Best Online Tackle Shops for Surf Fishing Gear
I get this question quite a bit. “Where’s the best tackle shop for surf fishing?” It’s a tough question; mainly because there aren’t really any tackle shops that are specifically for surf fishing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go to tackle shops for some items, but in general, I buy most of my fishing tackle online for a few reasons.
It’s quick, convenient, I have more options online, and there’s no one there giving me faulty info about surf fishing. That’s not to say there aren’t good brick and mortar fishing gear and tackle shops in So Cal. In fact it’s quite the opposite. But, very few people who work at tackle shops know anything about surf fishing. If you’re new to surf fishing, I have two pieces of advice for you.
Advice for New Surf Anglers
- Don’t rely on tackle shop employees for advice on surf fishing.
- Read as much of this website as you can and put your own twist on them.
I don’t mean to prop up my website too much. But in all honesty, there isn’t a better surf fishing resource on the west coast than this website – surffishingsocalsd.com. Why? Because surf fishing is pretty much all I know and I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life living it and the last 5 years writing it all down.
One of three types of interactions occur when I enter a tackle shop. 1) Nothing. 2) I end up teaching an employee or two about surf fishing 3) I get some real bad advice with regards to their recommended gear and tackle for surf fishing.
Anyways, bottom line is that you should take advice from a tackle shop with a grain of salt. And… you’re likely to get a better deal online. If you know where to shop and you know what you’re doing, that’s all you need. So without further ado, here’s where I do my surf fishing gear and tackle shopping.
Online Tackle Shop: Amazon.com
Amazon makes the list of the best online tackle shops for surf fishing for a few reasons. You’ll have a great selection, fast and reliable shipping, and some of the best deals in terms of gear and tackle. While there’s value in shopping local, if you don’t have a “go-to” local shop, Amazon is probably a good bet. By the way, this list is simply ranked in the order of how I spend my money per online shop. That said, I buy most of my gear through Amazon so it’s the best online tackle shop for me.
If you’ve been trying to figure out which rod to buy, which reel, lure, line, swivels, beads, weights, hooks or anything else involved in surf fishing, I’ve likely already written about it and provided a direct link to the product you need on Amazon. For your reference, my most broad, in-depth article on which gear and tackle to use (and purchase) for each target species is this one: Gear and Tackle for Surf Fishing In So Cal.
In the article mentioned above, I describe these three blocks and why I use what I use.
Carolina Rig Set-Up
- Rod: Okuma Celilo (8’6″ MA)
- Reel: Penn Battle II or III 4000 series
- Mainline: 15-pound monofilament
- Carolina Rig (descriptive article/video):
- Leader Line: 15-pound fluorocarbon
- Swivels: 15-19mm barrel swivels
- Hooks: size #2 or #4 owner mosquito hooks
- Weights: 1-oz egg weight
- Beads: 8mm fishing beads
Lure Throwing Set-Up
- Rod: Okuma SST-S-902HA – 1/2-2oz | 10-30lb | 9ft | H | MF
- Reel: Penn Spinfisher VI (3500 or 4500)
- Main Line: 30-pound braid
- Leader Line: 30-pound mono
- Lure Options:
Shark Fishing Set-Up
- Rod: Fiblink Moonsniper (12 or 13 feet)
- Reel: Penn Battle 6000 or 8000 (II or III)
- Main Line: 50-pound braid
- Topshot: 100-pound nylon coated mono
- Leaders: Shark Leaders
- Weights: 8-ounce pyramid or 6-ounce sputnik
If something you purchase isn’t what you had expected or you have a problem with any of it, reach out to me directly and I’ll explain exactly what you need and/or fix the problem going forward. Also, feel free to reach out with questions if you’re not sure what to buy for your specific situation. I’m happy to talk and advise.
2. Tackle Direct
Online Tackle Shop: tackledirect.com
The next three resources are essentially my back-ups. If Amazon doesn’t have a specific size, color, or model of any item I’m looking to buy, I check these in the order they’re listed.
Tackle direct tends to be my go-to for Keitech Fat Swing Impact swimbaits. When Amazon doesn’t have the color I want in stock, I go to Tackle Direct.
It also offers a solid selection when it comes to relevant surf fishing rods and reels. The same is true for Lucky Crafts, but the next online shop tends to have a better selection for these lures. Their rod and reel selection is okay, but still I tend to just use amazon when I need a new Okuma SST or Okuma Celilo.
3. Tackle Warehouse
Online Tackle Shop: tacklewarehouse.com
Both Tackle Warehouse and Tackle Direct are commonly known as some of the best online tackle shops for surf fishing in the San Diego community. Tackle direct seems to have more of what I need when I need it, but when it comes to two specific items, no one is better than Tackle Warehouse.
- Lucky Craft FM 110s:
When it comes to Lucky Craft CIF FM 110’s, if you can’t find the color you’re looking for at tacklewarehouse.com, you’re likely plain out of luck in general. Nobody keeps a more consistently solid selection of these lures in stock than they do. This online shop is also good for other pieces of gear and tackle, but LC’s and War Baits are pretty much all I use them for.
- Warbaits Weedless Jig Heads
Tackle Warehouse sells these when it seems no one else does. I like the 4/0, 0.5 ouncers with the weed guard. Tackle Warehouse is also known for very fast and reliable shipping so if that’s a concern, I wouldn’t let it deter you.
4. Bass Pro Shops
Online Tackle Shop: basspro.com
Bass Pro Shops is my back up for surf fishing reels. They keep Penn spinning reels in stock just about all the time so if Amazon is out of the Penn Battle or Penn Spinfisher momentarily, I’ll place my order through Bass pro.
That’s really the only thing I use Bass Pro for. Otherwise, they fall into the freshwater / offshore category only as far as I’m concerned.
Summary of Best Online Tackle Sops for Surf Fishing
At the end of the day, surf fishing is still an underrated, low-key style of fishing and it’s not heavily commercialized yet. This offers plenty of pros and plenty of cons. One of the downsides is that there aren’t many places with solid authority in the realm of surf fishing to sell you gear and answer your questions. But, one the pros is that if you found your way here, you’re on the right track and all the answers you’re looking for can be found by using the search feature at the bottom of the page (for mobile and at the top of the page (for desktop).
I hope this list of the best online tackle shops for surf fishing has been helpful. If you’re looking for a specific category of fishing gear or tackle that I didn’t mention in this article and wondering where the best place is to purchase them, it’s likely because I purchase them through Amazon. But either way, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.