7 Best Surf Rod for Striper Fishing in 2022
When it comes to surf fishing for striped bass, you need a rod that can handle the job. Not all rods are created equal, which is why we’ve put together a list of the 7 best surf rods for striper fishing in 2022. These rods have been tested and tried by our team of experts and are sure to help you land that big one.
Based on what we’ve tested, we really liked the Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod.
The Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod is a great choice for fishermen looking for a quality surf fishing rod. The design of this product is beautiful and it’s made from IM8 graphite, making it strong and lightweight. This rod is easy to throw and gives you great control when casting. It also comes with a comfortable cork handle, making it easy to hold for long periods of time.
Although this is our top choice for a surf rod, there are plenty of other great options on the market. So, if the Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod isn’t for you, be sure to check out the other rods on our list.
Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod Striper Fishing Rod
Best For Beginners
Okuma Rockaway Light Weight Carbon Saltwater Surf Rods
Best by Budget
Zebco Quantum Optix Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
Surf Fishing Rod for Striped Bass Reviews
- Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod Striper Fishing Rod
- Zebco Quantum Optix Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
- Okuma Rockaway Light Weight Carbon Saltwater Surf Rods
- Tsunami Airwave Elite 2pc Saltwater Striper Surf SPINNING Rod
- St. Croix Rods Avid Series Surf Spinning Rod
- TICA UEHA Surf Spinning Fishing Rod Series
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik 12′
1. Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod Striper Fishing Rod
This Berrypro comes in many sizes, but I chose the 9′ medium for striper fishing. I went for striper fishing from the shore, using artificial baits and a 4000 size reel.
The first thing I noticed is how easily it can sling a bait far enough. Yet, it feels light and sensitive enough, so it doesn’t cause any hand fatigue even though I was casting for hours.
I tried several baits but found the 1-ounce baits to work the best. Its guides aren’t properly aligned to the axis of its spine, but I don’t think it made too big of a difference. You might notice this takes away some sensitivity, but I got used to it pretty quickly.
The stainless steel guides have ceramic rings to minimize friction regardless of the line you’re using. I used braided, but any other works just as fine.
Another thing we should mention is the graphics. The detailing is impeccable, although the frosted metal reel seat does ruin it a bit. It seems mismatched, but the whole thing still looks better than most.
The pole has enough flexibility and toughness, which allows you to retrieve this heavy fish. However, the IM8 carbon is delicate, so the rod requires cautious handling.
I’d say you can’t carelessly throw it in your trunk for too long before it shows signs of damage. So, make sure to have a proper transportation case.
And, you might also want to rinse it after each use. If not, I assume it could rust quickly, especially around the guides.
Ironically, this one is called a Striper Killer, and I can see why. It’s easy to use with different lures and line capacity, which allows you to customize its performance to your liking.
The EVA handles are equally comfortable with just the right amount of cushioning. In addition, they offer a good grip, which is crucial when retrieving larger stripers.
2. Zebco Quantum Optix Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
This combo features the Quantum Optix two-piece rod and a size 60 fishing reel. What makes the reel stand out is the monoline capacity of 250/17 yds/lbs. Plus, it can also hold about 390 yards of 30lb braided line.
I used the KastKing SuperPower braided line in Low-Vis Gray. It works well for surf fishing and with this particular reel, allowing smooth casting and retrieving.
It’s a fast action 7’ rod with graphite composite blanks and a comfortable EVA foam grip. It’s cushioned enough to provide comfort without taking away the grip, even when it’s wet.
It has 5+Tip Dynaflow guides made from aluminum oxide. These are smooth and durable, allowing quick casts with no damage to the line. Additionally, they’re designed to hold 15-40lb line weight with ½-4oz lures.
Going back to the reel, we should mention its interchangeable hand retrieve. It’s easy to change it from right to left since the entire process takes only a few seconds. And, the oversized knob makes the whole thing even easier to use, especially when your hands are wet.
Another thing particularly useful for beginners is the QuickSet anti-reverse function. It helps retrieve big and heavy fish, stopping it from pulling out all your line.
The reel has a lightweight composite body resistant to corrosion, but I suggest you rinse it all after use nonetheless. It sports a 4.9:1 gear ratio with a line retrieval of 33 inches per turn (IPT), so you can probably use it for other fish as well.
And, you get a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer, covering defects in materials and workmanship for both the rod and reel.
3. Okuma Rockaway Light Weight Carbon Saltwater Surf Rods
The first thing you’ll notice about this Okuma Rockaway are the lightweight carbon blanks. It comes in many length and power options, but I went for the 10′ medium-heavy one.
I retrieved a 6-pound striper the very first time I took the Okuma Rockaway out. It puts out 100 yards, which allows you to cover a lot of territory.
It has XQ- series Sea Guide 316-stainless steel frames and zirconium inserts for the line to run smoothly. I paired it with 15# monofilament, but it would also work well with 40# braid.
Also, I used the Daiwa BG 4500 reel, which balanced well when striper fishing. I assume it would work equally well even if you were to target other species.
Its 24-ton carbon rod blanks are highly responsive. This doesn’t matter so much when fishing for a large striper, but it can help land smaller fish as it transmits even the slightest bite.
This is even more enhanced by the Ultimate Flex Reinforcement tip technology, otherwise known as the UFR-II. It senses tiny bites, helping you to catch a smaller striper or other similar species.
Since it’s a two-piece, I was concerned about how it’ll perform at the connection points. To my surprise, it showed no weakness in these parts. Instead, it performed very much like a one-piece surf rod for striper fishing.
One drawback I noticed is the EVA butt that’s unlikely to hold up for too long. It’s easy to tear up, especially since you’ll probably use a rod holder.
The grip itself is something we don’t see too often. Most brands use EVA or cork, but Okuma went a different route using thin tapered shrink grips.
The surface is much more durable than both EVA and cork, and it’s also supposed to be non-slippery. But, it doesn’t offer such a good grip as you’d expect, given that the surface is tapered. I found it slightly slippery when wet.
4. Tsunami Airwave Elite 2pc Saltwater Striper Surf SPINNING Rod
Tsunami Airwave Elite is a two-piece measuring 8’8’’. It has medium action and is tested for a ½-2-ounce lure and a 12-20lb line.
I went for lighter lures and noticed it does an excellent job of casting and retrieving mid-weight striper. Depending on where you fish, I assume you can land quite a high number of species.
What stands out the most is the flexibility of blanks. The company utilized high-pressure production techniques, which resulted in added strength, flexibility, and sensitivity.
It feels very comfortable and easy to use, possibly because it weighs less than 12 ounces. I used it for hours, and although I didn’t catch any big ones, I had no problem landing the ones that did bite.
It’s lightweight, and if you pair it with a light reel, you’re unlikely to have sore arms. Plus, you can choose between cork and vinyl handles, depending on your preference. One thing, though, is that the handle might be too small if you have big hands.
It features Fuji Alconite guides for smooth performance, even if you use a braided line as I did. You’ll notice the line running smoothly, but the blank resilience won’t show until you have to retrieve a fish.
Once that happens, you’ll notice the power it transmits from one blank to another as if it doesn’t have any connection points.
The reserve power in each piece helps to battle the fish without requiring too much strength on your part. This means the entire battle shouldn’t be too tiring.
And I was able to cast at a long distance and with pinpoint accuracy. It didn’t take so much skill, so I assume this one would work well for beginners.
The stainless steel reel seat complements the entire design. I paired it with the Tsunami Evict4000 reel, which was a great choice since it’s the same brand.
5. St. Croix Rods Avid Series Surf Spinning Rod
What makes this St. Croix surf spinning rod good for striper fishing is the blank construction. First of all, it’s a one-piece made from high-modulus SCII carbon that’s known to be durable yet sensitive.
However, the company also utilized Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART) and Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology. The two technologies allow flexibility, strength, and, most importantly, casting distance.
It feels comfortable enough to use for hours, even when casting at a long distance. I paired it with the Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic, which fits its Fuji DPS Deluxe reel seat perfectly.
We should also mention the Fuji K-Series KW guides. These are tangle-free and will work fine with both brain and monofilament lines. Plus, the St Croix has Alconite rings to make sure the line runs smoothly.
For striper fishing, I’d recommend you go for the 8’ blank, although other options exist as well. You can even choose between one-piece and two-piece configurations.
The one-piece performs better, in my opinion, since there are no connection points, as it’s the case in two-piece rods. Also, this one sports moderate action and medium power with a line weight of 8-17lb and a lure weight of ¾-3-ounce.
It has two cork handles, but I don’t see it holding up with frequent use. So it might be better to go for a wrapped handle if you’re often out fishing.
On a positive note, St. Croix offers a 15-year transferable warranty.
6. TICA UEHA Surf Spinning Fishing Rod Series
This Tica is an incredible two-piece for a longer casting distance. It’s a medium-heavy rod, but it does lean towards heavy a bit, which you’ll probably feel the first time you use it.
The TC2 graphite construction is sensitive yet strong enough to land a bigger striper. Find a location where big stripers are and expect to land several without any issues.
However, I did notice the balance is a bit off due to the butt being so long. You’ll have to hold your arms straight or tuck the butt beside you. Otherwise, much of its length will be behind the reel.
Nonetheless, this is still an excellent rod, although the reel seat placement takes some getting used to.
We should also mention the titanium oxide ring guides that fit both braid and monofilament lines. And, the top guide has a Fuji aluminum oxide ring.
I first paired it with a 50lb line but quickly changed to a 30lb braided one. I find it to work better for striper fishing, especially with the guides featured here.
The non-slip cork tape handle offers enough grip when casting and retrieving. It feels comfortable in hand, but don’t expect it to hold up for too long if you don’t rinse it after each use.
Tica offers many length options from 7’ to 12’, depending on what you’re after. For striper, you should go for anything between 8’ to 10’, but do consider the reel seat placement we talked about.
7. Shakespeare Ugly Stik 12'
Although I’d generally recommend something below 10’, this 12’ Ugly Stik does wonders in surf fishing. The way it’s constructed allows for a longer length, making it easy to keep the line above breakers.
Plus, the added length helps with cast distance if you’re going after bigger fish. However, there’s a drawback to it. This is a heavy action rod, which can make it tough to control with the heavier lure.
Even pairing it with a 4-ounce lure can make it tricky to figure out when something smaller is on the line. The clear tip flex will tell you when something heavy hits the hook. For smaller fish, it does take some getting used to.
It’s a two-piece, so you’ll also have to keep in mind the connection points. I didn’t feel any lack of power here as it did a pretty good job of transmitting it from line to hand. Nonetheless, if it were to snap, this is where it would likely happen.
The blanks are made from fiberglass and graphite combo, so that’s a plus. The two materials complement one another, offering solid levels of durability and flexibility.
It’s paired with one-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides. As such, it works with both mono and braided lines, especially since there’s no chance of insert pop-outs.
Its two EVA grips have the right size for both small and large hands. They’re cushioned enough, so I don’t think you’d experience any fatigue even after several hours.
However, these require some care if you’re looking to use them for an extended period. Simple rising is enough but make sure to do it after each use.
Also, you might not like the distance between the two handles. It’s fine if you don’t care much about accuracy, but a bit too much for controlled casting.
Buying Guide: Surf Rods for Striper Fishing
Are you having trouble picking one of these surf rods? Striper fishing is relatively easy, but you need the right rod, or you might not be as successful.
Although all of these are meant for striper fishing, not every model will fit your needs.
Here are the most critical factors you should think about before buying.
Size Rod for Striper Fishing
Although most people will tell you that a rod of 7′ is long enough, this isn’t the case for surf fishing. It might work for inshore spinning rods, but you need something longer for surf fishing.
In this case, we suggest you go for a rod between 8′ and 10′ for striper fishing. It’ll give you more accuracy, allowing you to use lighter baits as well.
Attach a 6000-8000 series reel with a 25-50lb braided line, and you won’t have any issues casting further.
The best rod action for striper fishing is medium to fast. This surf rod allows enough casting distance, helping with retrieving the heavy fish. It also allows you to jig when needed.
And, it’s a versatile option you can use for other species as well.
Rod power tells you how much weight a rod can handle. This is referred to as ultra-light, light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and extra-heavy.
Keep in mind that power ratings are inconsistent, varying from one manufacturer to another. It sometimes even differs between two models of the same manufacturer.
For this reason, the safest option for striper fishing is to go for medium to medium-heavy power. It’s the most versatile rating that’ll work with several species.
The most high-performance surf rods for striper fishing are made from carbon fiber. Some are made from high-density carbon fiber, which is a slightly more improved version.
Others are made from mid- and high-density fiber composite. These are still durable and resilient, allowing long use in various conditions.
Nonetheless, graphite and composite rods are the most common for surf fishing, especially when targeting striper. Graphite is reliable as it’s unlikely to break under load.
Composite is made from graphite and glass, and it’s one of the best choices for striper fishing.
This is all the information you need to embark on a striper fishing adventure. If you’re unsure about which rod to choose, we suggest you check the Berrypro Light Surf Spinning Rod once more.
It casts well, and you can use many different baits with it. Plus, it’s called a Striper Killer, and I think there isn’t a more appropriate name for it.