The growing popularity of surf fishing can be attributed mainly to its accessibility. Despite the many prevailing misconceptions about this fishing style, many people are starting to realize how rewarding it is, and of course, easy.
If you’re reading this, you’ve undoubtedly decided to venture into the world of surf fishing with plugs. For that, one of the first things you need to do is get yourself the best surf rod for plugging.
To help you find the right one, we’ve rounded up and reviewed 5 of the best surf fishing rods for this very purpose. We’ve also included a comprehensive buying guide, so you know what you’re spending your money on.
Let’s get to fishing!
What Is Plugging Fishing
In fishing, a “plug” refers to a specially designed lure to mimic baitfish, crayfish, mice, frogs, insects, or snakes. The practice of using these lures while fishing is called plugging fishing, a fun fishing technique by all accounts.
Traditionally, plugs are made of wood, but they also come in plastic these days. Besides their deceptive appearance, plugs also produce a vibrating motion as you move them through the water or produce a splash/pop or hook clicking sound.
These effects attract the fish, while the hooks attached to the lure’s body help you catch it.
Plugs come in two main categories: surface (topwater) and subsurface (diving). You can learn more about fishing plug types here.
5 Best Surfing Rods for Plugging Reviews
Finding good surf fishing rods for inshore fishing can be difficult. Here are our top 5 suggestions to help you find the right one.
1. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Fishing Rod
Whether you’re new to the game or have been angling for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Tica. The popularity of this brand is easily evidenced in highly rated rods like the Surf Spinning Rod.
Lightweight yet strong, this is a rod that will blow you out of the water (pun intended) with its sensitivity. Especially if you are a beginner, you will appreciate this feature, along with its commendable flexibility when you throw.
That is thanks to the fast action, which contrasts nicely with its smooth bend (a nice contrast to other faster rods).
The Alconite makes for a softer tip guide, and the Fuji reels seat is a DPS model. Its handle, meanwhile, is made from premium quality cork and is easy to handle. It’s pricey, yes, but it promises to last you a long time.
- Comfortable and sure grip with a non-slip cork construction
- It comes with a foldable hook keeper
- Equipped with durable Fuji Hardloy ring guides
- Available in various sizes: 7′, 8′, 9′, 10′, 10’6”, 11′, 12′
- It comes in two separate pieces
2. St. Croix Rods Mojo Surf Spinning Rod
Next up, we have another trendy surf spinning rod, and this one is available from St. Croix. If you’re looking to catch some large fish, then this is a rod you’ll definitely want to look into.
Constructed from hardy yet tensile SCIV graphite, this rod is designed for heavy duty applications.
It comes with Torzite guides, which are fully resistant to corrosion. It’s light when you hold it and is relatively easy to use. The Neoprene grip is comfortable yet secure.
If you’re interested in high power, skipping this St. Croix offering would be sheer stupidity.
This is a truly premium rod that will yield satisfying results for anglers of various skill levels, and this is a proven fact—just look up the lab tests it has gone through!
- Suitable for use by anglers of varying skill levels
- Available in a variety of lengths
- The blank is made from high quality materials
- Tensile graphite construction for durability
- It lets you enjoy a long cast distance
- One of the more expensive rods on our list
3. Lamiglas – Insane Surf Fishing Rod
It’s all in the name of this next pick: it’s insane! This medium heavy surf rod is lightweight yet strong and widely preferred by anglers who love angling on sand beaches.
It starts with the rod’s premium construction. This thing is made from a composite material consisting of carbon and comes with a slow-coated graphite finish for long and useful life.
One of the most lucrative features of this thing is its K-frame guide, which is made from stainless steel and painted black for a formidable appearance. The ceramic ring design facilitates rigorous surf fishing, a feature seen in all good surfcasting rods.
Something else you’re bound to appreciate about this rod is the generous casting distance it allows you. If you’re looking to take on long-range targets, this rod works beautifully.
However, this might not be the top surf rod for you if you like reeling in big fish like striped bass, big bass, and blue fish. Still, you might be able to overcome this issue by using a different reel.
- High quality, durable construction
- Constructed with premium composite materials
- Slow coated graphite finish enhances its toughness
- Perfect for covering the extra distance
- Not well suited to catching large fish
4. Tsunami Airwave Elite Surf Spin Fishing Rod
The Tsunami Airwave is a surf rod that has been gaining a wide following in recent years, especially with anglers who like their rods to have high power.
By utilizing high pressure production techniques, this rod allows you to enjoy high casting power without having to give yourself over to its weight.
This medium action rod is equipped with a high density blank and a Fuji Concept Alconite guide.
The cork grip is textured for a comfortable hold and built for long-term use. You’ll also enjoy a high level of sensitivity with this rod, even when you’re casting at long distances.
All that said, if you’re on a budget, you might want to look elsewhere since this is one of the most expensive rods on our list. However, remember that when it comes to good surf rods, the extra cost is usually worth it.
- Lightweight and easy to use yet powerful
- Increased sensitivity thanks to high fiber density blank
- Equipped with Fuji Concept K Series Alconite guide
- Silicon carbide ring with braid proof properties
- Durable and strong Fuji reel seat made from stainless steel
- One of the most expensive saltwater surf rods
5. Tsunami Airwave 10′ Surf Rod Xtra Hvy (TSAWSS-1002XH)
Rounding out our list of the most sought after surf rods is another Tsunami model (these two rods are, after all, some of the most popular).
This, the Xtra Hvy, is one of the best rods you can find if you’re looking to up your surf game.
This fishing pole measuring 10 inches is the perfect companion for intermediate plugging, especially if you don’t want to spend a considerable amount.
Like the Airwave we reviewed before, this one is also surprisingly lightweight despite its evident power.
Once again, the Fuji Concept Alconite guide can be credited here. Yet, the premium cork grip makes working with this thing super comfortable.
A long cast distance and increased sensitivity are two of the best features you can expect from this thing. And once you’ve hooked your catch, you’ll feel the reserve power in the pole’s blanks building up to help you reel it right in!
- Greater accuracy and sensitivity
- Fitted with premium Fuji components
- Comfortable yet sturdy grip thanks to the high quality cork handle
- Heavy reserve power in blanks
- We couldn’t find any cons for this fishing stick
What You Should Check Before Buying Surf Fishing Rod
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when buying yourself a new pole for beach fishing.
Working a plug is easier when you can cast your bait past the breaking waves on the shore from your boat. Moreover, it allows you to access more fish. But doing this requires you to cast accurately across a large distance.
That’s why you need to consider the rod length and rod action.
When it comes to length, you can choose between 7 and 15 feet. A shorter rod will give you higher accuracy. But if you want a longer range, you need a lengthier rod.
A pole with a slow action can also bend farther. Most people do well with a moderate action rod.
Catch Species and Size
Consider what species of fish you’re targeting before you decide what surf fishing rod to buy. The more specific your fishing pole selection according to the fish size and species, the better chance you’ll have at catching the fish you want.
If you’re targeting a big fish, heavy power and a long length should be your priority. It allows you to hook more quickly and efficiently. The reverse is true for small fish: go with a fishing stick that is lighter and shorter.
If your plug is lightweight and small, opt for a light fishing stick that’s equipped with fast action (fast rods with small lures also require more skill). Conversely, if you’re using a heavy lure, a heavier power and slower action will be beneficial.
Consider what your rod is made of:
This is one of the toughest and most durable materials with which to build a rod. That is mainly due to its non-corrosive nature. Yet, it’s also surprisingly soft. These rods are best suited to catching small beach fish.
Rods made of fiberglass are also quite durable. They typically have a medium to slow action despite their tough build.
A recent trend in the market for angling rods is making them out of a combination of fiberglass, boron, graphite, and other flexible compounds.
This allows for innovation in rod power and action. However, it all depends on the construction quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a surf rod differ from a regular fishing rod?
Shore fishing requires greater power and a longer cast distance; both of these conditions are reflected in surf rods.
What length rod should I get for surf fishing?
That depends mainly on your desired casting distance. To cast a long distance, a rod measuring 10 to 15 feet is ideal. For shorter casts, 7 to 9 feet is better.
What are rod action and rod power?
Rod action: The extent to which your rod will bend.
Rod power: The amount of force required to make the rod bend.
What kind of surfing rod is best for catching large fish?
Go for a rod with a medium action if you don’t want it to break when you reel in large fish. However, do note that you’ll be foregoing a longer casting distance. Furthermore, the best surf rods also depend on your bait type.
We hope that our reviews of different rods have helped you find the best surf rod for plugging. Remember to consider your skill set and desired species, as well as power ratings, before you choose a rod to help you on the sand. Good luck!