6 Best Surf Fishing Spinning Reel for The Money of 2024

John Hunt
Owner at - FishingMet

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his...Read more

Footwork, body position, and coping with wind – these are some of the most crucial things to take care of when you are shore fishing. Apart from your physical preparation, the fishing reel and rod are the next two things you have to concentrate on. As surf fishing is entirely different from fishing on a boat, you need a spinning reel that lets you keep things under control.

Now, if you are considering the budget, you are in luck, as we have picked up some of the unique reels for you. Choosing the best surf fishing spinning reel for the money isn’t that tough if you know what to look for and how to consider one. In this piece, we will guide you to select the best one for your next fishing trip in detail!

Let’s hop in!

Quick Surf Fishing Reel Review

If you are in a hurry, here’s a quick review of the reels that we have reviewed here. Check out what interests you.

The Best Surf Fishing Spinning Reels Review

Best Surf Fishing Spinning Reel For The Money

We took our time to pick up the 7 most functional spinning reels for surf fishing from the variety of choices in the market. Here’s what we have found out.

1. Tsunami SaltX- Best Surf Fishing Reel For The Money

Tsunami SaltX- Best Surf Fishing Reel For The Money

Designed with a complete silver outline, the Tsunami SaltX spinning reel is a new and exciting addition to the Tsunami family. Available in two different sizes of 4000 and 6000, the spinning reel is the ideal gear you need for surf fishing. It doesn’t only excel in looks but also leaves a mark of its excellence in performance.

What We Like

(+) Aluminum Building

The entire body of the reel is made and crafted from forged and CNC Machine A6061 aluminum. Apart from the body, the rotor is also designed with aluminum for exceptional durability. You can easily depend on this one for a long time if your taste doesn’t divert.

(+) Long Braid Capacity

It’s pretty impressive that this compact reel can hold long lines on it. For a 40-pound line, the device can hold up to 350 yards of line on it. That means a lot when you are on the shore trying to cast further away from you. It will definitely make a difference.

(+) Sealed Bearings

Keeping the inner parts safe, the bearings here are completely sealed. This comes with a lot of benefits. It protects the bearings from corrosion and rust. Plus, it will prevent water from logging inside. Then again, having 7 bearings at a time is an impressive feature for maximizing the operation of the inner parts.

(+) Hammer Drag

The reel uses a hammer drag system that works pretty well in dragging some of the strongest fishes from the water. Its functional sealed drag system can carry up to 50 pounds of weight which makes it pretty easy for you to pull heavy catches from the sea.

Keep In Mind

(-) Makes Sound

When you retrieve it, the reel will make an annoying sound which may be pretty much tough to bear with.

This One Is Good For

Drag Capacity: Its 50 pounds of drag capacity is surely one of the best you have at this price range. The high dragging power will make fishing fairly easy for you.

2. Abu Garcia Zata Fishing Reel- Best Surf Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Zata Fishing Reel- Best Surf Spinning Reel

Experienced fishers know there’s very little to talk about Abu Garcia when it comes to a fishing reel. The Zata 20 is one of the very best Abu Garcia has to offer. Although the reel is constructed from heavy-duty materials, it’s surprisingly lightweight and super smooth to operate.

What We Like

(+) 11 Bearings

Abu Garcia is well-known for its attention to detail when it comes to designing reels. Yes, that’s one reason why their reels are so expensive. The Zata 20 is also equipped with such careful engineering, which exhibits through the ball bearings. It features 10 ball bearings and a roller bearing for maximum inner operation support.

(+) Aluminum Frame

The whole skeleton of the device is crafted with aluminum. That’s one solid reason why the device is sturdy and rugged. You can put pressure on the reel as much as you like, but it won’t break down anytime soon. However, even though the frame is made of aluminum, it doesn’t add to the weight of the reel.

(+) Lightweight

With only 240 grams of weight, the reel is one of the lightest on our list. It’s an excellent job done by the designers who made it possible to make it a lightweight reel with an aluminum skeleton. A few slots for plastics may have played a lead role here.

(+) Gear Ratio

As expected, the 11 bearings are supported by a high-quality 6.2:1 gear ratio. This makes the spool create a whirlpool of rotation within seconds. It translates into better performance when you are casting bait and dragging your catch in.

Keep In Mind

(-) No Reversing Feature

The reel lacks an anti-reverse system which is kind of a turn down for most anglers. At this price range, it was obvious to have such a feature.

This One Is Good For

Lightweight: Although the 11 bearings and top-class gear performance are stealing the show, the lightweight feature is the best part of this device to spend the high price on.

3. Lew’s Mach Smash Spinning Reel- Best Surf Fishing Reel

Lew’s Mach Smash Spinning Reel

Another showstopper on our list is the Lew’s Mach Spinning reel MHS200. Although we have seen too many aluminum reels from Lew’s lately, this one is a graphite-made one. The actual skeleton of the reel is crafted from rugged yet lightweight graphite. Supported by 8 bearings with zero reverse clutches, the reel can perform the way you want.

What We Like

(+) Build Quality

As we have mentioned, the proper frame of the device is designed with rugged graphite. Although it doesn’t cause the reel to be a heavy one, it still feels super sturdy and robust. A part of the reason should be the rotor which is also crafted from graphite. However, the spool here is designed with anodized aluminum for long-term durability.

(+) 8 Bearing System

Like most top-class reels on the market, Lew’s came up with an 8-bearing system for this one, as well. 7 ball bearings and a roller bearing are the combinations that unleash the magic. Then again, the solid brass speed gears play an additional role in this case, too!

(+) Comfortable Handle

The handle is one of the key parts of a spinning reel that affects your success. Luckily enough, Lew’s have put much effort into designing the handle here. It’s totally made with anodized aluminum. While this gives it a robust build-up, the combat grip prevents it from slipping off your hand.

(+) Gear Ratio

The brass speed gear comes with a functional gear ratio of 6.2:1. It makes it super easy for the spool to turn and get your hands on your catch from a distance. Then again, this smooth gear ratio also helps the bearings move as they should.

Keep In Mind

(-) May Need Base Adjustment

The base of the reel may need to be shaved a bit to fit the slots of the pole you are using.

This One Is Good For

Comfortable Handle: Its comfortable handle is both sturdy and convenient to hold on to. The combat grip keeps it from slipping off your fist, something that is very crucial when you are surf fishing.

4. PENN Pursuit III- Best Surf Reel

PENN Pursuit III- Best Surf Reel

Penn comes into play with one of its iconic reels in the market – the Pursuit III spinning reel. Available in different sizes from 2500 to 8000, the reel is simply one of the best for surf fishing. Although it’s made from graphite, the reel is still pretty lightweight and comfortable to handle. It boasts an instant-reverse system to keep the line in control at any given moment.

What We Like

(+) Graphite Body

The skeleton of the reel is built from superior-quality graphite. This gives it a solid look and feels that fits perfectly with the operation it is intended to offer. Plus, it can withstand enough pressure and impact to offer long-term durability. However, the weight of the device is not compromised.

(+) Variety Of Sizes

From 2500 to 6000, the Penn Pursuit comes in a lot of sizes. Depending on your need and budget, you can pick any model for your next fishing target. Although the braid and drag capacity varies from model to model, you need to choose the one that suits your particular fishing fashion.

(+) Top Gear Ratio

Although the drag capacity here is a bit compromised as you can’t pull anything beyond 15 pounds, it is compensated by the gear ratio. Here’s how. The gear ratio here is 6.2:1, which means you can easily cast and drag the line with much effort given. As there are 4 ball bearings and a roller bearing for additional support, it’s never too hard for it to pull up.

(+) Aluminum Spool

The spool here is made from machined anodized aluminum. So if you are wondering if the graphite skeleton may be a bit weaker than the SS or aluminum, the spool here can reassure you that things are taken care of. This solid and strong spool is going to support different types of lines pretty easily for years to come. 

Keep In Mind

(-) Noise Issue

If you are picking up the 6000 or 8000 reels, you may experience some kind of noise on it. 

This One Is Good For

Size Variety: There’s one reel for almost everybody. You can choose your type from 2500 to 8000 reel sizes as per your requirement. This is actually quite unique in this case.

5. Okuma Avenger ABF B Series- Best Spinning Reel For Surf Fishing

Okuma Avenger ABF B Series

Delivering more than just a Gear – that’s what Okuma says about their fishing reels! And rightfully so, the ABF B series is a true representation of what that actually means. This graphite-made sturdy reel comes with a CF Rotor that keeps the reel dry and functional for a long time. Not to mention the rigid metal handle that offers the maximum comfort you can have!

What We Like

(+) Graphite Design

Well, the entire frame of the reel is designed with high-quality graphite. Although many may expect a steel or aluminum frame here, the graphite design works perfectly fine. Moreover, it offers excellent durability and sturdiness that help it to keep functional throughout the years.

(+) 7 Bearing Drive System

It’s no surprise that Okuma took care of the bearing system as it should be. They have put 6 ball bearings and a roller bearing inside to keep the inner parts pretty well functional. Then again, being stainless-steel made, there’s hardly any chance of any rust or corrosion, even if you are using it on saltwater.

(+) Machined Anodized Spool

As for the spool, Okuma did keep it as an aluminum-made one. Not only aluminum but it is also crafted from 2-tone anodized machined aluminum. That’s why it’s super rugged and strong, as you can expect. It can hold a heavyweight line on it pretty easily.

(+) CFR Design

The rotor here is a unique one. It comes with a cyclonic flow system that creates a cyclonic airflow in the rotor. Now, this airflow magnifies the air around the rotor, spool, and handle turn. This eventually dries up these areas after it gets wet. So, basically, it keeps the device dry and keeps it safe from corrosion.

Keep In Mind

(-) issue with Line Capacity

Although it is advertised that it can hold 110 yards of 10 mono, in reality, it can hold only 175 yards of 8 mono.

This One Is Good For

CFR System: The cyclonic flow rotor system makes it really easy to dry the device up. Keeping the inner parts dry is a key factor to keep them safe from rust.

6. PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel- Best Casting Reel For Surf Fishing

PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

Finally, we wrap the reviews up with the PENN Slammer III spinning reel. Although it’s the last one on the list, it doesn’t stand further away from the previous devices. The fully metal device is just the one you need if you are planning on surf fishing. With its IP67 rating, you can rely on it in the water without a shadow of a doubt.

What We Like

(+) Metal Body

While most of the spinning reels are adopting graphite or stainless steel material for the frame, the Slammer III comes with a full metal body. Yes, that means it’s a bit heavyweight, but you have to make some compromise here and there for this rugged build quality. Apart from the body, the side place and the rotor are also made from metal.

(+) Waterproof

No matter how much you dip the device in water, there’s no harm coming. That’s because the reel is totally waterproof with a rating of IP67. This should give you an idea about how casually you can use it in your fishing works.

(+) 7 Bearing System

The best part is, the reel has 7 bearings inside. 6 of them are ball bearings with a single roller bearing in place. So rest assured that the internal organs of this device are going to work pretty well, and less jamming should be expected.

(+) Oversized Handle

Its strong metal handle is a beauty to look at. However, that’s not the only impressive thing it has. The handle is oversized in design, and you can easily hold it in your hands pretty comfortably. Then again, its sturdy grip also helps you to keep it attached to your hand without slipping it off.

Keep In Mind

(-) Heavyweight

The reel weighs around a pound, and it’s because of its all-metal body. So, if you are looking for something lightweight, this is not it.

This One Is Good For

Metal Body Out of all the reels we have reviewed, this one is the one that comes with an all-metal body. If you are aiming for long-term durability, nothing can beat this one.

Best Surf Fishing Gear List For Beginners


New to surf fishing? Here is a list of gear you must pack before leaving for your first surf fishing!

  • Surf fishing reel
  • Surf fishing rod
  • Fishing line
  • Hook, weight, bait, lure
  • Surf fishing rig
  • Nail clippers
  • Scissors
  • Sand spike
  • Bucket
  • Fishing backpack
  • Fishing pliers
  • Measuring tape
  • Tackle Containers
  • Hand towel
  • Sun protection cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Drinking water and snacks

Surf Fishing Locations In The US

The best fishing locations in the United States are as follows.

  1. Florida Keys
  2. Panama City Beach
  3. Galveston, Texas
  4. Virginia Beach
  5. Montauk, New York
  6. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  7. San Diego, California
  8. Outer Banks, North Carolina
  9. Venice, Louisiana
  10. Miami, Florida

Things to Consider When Buying Surf Fishing Reels

As you have made up your mind that you are going to get the best surf fishing spinning reel for money, you better prepare for your purchase. Before you add a reel to your cart, consider the following factors.

  • Build Quality: You can’t compromise with the build quality of the reel. Shore fishing requires the reel to handle pretty much pressure, more than the ones that are used for boat fishing. So, it must be built with something sturdy. Most reels are made of steel, aluminum, graphite, or metal. You can choose any type of construction depending on your budget.
  • Bearings: Apart from the fact that the bearings should be at least 5 to 6, you must look for the ones that are sealed. As you are dealing with salt water, a sealed bearing system will keep the inner parts protected from corrosion and rust.
  • Drag Capacity: When you are on the boat, you can use the support of the boat sides to drag the fish out of the water. This is quite not possible when you are surf fishing. That’s why you need to ensure that the drag capacity of the reel is as high as you can manage.
  • Gear Ratio: Again, the performance of the drag and bearing somewhat depends on the gear performance. So, a well-set gear ratio is required. Make sure the gear ratio lies between 5:1 to 6:1.
  • Comfortable Handle: Another vital part of a surf fishing reel is the handle. Try to make sure that the handle is either oversized or large enough for you to comfortably hold on to it. The grip should also be comfortable to prevent slipping off.
  • Waterproofing: One of the most complained about issues of the spinning reel is waterlogging. If the reel is waterproof enough to withstand the waterlogging, it will prevent rust and protect the reel from corrosion. Try to settle for at least an IP67 rating.

How To Care For Your Surf Fishing Reel

To ensure that the surf fishing reel lasts longer, you have to take good care of it. Let’s find out the way you can clean your fishing reel like a pro!

  • Disassemble the parts of the reel first. You can put some taped tags on the parts to reassemble later.
  • Take out the line from the spool or put some tape on it to stick it to the spool.
  • Now, rinse the reel using freshwater prior to cleaning it.
  • If you have a boat cleaning agent, you can use it at this point to clean it up.
  • Take a fresh and new toothbrush to scrub and brush the parts of the reel.
  • Again, rinse the parts of the reel thoroughly after the scrubbing.
  • Use dryers to dry all the nooks and corners of the parts of the reel. Use dry cotton cloths to dry them up if needed.
  • You can use grease and oil to keep the bearings and rollers moving smoothly. To make it simple, you can use WD40.
  • Now, check all the tags that you have pasted before and reassemble the parts of the reel.

Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs

Q1. Can You Use a Spinning Reel for Surf Fishing?
Ans.Yes, in fact, a spinning reel is actually pretty useful for surf fishing. We have already reviewed some of the best spinning reels for surf fishing in this article.

Q2. What Reel Is Best for Surf Fishing?
Ans. For surf fishing, it’s best to pick the reel that works best for you, and you feel comfortable with. If you are going for the spinning reel instead of a baitcast, you can pick the PENN Slammer III spinning reel for its excellent control and smooth operation.

Q3. What Is the Best Spinning Reel for Surf Fishing?
Ans. There are a number of spinning reels in the market that work great for surf fishing. We have listed down some of the best options in this piece. However, if you are looking for the best one, you can check out our editor’s pick – Tsunami SaltX Spinning Reels for its impressive functions.

Q4. What Is the Best Gear Ratio for Surf Fishing?
Ans. The higher the gear ratio, the smoother it is to operate the reel. Try to settle between 4:1 to 6.3:1 for the best result.

Q5. What Size Reel Should I Use for Surf Fishing?
Any spinning reel from 4000 to 8000 size should be pretty good fitting for surf fishing.

Q6. What Rod Should I Pair My Surf Fishing Reel With?
Ans. You need to pick a rod that is at least 9 to 14 feet long to pair with a surf fishing reel.

Q7. What Kind of Fish Can You Catch Surf Fishing?

Ans. The most common catches for surf fishing are game fish. You can easily catch some of the game fish, including flounder, spotted seatrout, striped bass, bluefish, or Pompa.

Final Words

If you are still here, then you must have gone through the choices we have picked for you for the best surf fishing spinning reel for the money. Although not every reel here fits all, there’s at least one that suits every fisher out there. If you are a novice or an expert surf fisherman, you will surely find one that makes it easier for you to fish onshore.

If you are not in the mood to explore more, we would suggest you pick up PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel for its amazing durability and top-class performance. If you plan to select one blindly, this one should be the one you put your hands on!

Happy fishing!

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his favorite fishing gear. As a pro angler, he is sharing his valuable fishing guide with newbie anglers...

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