Tackle Box – Tested: Seven of the best Surf Perch rods to cover every budget, venue and tactic

0
5145
Advertisement

It’s peak surf perch season and you’re still using that 7-foot trout rod? Enter the modern era and level up with any of these awesome surf fishing rods that’ll cover every tactic and location for surf perch, from San Diego up to the Bay and beyond.

Okuma SST Carbon Grip
MODEL NUMBER: SST-S-962L-CGa
LENGTH (FT): 9’6”
POWER / ACTION: Light – Moderate
LINE RATING (LB): 4­ – 10
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): 1/8 – 3/8
MSRP: $104.99
IDEAL FOR: The carbon-handled SST rods are great value and the 4- to 10-pound line rated model is a solid budget option for light line surf fishing when 4 or 6-pound leaders and small sinkers are the norm. A sweet, low-cost SoCal surf rod with a forgiving, parabolic action. See www.okumafishing.com for more.

 

Phenix Trifecta Lite Spinning
MODEL NUMBER: TRL-S 902L-2
LENGTH (FT): 9’
POWER / ACTION: Light – Fast
LINE RATING (LB): 4­ – 10
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): 1/8 – 1/2
MSRP: $199
IDEAL FOR: Exceptionally light, sensitive and balanced, the Trifecta Lite is a great choice for light line tactics when 4-pound leaders are used for perch and corbina fishing. It’ll cast a small jerkbait, too, but this pole is most at home throwing light Carolina rigs in summer when the fish are in shallow. A fun rod with serious build quality. Head to phenixrods.com for more info.

Advertisement

 

Daiwa Saltist Westcoast Spinning Rod
MODEL NUMBER: STIN902MLFS
LENGTH (FT): 9’
POWER / ACTION: Medium light – Fast
LINE RATING (LB): 10­ – 30
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): 3/16 – 2
MSRP: $139.99
IDEAL FOR: A favorite amongst lure anglers, this is a great all-rounder with a wide range of uses when it comes to surf perch and similar species. Run a light Carolina Rig and grub, cast a small jerkbait, dropshot, or bounce a sand crab in the shorebreak – it’ll do it all. The perfect all-rounder for a lure-orientated surf perch angler. See daiwa.us for details.

 

Okuma Guide Select Pro
MODEL NUMBER: GSP-C-992ML
LENGTH: 9’9”
POWER / ACTION: Medium light – Medium fast
LINE RATING (LB): 6­ – 12
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): 3/16 – ½-ounce
MSRP: $199.99
IDEAL FOR: A rod that’ll do it all surf-wise; light line tactics for summer, heavier sinkers for winter surf perch, or jerkbaits and small swimbaits for more days when you want to be more selective. Light and easy to hold all day when grub or sand crab fishing, this is a sweet all-rounder. See www.okumafishing.com for more.

 

Daiwa Emcast Surf Spinning
MODEL NUMBER: EMCST1002MFS
LENGTH (FT): 10’
POWER / ACTION: Medium – Fast
LINE RATING (LB): 10­ – 20
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): 1 – 4
MSRP: $89.99
IDEAL FOR: Versatile, budget-friendly rod with a sweet blank suitable for all-round surf fishing with ¾- to 2-ounce sinkers, swimbaits or jerkbaits. Perfect big surf perch rod when halibut and stripers are also present on the Central or North coast, and for low-key bait and wait tactics. Durable and great value. See daiwa.us for more.

 

Dark Matter OB Surf Spinning Rod
MODEL NUMBER: 38528
LENGTH (FT): 10’
POWER / ACTION: Medium heavy – Fast
LINE RATING (LB): 12 – 25
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): ½ – 1-1/2
MSRP: $279.99
IDEAL FOR: An out and out lure fishing rod, the OB is designed to launch any sort of bait far into the surf in search of trophy surf perch and similar species like stripers and halibut. The low-profile reel seat and short butt section will make long days casting heavy baits easier on the arms, plus it weighs just 7 ounces. A delightful rod for any surf fishing connoisseur, head to www.darkmatterfishing.com for details.

 

Penn Carnage III Surf Spinning
MODEL NUMBER: CARSFIIII612S12
LENGTH (FT): 12’
POWER / ACTION: Medium light – Moderate fast
LINE RATING (LB): 6 – 12
LURE WEIGHT RATING (OZ): 1/16 – 4
MSRP: $239.95
IDEAL FOR: Bait and wait-style fishing with fresh bait (shrimp, bloodworm etc) for surf perch can be highly effective but ideally requires a specialist rod. Step forward this 12-foot beauty, which is perfect for launching dropper loop rigs and sinkers up to 3 ounces into the surf. The extra length is a big advantage for fishing static baits with the rod in a holder, and we love the quality fixtures on the Carnage III rods. See pennfishing.com for more.

This feature appears in the February 24, 2023 print edition of Western Outdoor News. To get early access to every info and feature-packed issue of the West Coast’s biggest and best outdoor sporting newspaper, click here.

OKUMA SST – A barred surf perch caught on one of the rods tested for this feature.
Advertisement