Headed to the beach this summer? Whether taking a vacation, or if you happen to live near a beach, summer is a great time for surf fishing.
Although, it may seem like this style of fishing is spent sitting in a chair while beach goers walk up and down the beach past you as you stare at the tip of your rod for a bite, surf fishing isn’t just for casually fishing the shoreline (although that can be enjoyable, too). Rock jetties, fishing piers and even boats are other locations where anglers can pursue large, coastal saltwater species with a proper surf style fishing rod like the TFO Tactical Surf.
The Tactical Surf series is designed for the intermediate to advanced angler and optimized for long accurate casts from the beach, that special rock or fishing pier. We’ve designed the Tactical Surf series as powerful casting tools that are durable enough to handle the extremes of the surf environment but light enough to fish by hand all day without fatigue. The series includes 7 models in 8’0”-12’0” lengths in medium light to heavy powers. All 2-piece models are 70/30 split for one-piece performance and safe transport.
Whether you’re thinking about picking up a surf rod for vacation, or if you’ve already have experience and already own a few rods, but are looking to expand your arsenal, we’ve put together a breakdown of different models in the Tactical Surf lineup. Staff members of TFO provide some feedback for fishing the Tactical Surf on the Texas/Gulf coast and Pro Staffer/surf fishing guru and Youtuber Phillip Hollandsworth (IG: @saltsquatch) shares some insight for fishing the Florida Gulf Coast.
TAC SUS 1064-2 (10’6” Medium Power)
Ideal gulf coast rod for bait collecting or fishing the closer guts – the TAC SUS 1064-2. While I have landed many sharks, (2 to 4 feet) with this rod, this is a great tool for those searching out whiting, croaker, and pompano. Enough length to reach above larger gulf coast waves, but a light enough lure rating for smaller bait rigs. These are great rods for fish finder, double-hook, or pompano style rigs and 2 to 4-ounces of weight. These are the go-to rods, to put out bait earlier in your surf session. I try and get two sand spikes and two of these rods, either model, out right away, while I set-up the rest of my surf camp. Same goes for when packing up for the night. I will leave one or two of the rods set-out, as the sun goes down. With short sets, (50 to 100-yards) I can easily re-bait and cast out these set-ups. – TFO, Nick Conklin
TAC SUS 1103-2 (11’0” Medium Light Power)
The TAC SUS 1103-2 is perfect when targeting surf species like Pompano and Whiting as it offers excellent bite detection without sacrificing fighting ability. To excel at Pompano fishing, you have to be aware of every subtle bite. Having the right equipment for the job is vital! This rod is designed for the technical angler looking to fill his cooler with fish! – SaltSquatch
TAC SUS 1106-2 (11’ Heavy Power)
This is the big 8+bait stick. When loading up a 6 to 8-ounce spider or sputnik style weight, the TAC SUS 1106-2 can effectively manage heavy weight at distance. The extra length of the 12-foot model also aids in casting longer rigs. If you’re casting small to medium chunks of mullet, whiting or stingray, this is the rod to do it. Plenty of feel when soaking lighter or 2-inch or so baits, but plenty of power to move a big bull red or shark. These heavier power rods are also a useful tool to keep in the quiver when the wind and current picks up and you need the heavier weight to keep your bait locked down. – TFO, Nick Conklin
TAC SUS 1206-2 (12’ Heavy Power)
The TAC SUS 1206-2 is what I take with me when I’m going to war. This rod is designed to battle the big game surf species like bull reds and sharks. I have been absolutely stunned how much power this lightweight surf rod can push out even when facing off against one of the toughest fighting fish that swims our shores…the Hammerhead! Add this rod to your arsenal if your goal is to chase monsters on spinning tackle! – The SaltSquatch
TAC SUS 904-2 (9’ Medium Action) // TAC IS 806-1/TAC IS 707-1
Cruising the beach looking for birds? Walking the jetties look for big bull reds or jacks? Take a look at these rods in both the Tactical Surf 904-2 and the following Tackle Inshore series.
The IS 806, (and IS 707) rod is also a go-to if heading offshore and casting popping or walking baits to the tuna around the rigs. The 707 is getting popular amongst the gulf coast anglers chasing crashing tuna. These are effective casting levers, but also efficient tools for these deep diving fish.