Surf Casting Basics: Tips and Techniques for Beginners

Surf fishing is a time-honored method of fishing that landlubbers have enjoyed for decades. While gear and gear have advanced significantly since the days of the pipe rod, much of the technique and strategy remain the same. This post covers the basics of surf casting for beginners ready to hit the foam.

First, let’s make sure you’re properly prepared before we dive into surf casting techniques. What you need is a 10 to 12 foot long, medium-fast action surf casting rod that can throw heavy plugs and jigs over long distances. It is equipped with a heavy duty gentle air drag reel and braided 40 pound line or 20 pound monofilament, naturally tied with solid monofilament or fluorocarbon cord.

Surf casting basics

Surf casting is similar to your standard casting style with an emphasis on distance. Some anglers wade in the water to decrease their casting distance, but this is not absolutely necessary when it comes to surf casting techniques. The goal is to land your bait in or on the surf where the waves break.

The best way to gain distance is to do a general overhead cast. Open your bail and place your finger on the leash against the bar. Hold the bar in both hands, with your dominant hand carrying most of the weight and your secondary hand in support. Bend your arms to bring the tip of the pole slightly over your shoulder and behind you. Quickly move the bar forward, release your finger from the leash and launch the bait or template forward.

Throw a few test throws to assess your distance. Adjust the speed and power of your throw to increase or decrease the distance as needed. Your bait or device will add weight to the end of your line and help you go long distances. Let the rod and reel do the work. When you have a quality setup specifically designed for surf fishing, casting becomes easier.

Landing your bait in the surf where the fish are waiting for you requires an accurate cast. This generally evolves over time and experience. Keep an eye on where you want your bait to land and start your cast.

For more surfing tips, check out this complete guide to surf fishing basics, including fishing gear and where to find fish. Have fun with the casting!


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