Outdoor Federation

Essential Gear List For Surf Fishing

When it comes to fishing, there are various ways for you to have fun. You can troll for stripers at the nearby local reservoir, jig for bass at the local pond, or battle those giant marlins several miles from the shore. No matter what it is, there is no denying that most forms of fishing are very fun and exciting, making them the perfect way to spend your free time.

Essential Gear List For Surf Fishing

However, many anglers will surely agree that nothing beats the thrill of surf fishing. You get to feel the sand between your toes as you listen to the wonderful soundtrack courtesy of the crashing waves and the gulls flying above you. And since you don’t have the slightest idea what you will catch, surf fishing is not only exciting but is relaxing and healthy, too.

But, to ensure that you will have the best and most effective surf fishing experience, it is important to arm yourself with the essential gears for this particular activity.

Surf Rod

Since rod length is among the main factors that will determine how far your cast will be and you want to cast out your lure to 100-200 yards for it to go beyond the crashing waves, the best surf fishing rods are very long. Surf rods are often 9 to 15 feet long. It takes some practice to learn wielding a long rod. Beginners are advised to choose roads of 10 to 12 feet long first. Choose a road with a medium action and medium-heavy power as it works great in most circumstances.

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Leaders, Main Line, and Surf Reel

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on high end reel if you are just a beginner in surf fishing. You can simply choose a saltwater spinning reel that is high capacity. There are shore fishers who opt for baitcasting reels. However, it will be better for beginners to use a spinning gear first.

Your chosen reel should then be loaded up with a high quality fishing line that works best in the surf. Majority of surf fishers use the traditional monofilament for the main line. However, you can also use fluorocarbon if you have some money to spare. You will typically want to use a test line of 20 to 25 pounds as this is strong enough for many fish you will catch.

You also have to get a shock leader for your surf fishing activity. A shock leader is being used for absorbing the stress that long casts and heavy weights tend to put on the line. Typically, shock leaders are designed using low stretch monofilament and you can get them in different diameters.

In addition, depending on the specific type of rig you are using, you may want to get some other leaders. You will often need one which can stretch between the tip of the sinker or hook and the shock leader. You will also need one which can branch off the main line through the three-way swivel and can tie to a sinker or hook. Fluorocarbon is commonly the best option for these forms of leaders although monofilament works as well.

Rigs and Tackles

Many surf fishing requires the use of cut or live bait attached to any of the different kinds of sinker rig. For tying one of such rigs, you will need several pyramid-style sinkers, some swivels of three-way and two-way versions, a few hooks, a length of fluorocarbon leader, and a length of shock leader.

Circle hooks
Circle hooks

Circle hooks are usually the best choice for newbies as they will often cause the fish to just hook itself. But, treble hooks can also work well and these are often quite effective.

The bait you choose will vary depending on your target species and location. Cut mullet or squid are the most famous options as well as bloodworms, clams, whole shrimp, and sand fleas that can be dug up from the beach. Anglers who are fishing for sharks or big fish may also use stingrays or whole mullets.

If you are just getting started, you will be best served through choosing great all-around bait such as cut mullet or squid. Both of these can produce bites along many shorelines and these are attractive to majority of gamefish.

Lures can also be used when surf fishing but these are not as easy and simple to use as compared to live or cut bait. Spoons are one of the most effective lures you can use but there are a lot of jigs, plugs, and crankbaits that are effective as well.


You will also want to arm yourself with some tools before you head to the beach for surf fishing. Experienced and novice surf fishers usually have with them a large set of tools although you can also start by assembling the following:

  • A knife to cut lines, clean fish, and cut bait
  • A pair of needle-nosed pliers that have built-in cutting blades to remove hooks, cut lines, and other similar tasks
  • A cooler for keeping your catch cold until you have finished your fishing activity
  • A sand pike (a piece of PVC of 3 feet long with a sharpened end for sticking in the sand) for holding your rod as you wait for a bite.
  • A surf cart for hauling your gear to the waters

You will also want to ensure that you have with you all the necessary clothing you will need. These should include a hat to keep you protected from the harsh sun as well as a pair of flip flops or other shoes appropriate for beach wear. A great pair of polarized sunglasses can also be of get help. Make sure that you also have lots of sunscreen even during overcast days.

Without a doubt, surf fishing is a very straightforward activity and there is no need for you to have lots of specialized knowledge or equipment just so you can have a wonderful time out on the beach. Just fill your arsenal with the tools and gears mentioned above, talk to some locals, and have the best surf fishing experience ever!

And with that, we officially end this blog post. But before you go, can you do us a solid and spread the love (or laughter) by sharing this on your social media? Who knows, maybe we might even find someone who can relate to our content and benefit from it... Wink