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Thread: Best surf rod and reel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    5,636

    Best surf rod and reel

    Earlier this fall, the members of P&S were asked to nominate their favorite rods and reels, both conventional and spinning. Then votes were taken. These are the results according to P&Sers, with average prices. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

    Conventional Rods

    1st place: Bass Pro Oceanmaster ($150)
    Pros: Inexpensive, Fuji hardware, solid backbone.
    Cons: The rod is stiff, so it's less sensitive at detecting bites. It's also a little tougher to load than more limber rods in its class.

    2nd place: Tica UEHA ($129)
    Pros: Inexpensive, blank has similar feel to more expensive Loomis, versatile, sensitive.
    Cons: Can explode when throwing beyond recommended weights.

    3rd place: WRI Fusion ($400)
    Pros: Sensitive but has a beefy spine, considered by many serious surf fisherman to be the best rod on the beach.
    Cons: Expensive, heavier, can be tough to load on the cast.

    Honorable mentions: 1569 Rainshadow ($350), AFAW Surf ($300), Breakaway HDX ($240), 12' Tsunami ($100)

    Conventional Reels

    1st place: Penn 525 Mag ($140)
    Pros: Reel is nearly birdsnest-proof with magnet mod, easy to service.
    Cons: There have been some complaints that sand gets inside easily.

    2nd place: Daiwa Saltist 20/30 ($180)
    Pros: Durable, casts extremely well, solid clicker, good line capacity.
    Cons: Drag is subpar, need to be degreased after purchase.

    3rd place: ABU 6500 Blue Yonder ($150)
    Pros: Great casting reel, easily modified, reasonable price.
    Cons: Prone to corrosion, doesn't hold a ton of line.

    Honorable Mentions: Daiwa Slosh 30 ($125), Avet SX ($200).

    Spinning Rods

    1st place: St. Croix ($230)
    Pros: Light and sensitive, but has enough of a spine to horse big fish.
    Cons: Expensive.

    2nd place: Tica UEHA ($130)
    Pros: Inexpensive, blank has similar feel to more expensive Loomis, versatile, sensitive.
    Cons: Have had problems in the past with ceramic rings cracking.

    3rd place: Okuma Solaris ($90)
    Pros: Cheap surf rod, loads easily, sensitive.
    Cons: Doesn't have a lot of backbone, cheap hardware.

    Honorable Mention: Tica Dolphin ($180)
    Pros: Sensitive, good backbone, loads beautifully.
    Cons: One of the more expensive off-the-shelf surf spinners.

    Spinning Reels

    1st place: Shimano Stradic ($180)
    Pros: Light, smooth, one of the most popular reels for jigging.
    Cons: Many reports of them not holding up well in surf conditions (Spheros is hardened version of this reel). For jigging only.

    2nd place: Daiwa Emblem ($150)
    Pros: Durable, smooth-casting, reasonable price.
    Cons: No secondary drag/free-spool, so it's unsuited to soaking bait.

    3rd place: Shimano Baitrunner ($170)
    Pros: THE reel to pair with a spinning heaver to go after bigger fish like drum and stripers. Secondary drag has the best clicker among spinners.
    Cons: Heavy, extremely complex internally so it's hard to service.

    Honorable Mentions: Daiwa Black Gold ($100), Shimano Spheros ($129), Shimano Aero Technium ($700).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,706
    Great job on the survey Matt. I've already sent this link to a couple of folks to read.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Richmond, VA
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    4,222
    Quote Originally Posted by sand flea View Post
    2nd place: Daiwa Saltist 20/30 ($180)
    Pros: Durable, casts extremely well, solid clicker, good line capacity.
    Cons: Drag is subpar, need to be degreased after purchase.
    I thought the saltist drag was bad when I bought it. But after a couple of fish, it's very smooth and has great control. It has the carbon fiber drag. It might not have the stopping power, but it has no problem of putting fish on the beach/blanks. If you ever drum fish at the point or one of the piers, 8 out of 10 reels are saltists. So the drag is not con at all. It's the best out of the 3 mentioned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    717
    I think "Best" is a not the correct term to use for this survey. It would probably be better to use "Best for the money" or even better "Most popular". Just looking at the conventional rod category I do not think that anyone on this site with much experience would, if given the choice money not being an object, choose a Tica or an Ocean Master over a Fusion. In the spinning reels, again if money was no object, I think most people would choose a higher end reel such as a Z-Bass or a Van Stahl.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Linden, NC
    Posts
    2,536
    The beauty of this list is that it represents a great cross-section of the surf fishing community for the most part. You had die-hard guys polled, new guys polled, as well as the weekend warrior. Great job collecting this information. It would be interesting to see the changes, or lack thereof in 5 or 10 years.

    Robert

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Posts
    671
    What!!? No spincast models section!? LMAO j/k Great job on the list, it will give me something to strive for!

    MYT

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport News VA
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    4,345
    Quote Originally Posted by CrawFish View Post
    I thought the saltist drag was bad when I bought it. But after a couple of fish, it's very smooth and has great control. It has the carbon fiber drag. It might not have the stopping power, but it has no problem of putting fish on the beach/blanks. If you ever drum fish at the point or one of the piers, 8 out of 10 reels are saltists. So the drag is not con at all. It's the best out of the 3 mentioned.
    Definitely agree with Teo. Mine was a little weak at first, but once it got put to use on a few fish, it got a lot stronger. I have taken mine out and cleaned the washers off and regreased with Cal's drag grease, but that was only because my reel got dunked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    30 miles from OBX as the crow flies, or 80 miles by Jeep!
    Posts
    3,110
    As a testament to the Marketplace on this site, I have two surf rods I use 99% of the time. My go to is my Ocean Master Cape Pt. with a Penn 525 Mag on it. Bought the rod from NTKG (Thanks Neil).

    My #2 rod is a Tica purchased from Jaron with a Daiwa 30SHV purchased from Cdog. (Thanks Clay)

    I know I don't throw as far as a lot of guys, but I feel comfortable putting fish on the beach with either, and combined price of both rods and reels was less than the price of a custom. Would a custom be nice, sure, but that has to wait for another day. Great survey Matt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,636
    We're building another surf gear guide and need your help. Go put in your nominations today!

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