Surf fishing or casting from a rocky beach comes with challenges unique from fishing out of a boat. You’ll need to invest in a specialized casting reel and rod that are designed for this task. The type of fishing reel you choose ought to be versatile enough to make your fishing experience on the beach enjoyable and rewarding. In this article, I’ve reviewed the top 6 best fishing reels for beach casting and included a comprehensive guide on choosing the best equipment within your budget and expertise level.
The Best Fishing Reels for Beach Casting
1: Best Overall: Daiwa M7HTMAGST Millionaire Surf Reel
While the maximum drag for the Daiwa Millionaire is quite low than most of the surf fishing reels in its class, it’s capable of holding up to 200 yards of a 20-pound line. The reel’s line capacity compensates for its underpowered drag.
You can go beach casting for hours with this reel as it weighs only 11.5 ounces. The Millionaire gives you serious versatility when you want to cast long distances from the beach. You actually don’t have to change the line class when chasing big redfish with its 8 corrosion-resistant ball bearings that support the stainless steel pinion and brass drive gear.
The fishing reel provides you with a velvety smooth crank and drag. Besides, the Millionaire has a strong, rigid one-piece alloy frame that you’ll need to wrestle with big sea fish. It’s so easy to dial in the device’s Magforce Z cast control after using it for a while. Even with a gear ratio of 5:8, you can still cast your lures and rip them back at your own pace.
Although the fishing reel has high corrosion resistance credentials, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly following every session. The reel’s large handle has a knob that makes it feel comfortable to hold.
- Magforce®-Z cast control
- EVA double handle knob
- 10 bearing system
- One-piece aluminum frame
- Star-adjust drag
- Carbon Swept Handle for reduced weight
- Lightweight aluminum alloy
- Stainless steel pinion
- A gear ratio of 5.8:1
- A Drag of 11lb
2: Best Runner Up: Penn Squall Star Drag
This Squall fishing reel is a true definition of a powerful and reliable reel with the right line capacity. If you’re looking for an accessible price, this Penn model offers you budget-friendly inclusions. While the lighter 25 pounds model is more versatile, its 15 pounds version is more compact and effective for your beach casting outing. The device has a Live Spindle design that will guarantee you long fishing sessions on the beach.
If you need a formidable drag and spool capacity that can deliver up to 500 yards of 20 pounds, then the HT-100 drag of the 15 pounds version will help you manage big fish. The device’s shielded and stainless 6 bearings deliver a quiet, smooth crank that’ll make your fishing expedition on the beach even more enjoyable. In addition, its pinion gear is corrosion-resistant. The Squall fishing reel is great for anglers who are tough on gear.
The reel is great for tough surf fishing conditions because it has side plates and a strong frame made of graphite. You’ll be able to cast baits and crank faster with a reel that has a gear ratio of 6:1.
- HT-100 drag system
- Ball bearing count of 7
- Live Spindle design
- Instant Anti-Reverse bearing
- A stainless steel pinion gear
- 6 Shielded ball bearings
- Retrieve rate of 28″
- 6.0:1 gear ratio
- Star drag
3: Best Long Casting Distances: Shimano Torium Stardrag Multiplier Reel
This is a great fishing reel for wrestling with extra-large underwater monsters that might target your baits and try to get away. It’s a lightweight, compact spinning reel that calls for superb casting manners. The reel can hold up to 710 yards of 50-pound braid. That means that even the big sharks cannot take advantage of your lures. If you’re looking for a beach casting reel suitable for tricky wind conditions, you’ll need some practice with the device’s VBS casting management system. Furthermore, the weight is perfect for all-day fishing.
Even with just three bearings, the fishing reel provides you a silky smooth crank to drag. The fishing reel is incredibly versatile for beach casting and trolling. If you’re angling off a rocky beach, the Torium can cast a mile away. The reel’s big handle gives you full control and makes you feel in charge with its solid drag when you hook up. In other words, you’ll feel like you want to play it out even with big game fish when it’s properly hooked. In the shore break, you can lose your catch if not played out sufficiently. Even though it’s a corrosion-resistant device, you’ll need to keep the Torium reel as clean as possible after leaving the sand.
- One-piece aluminum handle side plate
- Power Al body construction
- Die-cast aluminum frame
- Cross carbon drag
- High-Efficiency Gearing (HEG)
- S-Compact Body
- Big clicker button
- Line capacity of 700yds/50lb
- A great gear ratio of 6:2.1
- 3 + 1 ball bearings
4: Best for Level Drags: Okuma Andros Two Speed Lever Drag Aluminum Fishing Reel
This is the best beach casting reel for anglers who are into lever drags. However, it’s an expensive piece for beginners who might not want to spend top dollar on a beach casting reel. Apart from its aluminum drag, the reel comes with Okuma’s best technology. The tool is not only compact but also powerful, lightweight, and rigid.
Once you learn how to use the Okuma Andros properly, you can easily adjust its casting distance. It has a spool that can hold up to 250 yards of 20-pound, which converts huge amounts of braid mono. The 2-speed gearing of this fishing reel provides you with two options of gear ratios of 6.4:1 & 3.8:1.
Meaning, a professional angler can turn their cranking, even with a shark, just with the flick of a switch with plenty more torque. The lever fan drags that this Okuma reel delivers will make your fishing outing more enjoyable. Considering the device’s weight of just 15 ounces, you’ll have great fun and confidence tackling all-comers with the Okuma. The fishing reel inspires the urge to tackle big fish with ease. Moreover, the reel has a stainless steel helical cut gearing and unique versatility that gives you a good mesh, particularly under load.
- 6 corrosion-resistant ball bearings
- Sturdy 1-piece frame and left side plate construction
- 6061-T6 machined aluminum frame
- Stainless steel ratchet drag lever
- Corrosion Resistant Coating process
- Gear ratios of 6.4:1 & 3.8:1
- Stainless steel helical cut gearing
- Weighs 14.8 ounces
- Machined aluminum spool
- Carbonite dual force drag system
- The anodized aluminum gear shifter housing
- Ergo grip handle knob
- Integrated recessed reel foot design
- Silent retrieve system
5: Best Budget: KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel S60
The KastKing claims a list of features that are astonishing for its entry-level surf fishing reel price. You’ll definitely get the good bits from this affordable beach casting reel. The reel comes in different sizes of ambidextrous configurations that make it comfortable for both left and right-hand anglers. The size 60 reel gives you a great line capacity, 6 bearings, and weight balance. Above the 60, you’ll lose two bearings, which is not bad for its price range.
The KastKing Rover’s spool holds up to 210 yards of 20 pounds with its 13-pound drag system. That’s a huge bargain for medium-sized fish species. The reel is a serviceable fishing device with a gear ratio of 5:3, suitable for hard cranking. Although it doesn’t cast long distances, its level wind provides for a clean spool.
The reel’s shielded and stainless bearing are pretty impressive for beach casting. The KastKing Rover performs well when bounced on the bottom or trolled by a beginner or seasoned angler. This is a definite player for budget-conscious anglers.
- Level wind
- Solid metal body
- Machined spool
- Metallic idle gear
- Centrifugal brake
- Accurately cut brass gears
- Carbon fiber star drag
- Anodized aluminum side plates shielded and stainless 6 +1 bearings
- Machined spool
6: Best for High Strength Gearing: Daiwa Saltist 30 Levelwind Casting Reel
This is a very durable and versatile fishing reel that you can actually pass down to your kids. The cast length of this device is better than adequate, even if its level of wind reduces the casting distance you’ll do on the beach.
The reel’s level guide design with a silicon carbide guide reduces the kind of friction you’re likely to experience with other surf fishing reels. Its level wind can deliver a consistent spool, which is a feature you can’t find in other models or brands.
The reel has four corrosion-resistant ball bearings that work with the helical cut gears to deliver a smooth crank. Its big bent handle enhances the device’s solid feel, encouraging you to lay big game fish with confidence. The Saltist reel has a rigid one-piece aluminum frame that can deliver perfect torque for fighting your large catch. If you’re looking for the ideal lure fishing reel, then you need this device’s incomparable fast gear ratio.
The reel’s super-smooth drag of 20 pounds works well with a spool that gives you up to 400 yards of a braided line weighing 30 pounds. If you can manage to target large fish with this Daiwa model, you battle a medium-sized fish effortlessly.
- Weighs 640g
- 4+1 ball bearings count
- One-piece aluminum frame
- Automatic clutch engagement
- Anodized aluminum finish
- Line retrieves at 89cm
- A gear ratio of 6.1 / 1
- Helical cut gears
- Infinite anti-reverse
What to Consider When Selecting a Fishing Reel For Beach Casting
Now, it’s time to delve a little deeper into the features that make up a perfect beach casting reel. They include:
Saltwater Vs. Freshwater
It’s crucial that you decide on whether you’ll be fishing in saltwater or freshwater environments. For ocean beaches, you must be aware that the spray and salt you’ll face during your fishing trip require an extremely durable fishing reel. Therefore, choosing a casting reel made from graphite and carbon or coated metallic reels will be your best bet for saltwater beaches. But, if your choice is freshwater fishing, you can make do with any other fishing reel material or, better still, work with a reel that has some exterior construction or protective coating.
The size of the reel you choose matters a lot when it comes to smooth and quick casting at the beach. Fishing reels are usually rated based on the weight of catch the reel can handle. For instance, if your test line is a 6- to 8-pound test line, then the ideal fishing reel should be rated to handle those weight margins. Sometimes, the number can be indicated as “6 lb. test instead of a range. Some brands use specs such as 6 lb. /140 yards” to indicate the size of the fishing reel.
Spinning reels have drag mechanisms. While the difference between spinning drag systems may not affect your overall fishing experience, it’s better to opt for the more durable and robust front drag systems than their rear counterparts. High-end spinning reels with waterproof drag mechanisms are even more durable.
When casting from the beach, you may have to cast far and wide, targeting larger fish that often don’t frequent the shoreline. That means the weight of your fishing reel must be high enough to handle big game fish. This is not necessarily the case for the big guys who can comfortably fish with a reel that has a lower drag while fishing from a boat. But for seasoned anglers who somehow enjoy the thrill of getting involved in a long fight with their catches, a reel with a lower drag weight will do the magic.
In beach casting, you’ll spend most of your fishing hours from the shore, and thus you should go for a lightweight reel. Furthermore, you’ll need to use rods that are more than 10 feet long. Therefore, when searching for the perfect casting reel for your fishing outing, consider trending in that direction even if you don’t get the lightest alternatives in your local outdoor store.
Gear Ratio and Line Capacity
Gear ratio is simply the speed at which your line reels in. For that reason, think about how long you’d wish to take to reel in the line once you catch a fish and how often you may need to reel in after casting the line. A high gear ratio is suitable for anglers who like reeling in their long casts frequently.
This is also the perfect gear ratio if your target is a fish that is likely to give you a short window that requires quick reeling in. Lower gears are ideal for slow line reeling and for fish species that don’t resist too much. A reel with a medium gear ratio of 5:1 is perfect for beginners or anglers who are not sure about the right gear ratio.
When figuring out the best line capacity for casting from the beach, think about the weight of the line instead of the distance of your casting. This is very important because even some of the smallest reels on our list can offer you even up to 200 yards. You should also think about how much fight you expect the fish to put up.
The primary materials used for making fishing reels are aluminum and graphite. While the latter is much lighter than the former, aluminum is also cheaper than graphite. In addition, anglers who often prefer or opt for saltwater fishing should consider reels made from graphite because they’re corrosion-resistant and more durable compared to aluminum. But, if you find a budget-friendly fishing reel that is made from anodized aluminum, you’re good to go.
Most of the cheapest fishing reels on the market feature bearings of around 11 or more. While having a fishing reel with a higher bearing count means having a smooth operation, quality is more important in a fishing reel than quantity. A fishing reel with a bearing count of 6 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing will be marked as “6+1”.
FAQs about Beach Casting Reels
What reel should I use for surf fishing?
A spinning reel is perfect for smooth and quick casting. Since much of the spinner reel’s mechanism is external, it’s easier to address snags, dry it up faster, and even apply some coating to prevent corrosion and rusting. A good surf fishing reel should also have a high drag weight that is capable of handling big game fish that usually don’t come to shallow water. Ultimately, the best surf fishing reel for your fishing expedition depends on what you’re targeting ad your fishing location.
What is the best casting reel on the market?
The right casting reel should be strong and flexible enough to allow you to cast smoothly and quickly. Spinning reels such as Ozark Trail 5+1 Ball Bearing Spinning Reel, Shimano Sienna SN500FG Spinning Reel, and the Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 are known to be perfect for casting in freshwater and saltwater. Moreover, you can use artificial, live, or dead lures when casting with spinning reels. The spinning reels will allow you more control than using other reel types, such as a spin-cast reel.
What is the best fishing reel for casting long distances?
Your casting reel ought to be lightweight and with a higher line capacity because you’ll be casting too far distances. The right casting reel should be waterproofed and sturdier enough to catch the big fish species that come so close to the shoreline. Shimano Daiwa Tatula, Curado DC Baitcasting Reel, Lew’s Reels BB1SHZ Speed Spool Baitcast Reel, and KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels are examples of the best casting reels you should check out.
The basic rule of selecting the best fishing reels for beach casting is to go for a sturdy, durable, and lightweight device. Consider where you’ll be fishing and the type of fish you’ll be going after. Your best approach is to start with affordable fishing reels and upgrade to the high-end options as your skill level grows.
Beach casting is a rewarding experience that can open up exhilarating new chapters in your fun fishing trips. Our top pick of the best fishing reels for beach casting is the Daiwa M7HTMAGST Millionaire Surf Reel because it’s lightweight and will give you a legendary cast on the beach regardless of the fish species you’re targeting. It delivers a smooth bearing crank and is very brilliant for all skill levels. The KastKing Rover S60 is, on the other hand, the best budget choice for beginners.