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Do you know 38% of males and 23% of females have catch catfish at least once in their life? It is not hard to see why catfishing is so popular among anglers. But what about surf fishing? Do you prefer to be close to the coast while fishing? If so, surf fishing might be your preferred option.

Can you use a catfish rod for surf fishing? You can use a catfish rod for surf fishing if it is made from corrosion-resistant material and has medium or medium-heavy action with heavy power. Also, it needs to be 8 to 10 feet long with an 18-24 inches handle.

Can You Use A Catfish Rod For Surf Fishing?

It is impractical to select a catfish rod for surf fishing randomly.

Catfishing and surf fishing are not the same. You can only use a catfish rod for surf fishing if it meets all the essential criteria.

Let me tell you in detail what things a catfish rod must have to use for surf fishing.

Can You Use A Catfish Rod For Surf Fishing

01. Corrosion Resistant

Most catfish are found in freshwater. Hence, it is not uncommon for a catfish rod without any corrosion-resistant guides.

Surf fishing involves catching fish while standing on the ocean’s shoreline or wading in the surf.

Hence, surf fishing rods are generally made of corrosion-resistant materials.

You can only use your catfish rod for surf fishing if its body is made of corrosion-resistant materials. Otherwise, it will corrode and rust quicker in the ocean.

But you must be wondering which materials are the best for surf fishing.

If your catfish is made from high-quality aluminum or stainless steel, it is safe to use them for surf fishing.

02. The Fishing Rod’s Power

How do you define the power or strength of a fishing rod? It generally involves how much backbone a rod has or how much pressure it can take to flex the rod.

You can also define it as the resistance level of the gear when being flexed under strain.

A fishing rod with an extra-heavy power rod can have an ample backbone. It can lift giant fish into the boat and cast larger, heavy lures.

Is your catfish rod specially made from flexible fiberglass or graphite? Can it handle a great deal of force and tension while catching fish?

If so, you can use your catfish rod for surf fishing. Using medium-heavy catfish rods for surf fishing is a good rule of thumb.

They have a generous amount of backbone, strength, and action to handle larger and top-fighting fish from oceans.

03. The Fishing Rod’s Action

When it comes to surf fishing or distance casting, powerful fast-action rods are the best choice.

They can provide more precise results when you cast them due to their extreme sensitivity.

Another benefit of fast-action rods is getting solid hook sets, as they can rapidly transfer the rod energy to the fish.

Turning big fishes will be more easygoing with fast-action rods than medium- or slower-action rods.

However, you can also use medium-heavy action catfish rods to turn various species holding in the surf zone.

Fishermen will receive great sensitivity and fighting power with adequate hook-setting power in different inshore fishing scenarios.

But, they may lack some subtle strikes or struggle to cast a light jig.

What Is The Best Power And Action For Surf Fishing?

Anglers generally use medium or medium-heavy action catfish rods for channel catfish, whereas ​ medium-heavy action catfish rods for blue and flathead catfish.

But surf fishing involves fighting against larger and heavier fish species. You may need to use fast action catfish rod in some cases.

In addition, the catfish rod must have medium-heavy power to handle the weight of the heavier fish species.

Avoid using light-powered catfish rods for surf fishing. It will cause excessive bend and may break the rod.

But what fish species can you catch with this type of catfish rod? Compared to catfish species, surffish species are heavier and larger.

The average weight of a catfish is between 2 to 4 lbs. On the other hand, surf fish species can be 2 to 20 lbs or more.

The following table shows different types of surf fish species you can catch with a particular type of catfish rod mentioned above.

Species NameScientific NameAverage SizeHabitatBest Fishing Season
QueenfishSeriphus politus2-15 lbsSandy beaches near jetties and piersSummer
CorbinaMenticirrhus undulatus1-5 lbsSandy beaches near inlets and jettiesSummer
White CroakerGenyonemus lineatus1-2 lbsSandy beaches near inlets and jettiesAll year round
SurfperchEmbiotoca jacksoni6-10 lbsSandy beaches and rocky shoresAll year round
Striped MulletMugil cephalus3-10 lbsSandy beaches near inlets and jettiesSummer, Fall
BluefishPomatomus saltatrix2-15 lbsSandy beaches, rocky shores, and inletsSummer, Fall
BonefishAlbula vulpes2-5 lbsSandy and grassy flats near inlets and channelsAll year round

How Long Should A Catfish Rod Be For Surf Fishing?

The average length of surf fishing rods can be anywhere from 9 and 14 feet. In contrast, catfish rods have an average distance between seven and eight feet.

As a beginner, you may struggle to control longer fishing rods. But the main advantage of longer cast rods is better accurate casting.

Fishermen can place the fishing line on the exact spot they prefer. It has a better chance of clearing obstacles and can accurately cast while fishing in tight areas.

Anglers will get more mechanical advantage from longer cast rods. It will provide better casting distance, accuracy, and hook set leverage.

However, if you are only after small fish species within a closer range, small-sized catfish rods are okay to use. Just make sure it has the capability to tackle the weight of the fish.

According to most experienced anglers, the ideal length of a catfish rod should be between 8 to 10 feet for surf fishing. They have heavier and longer to tackle various fish species.

Is It Important To Consider The Rod’s Handle Length When Surf Fishing?

The rule is simple: “Shorter rod handles for smaller fish and longer rod handles for larger fish.”

A catfish rod with a long handle will provide increased leverage when setting the hook and fighting fish. It delivers increased benefits when fighting against larger fish.

On the contrary, a catfish rod with a short handle will ensure better balance and maneuverability of the rod. It generally comes in handy, especially in rough surf conditions.

However, it can’t be too long or too short. For example, too long handle will affect the axis point, whereas a too-short handle will make it hard to fight against larger fish. 

But how long should be the catfish rod handle for surf fishing? It generally varies depending on personal preference, fishing style, and the type of catfish being targeted.

However, a handle length of 18-24 inches can be a good starting point.

This length can provide a good balance of control, sensitivity, and casting distance while still being comfortable for extended periods.

What Kind Of Fishing Line Is Best For Surf Fishing?

A fishing line plays a key role in connecting an angler and a fish. Hence, it will significantly impact your surf fishing regarding where you are fishing.

But what type of fishing line is better for surf fishing? The first rule is choosing a more abrasion-resistant fishing line.

It will prevent the development of microscopic tears. Plus, they are practically invisible underwater. This will make the fishing experience more enjoyable.

When it comes to surf fishing, braided fishing lines are the best choice. Make sure it has at least 20-30 pounds of test strength.

This type of line has an impressive strength-to-thickness ratio to ensure increased sensitivity and better casting performance.

Besides, braided fishing lines have decreased stretch to provide better control and accuracy when casting. It also has better hook-setting capabilities to increase your chances of catching fish.

In addition, it is equipped with decreased memory to reduce the risk of tangles and knots. It can save you valuable time and frustration on the water.

What Type Of Reel To Use With A Catfish Rod For Surf Fishing?

When using a catfish rod for surf fishing, choosing a reel that can handle the heavier line and larger fish typically found in the surf is essential.

The followings are the key points to consider when selecting a reel to use with a catfish rod for surf fishing:

01. Spinning Reel Or Baitcasting Reel

Both types of reels can work well for surf fishing with a catfish rod.

 Spinning reels are generally easier to use because it lets you get by with your flaws and provide greater casting distance.

 On the other hand, baitcasting reels offer better line control for accurate casting.

02. Line Capacity

Choose a reel with a large line capacity to hold plenty of lines for surf fishing.

It should have at least 20-30 pounds of test strength.

This will allow you to handle larger fish and cast farther into the surf.

03. Drag system

A perfect drag system of a fishing reel allows you smoothly control the distance between you and your catches.

Look for a reel with a smooth and reliable drag system to help you reel in larger fish without breaking your line.

04. Gear ratio

Gear ratio mainly implies how quickly the reel turns when you retrieve the fishing line.

Choose a high-gear ratio reel for faster retrieval when reeling in larger fish from the surf.

According to most expert anglers, the gear ratio should be between 5.7:1 and 8:1:1 if you target larger and heavier fish.

05. Adequate line

Choosing at least 400 yards of fishing line for a particular reel is a good rule of thumb.

A higher line will be better for fighting against larger fish. But it should not be long.

Otherwise, it will cause tangles and knots and affect your casting distance.

06. Reel Size

When it comes to surf fishing, a reel with 5000-6000 size is the best choice.

They can effortlessly hold 400 yards of most lines used for shore fishing.

Anglers can use them for catching big fish and casting long distances with a powerful drag system.

07. Durability

 Surf fishing can be tough on your gear.

Hence, choose a fishing reel that is built to withstand saltwater, sand, and other elements typically found in the surf.

Wrapping UP

You need to be a bit picky when using a catfish rod for surf fishing. Unless it meets some crucial criteria, the fishing gear won’t be supportive enough for surf fishing.

Remember, surf fishing involves catching giant fish species. It can be 4 to 5 times larger than regular catfish.

We have already mentioned how to choose a perfect catfish rod for surf fishing. Hopefully, you got a clear idea regarding the question, “Can you use a catfish rod for surf fishing?”

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