surf fishing reels on the market today, known for their durability, drag, and more. If you prefer a spinning reel, check out these top spinning reels.

Top 4 Reels for Surf Fishing

  1. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Spinning Reel
  2. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel
  3. Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel
  4. Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcast Reel

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Spinning Reel

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is praised for its super smooth retrieve and long-distance casting. It comes in four sizes: 1000, 2500, 3000, and 4000, but we recommend the 4000 for serious surf fishing and big catches.

shimano stradic ci4+ surf fishing reel

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The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is equipped with 6 ball bearings plus one anti-reverse bearing for a smooth retrieve, and they are shielded to protect from water, dirt, or sand damage.

The entire reel has CoreProtect technology to prevent corrosion. The reel is made from Ci4+ carbon, so it’s durable but still lightweight.

shimano stradic ci4 spinning reel

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This reel is equipped with X-Ship and HAGANE technology so that the Stradic Ci4+ is strong enough to fight tough fish and currents. The Magnumlite Rotor allows for super light handling.

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Line Capacity (lb/yds): 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
  • Line Retrieve: 28.70 in
  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Bearings: 6+1

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

The Penn Battle II Spinning Reel is well known as one of the best spinning reels for surf fishing, as a top-rated saltwater spinning reel that is also surprisingly affordable for its level of quality.

penn battle II spinning surf fishing reel

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It has five stainless steel ball bearings plus one anti-reverse bearing, all of which are sealed to prevent corrosion.

The spool on the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel has capacity rings and a rubber inlay, so braided line can be loaded directly. Its full metal body prevents wear and a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire.

penn battle surf fishing reel

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It comes in a wide range of sizes, including 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 8000. We recommend 4000 and up for serious surf fishing. Larger sizes will have more drag power and line capacity.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Reel is durable can cast your bait long distances and comes with an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system for smooth and powerful retrieval.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel 4000 Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Line Capacity (lb/yds): 270/8, 220/10, 165/12 (Mono), 360/15, 260/20, 185/30 (Braided)
  • Line Retrieve: 37 in
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Bearings: 5+1

Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel

The Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel is one of the toughest out there. If you’re looking to wrestle big fish in tough conditions, this is the reel for you.

fin nor offshore spinning surf fishing reel

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The Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel’s full body and side plate are made of strong aluminum, so it will resist corrosion. Four stainless steel ball bearings are also double-shielded to protect from the elements.

This reel has a Mega Drag system made of stainless steel washers and carbon fibers, paired with four ball bearings for smooth casting and performance.

It easily accommodates braided line for long-distance casting. The gear ratio is 4.4:1, so it sacrifices speed for strength, which is good for catching larger fish.

fin nor offshore spinning reel

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The Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel is tough – it can handle drag pressure up to 60 pounds. For heavy-duty surf fishing, use the Fin-Nor Offshore reel. Be sure to register it on the brand website within 10 days of purchase to take advantage of the warranty.

Fin-Nor Offshore Spin Fishing Reel Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 4.4:1
  • Line Capacity (lb/yds): 400/20 (Mono) 400/50 (Braided)
  • Line Retrieve: 38 in
  • Weight: 31.2 oz
  • Bearings: 4


Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcast Reel

The Pflueger President XT is a top-of-the-line baitcasting reel for surf fishing, allowing for more power and control than others.

pflueger president xt low profile baitcast surf fishing reel

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It has nine corrosion-resistant ball bearings, plus one anti-reverse roller bearing for super-smooth casting. This reel is lightweight and corrosion-resistant for marine environments.

The Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcast reel is equipped with a magnetic braking system with externally adjustable brake settings to reduce backlash and tangling.

pflueger baitcast surfishing reel

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A soft-touch rubber knob makes it comfortable to hold, even for long hours on the water. This reel can cast long distances, and with a 7.3:1 gear ratio, it returns your catch quickly.

With great quality and at an affordable price, the Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcasting Reel is a good choice for surf fishing. Smooth casting, corrosion resistance, and lightweight design make this a popular option among surf fishermen.

Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcast Reel Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1
  • Line Capacity (lb/yds): 12/145, 14/125, 17/100 (Mono)
  • Line Retrieve: 31 in
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Bearings: 9+1

Final Thoughts

Picking the best surf fishing reel for you depends on where you’re fishing, what you plan to catch, and many other factors.

Now that you’ve found the best reels for surf fishing, find the best surf fishing rods to pair them with, or learn about drone surf fishing for longer distances.

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