Best Surf Fishing Reels 2020

The best surf fishing reels is all exceptional long casting surf spinning reels that features all the latest technology to give the angler the ultimate distance on every cast. Today’s surf anglers want a lightweight surf fishing reel that they can cast all day and have extreme capacity for the ultimate in distance.

All the best surf fishing reels was built to be the top caster in their category. The best long casting spinning reels was designed with the leading surf fisherman around the country.

As fuel prices continue to increase, we see an increase in participation of shore fisherman, The best surf fishing reels gives the angler the option to cruise the beach and make extremely long casts out to where the game fish are roaming.

The Best Surf Fishing Reels Page Summary: show

Okuma Trio Rex Arena Surf Fishing Reel

Okuma Trio Rex Arena Surf Fishing Reel

Okuma Trio Rex Arena delivers a total commitment to distance, constructed upon a foundation of strength. Trio Rex Arena is a shallow, large diameter long-cast spool design.

– Crossover Construction aluminum body
– Lightweight graphite rotor with brush guards
– 2BB + 1RB Stainless steel bearing system
– Heavy duty, rigid aluminum handle arm
– Comfortable Ergo Grip handle knob design
– Long-cast two tone anodized aluminum spool
– Brass worm shaft oscillation system
– External bail trip design for maximum durability

Okuma Trio Rex Arena Technology:

Rotor Equalizing System – Precision balance and eliminates all spool wobble for perfect alignments and smooth cranking.

Quick-Set Anti-Reverse – Engage the reel in one direction for rock-solid hook sets.

Hydro Block – Block water and foreign materials from entering system, ensure the drag washers always perform at optimal levels.

Solid Reel Stem – Crossover construction, uses a solid piece of stamped aluminum for the reel stem and rotor arm, along with lightweight graphite sides and rotor housing, provide maximum strength and minimal weight.

Extra Spool – A back-up system or for carrying different line sizes.

Okuma Trio Rex Arena user reviews:

“I’m glad I bought this reel. I put it on a Okuma 12 ft Longitude. I had been using a Shimano Bait-runner 3000. This reel out cast it noticeably from the first cast, and it is a vary comfortable surf fishing reel to use.

“Great price for such good surf fishing reel.”

“Works just fine! I have made this reel into my surf fishing reel. I love it on my 10 ft. Trophy series rod for Blues and Stripers.Smooth casting good distance and smooth reeling.”

“The surf casting reel is great but it won’t hold the amount of line promised in the specs. Based on the spec I should have been able to put 500 yards of 30lb Power pro but the reel was filled up to the edges of the spool (over filled actually) and I still had 125 yards left on the Power Pro spool.”

Frequently asked questions about this reel:

How much 30 IBS braided line will it hold?

This surf fishing reel would hold just over 500 yards of 30# braid.

Is this a good surf fishing reel for Braid line?

It is for mono or braid, you can spool it up with either one you prefer.

Is a spare spool included?

There is not a spare spool included with this surf fishing reel.

Is this surf fishing reel waterproof?

These surf fishing reels are water resistant to light exposure but not fully waterproof.

What rod would you recommend as a compatible for this product?

The Tsunami Airwave 11′ rod (TSU-0050) would work well with that surf fishing reel.

Okuma Trio Rex Arena video:

Okuma Trio Arena Surf Spinning Reel at ICAST 2014
Watch this video on YouTube.

Shimano – Ultegra CI4 Plus Surf Fishing Reel

Shimano - Ultegra CI4 Plus Surf Fishing Reel

The use of CI4+ delivers a substantial weight saving on the compact Ultegra body making rod speed easier to generate when distance casting. To further increase casting performance the Ultegra uses Super Slow Oscillation line lay and an Propulsion Line Management System spool fitted with Hi-Speed Drag for simple, ultra fast adjustment.

Hagane Gear and X-Ship produce powerful winding performance and Stainless S A-RB bearings plus a Shimano Roller bearing deliver supreme smoothness.

The reel is protected according to Shimano’s latest innovation X-Protect which will guarantee to protect the reel’s inner parts against intrusion from water and dirt. The G Free Body in combination with the Parallel Body will help the angler to achieve long and accurate cast without unnecessary fatigue throughout the day. The new Ultegra CI4+ has a very compact body design which contributes to the feel of a compact and lightweight big pit reel.

CI4+ – CI4+ is an advanced version of the original CI4. This highly technical material is 2.5 times stiffer than CI4 and is used to increase weight savings.

Hagane Gear – With amazing strength and durability, the HAGANE Gear is at the very heart of the reel. Shimano, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies, gives you the long-lasting smoothness and pleasure that you feel when you first use a reel, over and over again.

No cutting work is applied to the teeth of the drive gear. Instead the entire surface is calculated in minute detail by special 3D design and then formed by Shimano’s cold forging technology. The result is assured resilience. It’s the fruit of Shimano’s inexhaustible pursuit for durability; the strength and power of forged metal continues to represent the fundamental concept of Shimano reels.

Waterproof Drag – With the use of rubber gaskets the drag is sealed against intrusion of the elements such as water and dust.

X-Protect – By combining our water repellent coating and our specially designed, water channeling, labyrinth construction, X-Protect provides high-level water resistance without sacrificing light gear and rotor rotation.

Shimano Ultegra CI4 Plus user reviews:

Outstanding reel for long casting surf fishing, excellent drag system and very very smooth action. Highly recommend you won’t be disappointed! Excellent line lay on long spool. C14 light weight Very smooth 1/2 turn drag from free to locked. A little pricy, but you get what you pay for and much more with this reel!

Best surf fishing reel. This bad boy is as smooth on the cast as it is on retrieve. I never thought I would spend this much on a reel because it wouldn’t be worth it…. I was wrong! Worth every f’ING penny…. well, almost! It is expensive in my book, I have caught a lot of fish on MUCH less pricey reels. But never have I felt the buttery goodness that this reel represents. If you are on the fence… BUY IT!

I can assure you after decades of chucking big baits this one has the stuff to back it up for a very long time. I’ve used it for several trips now, and it feels as good now as it did when I first cast it! Saving up for the smaller one now to use soundside. (Highly recommend using with super 8 slick braid)

What an awesome surf fishing reel! I have used this surf fishing reel to hook some large fish from the beaches down here in Southern Baja California, Mexico. From the beaches, Dorado, Jacks, Rooster fish and others. The drags are excellent. I would highly recommend this reel. Couple of fish photos caught with this reel.

Smooth and reliable surf fishing reel. I used this reel on a 10′ ODM Genesis at the CC Canal. It is versatile and performs at a high level. I am not the most careful person with my gear and this reel never skipped a beat. It casts beautifully and I was throwing everything from epoxies to large pencil poppers. I can’t recommend this reel enough. Smooth, lightweight powerful.

Great light weight reel for the size. Love the line lay for braid. Casts better than any reel I own. Fights well despite weak looking arm and knob. Biggest let down was the poor knob. A reel this size needs more of a power knob stock.

New and improved! What a difference from the first one I owned ,looks fantastic and smooth light great drag everything that I was looking for in a reel for throwing plugs

I think I just fell in love with another Shimano surf fishing reel. I only use Penn for my spinners, but I can’t say this is not a nice looking reel with good specs. Just today I went to a local vendor to look at both the ultegra and the TranX after seeing them here. Nice and smooth action on both and they are both great looking. Have to decide between these two reels or another Avet or my girl might shoot me for having too many already.

Frequently asked questions about this reel:

Does the reel have a manual or trip bail?

This reel has a manually closing bail 

Is there a bailess conversion kit?

I am not aware of any conversion kits for this reel. 

Why it’s more expensive than xtd? 

Better quality parts, its more sealed then the xtd.

Is this made in China, Japan, Malaysia or what country?

It’s made in Malaysia.

Is this reel built for saltwater 

This reel is meant for surf fishing and is built to withstand saltwater.

Does this reel have an interchangeable handle?

The handle on this reel is interchangeable.

What is “X-Protect water resistance” in this reel?

There’s a lip between the body and the rotor that resist water from entering the gears of the reel as well as grease that prevents water intrusion. This reel can handle splash and spray from waves but shouldn’t be dunked.

Does this reel come with a beefer handle like the Saragosa?

It only comes with the smaller handle. Shimano may have a handle that will fit that is larger.

Is this real ambidextrous, and does it come with an extra spool?

This reel is ambidextrous and comes with two spools. 

How many Spools does this reel comes with?

The Shimano Ultegra CI4 Plus Spinning Reels comes with 1 extra spool.

Shimano Ultegra CI4 Plus Video

Introducing.. The new Ultegra Ci4+ XTC / XSC!
Watch this video on YouTube.

Okuma 8K – Surf Fishing Reel

Okuma 8K Surf Fishing Reel

Okuma brand new concept of long casting surf fishing reel in 2020, Surf 8K, not only remains Okuma’s patent designs such as rotor brake system, rotor with brush guards, quick-set anti-reverse system. but also upgrades all functions and parts. Surf 8K equips worm shaft transmission system and super slow oscillation system make the line wind more straight and tight, reduce the friction when casting. The taper spool for longer casting distance, it’s perfect for long casting use at wide water.

– Quick set anti reverse roller bearing
– CFR cyclonic flow rotor
– Slow oscillation system
– Fast drag system
– Double stainless steel line clickers
– Precision worm shaft transmission system
– Rotor brake system
– Hydro block water tight drag seal
– With carbon washers
– Precision zinc handle arm with TPE ergo grip

Spare Aluminum Shallow Spool

Super Long Stroke Spool 45 mm

Cyclonic Flow Rotor Technology (CFR) – Cyclonic Flow Rotor (CFR) was designed to create “cyclonic” airflow, which significantly increases air around the rotor, beneath and around the spool, with every turn of the handle. This thoroughly tested design allows for a much faster drying time if the surf fishing reel becomes wet, minimizing corrosion and extending longevity of the reel.

Slow Oscillation System – Makes the line wind more straight and tight, reduce the friction when casting.

Worm Shaft Transmission System – Surf 8K equips upgraded worm shaft transmission system, strengthens the construction, let the reel more rigid, makes the line wind more straight and tight, working more smoothly.

Fast Progressive Drag – This fast progressive drag allows a setting from low drag power to almost full drag power in less than 360° rotation.

Rotor With Brush Guards – Prevent line twist between rotor and main shaft effectively.

Rotor Brake System – Prevent rotor to turn around and reverse when casting.

Okuma 8K user reviews:

The Okuma 8K surf fishing reel is a better casting reel than all my other surf fishing reels, and I have reels that cost over a thousand dollars. Great price great casting very smooth return slow oscillation.

Just got it. Looks great, super slow oscillation (just like my aero technium) Very excited to add to my surf fishing collection. Now I need the damned beach to open up. Super slow oscillation,strong piece of machinery, fast retrieve. Some may not like the weight, but it’s a good counter balance to a long surf rod. Plus it’s gray, and all my reels are gray ,so give me blue orange red I don’t care!

Impressed by quality! Used it other day fo Strippers in upper Hudson River, Took a several schoolies, but did hook into a Large Pike, in the 25 pound class. The drag stopped her dead, and this thing cast a mile! Now where can you buy a surf fishing reel for a C note, that has the power like this!

Nice surf fishing reel. Have fished epixors for 20 yrs. Showing age ,still solid. Hope this one is as good to me A baitrunner version would be awesome.

Good surf fishing reel. Reel is a little heavy but it cast a country mile, drag is a little sluggish but for the price worth you get more than expected. will purchase a second reel because of the distance i can now reach.

Surf casting Love! I purchased the Okuma 8K Wow mated it to a 12ft Okuma Rockaway , launches 3 oz lures as well as my Old go to 11 ft Ron Ara the keel is smooth casting, lays the line on the spool as well as reels costing 3 times as much.

Very good and solid surf fishing reel. Made to compete with Shimano big baitrunner for a fraction of a price all the right things are there.

Frequently asked questions about this reel:

Is the Okuma Surf 8K Spinning Reel a dual retrieve reel?

Yes. This reel is a dual retrieve. 

Is this real sealed?

This reel features a  Hydro block water tight drag seal.

Can i order extra spool for Okuma 8k surf?

The extra spool can be purchased through the manufacture.

Is this reel ready for salt water fishing? 

The reel is ready to fish saltwater it features a Hydro block water tight drag seal and can handle splash but we wouldn’t advise dunking it.

Can you recommend a rod to match with this reel.

A St Croix MSS106MM2 Mojo Surf Spinning Rod or a Lamiglas LIS 10 MHS Insane Surf Spinning Rod.

Can this reel be adjusted for a right handed retrieve?

Yes. This reel is a dual retrieve.

Does this reel come in different sizes?

This reel is only available in the 8k size as of now.

Okuma 8K Surf Fishing Reel Video:

OKUMA-SURF 8K SPINNING REEL
Watch this video on YouTube.

Shimano – Ultegra XTD Surf Fishing Reel

Shimano Ultegra XTD Surf Fishing Reel

Designed for serious surf casters, the Ultegra XTD Surf fishing reels provide consistent long-casting performance and Super Slow Oscillation (14000)/ Slow Oscillation (5500) for precision line lay. Plus, these surf fishing reels feature Shimano X-Ship for improved gear durability even under the heaviest loads.

Aero Wrap II – This two-speed oscillation system layers the line onto the spool in a crisscross pattern that reduces line-to-line friction for longer casts. Aero Wrap reels utilize a patented worm gear design to move the spool upward quickly and downward slowly to wind the line in a precise pattern, reducing friction, and giving smoother, longer casting ability.

G-Free Body – G-Free Body technology has been developed to shift the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod. By moving the center of gravity closer to the anglers hand position, the G-Free Body helps to reduce fatigue and enhance casting comfort.

Instant-Drag – Instant-Drag allows a quick adjustment of the front drag knob to take the reel from your current drag setting to free spool in just half a turn.

Parallel Body – Parallel Body is designed to improve dynamic line flow from the reel to the first guide. On many surf fishing reels the spool is aligned slightly upwards towards the rod blank, but with Parallel Body it is at exactly 90° to the blank. The result is less line slapping the blank as it travels towards the first guide during casting.

Propulsion Line Management System – The most obvious component of the Propulsion Line Management System is the new Propulsion spool lip design. Through tens of thousands of casting tests and computer simulations it has been determined that this new spool lip design provides longer casting distances than a standard spool lip design while preventing backlashes and wind knots from forming.

S A-RB – These bearings have been through the same process as our A-RB bearings, but feature shields on both sides of the bearings that reduce the possibility of salt or sand inhibiting the bearing’s rotation.

Super Slow Oscillation 5 – Slower spool oscillation reduces the speed the line travels up and down the spool on the cast. This results less friction as line leaves the spool and reduced drag on the lead, which improves casting distance and accuracy.

SHIMANO STANDARD Oscillation (up to 20 wraps per cycle) outperforms the industry standard. SHIMANO SLOW OSCILLATING (up to 40 wraps per cycle) exceeds almost anything else ever seen. Shimano now has two SUPER SLOW OSCILLATION systems SUPER SLOW 5 (55 wraps) and SUPER SLOW 10 (105 wraps).

X-Ship – X-Ship provides improved gear durability. By supporting the pinion gear on both ends with bearings, the pinion gear maintains precise alignment with the drive gear. This means the gears will stay in the same position under the heaviest loads. The added benefit is that friction between the spool shaft and gear are eliminated. This will enhance the casting performance of the reel with lighter lures, and allow for longer casts.


Daiwa – BG MQ Surf Fishing Reel

Daiwa BG MQ Surf Fishing Reel

Daiwa is proud to introduce the next generation of BG spinning reels to saltwater anglers of all stripes, this time with a one-piece Monocoque aluminum body. Light and strong like a Formula One racing car, the reels are lighter and stronger through use of monocoque body technology. In terms of application, the reels are designed for everything from inshore to heavy offshore fishing with models like the BGMQ2500D-H perfect for speckled trout to models like the BGMQ20000 designed to withstand the pressures of fishing giant bluefin tuna.

With the Monocoque design, the reel body serves as a stiff and distortion-proof frame, which is handy and compact at the same time. If offers more rigidity, more stability, and bigger gears. The Water Resistance is superb and Monocoque body offers more power and torque as a result.

The reels also feature an all-aluminum frame and features Digigear technology. Compared to most of the competition, the gears are between 20% to 40% larger. The gears also feature a larger tooth pattern, giving the gears a much longer gear life and durability than competitive reels. Tests reveal a gear life that is one to three times the length of competitive reels.

ALUMINIUM BODY – Lightweight and incredibly strong, aluminium allows strength and weightlessness to be achieved without the cost and corrosion issues of other metals.

ATD DRAG – Daiwa’s Automatic Tournament Drag uses an improved drag grease that exhibits a low viscosity at rest, yet becomes more viscous immediately after drag start up. This reduces initial drag start-up inertia and combined with the structural changes of the ATD Drag System results in a smoother drag from the initial hook up.

DIGIGEAR – Daiwa’s first generation of digitally engineered gear design ensures a perfect mesh between ultra-tough stainless-steel drive gear and pinion gears for optimized speed, power, durability and smoothness.

MONOCOQUE (MQ) – A one-piece frame eliminates the use of traditional two-piece body & sideplate construction. A single piece body utilises a screw-in engine plate to house the main gear, reducing flex and twist under load creating a sealed mechanism. The elimination of the side plate also has also allowed for a more compact body design. MQ technology not only makes reels stronger & better sealed, but also more compact.


Shimano – SpeedMaster XTC Surf Fishing Reel

Shimano SpeedMaster XTC Surf Fishing Reel

SpeedMaster 14000XTC is a high-performance workhorse reel built for budget-minded surf anglers. Feature packed with stunning looks, SpeedMaster is equipped with X-Ship technology for improved gear durability and Hi-Speed Drag to put the brakes on big fish. Super Slow Oscillation ensures optimal line lay and maximum casting distance.

Hi-Speed Drag – Hi-Speed Drag is the fastest drag function ever featured on a Shimano reel. Only a very small turn on the drag knob will transition the drag settings from “free spool mode” to “fight mode”


Van Staal – VS X-SERIES Bail-Less Surf Fishing Reel

Van Staal VS X-SERIES Bail-Less Surf Fishing Reel

The VS X-SERIES Bail-Less Reels are constructed of aircraft grade aluminum and have a fully sealed construction that so many anglers love. Updated with a new patented waterproof sealed drag system that puts out a wider range of pressure, they also have a drag knob that clicks so that you have more control of your drag while you are on the beach. The new X-Wrap™ oscillation system results in an ideal line lay for braid or mono.

Van Staal – VS X-SERIES Bail-Less Features:

– Fully machined 6061 aluminum body
– Fully sealed body and spool design
– Titanium main shaft
– Stainless steel spiral-bevel gear system
– Bail-Less system


Penn – Conflict II Long Cast Surf Fishing Reel

Penn Conflict II Long Cast Surf Fishing Reel

The PENN Conflict II Long Cast features stealthy cosmetics, a Lightweight design, and silky smooth HT-100 drag. The RR30 Rigid resin body and rotor are extremely lightweight and durable. Internally the Conflict II Long Cast is powered with our CNC Gear Technology, and high quality stainless steel ball bearings. With the Superline Spool, no backing is needed because of the rubber gasket that keeps superlines from slipping.

– Rigid Resin RR30 body and rotor
– 7+1 stainless steel bearing system
– CNC Gear® technology
– HT-100® carbon fiber drag washers
– Superline Spool
– Line Capacity Rings
– All PENN® Conflict® II Long Cast models feature a manual bail trip


Van Staal – VS X-Series Bailed Surf Fishing Reel

Van Staal VS X-Series Bailed Surf Fishing Reel

The Van Staal X-Series Reels are based on the same foundation that made Van Staal legendary for power and durability. A completely sealed and waterproof reel machined out of aeronautics grade 6061-T6 aluminum, with a solid titanium shaft, hardened stainless steel main gear and pinion, and patented waterproof sealed drag. The Van Staal VS and VSB Reels are designed for a lifetime of fishing.

The New X-Series reels now have the X-Wrap oscillation system that lays the line completely flat, designed to cast further and allow for greater drag pressures when using braided line. The drag system has also been improved allowing for greater drag range.

Van Staal – VS X-Series Bailed Features:

– Fully-machined and sealed waterproof aluminum body
– Solid, nickel-titanium manual bail
– Sealed waterproof drag system
– MicroClick drag tuning accuracy
– Heavy-duty stainless steel spiral-bevel main gear
– Titanium-nitride treated center shaft
– Titanium-nitride line roller


Tsunami – SaltX Surf Fishing Reel

Tsunami SaltX Surf Fishing Reel

A full metal body and fully sealed with 14 seals. The Tsunami SaltX Fully Sealed Spinning Reels are saltwater tough, with a forged and CNC machined A6061 aluminum body and rotor, digitally optimized stainless steel main gear, and 14 seals to prevent intrusion by saltwater, sand, and more. With two sizes available, the STX4000 and STX6000, and dual retrieve capability, surf anglers will be sure to find the SaltX as a premier option in the fully sealed surf reel market.


Van Staal – VR Series Surf Fishing Reel

Van Staal – VR Series Surf Fishing Reel

The VR Reels are the latest evolution of Van Staal spinning reels. Fully sealed, with a lightweight 6061 aluminum construction, and a powerful waterproof drag system. They come from the factory with a bail and a bailless conversion kit so you can fish them however you like (excludes VR50).

The Van Staal VR Series surf fishing reels are engineered and tested to be lightweight and long lasting. They are based on the same foundation that made Van Staal legendary for power and durability. These surf fishing reels are completely sealed and waterproof.

Van Staal VR Series Features:

– Forged and machined from 6061-T6 Aluminum
– Fully sealed waterproof body and spool design
– Stainless steel spiral-bevel gear system
– Sleek light weight design
– Solid titanium spool shaft
– Includes bail-less kit (not on 50 size).

People also ask:

Whats a good surf fishing rod to pair with a Van Staal VR 50 Reel?

Max length rod to pair with the vr50 would be a 9 foot like the St.Croix mojo surf.

What Van Staal VR reel would match well with a 9′ St. Croix Triumph Surf Travel series?

The vr125 or the vr150 would pair up nicely with a 9 foot rod.

Does the Van Staal VR 200 pair ok with a st croix mojo 9′?

If the rod is a St.Croix mojo surf then it would pair up nicely with the vr200.

I have a 10’6″ St. Croix legend surf.  What VR would pair best with the rod? 

I think the 125 would be a little to small or light for the 10’6 rod I would recommend the 150 or 175 VR. 

Does the VR come in right hand crank?

This reel is only available in a left hand crank.

Is the Van Staal VR salt water prof ?

Yes, the Van Staal VR is a fully sealed reel.

Where are Van Staal Vr made?

These reels are made in China.

What size reel would you recommend for catching good sized tarpon from the beach? And do you have a recommendation on a pole?

The 175 would be a good choice. Pair that with a 10 foot Century Sling shot