Best Conventional Reels For Surf Casting – (Ideal For Surf Fishing)

Surfcasting is a skill that demands a piece of equipment that is able to provide strength, power, and dragging ability. Most anglers find surfcasting extremely difficult because it involves resistance against weather, water conditions, and friction.

Here, conventional reels are considered a popular choice before baitcasting reels as they have a lesser learning curve. If you are in the process of buying the best conventional reel for surfcasting, here are some of the popular reviews based on drag, strength, and power.

Related: Best Conventional Reels For Bottom Fishing

8 Best Conventional Reels for Surf Fishing

IMAGE PRODUCT Features Price
PENN Squall II conventional casting reel
  • Graphite Frame
  • Versa-Drag System
  • Efficient Drag System
Daiwa SGT50H conventional surf fishing reel
  • Anodized Aluminum Spool
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Centrifugal Braking System
KastKing Rover
  • Top Rated
  • Reinforced Metal Body
  • Powerful Drag System
KastKing ReKon
  • Graphite Body
  • Large Line Capacity
  • Durable Stainless-Steel
Daiwa Sealine-X SHA
  • Premium Quality Material
  • Waterproof Heavy Drag System
  • Lightweight
Okuma Cold Water
  • Corrosion Resistant Frame
  • Multi-disc
  • Mechanical Stabilizing System
PENN Squall II
  • Lightweight
  • Fast Gear Access
  • Durable Construction Quality
Piscifun Salis X
  • High Speed
  • Powerful Handle
  • Ideal For Catching Heavy Fish

Best Surf Casting Conventional Reels Review

1. PENN Squall II Star drag – Best Conventional Reel For Surf Casting

Initially, this Penn Squall II is another variant of the series with great drag capacity and an efficient bearing system that facilitates you in the best manner. It comes in five different sizes, all having high-end features that serve you in tough conditions.

I love this one for its superior braking system and lightweight construction that offer you easy usage and convenience.

Likewise, this one comes with a carbon fiber drag system that is able to drag fish up to 20 pounds which is quite efficient. Also, it offers you great braking adjustments that help you in eliminating the backlashes.

The absence of the casting distance in this model absolutely assists you in surfcasting with absolute ease and precision.

Lastly, this Star Drag fish reel is specifically designed for surfcasting with a slight edge in the drag system that provides more accuracy while you are catching the fish.

This reel further incorporates anti-reverse bearings that prevent the spool from spinning after every revolution.

Finally, if you are looking for something budget-friendly yet suitable for surfcasting, this one from Penn is a great alternative to go for.


  • Offer easy and secure grip
  • Lightweight and convenient
  • Corrosion-resistant properties
  • Offers great drag capacity


  • Not perfectly sealed

Final thoughts, this one from Penn is a great option to go for with all the essentials, from an efficient drag system to quality bearings and so on. This one comes with sturdy construction and a secure grip that provides you with great casting ability. Furthermore, this one includes corrosion-resistant properties that offer a great drag and line capacity, making it a reliable option across the market.

2. Daiwa SGT50H – Conventional Casting Reel

To begin with, Daiwa SGT50H is one of the largest conventional reels designed for saltwater with anti-corrosive properties that help you all along. This one comes in five different models starting from 20 up to 50 sizes with an efficient braking system and control, making it reliable for surf-casting.

Additionally, it offers a high-load application that facilitates improved power, tension and aligns perfectly against the wind.

Speaking of the design, it has a graphite frame that is highly durable and lightweight, making it easy to handle and surf-cast.

For braking, the manufacturers have added the centrifugal system that offers a great range of adjustments and prevents the spool from spinning too fast.

The spool is made up of anodized aluminum that offers a lustrous finish and makes it resistant to damage and corrosion.

Last but not least, the reel is designed for longer and precise casting with its corrosion-resistant ball bearings. The bearings are made up of CRBB (better than regular steel) and offer great grip while you are on your way to cast a fish.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the reel has a helical-cut brass gear that resists strongly against the powerful wind and provides you with a smooth and noiseless gear operation.


  • It is a cost-effective option
  • Includes anti-corrosion properties
  • Centrifugal braking system
  • Lightweight and easy


  • Durability is questionable

In essence, if you are looking for something reliable to be used in the long run, this one from Daiwa is a great alternative. It comes with a centrifugal braking system, CRBB ball bearings, and brass gear that provides you with ease and efficiency alike. Furthermore, I really like the construction of this reel that feels lightweight yet sturdy. All in all, considering it is an affordable product with all basic features, you should go for it.

3. KastKing Rover – Conventional Surf Casting Reel

First of all, this KastKing Rover is one of the most durable and powerful conventional reels out there with high-end features. It is a popular choice across the market for its heavy drag system and exceptional gear ratio that serve you well.

It also possesses corrosion-resistant properties that make it durable and long-lasting. The fact that it provides you with great strength makes it one of my favorites.

Likewise, this one is equipped with an anodized aluminum side plate that works best for tough conditions and prevents any damage.

Here, it also comes with a carbon fiber drag system that is able to withstand weight up to 30 pounds in rough conditions.

It is also worth noticing that it is a versatile reel out there that can be used for different techniques such as bottom fishing, trolling, and surfcasting in freshwater and saltwater with absolute precision.

In the end, the design also comes with super smooth stainless steel 6+1 double ball bearings that provide you with reduced friction and an efficient process overall. Also, I really like the ergonomics design that is able to catch heavy fish with a perfect grip and a large handle.

Kastking Rover Conventional reel for surf fishing

All in all, the centrifugal braking system is another quality feature of this reel that helps you in controlling the overall speed and power.


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Offers easy handling
  • Includes great versatility
  • Offers impressive power


  • It can feel a little heavy
  • It is expensive than usual

In essence, the KastKing Rover is one of the best conventional reels for surfcasting with a powerful drag system and a superior braking system that facilitates you well. Furthermore, it offers great versatility and is designed for saltwater and freshwater that makes it of great value. I also really like this one because of its well-put design, having quality bearings, and efficient retrieval rate that makes it stand among others.

4. KastKing ReKon – Best Conventional Reel For Surf Fishing

Here comes another product from KastKing with high-quality features and a fast retrieval rate that is pretty amazing for a conventional reel. It comes in two different variants, specifically designed for small species.

From the Rekon line, this one is quite powerful than other variants and possesses a suitable drag system that serves you with convenience.

It is also fairly lightweight and easy to handle, which adds value to this one.

Similarly, this one reel is a carbon fiber drag system that is quite efficient and offers reduced friction. It has the ability to withstand 30 pounds, which is decent if you are going to use it in subtle water conditions to carry around.

It further comes with a line clicker function that allows you to release the planer easily. The only downside I feel in this model is its plastic frame that is not the most durable but is decent for still waters.

Last but not least, another remarkable feature that makes it worth your price is its anti-reverse bearings that offer great line capacity on each rotation that provides impressive precision and accuracy.

Talking about the retrieval ratio, this one comes with a 5:3:1 gear ratio with 33.5 lines per turn, which makes it ideal for catching small fish with high speed and precision. All in all, it is a great product with all the essential features that serve you well.


  • Offers great durability
  • Offers a great line capacity
  • High drag capacity
  • It is lightweight and easy to use


  • Not recommended for large fish

Final thought, this KastKing Rekon is one of the best conventional reels for surfcasting with lightweight construction and a decent gear ratio to use in subtle conditions. I really like this one because of its great line capacity and efficient drag system. Furthermore, it is easy to use with its stainless steel bearings that provide you with reduced friction, having absolute precision and accuracy.

5. Daiwa Sealine X SHA – Conventional Reel For Surf Fishing

Initially coming from Daiwa, this one is the most powerful and strong conventional reel, designed to be used for heavy shore fighting and high load. It comes in four different variants, all having an efficient gear ratio, fast operations, and the desired grip in rough conditions.

Additionally, the fact that it provides you with an easy process with a consistent and efficient drag system makes it a reliable alternative to go for.

Furthermore, this reel has a retrieval rate of 6:1:1 that is fairly fast and works absolutely fine in tough conditions.

It also incorporates a large power handle and soft-touch grip that makes the process even more convenient and comfortable for you.

In comparison to other models at a similar price, you will find this one smooth and efficient with CRBB bearings that keep the process in control with stability and balance.

In the end, the drag system is a six-element seal that provides you with consistency and allows it to carry heavy loads. Speaking of the spool, it has a waterproof, free-floating, aluminum spool that helps you in reducing the overall friction and provides high speed and long cast ideally.

Lastly, the centrifugal braking system is designed specifically for speed adjustments and offers absolute control over the process.


  • Waterproof drag system
  • Offers corrosion-resistant properties
  • Includes a fast gear ratio
  • It is lightweight and strong


  • It can be a bit expensive

Final thoughts: if you are looking for an easy and strong reel for surfcasting, this Daiwa Sealine X-SHA is one of the best out there to consider. I really like this one for its centrifugal braking system and a waterproof heavy drag system that is specifically designed for tough conditions. In addition, the fast retrieval rate and efficient gears make the process efficient and stable. All in all, it feels lightweight and sturdy that makes it of great value.

6. Okuma Cold Water – Best Casting Conventional Reel

To start with, the Okuma conventional reel is another one from the cold water series, having a stable and balanced performance all along. It is best known for its efficient gear system and heavy drag system that is able to catch difficult fish in decent conditions.

I absolutely love this reel for its ability to provide you with fast and smooth operations. The fact that it is designed for right, as well as left anglers, makes it of great value.

Speaking of efficiency, this one is equipped with a multi-disc carbonite drag system that is absolutely incredible in catching fish up to 20 pounds.

Further, it has a gear ratio of 4:2:1 that might not be the best but is effective if you are a beginner. One of my favorites in this model is Clear View Technology CVT, which is designed particularly to prevent the loss of vision. Hence, you can ideally use this in tricky situations.

Last but not least, this reel comes with a brass gearing system that offers a fast speed that not only saves time but also helps you in catching tricky species. It also features self-lubricating characteristics with a full-speed lock system that works precisely with absolute ease.

Okuma Coldwater Surfcasting Conventional Reel

Finally, it comes with integrated copper lines and an MSS system that offers you great strength and power, making it reliable, among others.


  • Compatible with all types of line
  • A mechanical stabilizing system
  • Offers great ease
  • Wide-mouth level wind


  • Durability is not the best
  • Gear ratio is not the best

In conclusion, this KastKings is another quality product with all the essential features that serve you well. It is designed for beginners with a mechanical stabilizing system and works well for all types of lines with great capacity. It also has a wide mouth level and heavy drag system that is highly efficient for small species. Finally, Clear View Technology makes it stand among others at a similar price range.

7. PENN Squall II Level Wind – Professional Pick

Here comes another product from Penn with an improved ring line capacity and an improved gear ratio. It is an upgraded version of Squall II, having the same spool yet with an updated drag system and improved bearings.

Additionally, this Level Wind reel is made with corrosion-resistant properties with lightweight construction, and a fast retrieval rate that makes it stand among other competitors at a similar price.

Speaking of the specifications, this reel comes with two bearings that offer you reduced friction and less resistance.

Here, anglers can also change the handle easily with a specific Versa handle.

The manufacturers have included a braided spool and improved mono line capacity that works perfectly well in tough conditions. Also, it has a graphite frame that makes it highly durable and serves you in the long term.

Finally, the design incorporates stainless steel bearings in addition to a gear ratio of 4:1:1 that is pretty decent for saltwater.

It also has a retrieval rate of 32 lines per revolution that makes it efficient for tough conditions. For me, the highlight of this model is the aluminum spool that offers a high capacity.

Penn squall II level wind conventional reel for surf fishing

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the heavy drag system is capable of easily dissipating heat with absolute speed.


  • Includes corrosion-resistant properties
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Lightweight and convenient
  • High-quality wind system


  • Not recommended for beginners
  • Gear ratio is not the best

Wrapping up, this one from Penn is a great product for surfcasting with an efficient drag system, improved braking system, and durable construction quality. I am a fan of its bearings and the line capacity that gives it an edge over others. All in all, it is one of the best conventional reels for surfcasting for professional users with a good level of the wind system and a heavy drag system, not to mention with a suitable speed.

8. Piscifun Salis X

I am ending my list with this Piscifun Salis reel that is known for its high-end features and maximum drag system. This one is a popular choice across the market because of its high gear ratio and level of wind that helps you in tackling tough conditions with absolute ease.

I absolutely love this one for its powerful drag system that offers great precision and accuracy.

Furthermore, it comes with stainless steel bearings that minimize the casting distance that allows you to do well in surfcasting.

Speaking of the efficiency, it further has an aluminum spool that works perfectly well in eliminating the mono backing.

For a long service life, the manufacturers have added a lightweight graphite frame that provides you with durability and ease.

Lastly, it comes with a carbon fiber drag system that is able to withstand 37 pounds easily. For retrieval rate, it offers exceptional performance with a 6:2:1 gear ratio that is absolutely efficient for dragging heavy fish.

Piscifun Salis X surf fishing conventional reel

You will also find a number of accessories in this package, from crank handle to power knob and so on, that facilitate you all along.


  • Offers great versatility
  • Easy and convenient
  • Exceptional drag system
  • Fast gear ratio


  • Little expensive
  • Durability is not the best

In conclusion, this Piscifun conventional reel is another quality product for surfcasting with all the necessary features. It is equipped with a carbon fiber drag system and an efficient retrieval system that offers great precision and accuracy in catching heavy fish. Additionally, it offers an easy process with an aluminum spoon and a stable level wind system.

Level Vs Star Drag – Which Is Better For Surfcasting

Level wind plays a major distracting role while surfcasting. You will experience friction drag while doing a heavy casting with giant lures and baits. You must have a reel with a robust drag system that can pull off the friction while maintaining a smooth drag.

Lever drag reels are heavier than star drags because of the larger diameter of drag’s washers. So, the casting distance is shortened, and there are more backlashes. It will make surfcasting very problematic, especially if have just started. So, it is better to use star drag reels for surfcasting as the star-shaped wheel makes the adjustment more feasible for the anglers.

How To Choose The Best Conventional Surf Casting Reel

Choosing the best conventional reel for Surf fishing can be a complicated process, but I will make it simple. Firstly, I would prefer to say that the best reel is the one that suit’s your circumstances.

Choose the reel which has,

  • Excellent ability to cast, suitable for weather or wind conditions.
  • A smooth, non-restrictive, reliable and outstanding drag system makes it easy to adjust tension.
  • Wide spool and line capacity. The reel must allow you to handle dwelling fish and sharks.
  • Corrosion resisting properties.
  • Good light for casting quickly.

Things you must consider while buying the conventional or surf casting reel,

Casting Distance

In conventional reels, casting distance is very significant. The anglers for surf casting require a lure on distant species. It demands accuracy. For a long cast, the reel must have greater line capacity, super-fast bearings, casting breaks, floating spindles, and high-speed retrieve.


As for casting a larger fish, it’s essential to know that water pressure is high and puts a lot of stress on lines. For this, a smooth drag system is vital to maintain tension.


Reel made up of high-quality material must be durable.

Have you listened? Does corrosion kill the reel?

Yes, it’s right. Take care of your reel, oil it, maintain it and specially buy the one made up of the best quality.

Final Thoughts On Best Conventional Reels For Casting

These conventional reels are considered a great option to go for surfcasting as they are highly efficient and involve a low learning curve. Additionally, these are known for their power, strength, and drag capacity that can withstand tough conditions.

From the above-mentioned list, here are some of my favorites;

Top 3 Favorite Picks:

1. PENN Squall II Star Drag Conventional Fishing Reel is known for its quality construction, drag capacity, and fast gear ratio.
2. Daiwa SGT50H Saltwater Conventional Reel is popular for its powerful gear ratio, line capacity, and long service life.
3. KastKing Rover Conventional Reel for Catfish is one of the best for its quality bearings, drag capacity, and stability.

Finally, based on these reviews and your requirements, you can choose the best conventional reel for surfcasting.

Frequently Asked Questions About Conventional Surf Casting Reel

1. What is the best conventional reel for surfcasting?

Penn Squall II Star Drag is one of the best conventional reels for surfcasting as it has all the essential features that serve you. It is known for its low cast distance and a heavy drag system that makes it suitable for resisting the weather. Furthermore, it is a popular choice across the market for its suitable drag ratio and line capacity that works in harsh conditions.

2. What makes a good surf fishing reel?

There are a variety of elements that you require to get a surf fishing reel. To start, it is important to have something between 3000 and 4000 for size. In addition, you should also look into the power and strength that can be determined by the drag capacity and the gear ratio. Lastly, make sure your reel is corrosion resistant and has a lightweight design.

3. How to surf cast a conventional reel?

To do surfcasting, you should start about five feet between the lure and rod tip. It is also important to consider whether you are right or left-handed. If you are a right-hander, you should widen your feet about the width of the shoulders and start at the beach from the right. Now, when your rod is high, you can start to lure and carry it up until you get something stuck. After this, you can rotate your upper body and carry out a relaxed movement.

Leave a Comment