Surf fishing offers a unique connection with nature. The sand, waves, and endless blue water are an incredible combination. Plus, there are some crazy big fish fights you can get yourself into when you pull that rod from its rod holder on the beach.
There are two primary considerations that will make or break these experiences. Surf fishing rods and surf fishing rod holders are not all created equal. Surf fishing rod holders work to protect, transport and help you fish. Use the following guide for choosing a rod for surf fishing and the best fishing rod holder to put it in.
Factors in Choosing the Right Surf Fishing Rod
As mentioned above, the rod you choose for surf fishing is one of the most import decisions when it comes to trying to catch fish from the beach. There are many factors that go into fishing rod choice for surf fishing, but these three are the most important.
Rod length is the first factor to consider in choosing a surf rod. Most surf fishing rods are going to run between 8- and 14-feet. Rod length contributes to how well, and more importantly how far, you can cast. It also affects the amount of leverage you will have when fighting a fish. Longer rods will cast further and have more leverage for fighting bigger fish. Ultimately you want to choose a surf fishing rod length that you can handle comfortably while still being able to cast and land fish. A good rule of thumb is a 10- to 12-foot rod, which meets most surf fishing situations for most anglers.
The next factor is rod power. Rod power, or the strength of the rod (i.e. lifting power), varies from light to heavy. Lightweight rods are used for lighter lines and more finesse tackle for catching smaller saltwater fish. However, if you are fishing for bigger fish like stripers from the beach, a heavier power rod is what you want to be using. Heavier power rods are able to cast larger diameter fishing lines and battle larger fish more effectively. A medium or medium-heavy rod power is a good all-around rod power choice for most surf fishing applications.
Finally, surf rod action is the bend (or taper) of the rod. This characteristic comes into play mostly when casting into the surf. A fast action rod will bend at the tip while a slow action bends more in the center. Fast tip surf fishing rods increase casting distance and are good for casting lures. Medium action rods are better for bait fishing because the action has a lot to also do with hook setting. Lures, especially those with single hooks, require a fast hook set whereas bait fished on a treble hook do not require as much responsiveness when it comes to hook setting.
All Factors to Consider When Choosing a Surf Fishing Rod
Beside surf fishing rod length, power, and action, there are also several other factors when it comes to choosing a surf fishing rod.
- Rod Length
- One or two- piece
- Composition (graphite or fiberglass)
- Type (spinning vs. casting)
Surf Fishing Rod Holders
Surf fishing rod holders are used for transporting and using the rods you choose. Roof rod racks are limited to transporting rods. These fishing rod holders are great for traveling but are not so useful for storing rods between fishing spots or for actually surf fishing. Front and rear mounted surf fishing rod holders are better suited for these applications.
Front vehicle mounted rod racks work well for surf fishing. You can position your rods in the holders and move your vehicle right into position at your fishing spot. Rods can be stowed in the rod racks when moving between spots on the beach, but these racks are not good for driving on the roadways. Transporting rods in front vehicle mounted fishing rod carriers not only pose a safety issue while driving but rods can also get damaged more easily carrying them this way.
Rear-mounted fishing rod racks are the best fishing rod holder type for surf fishing. They still allow you to easily back into a spot and use them for fishing while also making transporting rods safe and secure. An example of one of the best surf fishing rod holders is the Portarod™ holder. The Portarod™ fishing rod holder installs without tools in seconds and is easily adjustable to any fishing situation from the bed of a truck.
What Makes the Best Surf Fishing Rod Holders?
The best fishing rod holder for surf fishing has these four characteristics.
- Easy to install – Nobody wants to have to drill holes in their truck bed for their rod rack. A surf fishing rod holder should be easy to install (and remove) while remaining functional.
- Noncorrosive, Aluminum Construction – The salt spray, sand, and other elements will put your holder to the test over time. You need one that will hold up to these harsh conditions. It also has to be built durable enough to handle multiple large saltwater fishing rods.
- Adjustable Rod Angle – Not being able to change the angle of your rod holder can be problematic. Depending on how the surf is fishing, there are situations where a different rod angle is needed to catch fish. A holder like the one designed by Portarod™ lets you change the angle of each individual rod holder in order to fish rods in different ways all on the same rod holder.
- Lockable – A lockable holder keeps your valuable surf fishing rods safe from theft. There is no need to move your saltwater rods to a different carrier or worry about breaking them trying to fit them in the cab of your truck. Instead, use a lockable holder you can go from fishing to traveling with almost no effort.
Surf fishing rod holders go side by side with your surf fishing rods. Once you have chosen the best rods for surf fishing, the holder you use not only matters for transporting them but also in catching fish.