Are Cheap Surf Fishing Combos Worth It?

Last Updated on September 18, 2023

Are you looking to buy a surf fishing combo but wondering whether a cheaper option is worth the investment?

The market is flooded with different price ranges and quality levels, and deciding which one to select can sometimes be challenging.

In this post, I will answer the question, “Are cheap surf fishing combos any good?” and review the seven best surf fishing combos that offer good value for the money. 

I will also explain what makes a good surf fishing combo and discuss the pros and cons of choosing a cheaper option. 

My goal is that by the end of the post, you’ll have a clear idea of what to look for in a surf fishing combo and which options are worth considering.

What Makes a Good Surf Fishing Combo?

Before diving into the specifics of cheap surf fishing combos, it’s essential to understand what makes a good combo. 

A typical surf fishing combo is a rod and reel that are made to work well together and give the best results when fishing in the surf. 

Here are the key elements that make a good surf fishing combo:

Rod length and power

Rod length and power: The length and power of the rod should match the target species and the fishing conditions. 

Longer rods provide longer casts, while shorter rods offer more control and sensitivity. 

Power refers to the strength and stiffness of the rod, which determines the amount of force needed to bend the rod and the amount of pressure that can be applied to the fish.

Reel size and capacity: The size and capacity of the reel should also match the target species and the fishing conditions. 

Larger/more expensive reels offer extra line capacity and drag power, which are vital for fighting bigger fish and handling rough surf conditions.

Construction materials and quality: The materials and construction quality of the rod and reel affect their durability, sensitivity, and performance. 

High-quality materials such as graphite, carbon fiber, and aluminum are preferred for their strength, lightness, and corrosion resistance.

Ergonomics and comfort: The rod and reel’s grip, handle, and balance should be comfortable and ergonomic so that casting and retrieving can be done naturally and effectively.

considering pros and Cons of Cheap Surf Fishing Combos

Pros and Cons of Cheap Surf Fishing Combos

Now that we know what makes a good surf fishing combo let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a cheaper option. 

Many anglers think that cheap combos are low quality, don’t last long, and don’t work well, but this isn’t always the case. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of buying a cheap surf fishing combo:

The good things about fishing combos:

Affordability: Cheap surf fishing combos are often more affordable than high-end options, making them a good choice for anglers on a budget or those who want to try surf fishing without committing to a more significant investment.

Accessibility: Cheap combos are widely available in sporting goods stores, online retailers, and other outlets, making them easy to find and purchase.

Beginner-friendly: Cheap combos are often designed with beginner anglers in mind, offering user-friendly features, simplified designs, and basic functionalities.

What to be aware of in fishing combos:

Quality control: Cheap combos may have lower quality control standards than higher-end options, leading to inconsistencies in construction, durability, and performance.

Fewer features and options: Compared to higher-end alternatives, cheaper combos may have fewer ball bearings, weaker drag systems, and less customization.

Shorter lifespan: Cheap combos may have a shorter lifespan than higher-end options due to their lower-quality materials and construction.

Are Cheap Surf Fishing Combos Any Good?

Cheap surf fishing combos are ideal for people who fish occasionally or are just getting started. They will not last as long or perform as well as more costly alternatives.
Experienced anglers or people who fish frequently may want to invest in material that is more durable, performs better, and has more features.
How well a surf fishing combo performs depends on things like the model, the user’s experience, and the conditions of the water.

5 Surf Fishing Combos Worth Every Penny

Now that I’ve covered the pros and cons of cheap surf fishing combos, it’s time to dive into the round-up review of the seven best options that offer good value for the money. 

I’ve selected these combos based on their performance, quality, durability, and customer reviews. 

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Penn Battle III Surf Fishing Combo

Penn Battle III Surf Fishing Combo

I wanted to tell you about my new favorite fishing combo, the Penn Battle III! While it might not be the absolute best from the brand, I’ve been a fan of the Battle series for a while, and this one keeps improving.

This specific combo pairs the big 5000 reel with a capable rod, making it the top choice for surf-casting combos out there.

Let’s break down why it’s so great.

The Battle III boasts the same amazing HT-100 drag system found in the much pricier Spinfisher. It’s super smooth and durable, with automatic let-off as the line is taken out. It’s hard to find a better drag system on the market!

The capacity is standard for its size, with clear indicator lines to keep track of how many lines you have left.

It’s a powerful reel that can handle mean fish, even small sharks, with ease. Paired with the eight-foot medium-heavy rod made of graphite composite, you’ll have plenty of sensitivity and backbone. 

You can really put your weight into it without worrying about it giving out.

The long handle provides plenty of casting and fighting power, making it an excellent choice for serious anglers.

Most combos out there skimp on one component or the other, but Penn really knocked it out of the park with this pairing. It’s definitely worth considering!


  • High-quality build
  • Sealed, superior drag system
  • Great casting
  • Lots of power and torque
  • Good, strong rod with a solid backbone and good guides 


  • I am still looking for them!
Daiwa D-Wave Combo

Daiwa D-Wave Combo

The Daiwa brand is well-known in the saltwater angling community for its high-quality products.

Even though they are often associated with high prices, they have affordable surf fishing combos like the Daiwa D-Wave Combo.

At this price point, you may have to compromise on certain aspects. However, this combo is an excellent choice for beginners or occasional anglers.
Let’s dive into the details.

The Daiwa D-Wave Combo comes with a strong, nine-foot fiberglass rod that can handle a lot of use and casts very well.

While it may not perform as well as some of Penn’s higher-end combos, the fiberglass blank allows you to cast heavier lures without worrying about damaging the rod.

The medium power rating suits most fish you’ll encounter in the surf.

You’ll love how this rod performs once you engage the backbone, providing plenty of fight when reeling in everything from snook to specks, reds, to blues.

However, the reel on this combo differs from Daiwa’s top-of-the-line product. While it has adequate capacity and smooth drag, it may need help to provide enough torque when fighting larger fish. This is a result of the combo’s more affordable price point.

Overall, the Daiwa D-Wave Combo is a fantastic deal for the price. The rod is durable, and the blank loads well, providing ample casting distance. While the reel may not be top-notch, it’s still a great value, and you shouldn’t expect a miraculous reel at this price.

The Daiwa D-Wave Combo is an affordable option that provides a great entry point into surf fishing.

It’s a good choice for beginners or occasional anglers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a combo that works well.


  • It won’t break the bank!
  • You can cast some serious weight with the sturdy rod.
  • The blank (the main part of the rod) is great at storing energy and propelling your bait or lure far.
  • The rod has enough strength to handle big fish and keep them under control.


  • You won’t “fall in love” with the reel.
Shimano Spheros SW Spinning Combo

Shimano Spheros SW Spinning Combo

Shimano is another well-known and respected brand in the fishing world. 

Their Spheros SW Spinning Combo is a great option for surf fishermen who want a high-quality, long-lasting setup. 

First off, the build quality is top-notch. Both the rod and reel feel really sturdy and well-made. 

The reel has a smooth drag system that’s easy to adjust and can handle some serious fish.

The rod is made of a strong graphite material that provides a lot of backbone for those big catches. It also has a nice action that allows for accurate casting, and the guides are high-quality to prevent any line snags.

This combo comes in a range of sizes, so you can choose the right one for your needs.

As for cons, I can only say that it’s not the cheapest option out there. 

However, considering the quality and durability, it’s worth the investment.

I recommend the Shimano Spheros SW Spinning Combo to anyone looking for a reliable and high-performing setup.


  • Top-notch build quality
  • Smooth drag system
  • Strong graphite rod with good backbone
  • Accurate casting
  • High-quality guides 


  • Not the cheapest option out there.
KastKing Centron Combo

KastKing Centron Combo

This combo is a steal for what you’re getting. It’s perfect for beginners or anyone on a budget who still wants a quality setup.

The rod is surprisingly sturdy for the price and can easily handle medium to heavy fish. You can also cast pretty far with this rod, and it has good sensitivity for feeling those bites.

Now onto the reel. It’s not the best reel out there, but it gets the job done. 

The retrieve is smooth, and the drag system is decent. However, there are reports that the line tends to get tangled up in the reel.

Overall, the KastKing Centron Combo is an excellent value for the price. 

It won’t blow you away with its performance, but it’s a solid choice for anyone starting out or looking for a budget-friendly option.


  • Affordable price
  • Sturdy rod
  • Good sensitivity for feeling bites
  • Can handle medium to heavy fish


  • The reel can have issues with line tangling
  • Not the highest-quality reel
Daiwa BG Surf Spinning Combo

Daiwa BG Surf Spinning Combo

Daiwa knows a lot about reels, and the BG Surf Spinning Combo shows that.

Let me tell you, the Daiwa BG 4500 inshore reel is a BEAST. 

When you’re shelling out your hard-earned cash, you want a performance that matches the price tag, and this reel delivers.

The drag on this bad boy is top-notch and super smooth, no matter what setting you’re working with. You can use a lot of braids and still catch big fish like reds and sharks.

I only know some of the technical details of the drag system, but whatever they’ve got going on in there is working like a charm. You won’t feel any binding or skipping during a fight – just continuous, reliable resistance to help you land that monster.

Daiwa knows what it takes to win a fight, and that’s why they’ve outfitted the BG with some serious metal gearing. 

The teeth are huge, giving you more surface area, traction, and torque delivery than you’ll know what to do with. Seriously, this thing has more torque than a HEMI engine.

The reel is a real winner, but let’s talk about the rod for a second. It has a graphite composite blank that measures nine feet long and some stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts. 

On paper, it is a capable rod that will work well with the reel.

In practice, though, the rod can be a bit fragile. It tends to break easily toward the tip, and the guides aren’t as durable as you might like. 

But, it does cast efficiently and load well, and you’ll find plenty of backbone for a fight about a third of the way down from the tip. It’ll handle almost anything you hook into.

Now, here’s the kicker – the reel costs almost as much as the combo. 

That should tell you something about the quality of the rod. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely not in the same league as the reel.


  • Beast of a reel
  • Loads of torque and a tremendous drag
  • Impressive speed and anti-reverse 


  • The rod isn’t anywhere near the same quality as the reel

Final Words

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post on whether or not cheap surf fishing combos are worth your investment.

I’m confident that now, you can make an informed decision!

While admitting that cheap combos come with some limitations, I’ve also shown you that some options can provide excellent value for your money.

If you follow the tips above and think about what you really need, you’ll be able to find the right combo for your next surf fishing trip.

So get out there, cast a line, and enjoy the thrill of the catch!

Happy fishing!

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