Is a 4000-size spinning reel good for surf fishing?

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Picking the right reel for surf fishing can be tricky. 

Is my reel large enough? Will it hold enough line of the correct strength? Will I actually catch anything with it?

This article specifically looks at whether a 4000 size spinning reel is good for surf fishing, and how to get the best out of it. 

A 4000-size reel is a good choice for surf fishing if your rod isn’t too large. It will be able to land the majority of common species you can catch from the beach. Pair it with an 8ft- 10ft medium power and fast action surf rod and 8-12kg (12-18lb) line for best results.

Check out our article on the best 4000 size spinning reels for top-value picks!

Daiwa BG

Author photo of the Daiwa BG Reel

Best Surf Reel Overall

  • Crazy value for money
  • Features you find in top-end reel models
  • Incredibly versatile, reliable and durable

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Need to go larger? Check out whether a 6000-size spinning reel works for your surf fishing needs.

Need help choosing the right brand and model for your beach casting reel? Check out our view on the top beach casting reels here.

Can you surf fish with a 4000 size spinning reel?

A 4000-size spinning reel is in the lower range of what is typically recommended for surf fishing, but it can still be used effectively.

Surf fishing typically requires a larger setup, but if you are selective about targeting certain species, you can have a great time using a 4000 size reel for landing smaller species and sizes. 

Using a reel of this size will mean that you won’t be able to cast as far as a larger reel, mainly because of two factors:

  1. The reel spool is smaller and therefore carries less line on it. 
  2. The spool itself is narrower, which means that less line is released from the circumference of the rod, because it is a smaller circumference. 

So when using a 4000 spinning reel, it’ll be important to scope out the surf at your local beach to identify where the best spots are to cast to, where fish are likely to be lurking. These include gutters, holes, rips and sandbanks that might be within 50-75yds of the shoreline. 

The 4000 size Daiwa BG was rated our top overall best surf fishing reel article.

How far can you cast with a 4000 reel?

With a 4000 reel you should be able to get a good distance in your cast. It won’t match reels of a much larger size, like a 7000 or 8000 which have wide spools. 

After conducting research across some of the most popular fishing forums online, it seems that somewhere between 50-75yds is what to expect for your casting distance on a 4000 reel.

But there are some factors to consider that will help get greater distances casting. 

How to cast further with your fishing reel – four factors

Four key factors to help you cast further immediately come to mind here. Using braid, lowering the line weight, filling the spool, using lures and weights that are in the middle of the rod’s ratings.

Using braided line

If you’re currently using mono, you might want to consider swapping for braid. Braid comes off the spool much more quickly and is also thinner than mono of the same strength. 

Lower your line weight

When switching to braid, you can lower the line’s thickness and weight because braid is generally stronger than mono. This means you’ll have thinner line that will release quicker and cut through the air more efficiently.

Fill the spool

Make sure your reel spool is adequately filled. If the spool is ‘under-spooled’ then the line will catch on the top rim of the reel creating friction and slowing down your line from releasing off the reel when you cast. This additional friction will reduce your casting distance.

If you’re looking for a top log casting spinning reel for surf fishing, the long cast version of the Penn spinfisher VI reel is built perfectly for this.

Penn SpinFisher VI

Author's 2nd photo of Spinfisher VI reel

Durable, waterproof reel

  • Great waterproof sealing
  • Comes in a ‘Longcast version’ for extra distance
  • Tried and tested by thousands of anglers over many years

Use Lures or weights in the middle of the rod rating

If you select tackle that is too light, you won’t have the leverage and energy build-up that’s required to cast far. If it is too heavy, it will overwhelm the rod and bog down through the air. Having balanced terminal tackle will improve  casting efficiency.

What fish can you catch with a 4000 reel?

A 4000 reel will comfortably have enough power to catch large whiting, average-sized redfish, snapper and good-sized snook.

If you want to go smaller and test your angling skills though, a 2500-size reel might be a better choice for you.

I have the Shimano Sienna in 2500 size and its a brilliant little reel. I’ve not had any issues with it even after 2 years of saltwater and freshwater fishing. It’s lovely and smooth and durable for the price! Bargain if you ask me!

Shimano Sienna

Photo of Shimano Sienna by the Author

A reliable, great value reel

  • Surprisingly solid and stable
  • Fantastically smooth
  • Exciting fishing on the 2500

What line should you use for a 4000 reel?

Fishing line test ratings are really just a guide not necessarily a prescription. It all depends on what you are using the reel for – what you are planning to target. 

The common advice I’ve seen is for a 4000 reel to have:

Braid – 8-20lb (3.6-9kg) (Link goes to Amazon)

Mono – 8-12lb (3.6-6kg) (Link goes to Amazon)

What surf rod should you match to a 4000 reel?

In terms of matching a rod to a 4000 reel, I find for surf fishing that anything around the 7-8ft rod length balances nicely with a 4000 reel and meets the needs of the beach casting environment too.

A consideration though is that with a slightly shorter rod, you’re not going to be able to cast as far as a larger reel with a longer rod – again, it will come down to effective targeting of areas close to shore that are likely to hold fish. 

In terms of power and action ratings, a medium power and a moderate to fast action should work well for effective casting distance, providing enough control of the cast accuracy and if you are using lures, plus be strong enough to comfortably land the size offish and species you’ll be going after. 

A easy to handle, decent performance rod to start off with is the Daiwa Laguna Spinning rod.

Choosing the right tackle to match your surf rod and reel set up

As mentioned, if you want to use a 4000 reel for surf fishing, then it’s wise to follow the ratings on the rod for what line rating will be best for that size of reel. 

This will help determine the right line for the reel and help you match the reel to the right rod, and ultimately pick the right weight of tackle or lure that is appropriate. 

For example, I have a medium power surf rod with fast action and its line rating is 6-8kg (12-18lb). It has a lure weight rating of 20-60gms, and typically I aim for the middle or upper third of that range which works very well for this type of rod. 

This rod has a 4000 reel and it works great with a tackle that follows these guidelines, catching a variety of fish for me in the past. 

Check out our article on the best 4000 size spinning reels for top-value picks!

Is a 4000-size spinning reel good for surf fishing?

A 4000-sized spinning reel is a good choice for a surf rod around the 8-10ft length. You’ll be confident landing some good-sized fish with this size, but if you think you need to go larger, a 6000-size reel might be a good option.