Surf fishing is one of the most exciting types of fishing. It is scenic and you can never predict whether you will hook a bluefish, a redfish, or a shark. One of the essentials to having a great experience is having the proper gear and a reel is one of the most important equipment. You need to be equipped with the best surf fishing reel to handle the large and powerful saltwater gamefish you will definitely encounter in the surf.

If you’re looking for the best saltwater surf fishing reel, your search just got easier. We’ve evaluated the best baitcasting and spinning reels and identified the ones best suited to surf fishing. They have all the essential features to cast long distances and handle the large and strong inshore species. They also feature a long-lasting build that holds up well to repeated saltwater exposure and are top rated for their surf fishing performance. Check them out below.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

How To Choose The Best Surf Fishing Reel – Buying Guide


Did you identify the best surf fishing reel for you among the top surf fishing reels reviewed above? If you’re having trouble deciding which one to pick, this buying guide will help you determine which surf fishing reel is the best for you. Consider the following features when evaluating reels to narrow down your options and pick your personal best out of the best surf fishing reels in the market.

Ball Bearings

Fishing reels are equipped with ball bearings for a smooth operation when casting and retrieving. The number of bearings in a reel determines how fast and how smooth the casts and retrieves are. The higher the number of bearings a reel has, the smoother its operation. For surf fishing, choose a high performing reel with a high number of top quality bearings. Make sure the reel you go for also has an anti-reverse bearing for eliminating back play when setting hooks.

Corrosion Resistance And Sealing

When you’re surf fishing, there are times you will find yourself getting in the surf with your gear in hand. Your reel will definitely get splashed with saltwater and even fully dunked occasionally. Saltwater is hard on fishing gear and takes its toll especially on reels and their delicate components. Corrosion resistance is a must for a reel to be able to withstand this exposure, last long, and continue performing well.

Pick a reel with corrosion-resistant construction and sealed or watertight components such as bearings, drag system, and gear systems to shield them from the corrosion and abrasion effects of saltwater and sand and keep them working efficiently and effectively for a long time. Even more effective at resisting corrosion are protective gaskets on the drag housing and side plates.

Surf fishing reels made to be anti-corrosive will still need to be cleaned and maintained properly to keep corrosion at bay. Rinsing your reel with fresh water after every saltwater exposure can prolong its lifespan.


When surf fishing, you’re most likely looking forward to landing the big ones. Even if you want to target smaller species, the diverse range of species found in saltwater bodies makes surf fishing unpredictable. You never know what is going to take your bait or lure.

A reel with a powerful and smooth drag is essential for the surf to handle the large and strong, hard fighting and fast swimming fish that melt drags, leave broken tackle in their wake, and the angler empty-handed. A strong drag system is also needed to withstand the pressure exerted by waves and currents and ensure the durability of a saltwater surf fishing reel.

Choose a large reel with at least 20 lbs of stopping power. The larger the species you’re targeting, the higher the drag power you will need.

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Spinning reels are usually sized as 1000, 2000, 3000 and so forth. The higher the number, the larger the reel size. Casting reels also come in different sizes.

The smallest sizes are usually designed for freshwater fishing. The largest sizes are usually equipped with stronger drag systems, and larger spools and line capacities for heavy-duty saltwater fishing.

Surf fishing calls for large fishing reels that are capable of handling the bigger line weights and lengths and battling the big saltwater species.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio on a reel tells you the number of times the spool rotates with every turn of the handle. A 7.3:1 gear ratio means that the spool rotates 7.3 times with every turn of the handle.

The higher the gear ratio, the faster the line retrieval but the lower the cranking power. The lower the ratio, the higher the cranking power but the slower the retrieval.

If you want high-speed retrieval, you have to do with lower torque. If you want more torque for pulling in heavy fish, you will have to sacrifice some retrieve speed. You can get a balance of both by going for a reel with a medium gear ratio.

Line Capacity

Finally, don’t forget to check how much line the spool on the reel you’re considering can hold. The line capacity in yards and pounds will be printed on the spool or indicated on the reel’s details.

Surf fishing requires longer lines for long distance casting and to match up to the fast running fish. It also utilizes heavier lines with the strength to handle massive fish without breaking.

Ensure the reel you choose has a large line capacity to meet your casting needs and in order to be prepared just in case you hook a fast swimmer.

Braided line offers the best performance for surf fishing. The best surf fishing reels are designed to accommodate braided line without issues.



Q: What Is Surf Fishing?


Surf fishing is a type of fishing that involves catching fish in saltwater bodies while standing on the shoreline, by wading in the surf, or by fishing piers. Typical species caught include bluefish, redfish, blackfish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, striped bass among others. The types of lures used include spoons, jigs, and plugs.

Q: Do I Need Casting Or Spinning Reel For Surf Fishing?


You can use a casting or a spinning reel. Both are effective at surf fishing. Whether a casting or spinning reel is the best surf fishing reel for you to use will depend on the fishing rod you will be pairing it with, the kind of tackle you will be using, your experience level, and personal preference.

Spinning reels are attached on the downside of spinning rods. They are the most popular with average anglers and beginners, as they are easy to use. They are best for casting lighter lines and lures long distance. Saltwater spinning reels are also capable of casting heavier weights and are equipped with the specs to fight big saltwater game fish.

Baitcasting reels go with baitcasting rods and are attached on the topside. They are the most popular with experienced anglers. They are the best for casting heavier lines and lures long distance. They also give the angler more control and accurate lure placement even in difficult conditions is possible.

Related Reviews: Spinning Reel Under 50 & Baitcasting Reel Under 100

However baitcaster fishing setups are notorious for producing backlashes when casting, especially when used by anglers who haven’t mastered how to set their braking systems and thumb the spool. Beginners tend to avoid them because of this. However, most modern casting reels are designed to reduce birds nest tangles.

Globo Surf Overview

Surf fishing is an exciting activity for anglers but very abusive on fishing gear especially reels. Strength and toughness is a must in a surf fishing reel.

The best surf fishing reels are built strong and corrosion resistant to be able to withstand the abuse by strong fish, pounding waves, jagged rocks, saltwater corrosion, and wind-blown sand present in a marine environment and last long without losing their efficiency. They are also equipped with powerful and smooth drag systems, larger line capacities and quality bearings in order to cast long distance and easily handle large fish that put up a big fight.

Our surf fishing reel reviews include some of the best surf fishing reels in the market. They are tough, capable of long casting distances and offer exceptional performance fishing in the surf. They also fall under a wide range of prices. To make choosing a surf fishing reel even easier, our buying guide takes you through what to look for to pick the right reel.

Once you find the right surf casting or surf spinning reel for you, pair it with a strong fishing rod so you have a well-balanced outfit and are ready to hit the surf for the exciting part! Armed with capable gear, you can head out knowing you’re prepared for anything the ocean presents your way and have a great experience.

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Among the best surf fishing reels in our list, which will you choose? Have you used any of the reels in our reviews? What was your experience? Let us know in the comment box below