Surf fishing has exploded in recent years and with good reason. Not only is it very accessible to a lot of recreational anglers but it is also a lot of fun on the beachand something that the whole family can enjoy.
Surf fishing gear and tackle is a lot different from fishing gear you need on a boat.
Ultimately good casting performance is one of the most important considerations to take into account when choosing your surf fishing tackle.
Some of the best fishing spots are out after the surf where the bottom begins to drop away into deep water.
Getting your bait out there is crucial to success. You'll need surf fishing gear that is capable of casting large weights a long distance.
Best Surf Fishing Gear
When deciding on the best surf fishing rod most anglers will tend to look at length first and the rod power and action.
However, rod length is only one part of the equation and it should not be considered more important than the others.
A good general rule is that a medium to medium/heavy power rating will work best. Unless you are using very light tackle for smaller species and then the medium power would be more suitable.
Action wise you want a moderate to fast action as this gives the best blend of sensitivity and casting performance.
When choosing a reel for surf fishing your main option will be either a saltwater spinning reel or a baitcaster reel.
Personally I prefer a spinning reel for surf casting but many anglers will say that a conventional reel is superior.
A spinning reel will perform much better in high winds as there is less chance of encounter the dreaded wind know if you are using braided fishing line.
The best saltwater spinning reels are built to withstand the corrosive nature of saltwater. Freshwater reels quite simply won't cut it when at the beach. When exposed to saltwater and sand inferior reels will seize up pretty quickly.
Regardless of what type of reel you use always make sure to rinse it thoroughly in fresh water after use.
Braid or monofilament will usually come more to personal preference than anything else.
Mono has more stretch which can delay your hookset, whereas braid is low stretch but can be prone to wing knots.
Monofilament is probably easier for beginners to use as it knots well and is less likely to tangle and snap when casting unlike braid.
Depending on the species of fish that you are fishing for a breaking strain of roughly 25 lbs is a good starting point.
Most anglers will have a variety of weights in their tackle box. Traditionally pyramid weights are used when casting casting into the surf or on a beach and a weight of roughly 3 ounces should be a good starting point to go with.
5. Rod Holders
Although not crucial a good rod holder can make life a lot easier especially if you are using multiple rods for surf fishing.
Holding a rod all day is a bit of a pain especially when it can be hours between bites or casts and something so simple can take the strain off of your arms considerably.
They will also keep your rod held vertically so you can detect bites through the rod tip much easier.
6. Fishing Carts
Just like a rod holder a fishing cart is not an essential but can make transporting your gear to and from the beach a whole lot easier.
They are designed with large fat wheels and tires that make pulling them through sand mush easier.
Some will even have rod holders on them which is a nice bonus. Make sure you get one that is big enough to arry all your gear.
A good pair of sunglasses will not only help to reduce glare on the surface but they should also help to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun.
A good pair of fishing sunglasses should be polarized and capable of filtering out both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
Polarization of the lens is what helps to reduce glare on the water surface. This can not only help you to see clearer but will reduce the amount of strain on your eyes over many hours of use.
8. Protective Shirt
A good fishing shirt is one of the best ways to not only stay cool but to also protect your skin from the burning affect of the sun.
When out in the sun all day one of the most important things to remember is to reduce the chances of getting sun burnt and lessening the chances of skin cancer latter in life.
9. Tackle Backpack
Whilst some anglers prefer a fishing cart if you are only fishing one surf rod setup then chances are you will not need to carry too much gear.
This is where a tackle backpack can be a great substitute. The advantages a purpose built backpack has over a regular one is that all of the compartments are easily accessible.
Most will come with lure trays and dividers included.