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Fishing is a relatively straightforward hobby, right? You head out on the water, armed with a fishing pole and some worms, and you go to town, reeling in fish after fish after fish.
In reality, though, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
With different types of fishing, from trolling for pike to slamming tuna off the coast, there are various types of equipment needed.
If you enjoy surf fishing – and especially surfcasting way off the coast – you should consider investing in one of the best long-distance surf casting reels.
A good surfcasting reel that’s designed for long-distance use is invaluable. It will help transform your fishing experience into something that is nothing short of spectacular.
Here’s everything you need to know about finding the right long distance surf casting reel.
What are the Best Long Distance Surf Casting Reels?
Here are the best long-distance surf casting reels:
Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Exactly Is Surf Casting?
If you’re in the market for a good surfcasting reel, here’s what you need to know.
First, surfcasting usually refers to a baitcasting technique where you are fishing off the coast on ocean waters.
When your baitcasting, you will attach live bait to your line and reel and throw it into the water before reeling it back out.
The technique is simple.
When you surf cast, you will do so slowly – surfcasting too quickly won’t help your lure be pulled in the right way.
You’ll attach a sinker about six inches from the rod tip, and when you cast, you’ll bend your elbows and put your left foot in front of your body (if you’re right-handed).
You will try to get as much distance as possible when you are casting, although this, of course, will depend on where your target is.
You will want to hold your rod and reel tightly so that you can rest your thumb over the reel spool, doing so at a slight angle.
The best time to use your long-distance surfcasting reel is when the high tide is coming in. The fish will be out to feast, so it’s the perfect opportunity to put your new toy to work.
The Top 5 Long Distance Surf Casting Reels
Here are the top 5 long casting surf reels on the market today.
Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Conventional Saltwater Reel
The Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Conventional Saltwater Reel is the best for fishing in saltwater conditions – but it’s an exceptionally good choice for long distance casting, too.
This reel has a unique free-floating design that separates the gear train from the spool so you’ll enjoy longer casts and a quicker lure drop. There is less friction to contend with, too.
The reel comes with a large three-bearing system along with a six-element drag that is sealed against the elements.
While we’re talking about the elements, we should also mention that the reel includes stainless steel gears and is made out of durable marine bronze.
You won’t have to worry about this reel breaking down or degrading on you any time soon!
Instead, this high-tensile spool – which includes aluminum parts as well – is strong while also being one of the lightest reels to choose from.
The Daiwa Sealine-X SHA even comes with a rod clamp. It has a two-position power handle with a soft touch grip.
The grip is oversized so you won’t have to scramble for it while you’re trying to reel in the catch of a lifetime.
This reel comes in several sizes, including the X20SHA, the X30SHA, the X40SHA, and the X50SHA. Perfect for surfcasting, it has a manual reverse and is perfect for drift fishing and speed jigging, too.
- Great for several styles of fishing
- Made out of durable materials resistant to saltwater
- 25 lb drag
- Some users report that the reel needs more drag
Daiwa M7HTMAGST Millionaire Surf Reel
The Daiwa Millionaire Surf Reel is another top pick when it comes to the best long distance surf casting reels.
This reel is a seriously fine-tuned machine, cut from super lightweight aluminum alloy.
It is balanced and effective, featuring a carbon-swept handle that reduces the weight of the unit without compromising traction and comfort.
You’ll have total control of your fishing experience when you cast with one of these reels. It has an EVA double-handle knob atop an aluminum body and side plate.
With infinite anti-reverse and a power handle, you’ll have all the resources you need to reel in a massive catch.
What’s really impressive is that the spool can reach speeds of up to 30,000 RPM. You won’t feel out of control, though, because the unique Magna Force-Z technology applies smooth magnetic braking as the spool approaches its maximum speed.
This serves several purposes – not only will it prevent line over run, but it will also give you more control in various casting conditions and according to your unique casting style.
- An ambidextrous reel that is perfect for both left- and right-handed people
- Factory tuned for accuracy
- Has an EVA foam handle for comfort
- Somewhat heavy for all-day use
Dr.Fish Saltwater 10000/12000 Spinning Reel
The Dr. Fish Saltwater Spinning Reel comes in two sizes – 10000 and 12000. Both are perfect for casting offshore.
A reel with strong drag washers, it works perfectly against monster fish, giving you all the muscle you need.
Designed with saltwater’s harsh effects in mind, this reel is made with high-density anti-corrosion materials.
It can handle all kinds of wear and tear under these conditions. Plus, it can be matched with a variety of medium-heavy rods, ranging from seven all the way up to fourteen feet.
This customizability makes it perfect for targeting all kinds of fish. It comes with 13+1 high precision dust-resistant stainless steel ball earrings. These bearings ensure smooth function every time.
In addition, the bearing shelf makes it easier for you to constantly fight and retrieve your prey. The unit also comes with rotors and side plates that are both water-sealed.
You won’t have to worry about small parts or pieces falling out or becoming damaged with this reel. Plus, since everything is nice and sealed, saltwater can’t make its way in and damage your reel.
The bail wire is made out of strong Piano Wire, helping prevent line break gage and gives you a reliable, consistent fishing experience.
The Dr. Fish Saltwater Reel has a wide range for drag adjustment along with a large, somewhat oversized shaft and compact self-balanced system rotors.
With a strong aluminum spool, you’ll be able to equip this reel with either heavy-duty monofilament or braided line. Cast long distance or short, going after large fish or small – the choice is yours.
That being said, I recommend targeting larger species with this reel – after all, it can handle the weight. So why not?
My personal favorites are tuna, striped bass, shark, and mackerel. The 12000 size is best for going after these big game fish.
The handle of this reel is foldable for added convenience. With a shallow tapered spool, you’ll have all the features you need in a reliable reel to withstand decades of use.
- Has a gear ratio of 3.9:1
- 13.1 stainless ball earrings
- Front drag is sturdy and strong
- Some users report that the bail is a bit flimsy
PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel
The Penn Slammer III comes in several different sizes – 10400, 3500, 4500, 5500, 6500, 6500hs, 7500, 8500, 8500hs, and 9500.
The size corresponds directly to the species you are interested in pursuing – the larger the relevance, the larger the fish you can target.
However, no matter which size you decide to go with or where you might want to fish, all these reels are of the utmost quality.
They are constructed with full metal bodies, side plates, and rotors. They have engineered CNC gear technology for top quality performance, too.
The body is sealed so you don’t have to worry about water getting inside your unit and damaging your equipment. It has Dura-Drag for ultimate performance along with 6+1 stainless steel ball bearings.
The Penn Slammer is built for heavy-duty fishing either on the shore or off a boat.
It is trusted by professional charter fishermen all over the world and is updated to help keep water out of the drag and gearbox systems.
- Can also be used for freshwater fishing
- Comes in various speeds and sizes
- Comfortable to use
- Minimum drag even after drag cap is removed
PENN Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel
As you have likely already gathered, Penn is truly the name to know when it comes to the best long distance surf casting reels.
Founded by Otto Henze in 1932, Penn has been at the forefront of exceptional reel design and production.
The Spinfisher V is no exception. The reel is trusted by anglers all over the world and comes in several different styles: 10500, 3500, 4500, 6500bls, 7500, and 8500ll.
This reel has a watertight design that offers reliable performance in sandy or saltwater environments. This includes a full metal side plate, body, and rotor along with an aluminum bail wire.
The bail wire is heavy-duty, preventing damages and overuse. You don’t have to worry about using this reel on those rugged – yet beautiful – beaches you love! It can withstand any kind of weather.
With a sealed HT-100 slammer drag system, you’ll enjoy a buttery smooth drag while resisting friction. You also don’t need to worry about a premature bail trip when you’re casting, as the reel comes with a unique friction trip ramp.
The Penn Spinfisher has a fluid cranking mechanism with five stainless steel ball bearings, all of which are shielded from the elements.
The reel has instant anti-reverse bearing along with a superline spool that requires no backing.
It is ready for braid as soon as you take it out of the package along with line capacity rings marked at ⅓, ⅔, and full capacity – no guesswork required on your part!
You can use this reel to go after just about any kind of fish. I prefer fishing for my favorite saltwater species like sea bass, sea trout, and flounder – but keep in mind that it can be used in freshwater, too!
With its full metal body and side plate, your CNC gear system will remain in perfect alignment even when dealing with heavy loads.
This reel is available in standard, long cast, bailless, and live liner models.
- Comes fully assembled
- Can hold up to 580 yards of 80 lb braid
- Reels are made out of high-quality materials
- A bit on the heavy side
What to Look for in the Best Long Distance Surf Casting Reel
Match Your Needs
You can invest in a reel that is large enough to haul in massive sharks and tuna, but if you’re only fishing for 20 lb fish, you probably don’t need it.
If you’re looking for a good long-distance reel, purchase one that can cast long distances.
But if you don’t need a reel that casts that far, skip it – extra length in this regard isn’t always better because you might be sacrificing in other areas.
Bigger isn’t always better. Very few fish will run 100 yards, so don’t feel the need to tack on extra length to your casting distance.
When you are looking for a good reel, you’ll notice that they come in various sizes, usually starting at 1000 and working their way up.
Generally, the larger the number that is listed, the bigger your reel is going to be.
Smaller sizes are better when used in freshwater fishing settings. Those that are larger have stronger drag systems as well as larger line capacities and spools to handle more intense saltwater fishing.
We have reviewed some of the top spinning reel options here.
Durability is one of the most important factors you can look for in a long distance surf casting reel. Having a reel that breaks in the middle of hauling in a massive fish is no fun.
Consider reels made out of long-lasting materials, like stainless steel and corrosion-resistant aluminum. You won’t regret paying a bit extra for a high-quality reel that will last you a lifetime.
A good drag is often significantly more important than any other factor when you are buying a long-distance surf casting reel.
There are very few reels out there that will cast 300 feet or more without the right rod and technique.
Look for a reel with excellent drag and don’t worry so much about the line capacity of your reel. Drag always wins.
The best reel for surfcasting will be one with at least 20 lbs of stopping power. The larger the fish you intend to go after, however, the more drag power you will need.
One of the biggest issues with reels used in saltwater conditions is that they tend to wear out more quickly because of the saltwater.
If you plan on surf fishing, always consider a corrosion-resistant reel since it will withstand prolonged exposure to the elements.
Reels built out of corrosion-proof materials are best, as they will be better equipped at handling the abrasive effects of both sand, saltwater, and heavy surf.
Those that are sealed or watertight, protecting vital elements like the drag system, bearings, and gears are best at preventing saltwater corrosion.
And remember, too, that even if you select a corrosion-resistant reel, it is going to need a good cleaning from time to time.
After each fishing trip, rinse out your reel with a splash of fresh water to prevent saltwater from accumulating.
All fishing reels have ball bearings to help provide smooth casting and retrieving. The number of bearings you have will tell you how quickly and smoothly your retrieve and casts are.
The more ball bearings a reel has, the smoother it will be to operate. If you are surfcasting, you will want to select a reel with plenty of high-quality bearings.
Those with anti-reverse bearings are also ideal, it will eliminate back play when you are trying to set hooks in tricky situations.
Many people overlook the importance of gear ratio when shopping for a new long-distance surfcasting reel. Don’t be one of these people!
Gear ratio is important as it indicates your line retrieval and cranking powers. For example, as your gear ratio gets higher, you will have lower cranking power with a quicker line retrieval.
Conversely, if you have a low gear ratio, it will have more cranking power yet have a slower retrieval.
If you are reeling in giant fish, keep in mind that you will need to sacrifice a bit of retrieval speed.
A medium or average gear ratio is a good balance, as it will let you have decent retrieval with a fair amount of cranking power for big fish.
Why You Need a Long-Distance Surf Casting Reel
Long-distance surfcasting for fish is an enjoyable hobby – but it’s one that can be quite abusive on your regular old fishing gear.
Therefore, you need to shop for gear that will hold up to these demands.
The very best long distance surfcasting reels are strong and corrosion-resistant, offering you all the torque and durability you need to handle tough fish, jagged rocks, corroding saltwater, and other harsh conditions.
These reels aren’t for the faint of heart – but once you find the perfect one, you’ll likely have a piece of equipment that will remain in your gear arsenal for life.