Surf fishing is a great activity that allows you to get on the ocean and catch fish that aren’t possible in other parts of the world. When you are out in the waves, having the right reel is imperative to help you not only catch your fish but bring it in and show off to your friends.
Finding the best saltwater reel for surf fishing is the best way to help make your surf fishing experience more enjoyable.
The best saltwater reels for surf fishing have a sturdy design that helps them do well while in the ocean, can handle braided lines without snags and tears, and are tested to handle heavier weights of fish so you can always pull in exactly what you want.
Many great reels can work for surf fishing, but it is important to pick one that works specifically for saltwater conditions.
Looking for a choice that can handle heavier fish, since most fish in the ocean is bigger than those found in lakes and streams, they are also important.
With that in mind, let’s jump into the list below and see what the best saltwater reels for surf fishing are in 2020.
The Best Saltwater Reel for Surf Fishing
Surf fishing is a fun way to get out on the water, spend time with nature, and catch some unique fish.
And having the right saltwater reel will make this easier. Some of the top saltwater reels that work perfectly for your next surf fishing adventure include:
If you want the Ferrari of spinning reels, then this is the one to go with. Shimano is considered the best, and the Shimano Stella SW Sealed Spinning Reel is fully sealed.
It comes with a silky-smooth retrieve thanks to the 15 bearings on this reel.
This reel has a strong drag, and some of the larger models have been designed with extra protection to help with offshore uses.
When you do shop for Stella SW, there is more than one variation of each size, and they all come with different gear ratios. This is done to help prepare you for different types of fishing.
The PG models are known as the power gear models. Their gear ratio is a little lower.
The HG and the XG models have a gear ratio that is higher for faster line retrieval. You can choose the kind that is best for you.
All the options from Shimano are great reels, and you can’t go wrong. They do tend to cost a bit more than other reels due to their quality construction and how long they last.
If your reel does need to be repaired or fixed, customers can expect priority with any repair shop, especially with Shimano USA, to get the reel back up and working again.
A good choice for saltwater reels is this option from Abu Garcia. This reel can help with some of the far casts you want to accomplish and can throw like a dream when you are ready.
The Abu Garcia BY-7000 Ambassadeur Blue Yonder also comes with a stopping system, which the angler can balance during their cast.
The brake helps to apply consistent weight through the whole cast’s length, making it easier to get the control you would like.
Then we have the performance, which is amazing. The torque on this reel is focused more on the spool and reel body, which gives you a feel like there isn’t a turning reel there at all.
The carbon fiber drag is smooth no matter which setting you are in, and then the star drag handle is one of the best ways to go if you fish with your gloves on all the time.
It is also able to handle a wider line as well.
There are a few things to enjoy about this reel. First, it is really powerful and can make distance casting easier than before.
The reel is excellent for braid line, without the tangling or other issues along the way.
It is also easy and simple to operate, a perfect choice for those who are just starting out with surf fishing.
However, this reel does make it harder to change out the handles when you are out fishing, and the low line capacity can prove difficult while letting the fish pull.
While Van Staal VR Series Spinning Reels is known for many great fishing reels, their VS series is one of the more popular options to choose for surf fishing on the East Coast.
The newest version offers a lightweight reel at a more affordable price, while still providing the same level of saltwater protection you need.
If you have ever thought about getting a Van Staal reel, then now is the best time to get it.
The Van Staal VR Series model features a fully machined 6061-T6 waterproof aluminum body and a stainless steel shaft with titanium nitride coating.
This helps to protect it against anything the elements may try to throw out of it.
There are several models of the VR, but most of them have manual bails and even come with a bail-less conversion kit.
The exception to this is the VR50, so be aware of that is the model you choose to go with.
If you are debating between the VS and the VR models of this brand, there are a few things to consider.
For example, the VR series comes with a smoother retrieve compared to the VS.
The case of the VR series is also easier to open, making maintenance and any fixes a little bit easier.
Both are great models of this brand and can help you catch any fish you want.
The Van Staal VR Series simply has a few other features that help it stand out from the crowd.
If you are looking for something affordable while still providing all the power and features you are looking for, then this series from Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel is one of the best you can choose.
To start, it comes with a ten bearing system that is waterproof and resistant to corrosion. The stainless steel ball bearings help it to do well in any type of water.
The graphite body and rotor-lightweight graphite reel construction will allow you to tie the Braid you would like to use right on the spool.
One thing that you may like with this reel is that it comes with a sealed drag system. This allows for a smooth retrieve when you pull the fish back in.
The slow oscillation gearing is a good feature to have because it will improve the line lay while minimizing how much the line can twist.
This keeps the fish on the hooks, prevents snagging and breaking, and gives you a much more enjoyable surf fishing experience.
It doesn’t take long looking at all the great options in surf fishing reels before you start to see the Pen brand show up.
There are many options with this model, helping you pick the one that is right for you. A few different models come with this series, including the 5500, 6500, and 7500.
This cast spinning reel is designed for all of your saltwater surf fishing needs. It has a rubber gasket inside the spool so that the braided line will not spin on your spool.
This is important because it allows you to work with a strong and light braided line for fat casting, without tangles and snags.
Each of the three sizes comes with a tall long cast spool that is perfect for all your surf fishing needs.
The reel is made with a full metal body, metal CNC gears, and 5 + 1 stainless steel ball bearings.
While all of this is pretty impressive, another key feature of this particular reel is the IPX5 sealed metal body.
This rating helps ensure that the reel can resist a sustained amount of low-pressure jet spray.
This reel is high-quality and durable, and many recreational anglers and even charter fishing operations love to use it.
If you want a brand-new reel, then the Okuma Reels Rockaway Surf is the one to choose from.
This spinning reel was released this year and is designed with a graphite body, brass pinion gear, anodized aluminum spool, rigid metal handle, and EVA knob.
These are just a few of the features of the reel that you are sure to love. Add in the cyclonic flow rotor, hydro-block drag, and a roller system that helps to place the line evenly on your spool each time.
Another thing to love about this reel is that several different surf fishing rods match with it.
The two-piece rods come in several lengths to suit your needs. You can also choose to have medium-light or medium-heavy action depending on where you would like to fish.
The Okuma brand has rods and reels that are popular with all anglers who like to surf fish.
This brand is a little bit newer to the game than some of the others we have discussed, like the Okuma and the Pen brands, but it is quickly becoming a favorite with surf fishing.
There are three different models based on how much you would like to pull in with your fish. The price is affordable.
This KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III reel that is known for doing well with surf fishing.
Most of the reels available from this company are most popular with freshwater anglers, but this series has been rated to work well with saltwater fishing.
This makes it the perfect reel to work whether you want to hit a lake one day and then move over to the ocean to catch some big fish later.
This series is created with a graphite frame, braid ready aluminum spool, and some gears made out of stainless steel.
There are several good key features you are likely to enjoy, including a carbon fiber drag system, a stainless-steel ball bearing, and a rotor that is computer balanced.
This liner works when you flip the lever located right on the back part of the reel.
You will also enjoy a separate rear drag for the live liner feature that makes it easier to pick the right drag setting, based on the targeted fish and bait size.
You can choose to change up the settings to suit what you plan to surf fish for.
Picking a good saltwater reel for surf fishing takes some time. You want to make sure you go with a waterproof one, do well in the saltwater, and handle the size of fish you hope to reel in. There are many good choices on the market, but this article went through the top.