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Top 5 Surf Fishing Reels for [2024]

Prepare to dive into a lineup of some of the most impressive surf fishing reels. We’ll explore features, dissect pros and cons, and even offer a buyer’s guide to keep you well-informed.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, this guide will help you select the right reel to maximize your surf fishing experience. Let the waves of information begin!

Daiwa Crosscast Surf Scw 45 C QD

Okuma Fishing Tackle ABF55b Avenger ABF “B” Series Baitfeeder Reels, Multicolor, One Size

Dr.Fish Poleax Saltwater Spinning Reel,

KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 6000

PENN Fathom II Star Drag Conventional Fishing Reel

1. Daiwa Crosscast Surf Scw 45 C QD – Review

The Daiwa Crosscast Surf Scw 45 C QD is a beast of a surfcasting fishing reel. Its gear ratio of 4.90:1, impressive 23 lbs / 328 yds line capacity, and 41-inch line retrieve per crank make it an ideal choice for extreme casting distances.

The manual bail arm and beefy 33 lbs max drag force give you immense control and a sense of safety if you encounter a fight with bigger fish. This reel boasts a lengthy 1.77-inch spool stroke for those incredible lengths when surfcasting. The LC long casting edge reduces friction at the cast, enhancing the casting performance.

The digigear II, QD system, and the SCW system add to its overall solid performance. With three ball bearings, the reel offers smooth reeling even under pressure, while the CNC-cut aluminum handle and soft touch handle knob provide good grip and comfort. Special mention to the Twist Buster II line roller and the HIP line clip – they’re a game changer in reducing line twists and snaps. You must note though, that this reel features a manual bail return.


1. Good reel for casting out and letting bait sit due to its size and strength.
2. Can handle a large weight.


1. Misleading series label — it’s actually a bigger 5000 series, not 4500. But hey, bigger might be better for some!
2. Can be tiring to use if continually working the bait, although that could also serve as a great arm workout.
3. There seem to be some issues with internal gears breaking after use. However, this could be an isolated incident and might not apply to everyone.


2. Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Graphite Baitfeeder Saltwater Spinning Reel

The Okuma Avenger ABF B Series Baitfeeder stands out due to its use of high-quality materials and rigorous testing for enhanced reliability and quality. It’s a favorite among professionals worldwide, hence its sterling reputation.

The most notable feature is the On/Off auto trip bait feeding system that automatically operates to secure a firm hold of bait without compromising the fishing gear’s resistance. It also boasts a multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, and quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing. The Avenger offers a fishing experience like no other.


1. High power and good size, perfect for 30-lb catfish and carp.
2. Effective for catfishing.
3. Good quality fishing reel, reflected in other Okuma products.
4. The bait runner mechanism is a useful feature when functioning correctly.


1. There might be some mismatch between personal expectations and product size; it can be smaller than anticipated.
2. The drag system might require improvements for better performance.
3. The product could benefit from better packaging for safer shipping.
4. The reel’s longevity could be increased; plastic parts might wear quickly under tension.
5. There may be variances in quality control that should be addressed. Some users have encountered defective items.


3. Dr.Fish Poleax Saltwater Spinning Reel

The Dr. Fish Poleax Saltwater Spinning Reel, boasting a fully sealed aluminum body, is an impressive piece of fishing gear. Its distinguishing features include an IPX6 waterproof rating and a 168-hour salt-spray-tested seal to maintain outstanding performance in severe marine conditions.

The reel is fitted with a 7+1 stainless steel ball-bearing for silky smooth operation and a sealed carbon fiber drag system that delivers a mammoth 55LB max drag. The braid ready aluminum spool, available up to size 9000, promotes farther casting with its even line-lay and unique trapezoidal design. Undoubtedly, the Dr.Fish Poleax reel’s blend of strength, performance, and durability is hard to ignore for saltwater anglers.


1. The Dr.Fish Poleax spinning reel is praised for its smooth operation and well-constructed design making it a top-tier reel choice.
2. It’s efficient when paired with a 15 okuma rod and could cast over 100 yards with a 4 Oz weight and two live mullets.
3. Even after prolonged exposure to salt spray, the reel was reported as working just as smoothly as it was fresh out of the box.
4. It has an impressive drag coefficient of 55 pounds which most anglers found more than sufficient.
5. Users found it very easy to set up with a fishing line, which is a plus for convenience.


1. Some anglers who prefer lighter fishing gear might find the PL12000 model of the Dr.Fish Poleax reel a bit bulky or heavy.
2. While it’s a heavy-duty reel capable of catching some trophy-sized fish, beginners may find it somewhat intimidating.
3. Although praised for its IPX6 waterproof rating, this reel requires proper care and cleaning after surf fishing to maintain its performance.


4. KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel

The KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III is a versatile spinning reel ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Its unique baitfeeder style reel combines classic front and rear drag functions into one smooth, functional tool. Fitted with 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings and precision alloy gears, the Baitfeeder III presents reliable performance with a gear ratio of 5.5:1.

One of its standout features is the carbon fiber drag washer, which offers up to 26.5 lbs of drag power, depicting just how suitable it is for big game fishing. The reel exhibits a CNC aluminum Shark Fin Braid Ready Spool and a spare graphic spool for added value. Its stylish black and red color scheme is striking, while the interchangeable right or left-hand handle allows for personal preference in spinning reel performance.


1. Reels are smooth and quite appealing to the eye.
2. Baitfeeder option brings a unique, customizable aspect to fishing.
3. Does well in season fishing.
4. Originally, the drag was reasonably smooth.
5. Was perceived as a nice reel for its price.


1. Quality of KastKing Sharky has reportedly declined, leaving room for product improvements.
2. Baitfeeder dial could be more reliable, enhancing the overall user experience.
3. Not ideally geared for heavier fish or flowing water, but it holds up well for light fishing.
4. Not ideal for saltwater conditions, but works fine for freshwater fishing.
5. Handle tends to get stuck reeling in a mid-size catch, potentially leading to more durable material usage in future versions.


5. PENN Fathom II Star Drag Conventional Fishing Reel

The PENN Fathom II Star Drag Fishing Reel is a strong contender in the world of saltwater fishing. Its full metal body is robust, while the live spindle design with a free-floating spool offers effortless casting. With a recovery rate of 42 inches and a gear ratio of 6.1:1, quick retrievals are easy.

Additionally, its machine-cut marine-grade bronze main gear with a hardened stainless steel pinion offers durability and efficiency. The reel showcases 7 shielded stainless steel bearings and an instant anti-reverse for smooth performance. Equipped with the HT-100 star drag versa-drag system with a max drag of 30 lbs, it provides an adjustable, strong performance. Notably, the single-handle design on the right position suits the majority of anglers.


1. It’s light and comfortable to use.
2. The reel looks good and feels solid.
3. It’s been made by Penn, a fishing brand with an established reputation.
4. The reel is metal bodied.
5. May have potential for adjustments between centrifugal brakes and the line pressure control.


1. It isn’t aviation or marine-grade aluminum, but it’s metal-bodied making it still reliable.
2. The reel might need some extra winding to engage the retrieve gear properly. A tad more effort, but still usable.
3. The drag could be more forceful, but 11 lbs of drag is still decent.
4. The line capacity may not be enough for some waters, but many anglers would find it sufficient.
5. The brake cover is operated with three tiny screws which may not be suitable for quick adjustments.
6. There may be minor drag-related issues, but they’re part of fishing with any reel.



Whether you’re experienced or new to surf fishing, the right reel can make a world of difference.

From the durable Daiwa Crosscast to the lightweight Okuma Avenger, the impressive Dr.Fish Poleax, the versatile KastKing Sharky, or the robust Penn Fathom, each of these surf fishing reels has unique features to enhance your fishing experience.

Consider your personal requirements and preferences when making your choice.

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