There is nothing better than sand between your toes, and the waves lapping at your ankles, as you cast behind the breakers into a deep gutter or onto a sand bank teeming with fish.
Surf Fishing would have to be one of my favourite styles of fishing and requires a little bit of local knowledge, and the right sort of gear to get the most from it.
Having local knowledge can be a huge benefit because some beaches can stretch for miles, and knowing where the best conditions along that beach will be at certain stages of the tide and day or night, can help to narrow down the area you need to cover or get access to when targeting certain species of fish.
If you are not local to the area check with the local tackle store or fishing club to see if they can point you in the right direction.
Rods built for surf fishing are generally longer than most other rods, as they require the ability to cast heavy baits or lures long distances to reach fish beyond the breakers, and then be able to keep the line above the waves to help in feeling for when a fish might strike.
Surf rods are usually more rigid than other rods and have a lower reel mounting position to allow for heavier reels to cope with the amount of line necessary for this style of fishing without it being difficult for the angler to hold on to.
These days there are many good spin reels that are now able to be matched with a good surf rod, however my preference when surf fishing is to use a side cast reel.
Side cast reels have less moving parts than a spin reel so are easier to maintain have less parts to breakdown or corrode and wont make you cry if you accidentally drop them in the sand once in a while.
A lot of anglers still prefer a spin reel as they find them easier to cast over a long distance, and retrieval can be a little quicker than the one to one ratio of a side cast reel.
Whichever surf reel you choose, as long as you keep it maintained and free from sand and salt it should continue to perform time after time.
Surf fishing requires much heavier lures and sinkers, to give you the weight necessary to cast the distance from the rocks or the beach, to get to where the fish are.
A running ball sinker above a heavy duty swivel, with a short leader to a single or gang hooks, is the most common of the surf rigs, although if chasing tailor a wire trace may be necessary to prevent bite offs.