Designed with distance in mind, the cherry-red St. Croix Avid Surf rod line features Fuji K-Series Tangle Free guides and actions designed to punch plugs through the ever-present winds of the Northeast surf. Available in spinning and conventional layouts, there is an Avid Surf model to fit your style of fishing, whether it’s casting light lures to schoolies or heaving bait over a sandbar.
Part of Shimano’s long-cast system, the Shimano Tiralejo is made using a four-layer process that increases recovery rate and, in turn, increases casting distance. The rods are available in four models from a 9-foot, 6-inch medium-power blank to a mediumheavy 12-footer. Paired with a Shimano long-cast surf reel, the Tiralejo will put distant blitzes within reach.
Daiwa made some major upgrades to the Team Daiwa Surf rod in 2015, replacing EVA grips with comfortable and sleek shrink-wrap grips and adding tanglefree Fuji K-Frame guides. New construction promises greater sensitivity and reduced weight in eight models from 7 to 12 feet.
“I paired this rod with a Van Staal VS200, and was amazed at how effortlessly it cast plugs and jigs in the 1- to 2 1/2-ounce range. The rod features K-Frame guides that help shoot the line, and the moderate action makes it easy to bring bucktails, darters, pencil poppers and minnow plugs to life. The rod was soft enough to cast eels without tearing them off the hook, but powerful enough to subdue the stripers that ate those eels. It breaks down to two pieces for easy storage, but fishes like a one-piece rod.” -Eddy Stahowiak, designer
The Cedros CSX surf rod is designed to cast well and offer sensitivity plus power for fishing lures in the surf. Models range from 9 to 11 feet and have a medium-fast action, perfect for working plugs and jigs or casting eels.
“This 11-foot rod is rated for 3/4- to 4-ounce lures, making it incredibly versatile in the surf. I have thrown everything from small bucktails to large pencil poppers with the rod, and it handled them all beautifully. The rod has plenty of power for turning big stripers, but it’s not so stiff as to take away the fun of catching schoolies.” -Rich Dunn, advertising sales
Only big fish need apply when fishing this beef stick. Rated to throw 4 to 10 ounces, this 10-footer is perfect for heaving heavy bait rigs into the surf. It’s also popular among fishermen in the Cape Cod Canal who use this rod to bounce 4- to 6-ounce jigs along the bottom.
The Azores offers great value in a saltwater-specific spinning reel that’s designed to be durable. Its massive oversized spool shaft, diecast aluminum body, and grease-packed stainless steel bearings deliver incredible strength at a remarkable price point.
The Star Mag is designed for long-distance casting from the beach and has the power to stop powerful runs from monster stripers or surf sharks. Truth reels are made in the USA and come with a lifetime guarantee.
Daiwa’s Magseal technology keeps out salt and sand so you can use the Ballistic 4000 for big largemouths in fresh water and big stripers in saltwater. Light and powerful, it pairs well with a medium-weight 9-foot surf rod for inshore plugging.
“The Penn Spinfisher series has earned its reputation as one of the toughest reels on the market over more than two decades of performance. The latest generation has several new saltwatertough features, but most exciting to surf fishermen like me is the addition of a long-cast spool to the lineup. The reel is as smooth and tough as I’ve come to expect from the Penn Spinfisher series, and the long-cast spool helps me reach breaking bass.”
-Jimmy Fee, editor
The ultra-light Ultegra Ci4 5500 XSB uses a super-slow oscillation to create even line lay for longer casts. The “instant drag” allows for quick drag changes during the fight, and Shimano’s revolutionary XShip Gear provides cranking power for bringing a big bass to the beach.
-Jimmy Fee, editor