5 Surf Fishing Combos That Pro Anglers SWEAR By!

With surf fishing being more popular than ever, I wanted to share with you what I’ve found to be an awesome surf fishing combo in many aspects. One of the fundamental requirements to have a great experience is having the proper gear.

You need to be equipped with the best rod and reel for surf fishing in order to handle large and powerful saltwater fishes that you are most likely to encounter in the surf.

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out which is the best surf fishing rod and reel combo, then we’d recommend the Penn Battle III Combo as the best one.

Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Compare Top Surf Fishing Combos

Penn Battle III
86Top Pick
My favorite combo for all your surf fishing needs.
Check Out On Amazon
Penn Spinfisher VI
85High End
An awesome buy if you have the money.
Check Out On Amazon
Penn Battle II 6000
81Relatively new in the market but expect performance above a certain level since it is from Penn.Check Out On Amazon
Penn Pursuit III & IV
78Nice set of features in the given price range.Check Out On Amazon
Okuma Tundra
73Budget Buy
Fairly easy to handle, and known to last long.
Check Out On Amazon
Okuma Longitude Rod
N/AThis is only a rod but is extremely impressive when paired with a good Okuma reel.Check Out On Amazon

Detailed Analysis Of Different Surf Fishing Combos

Like most of the hobbies, the majority of us have a low amount to spend on our fishing gears.

However, you would also agree that it doesn’t make any sense to purchase the cheapest rod and reel combo that we come across, only to regret later when either the rod breaks or the reel fails you.

Because after that you’ll be spending a lot more money (trying to get another surf fishing setup) than you originally intended to.

My goal here is to provide you all the information you need to choose a high-quality surf fishing combo that will not only stand the test of time but also won’t burn a hole in your pockets.

If you have seen the comparison table above, you might have noticed that I have designated the Penn Battle 3 combo as the best surf fishing rod and reel combo out of all the options I have listed.

It rightly deserved the ‘Top Pick’ award.

You can dive deeper into a detailed analysis as to why I crowned it as the winner. Also you can have more insight into the features of some other rod and reel combos.

1. PENN Battle III Rod and Reel Combo

Penn Battle 2 Rod and Reel Combo Rating - Surf Fishing
Top Pick

Overall Score: 86


  • Great reel
  • Best in terms of value for money
  • A very nice combo overall


  • Rod develops issues with time


It is very important that the line is cast accurately when you go surf fishing. And this is where good design and a great fishing tackle come in.

The Penn Battle III fishing rod and reel combo show its strength like no other. With optimal weight and a nice grip, it provides a good amount of comfort while surf fishing.

An ergonomic design also allows the blank to be perfectly balanced even if we sway a lot in the air. In case you are trying to find a reliable surf fishing combo then no doubt this one is an absolute steal.


Come and fall in love with the sensitive blank of this rod. It has been forged from a graphite composite construction. Penn blank gives us good sensitivity along with optimal durability in very little cost.

This combo boasts of a full metal body reel, side plate, and rotor. There’s a lot more possible with this all-metal build reel.

Designed and suited to last a long time, the Penn Battle III fishing reel has been specially engineered to catch fishes efficiently. What else?

The super line spool is made of machine-anodized aluminum which allows you to tie super-lines onto the spool directly without the need for any kind of backing.


Penn enables us to take the saltwater realm with confidence. The reel has 5+1 stainless steel bearings system, hence, expect your line cast and retrieve to be very smooth.

The extra-ordinary drag system with a max drag of 25 lbs along with a gear ratio of 5.6: 1 gives us the much-needed leverage.

The reel is of size 6000 with the specifications of Mono Capacity (yds./lbs.): 335/15, 230/20, 210/25 and Braid Capacity (yds./lbs.): 490/30, 390/40, 335/50 and a retrieve rate of 41 inches per single turn of the handle.

Equipped with the HT-100 Versa-Drag carbon fiber drag system with a built-in drag washer, the drag efficiency increases exponentially.

The anti-reverse bearing in tandem with a rubber gasket mounted with the spool, allows you to use a super line that won’t be slipping off. This, in turn, eliminates the need for any monofilament backing.

With the aid of line capacity rings, it also shows how much line is remaining. The combo also has a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire which makes sure your line returns to the spool evenly.

The rod is a 2 piece blank with a length of 9 ft, medium-fast action, and medium heavy power. Also, the line rating is 15 – 30 lbs and there are 6 guides.

The pleasing news is that you are definitely bagging some striped bass with these because a majority of them are extra fast, fast and medium-fast action.

So much to compete for the best surf rod and reel combo.

Most special features are related to the reel but the rod has its own set of specialties, like the stainless steel guides which allow smooth line slides.

Do you like to jig? Then these rods have you covered. Another cool feature is that you can use it in both, salt as well as freshwater. Just in case you tend to travel a lot, there is a two-piece blank.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

Yes, I agree that customers have a mixed reaction when it comes to rating these, but they are mostly positive and upbeat about it.

There have been some complaints about broken tips which are quite rare when compared to the success stories.

The Penn Battle 3 combo review might not look to you as appealing as you would want it to be, but there is an old saying that “Do not judge a book by its cover”.

Hundreds of readers on whom I have based my research, are currently jigging and cranking with no issues at all. So, at the end, it’s up to you.

Being a well-built model it doesn’t require much maintenance except a few lone incidents which saves you quite a lot of money in the long run.


You definitely cannot ask for a better combo that carries along with it such a competitive price tag. A solid blank complemented by an outstanding reel is my final verdict.

No wonder the Battle 3 Rod and Reel Combo deserved the Top Pick Award.

2. PENN Spinfisher VI Live Liner Combo

PENN Spinfisher VI Live Liner Combo Rating - Surf Fishing
High End

Overall Score: 85


  • Great rod and reel
  • Sturdy and waterproof design


  • A bit heavy


Do you want to own a top notch rod and reel combo for surf fishing? For more than fifty years, Penn has been trying to perfect their Spinfisher line.

With this being the fifth generation, Penn fishing reels offer some really nifty features to use in their current form. Most anglers consider the Spinfisher reels as the best spinning reel for saltwater.

Now talking about comfort, only two discontinued models, were embedded with soft cork handles.

All other current models are equipped with much-in-demand EVA soft-touch handle for far more comfort. They allow us a solid grip that won’t slip out of our hands even in the wettest conditions.

Despite being a bit on the heavier side, it still doesn’t score less marks in our comfort ratings as compared to the Battle III combo because this added extra weight proves to be really beneficial to the overall robustness.

And even if it would have lost a point, I’m sure it would have made up for it in other areas of comparison.


With the inshore and jigging rods having the graphite composite construction, you are bound to get fiberglass blank flexibility and graphite blank sensitivity.

Sounds cool, eh? Also, forging of boat rods has been from a single piece tubular glass consisting of a solid tip. Due to this unique feature, these rods are sure to get you a lot of big saltwater gamefish.

Penn Spinfisher spinning reels are one of the most efficient, toughest and sought-after reels in the market these days.

Their goal has always been to make a reliable and durable spinning reel. Needless to say, they don’t fall short on expectations.

With the body and a side plate comprising of a full metal build, it is processed with deeper anodization. What does it mean for you? It will be more resistant to corrosion.

The water entry point has been specially sealed to stop saltwater completely from entering into the reel at any point while fishing.

With the bail wire being a lot thicker you can easily feel the difference while line engagement and disengagement. When you would start to retrieve, the bail wire also helps with line alignment.

An alloyed gear and stainless steel shaft having really high strength provide the much-needed power when we are trying to pull up an extremely resistant species.

Such a sturdy design with A-grade material being used makes this combo really durable and a very deadly one for the fishes, literally speaking.


You will get dual drag pressure from this reel, credit to the HT-100 Slammer drag washers.

Five stainless steel bearings ensure a smooth and efficient reel operation. Still, want more control? Single anti-reverse bearing will load you with lots of fish stopping power.

The Spinfisher VI combo encompasses a super line design style, meaning it will be braid ready without requiring backups from monofilament.

Another functionality is that it enables us to check out the remaining line courtesy of the line capacity ring indicator.

You are someone who likes mixing their bait? Don’t worry, the Spinfisher has you covered here. The live liner feature guarantees a total free spool for live and dead baits.

Lastly, a state of the art and latest construction system makes it the best Penn fishing reel for surf fishing.

A pleasing rod action and rod power is to be expected from the Spinfisher VI combos. Choose them only if live liner feature in the reels suits your fishing style.

Maintenance and Repair Cost

The overall feedback is mostly positive with a few drawbacks here and there. With more than 75% satisfied customers, this spinning combo will stay with you for a long long time.

A few scattered incidents like broken tip, eyelet, and the extremely rare phenomena of entire rod snapping into two have been reported by some customers.

Still, this rod reel combo is the most durable one out of all other options on this page and would require minimal repair and maintenance cost.


Let us be honest here. This is the priciest option. But the price is very much justified considering the features given above.

Secondly, despite a few issues brought by a handful of anglers in terms of the rod, not one soul has been found complaining about the reel.

For the same reason, the combo has proved to be a huge value for money buy and thus still scores decently in the price section despite being too expensive.

It not only performs really elegantly but had it not been too pricey, it surely had the potential to bag the ‘Top Pick’ award for being one of the best surf rod combo of all time.

3. PENN Battle 6000 II 9′ 2 PC Surf Rod and Reel Spinning Combo

PENN Battle 6000II 9' 2 PC Surf Rod and Reel Spinning Combo Rating - Surf Fishing

Overall Score: 81


  • Line ring indicator
  • Superb reel performance


  • Rod tip snapped in some cases


The Penn Battle 6000II surf rod and reel spinning combo is designed to land the biggest saltwater game fish.

The series offers us only one rod that is 9’ and only available in two pieces. The dual pieces allow anglers to store it more conveniently and travel freely.

Any blank is totally useless if it comes without a comfortable grip.

Even if it is packed with a lot of features, it won’t really matter in the end to anglers unless it is comfortable enough to hold for longer durations without getting tired.

The 6000 Series comes with an EVA soft padding handle.

Not only it is pleasant enough to hold out for longer time frames but also it won’t slip away out of your hands when you cast or engage in a fierce tugging war with difficult prey.

The fore-grip above the reel seat gives far more leverage when you try to pull that big one from the water.


To my delight, it is a pure graphite composite construction blank allowing it to be flexible like a fiberglass blank and fairly sensitive in terms of graphite component. As usual, the reel is the ultimate star from Penn.

Packed with features and premium components, making it durable and long-lasting it is bound to make your friends and fellow anglers envious.

The machine-anodized super line spool gives us the freedom of using a super line without any need for mono backing.

As expected, the entire reel body is a metal build which also includes side plates and rotors for that extra durability.


Those 5 stainless steel ball bearings will make your fishing day with an over the top smooth drag and super cranking power.

To take things further and add more control, an instant anti-reverse bearing is at our disposal for tremendous fish stopping power.

Containing HT-100 drag washers the ensure twice the normal dragging power even when under heavy pressure, an oversized bail wire so can engage or disengage your line much more conveniently.

This wire is also capable of aligning the line accordingly as and when you reel in.

This single model from Penn 6000 series offers us a medium-heavy power rod that has been combined with medium-fast action. Come and say hello to your next easy trophy striped bass!

This combo offers very useful features that are not just on-paper things but also deliver when the time arises.

Aluminum oxide guides allow the line slide off the spool smoothly with relatively zero friction whatsoever.

With an impressive retrieve rate,  you will be able to roll back 41” of the line in just one rotation of the reel handle.

Also, a 25 lbs drag allows the angler to aim for those big game fishes without worrying about snapping the tip of the rod.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

There aren’t any significant feedback from my readers or other customers yet. But, being a new combo in the market, it is still doing pretty good as it reflects from very satisfied customers.

I will have to wait for customers to provide us more information on the Penn Battle 6000 II combo.

But as it carries the Penn brand name, we can expect it to give a decent performance in the price range it has been made available to us. Of course, the cost of maintenance and repair should be and will be less.


What makes this combo unique? It is the remarkably durable build quality within an affordable price.

Now, if you are looking for a surf fishing fiesta, then surely the Penn Battle 6000II combo should be in your hands.

4. PENN Pursuit III & IV Spinning Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

PENN Pursuit II & III Spinning Fishing Reel & Rod Combo Rating - Surf Fishing

Overall Score: 78


  • Great rod at the price point
  • Lightweight


  • Problems occur when saltwater enters the reel
  • A few cases of fish eye snapping at the tip


And here we have another battle-tested and ever ready Penn surf rod and reel combo.

Being an excellent choice for saltwater jigging, the intent here is to catch big saltwater game fishes and oh boy this blank doesn’t disappoint at all.

I’ve also covered fishing in the sea in depth in my article on How to Catch Fish in the Sea?

Penn has given to us nearly all sizes of rods with different power ratings in the Pursuit III & IV combo.

For long time angling, any blank being offered should have some sort of padding that not only provides comfort but a good grip too.

The Penn Pursuit III & IV combo blanks have been equipped with EVA grips and soft cork handle all depending on the models in question.


Forged from graphite composite, these rods are lightweight and sensitive. Scared of corrosion? Don’t be. The frame is corrosion-resistant.

Also, the graphite reel seat makes your reel stay tight and protected. Since the body is corrosion resistant you can afford to get a little clumsy during and even after an angling session.


The spinning reel has been specially designed to battle saltwater gamefish. Remember all those times when our reel stuttered as we started to retrieve!

An advantage with the Penn combos is that we can stay confident by enjoying a smooth retrieve which had been made possible by a techno-balanced rotor.

All the models are either extra fast, fast or medium-fast action so rod performance is not something to worry about.

The spool is made of aluminum and it really helps to prevent slide-off and hold the line really tight. A lot of times we have to really fight for our prized catch!

It is bound to take a toll on our reel’s overall durability and longevity.

With Penn combos, you are safe with HT-100 carbon fiber gear washers and an oil-filled drag system that’s solely focused on smooth dragging.

We all know, a reel cannot be expected to operate smoothly without it having quality bearings.

Penn reels have been found to have 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse which almost guarantees amazingly smooth performance and hassle-free experience.

 Stainless steel guides are there for a smooth transitioning of the line off the spool. Aluminum oxide inserts provides thorough guide stability.

Line capacity rings as you know by now will allow us to figure how much line is remaining on the spool.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

This Penn Pursuit III and IV combo scored an impressive 70% positive customer feedback. The few cases of dissatisfaction had to deal with snapping of tips, and even the pole in half.

Some customers have even reported that once the saltwater and fine sand grains enter the reel, even after opening, washing and completely drying off the reel it was never the same for them.

All in all, the parts are well made and have been designed as such that are known to outlive similar rods and reels in the given price range.


Other than a few incidents, the overall combo reviews have been mostly positive like I had mentioned earlier.

And with the price being under $100 this combo gives a huge huge advantage to beginners and anglers who are still learning new things.

This is worth the money it demands and should be tried at least once.

5. OKUMA Tundra Surf Spinning Combo

OKUMA Tundra Surf Spinning Combo Rating - Surf Fishing
Budget Buy

Overall Score: 73


  • Can achieve some of your best casts
  • Good for catching the big fishes


  • Very stiff
  • Heavy


As usual, the product by Okuma, in this case, the Okuma Tundra surf spinning rod and reel combo that outperforms my expectations.

The ergonomic blank design combined with a reel loaded with features delivers a more than optimal performance.

You would also agree that no matter how long a blank is, it won’t be of any use to you as an angler if it isn’t comfortable to hold.

Simple stuff to understand, but still, we see a lot of brands making this common mistake in their most advertised models. It then makes their product a big-time flop.

Thankfully, for Okuma, common sense prevailed and they have kept a comfortable EVA padding that gives a non-slip grip for really long durations.


Often the best design is the most simple one. Here we have a good old-fashioned fiberglass blank that is not only lightweight but also flexible enough to tension.

And by tension, I really mean a lot of tension. Especially when you’re in a tug of war kind of a situation with your big saltwater game fish, you desperately need this feature.

No doubt, Okuma has earned ours and the trust of the whole angler community with it’s super reliable and super durable fishing products, especially the coveted rod and reel combo.

Constructed from graphite, the spool also offers corrosion resistance, which is a must. That means even if you are a bit clumsy with the reel, chances are you can still get away.

All these features in this price range? Unbelievable, right? We have a blank that is lightweight and reliable.

The presence of six aluminum oxide guides with ceramic guide inserts offer smooth transitioning of the line. That is not all.

Reinforced double-footed guides ensure a lot of stability, especially when under tension during our battle with those big fishes.

Love some leverage over that big game fish? To top it all, we get a nice fore-grip just above the reel seat.


Things have been kept fairly simple here by Okuma. Not a lot of ball bearings in the reel. Instead, they have one good bearing and that performs smoothly.

Also, the multi-disc oil-filled drag system comes in handy when we’re trolling our prey. Lubricant makes sure the bearings operate without too much friction.

The advantage here becomes the increased overall integrity of the reel. The reel has a quoted gear ratio of 4:9:1which is the industry standard and ideal for a moderate size catch.

Size 80 spinning reel is perfect for catching small sharks, stingrays and other saltwater species that are swimming close to the surface of the ocean.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

Despite its bare simplicity, Okuma combo has maintained very positive customer feedback during all these years. With 72% satisfied customers, it’s no wonder our trust in Okuma is not misplaced.

But when you compare it to the pricier models of famous companies, it can incur a significant repair and maintenance cost over the years with the overall spend on it being equal to that pricey model’s initial cost, most of which don’t cause trouble easily.


As if you asked for the icing on the cake, it is almost a dream to have this combo at the unbelievably affordable price point. Many anglers have no doubt given it the title of best Okuma spinning reel and rod for the money. Want a rod, that is easy to work with, not complicated to use and offers longevity?

Then the Okuma Tundra spinning rod and reel combo is your best bet. Surely an asset to your tackle box, bank on my words.

6. Honorable Mention: OKUMA Longitude Surf Graphite Rod


Overall Score: n/a


  • Can achieve some of your best casts
  • Good for catching the big fishes


  • Need to be paired with a good reel for maximizing performance
  • Heavy

Surely, these two questions must be going through your head right now.

1. Why have I included this on my list?

2. Why I cannot give it a star rating?

Let us tackle them one by one.

Let us address the second question first.

This is only a rod and a not a combo as you can see, therefore giving it a star rating would not only be a disservice to the capabilities of the rod (as other options include the reel ratings too) but it would also be wrong to compare it with the above combos.

Ever heard of a fish being compared to a bird? No?

This is what this comparison would look like. And now onto the first part.

I could not keep it from including in my list when talking about the best surf rod combos because this rod has been known to deliver impressive performances when combined with really good reels.

It really is a worth mentioning product and if you are looking for a surf fishing rod within a tight budget then this can be your best buy. 

You Can’t Go Wrong With the Battle III Combo

So, finally we’ve come to the end of this long article where I told you what my preferred rod and reel combo is when it comes to surf fishing and why I chose the Penn Battle III Combo as my top choice among all.

I hope this article really helps you decide the best surf fishing rod and reels.

With so many other forms out there, surf fishing might not be the absolute authority when it comes to angling, but it is still an extremely popular style. A style to get you the biggest saltwater gamefish.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not freshwater fishing in the nearest creek or enjoying saltwater fishing by taking boats far in the ocean.

Recent Posts