Bluefish

Best Striper Surf Rods (Shore Fishing) #109

Surf fishing spinning outfits and boat spinning outfits are similar in terms of the rating system used to describe action and power as they relate to the various types of lures you will be casting. Surf rods, however, tend to be longer overall and especially in their butt sections to help the shore angler increase their casting distance in to reach fish. Like a boater’s collection, you can go crazy selecting outfits for all the different situations you might encounter but a simple and smart selection of three basic set ups will serve you well in any situation you might encounter.

To fish most, you need about 4 rods, 2 of which overlap with our recommended boat collection.

1. Estuary - Light Lures: Medium Power, Fast Action 7'
2. Light Duty Open Beach - Medium Lures: Heavy Power, Fast Action 8'
3. Medium Long Range Open: 9' medium Heavy Power, Fast Action, 9'

1. Estuary - Light Lures: 7' Spinning Rod (Medium): (Same as Boat: Casting)

In an estuary or flats type situation, long distance is not needed as the fish are practically at your feet, using the contours and structure near the shoreline as their ambush points for bait that is flowing with the tide. You want an outfit that can be fished with a wide range of light lures with different actions.

  • Action: Fast
  • Power: Medium
  • Reel Size: 4000 to 5000 Class
  • Typical Line: 30lb braid
  • Leader: 36" of 15lb fluorocarbon leader

Capt. Mike's Outfit: St. Croix Extreme XIS70MF 7' M Saragosa 5000: This rod is easy to work with and cast small lures. In skinny water, this rod will be perfect for up to 7-inch soft baits such as the Hogy Original 7” rigged on lightly weighted or unweighted Swimbait hooks. This rod will cast all Hogy Epoxy Jigs under 1oz. The fast action tip will aid with casting the smallest lures as it will also assist with hook ups as the rod quickly offers backbone.

2. Light Duty Open Beach - Medium Lures 7.5-8' Spinning Rod: Medium Heavy/Heavy

While this outfit may seem heavy on a boat, it is at home on a beach where you are casting heavy lures for extra profile and distance. A MH/H outfit will cast lures up to 3oz with ease. If you lighten up your braid to 30lb test, you will have ample distance on lighter lures, less than 2 ounces. This rod has the necessary backbone required to turn and land a large striper that has been running with the tide.

  • Action: Moderate
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Reel Size: 6000 to 8000 Class
  • Typical Line: 40lb braid
  • Leader: 48" of 40lb fluorocarbon leader

Capt. Mike's Outfit: St Croix Avid VIS8HF Saragosa 5000: I call this rod the SUV rod. It can handle the highway and it can go off road but has a few limitations in either case. On the beach, this rod has enough length and power if your fishing with 175’ to shore and the situation calls for heavier or larger sized lures. On the open beach, I use this rod for casting our 2oz Hogy Pro Tail Paddle and  search bait. I have also encountered situations where I needed to reach farther out to breaking fish and found the rod to have more than enough backbone to punch out 2 oz. Heavy Minnows and Hogy Sand Eel Jigs the needed distance. Lastly, the shorter length (adjusted for surf talk) also accommodates for fishing in channels or inlets with lots of rip rap impeding your back cast.  

3. Medium Long Range Open: 9' Medium Heavy Power, Fast Action, 9'

This is the only shore rod that I have added to my collection of boat rods to feel complete when shore fishing. The longer length is simply necessary to reach over 100 yards with relative ease.

  • Action: Moderate
  • Power: Medium/Heavy
  • Reel Size: 6000 to 8000 Class
  • Typical Line: 40lb braid
  • Leader: 48' of 40lb fluorocarbon leader

Capt. Mike's Outfit: St. Croix Legend Surf HF10153 9': This is the only shore rod that I have add to my collection of boat rods to feel complete when shore fishing. The longer length is simply necessary to reach over 100 yards with relative ease. I don’t surf fish much but I do tend to hit all the local haunts at least once per year on the cape. With the exception of throwing heavy jigs in the Cape Cod Canal, I have never been in a situation where this rod didn’t kick ass. It has amazing range, sensitive, and can fish any plug or soft plastic on the market, within reason. 

Reading next

How To: Selecting Striped Rods #105
Line, Leaders and Terminal Connections - Striped Bass #110

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