Surf Fishing Gear List: #20 Essential Best Tackle Tips

surf fishing gear listMany fishermen certainly agree that nothing beats the pleasure of surf fishing. You will feel the sand between your toes as you listen to the wonderful soundtrack of the waves and the seagulls that fly over you. Since you will have no idea what to fish, surf fishing is not only exciting but also comfortable and healthy.

However, to ensure you have the best and most effective fishing experience, it is important that you get all the necessary tackle and gears for this fishing activity. If you are preparing to set up a surf cart, you do not want to forget anything. Once you are ready to start fishing, you need to have everything you will need at hand.

The list may vary a bit according to individual preference, but these are the necessary equipment that should be in every surf fishing gear list. Click on any image below for more details.


20 Item Surf Fishing Gear List

Surf rods:

With two surf rods, you are ready to go. For beginners, one or two long surf casting rods sail of 10 ‘to 15’ in length for fishing live bait. Most fishermen will want to get more than one surf rod. You can bring a short rod as well.

One smaller casting rod to fish the surf: sometime you can cast into the surf to catch some bait or pick up other quick action near the shore. You will be surprised how much good sized fish feed near the shoreline between the beach and the breakers. That is where many types of bait are anyway.

Shown here is 2 recommended rods a shorter St Croix Mojo 7’6 and longer Shakespeare Agility 15′


See our review of the top 10 surf fishing rods

See our review of the best line for surf fishing 


Sand spikes for surf rods:

You will need sand spikes to set in big rods after you set them out. Sand spike is made of wood, plastic, or metal rod holders that are fixed into the sand.

Perhaps you have come across it before, a big fishing pole pointed by vertical in sand; it was likely sustained by sand spike.

These are useful to keep the line so high that people can walk on the beach without being disturbed by line.

It also makes it suitable while waiting for a fish to gnaw without your rod flying into the ocean.




When you need a longer cast, and you like fishing in cooler or colder weather, in such situation waders will be your best pal.

Waders are effectively worn like overall; it protects the lower part of your body from water deluge when you wade out to the surf to cast.

Do not hold back on quality when it comes to waders! Cheap varieties can leak, which can turn a great day of fishing into a pretty bad day.




This will make easier the life of fishermen in surfing when traveling to and from the beach.

Built to be dragged across the sand easily, big enough to accommodate all essential equipment.

A beach cart is an excellent way to pack and transport all the equipment you will need for a full day in the sand.




When it comes to weights, there are different techniques depending on how you want the lure or bait to behave in the water.

Most fishermen use a 1 to 3-ounce bullet, pyramid sinker or slip to keep their bait away from the surf.

Coolers for fish caught and beverage: this is very necessary; you will need cooler for drinks and cold storage for your fish.



Bait bucket and aerator:

Whether you catch your bait from the surf or you bring the bait with you, it’s necessary to have a bait bucket with an aerator.

Keep bait fresh longer on hot days.

Aerator supplies life giving oxygen to water keeping bait alive longer.





Although there are differences in some of these rigs, they all perform very much the same.

Try a couple types of rigs to see what suits your fishing area best. Use these with 3 oz or 4 oz pyramid sinkers for a better casting distance.

If the waves are a little rough and you are having trouble holding the bottom change to a sputnik sinker or spider sinker.


Utility buckets:

Some surf fishermen prefer to use sand fleas that can be obtained at the water’s edge and keep them in a bucket of wet sand.

Store extra gear here, or put any waste inside for disposal later.





Surf fishing spinning reels:

See our 6 best saltwater spinning reels for the money review

This is a regular style of the reel, particularly for beginners.

They are simple to use and strong depending on the style and brand you choose.

The size of the reel you choose depends on the size of the fish you are looking for and the size of the rod you are using.

If you’re targeting big, stubborn fish, look for a strong, powerful reel for heavy-duty use handling large fish and pounding waves.




This goes without saying but as you know you will need a set of different hooks according to your setup needs.

You must have at least ten of each size between 4 and 8.

Get different styles like primers, mosquitoes, octopuses, etc.

As for the color, red and black will be okay.




Fishing pliers:

Nothing makes you feel guilty than having a fish swallow a hook and you cannot remove it because you do not have pliers to get deep in there.

Pliers will also helps you remove hooks easily and is a must have for ethical fisherman.






Measuring Tape:

These tapes make it easy for fishermen to measure their fish after been caught.

Even though you want to keep the fish, it is important to have a legal limit and without measurement tape, you will never know.

If you do catch and release, measure the fish to be able to track the largest fish you have caught from each species.




Fingernail Clippers or Pocket Knife:

These are useful for cutting line, especially when removing extra lines around a knot.

Some fishermen choose to use their teeth …

however, fingernail clippers are more effective.





Hand towel:

You need a towel to dry your hand; this is because washing your hands in the ocean after catching fish cannot get all the slime off.

The towel will help get your hands dry and free of slim, so you can come back later.

Just keep in mind that you don’t have to hold the fish with a towel, as it will remove the natural slime and can cause disease or sickness for the fish.




Fishing is better when shared. When you catch a fish, it is always good to share a video or a photo with your friends.

I love using my Smartphone; you can buy a camera or use your smart phones.

They are okay to take great pictures.

However, why not get a waterproof camera that takes pictures and video? Take it right into the surf with you, hands free. The price of these is so low now you can get great ones between 50 and 100 dollars now.



Surf Bag/ Tackle Box:

Fishermen can go for a conventional tackle box that stores all their lines, weights, hooks and other tiny pieces of equipment.

Or they can use a surf bag, which is lighter and easier to carry when their hands are already full.

Look for water-resistant surf bags with multiple compartments for organized surf fishing.



Saltwater Multi-tool:

There is a lot of modern surf fishing tools that behave like the Swiss Army Knife and can perform many functions at once.

A multipurpose tool is an excellent option for fishermen who do not want to use additional equipment and prefer to keep the minimum amount of items to pack and bring along when it comes to fishing gear.




Polarized sunglasses:

Sunglasses are a must on sunny and hot days off the coastline.

Polarized sunglasses will help you see clearly through the water, sometimes even better than the naked eye!

Costa is a famous brand for surf fishermen enthusiasts because their sunglasses are durable and polarized; it is designed to withstand salty air.



Water-resistant light or lanterns:

If you plan to do a lot of fishing at night, you should pack along with a flashlight, a lantern or a headlight to see clearly in the night.

The headlamp can be the finest choice, since it gives light anywhere you go and free your hands for reeling, cutting bait, casting, and other actions along the coast.






Everyone seems to forget the sunscreen at one time or another.

This is a great stick style sun screen you can easily apply to face hands and arms and legs.

SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection thats oil free and water resistant with vitamin E added

Highly rated and all around good stuff, reef safe product at a decent price.


Terminal tackle guide:

The essential idea of most surfcasting is to cast a lure or bait as far out into the water as much as required to reach the target fish from the shore. This may or may not require long cast distances.

Necessary surfing can be done using a fishing rod, which measures between 7 and 18 feet in length, with an extensive butt section, set with a suitable spinning reel or a standard casting reel. In addition to the reel and rod, the surf anglers require Terminal tackle and lure or bait. Terminal tackle is the equipment at the far end of the line: hooks, lines, and leaders.

Devoted surfcasters generally possess a collection of terminals and others gear, with fishing reel and rods of different actions and lengths, and baits and lures of different capacities and weights.

Depending on the type of fish they are trying to catch and the fishing conditions, such surf casters alter it bait and terminal tackle to reel and rod, the target species and the fish size. Reel and other tackle need to be designed so they can resist the abrasive and corrosion effect of sand and salt.

Check your tackle box the day before and fill in anything that is running short. Check terminal tackle for deterioration and rust. The saltwater environment is very harsh. A snap or a swivel can break at any time. Examine any used hooks and sharpen the points. Make sure there is enough leader material.


Fishing Regulations and License

Preferably, you should have all your live bait rigs gathered in advance. If you are not up-to-date, on the most recent regulation bring along the species list of size and bag limit when you obtain your fishing license. These days the rules change constantly.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Quebec and Maritimes

British Columbia Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Florida Fish and Wildlife

California Fishing Licence

Search for your intended state or province online by typing in for example  “New York Fishing License”

Search for your state or province online and order your license before you head out.


Prepare your cart with everything you need to bring.

There are different ways to enjoy the sport of fishing, you can jig for bass at the local pond, troll for stripers at the nearby local reservoir, or combat those giant marlins a few miles from the shoreline. No matter what it is, it is undeniable that most methods of fishing are very enjoyable and exciting, making it the perfect way to spend your free time. The way to get the most out of it is with a surf fishing gear list of essential tackle and tools.


Surf Fishing Gear Checklist Conclusion:

As a new surf fisherman, or seasoned pro, if you get stick with these tips of surf tackle, you will not need to spend more time or money trying a different tackle. It is not the tackle but what you do with it. Stay with this surf fishing gear list. It works for me and it can work for you.

Take your time to use a checklist and save yourself from the pain of leaving something important behind. All the products here are of great value and use and hand picked for quality, and usefulness. Some are the lowest price, some are mid priced items but offer great features and benefits for the money. I hope this article was of value to you and that you consider shopping with me for your gear through links on this site at no added cost to you.

Other Gear You May Need for Surf Fishing

In addition to all the above basics, there are some other tools you might want to bring to ensure you get everything you need for a full day or night fishing trip. Or perhaps your running low on your current favorite items.

Search for the items that allow you to spend long hours on the beach and you may be low on and need to stock up here for your convenience.