Is a 10ft rod good for surf fishing? [Get the most out of it]

Is a 10ft rod good for surf fishing

A few years back I bought a 10ft spinning rod for fishing on the rocks. Then I made the transition to the beach and fell in love with surf fishing. 

The first question I asked was, is a 10ft fishing rod good for surf fishing?

This article explains whether a 10ft rod is good for fishing from the beach, and how to get the most out of it while angling from the shore. 

Check out our view on the top surf fishing rods available now.

10ft rods are great for surf fishing with smaller waves when paired with sand spikes or targeting gutters, holes and sandbars closer in. The best rods are surf fishing rods, surf spinning rods, or spinning rods. Medium-heavy power and fast action are best for a 10ft surf fishing rod.

Check out our guide on the best rod length for surf fishing.

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Can I use a 10ft rod for surf fishing? Is it long enough?

10ft is more than adequate for surf fishing. I have a 10ft surf fishing rod. In fact, currently it’s my main rod and it works great.

I’ve been fishing beaches recently with my 10ft beach rod and have caught eating-sized tailor, trevally, flounder, and even a shovel-nosed ray of about 2-3ft long.

10ft is long enough to clear small surf and keep the line out of the wash of the breaking tide, especially if you have a sand spike to place it in, or are willing to hold it. 

Check out our perspective on the best surf rods for the money now.

A 10ft rod will also cast a good distance to target sandbanks a little further out. 

On my last session, I was targeting a channel just before a sandbank about 80-90ft out in the ocean, and was able to place my bait and weight just in front of it to drop into the fish-feeding channel. 

My 10ft rod is a classic pier rod but I use it now predominantly for surf fishing. 

If you’re interested, my rod is a Silstar Powertip. Not too expensive but has lasted me really well. 

Even an 8 foot rod can be good for surf fishing if you use it correctly.

10ft surf rod power and action

In terms of action and power, you probably want the power to be anything higher than medium, and the action to be in the faster range to pick up bites easily but not be disturbed too much by the swells of the ocean.

When not to use a 10ft rod for surf fishing. 

It’s worth picking your conditions correctly if you plan on using a 10ft fishing rod.

If the swell is quite large and the breaking waves are big, then a 10 footer may struggle to clear the white wash of the waves.

Recently I tried to use my 10ft spinning rod in waves that were a little too large.

This meant I struggled to clear the break, and my terminal tackle just washed around in the waves – it was an unsuccessful trip. Only one tailor!

If fishing larger surf, then it’s worth using a longer rod, something like 11-14ft.

This will help you clear the line out of the mess of the wash close to shore, and potentially cast further too if you get your technique right.

Using a 10ft surf rod: how far to cast and good places to target. 

When surf fishing, you are dealing with an ever-changing environment.

The tide times change conditions and the swell can be in your favor or ruin a trip. 

It really pays to note the tide times and also the swell and weather before you embark on a fishing trip to the beach. 

With the changing tide though comes the opportunity to use a 10ft fishing rod effectively. 

A tip is to go to the beach you want to fish at low tide and observe and note what features are present and how far they would be from different points on the beach. 

Also, note where the high tide mark is. Because this is where you would be casting from at high tide and you need to know how far your cast needs to be to reach the features of the sea bed where fish will be lurking.

I can cast on average 80ft with my 10ft rod, so I look for sandbars, gutters, and other features like cuts or rips that would be reachable within my casting distance. 


If your cast is not as long as that, then look for points on the shoreline to target – parts of the beach that jut into the water at a point and create breaking waves that are a good target for fish. 

Also, going at low tide, you might see some gutters that you can cast into that are closer to the incoming tide line.

These are perfect spots to cast a 10ft rod into if you are limited in the distance you can achieve. 

Pick the right reel for your 10ft surf rod

I have a 4000 Daiwa reel on my 10ft rod I use for surf fishing. This is not too heavy and bulky but also has decent capacity for medium range surf fishing. 

A 5000-7000 sized reel could also be used here, but the upper end might feel a bit bulky for a 10ft rod. 

If you’re going to be casting and retrieving a lot, as you do with lures and spinners, then go for a lighter reel nearer the 5000 range. 

If you’re going to be casting bait and leaving it in a sand spike, then a larger reel nearer the 7000 level would work ok. 

Anything larger than 7000 with the reel and you will probably need to increase the size of your beach casting rod. 

The best terminal tackle for your 10ft surf rod

Surf fishing weights / sinkers

If you have a rod that’s a medium-heavy power rating, then your casting weight should be around the 1.5 – 2.5oz / 40-70gm to get a good distance on it. 

I opt for the middle of that weight range to get the most casting leverage and distance, but still keeping it fairly light and sensitive to bites. 

If you go too light you won’t be able to cast far, too heavy and your rod will be overloaded and cumbersome, at risk of damaging the rod or breaking the line. 

Surf Fishing rigs

In terms of choosing the right rig, if you’re a beginner, the simplest is the best. 

A running sinker rig only requires one knot and two pieces of tackle – a 2oz / 56g ball sinker, and a hook. 

It takes about 1-2 minutes to make and you can get your rod into the water almost immediately after arriving at the beach. With no requirement to rig up at home beforehand. 

I’ve caught a lot on this type of rig – many of the fish mentioned previously, and on the 10ft rod I’m using. 

The second rig I’d recommend using is the Paternoster rig – again, very simple in its design and really easy to buy pre-rigged versions if your knot tying skills are not up to scratch, or are feeling a little lazy. 

All you have to do is unpackage the rig, tie a swivel to your mainline, and snap the swivel end of the pre-made rig onto the mainline swivel. Bait it up and you’re ready to go.

Is a 10ft rod good for surf fishing? Summary. 

Don’t forget to check out our article on the top surf fishing rods available.

I use a 10ft rod and it is great for surf fishing – it is the main rod I use these days. With a medium-heavy power and a fast action you should find this a versatile sized rod for small to medium surf conditions.

Need help deciding the right size for a surf fishing rod? Click here!