Tips For Selecting a Surf Fishing Rod

Here’s a few tips to help you pick out a Surf Fishing Rod. Surf Rods are unique in their design characteristics to be used for fishing in surf. These tips will help you make an intelligent choice when selecting your first or next surf rod.

Design features to consider are:

  • Rod Length
  • Rod Taper
  • Rated Rod Power
  • Type, Quantity and Location of Rod Guides
  • Reel Seats

Rod Length

Fishing the surf requires the ability to cast long distances using surf casting techniques. To be able to cast as far as possible surf rods are long. A good length for a surf rod is 10′ to 12′. Rods that are shorter will sacrifice casting distance and rods that are longer will be more difficult to cast.

Rod Taper

Fishing rods are designed for different types of fishing. Some rods require a fast action and others a medium or slow action. This is accomplished through the design incorporated into the rod taper. Rods with a fast action will bend from the upper third of the rod length. A slow action design bends from the lower third. When a rod is designed for the surf it should have a medium action which bends from the upper middle half of the rod.

Rated Rod Power

The power rating of any fishing rod is refereed to as it’s backbone. This is the fish fighting strength of the rod. Surf fish can be very powerful but you don’t want a rod that has too much backbone because you will sacrifice casting distance. The best compromise is to choose a surf rod with a medium heavy power rating.

Rod Guides

Materials used for rod guides vary. Top quality rods will be fitted with silicon carbide guides. These are considered to be the best guides because they are very hard, resist wear and are very smooth which improves casting distance. The next best choice is ceramic guides. Ceramic guides are not as hard as silicon carbide but are still a good material for guides . There are a few different kinds of ceramic used for guides some are harder than others. It is not possible to determine the quality of the ceramic by inspection. Don’t be too concerned about the quality of the ceramic when choosing a surf rod.

Besides the guide material consider the quantity of guides. Generally speaking more guides are desirable because they spread the load over the length of the rod more uniformly. Since a surf rod design bends from the upper third the number of guides and spacing  along that section are important. Bend the rod at the tip to see the arc it makes under a load. Pay attention to the shape of the arc and the location of the guides. The guides should be located at the transition points of the arc.

Due to stress on the main line when casting surf casters use a shock leader tied to the main line. The rod guides can hinder the casting distance if they are not large enough to allow the shock leader knot to pass through during the cast. Make sure that the guides at the tip of the rod are not too restrictive.

Reel Seats

The final component of a surf rod that I want to cover is the reel seats. Reels seats are made from different metal alloys or graphite. The surf environment is very corrosive. Reel seats should be made from a non corrosive metal such as stainless steel or other rust proof alloy. Graphite reel seats are not recommended for surf rods.

Use these tips to help you select a good surf rod. With this information it should be easy to for you to make a good decision.

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