Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

The Best Rod Holders for Surf Fishing: Sand Spikes Reviewed

Written by: Pete D
Last Updated:
SHARE: 

Sand spikes, essentially rod holders designed for surf fishing, are a great piece of gear to enhance your beach adventures.

Not only do they free your hands and arms from the work of holding a long, heavy surf-casting rod all day, but they also allow you to securely run more than one line, enabling you to work different rigs and baits simultaneously.

If that sounds like a good idea to you, you’ll want to pick up a few sand spikes.

And we’re here to help you get the most bang for your buck. Below, you’ll find honest reviews of some of the best sand spikes on the market, as well as a buying guide to get you pointed in the right direction.

Quick glance at the best surf rod holders:

Related: 

Best Surf Rod Holders Reviewed

The Beast Sand Spike Surf Rod Holder

The Beast Sand Spike Rod Holder / 57 inches/Aluminum/Stainless Steel Hardware

Amazon 

Material: 100% aluminum with a plastic reel protector

Length: 47 1/2” or 57”

Weight: 3.95 lbs.

Sea Striker 28 Inch Sand Spike

Sea Striker 28 Inch Sand Spike

Amazon 

Material: high-impact plastic rod holder with an aluminum spike

Length: 28”

Weight: .8 lbs.

For anglers on a budget too tight for an all-aluminum spike, or for those for whom light weight is a must, Sea Striker’s 28-inch sand spike is a very good buy.

The rod holder is simple, high-impact plastic, but that keeps it light and inexpensive. Long enough to accommodate a big surf rod, the plastic lip isn’t going to damage your rod, but it will keep it securely in place till you can get your hands on it.

The spike is simple aluminum, curved to create plenty of positive pressure against the sand. Anything short of a shark or bull red isn’t going to pull it loose, and the rod holder isn’t going to break free or burst, either.

Now, if you do happen to snag a passing submarine, a monster red, or a hungry, 100-pound shark, this is probably not the most secure sand spike out there. And under really heavy loads like a heavy ray, you just can’t expect the construction methods or materials used in this spike to hold up.

It would also need a longer spike and welded all-aluminum construction to take that sort of beating.

That’s a fact.

But if you regularly catch blues, croaker, stripers, specks, and fish of this size, you’ve got nothing to worry about. And if you regularly need to tote a few sand spikes, your surf rods, and all your tackle and gear out onto the beach, you’ll appreciate a total weight of less than a pound for each spike.

In powder sand, I’d recommend digging a hole for the aluminum spike and then packing wet sand in around it.

On gravel beaches, this is a poor design for penetration. It’s a sand spike after all, and something like the Soo Phat Sand Spike reviewed below is what you’re looking for.

But within those limitations, this is a good product that won’t let you down.

Pros:

  • Light
  • Quality materials
  • Holds long rods securely

Cons:

  • Only 27 inches long, in total, so it can’t hold firm on big fish
  • Big fish can break the plastic rod holder or rip it free from the spike
  • Not designed for gravel beaches

Offshore Angler PVC Sand Spike - Best Budget Sand Spike

Offshore Angler PVC Sand Spike

Bass Pro

Material: PVC

Length: 36” and 27”

Weight: ?

Essentially a manufactured version of the DIY sand spikes you’ve seen on the beach, Offshore Angler’s PVC sand spikes are a simple, time-tested design.

Nothing more than a length of tough PVC cut at an angle on one end and slightly flared at the other, they feature a single bolt in the middle that acts as a rod stop.

That simple design and inexpensive material make that a truly great option for anglers who can’t afford to spend a lot, and they’re also the lightest of the options on our list, making them essential for folks who like to use more than one or two spikes.

When driven into firm sand or placed in a pre-dug hole and packed tight, the 27- and 36-inch versions hold firm, with the same general caveats about truly big fish or snagging a ray in the surf.

As you’d expect, this is a very poor design for a gravel beach, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these simple sand spikes if you fish from sand and understand their limitations.

Pros:

  • Ultra light
  • Great price!
  • Quality materials
  • Holds long rods securely

Cons:

  • Big fish can tear these spikes loose from the sand
  • Not designed for gravel beaches

Soo Phat Sand Spike - Best Heavy-Duty Sand Spike

Soo Phat surf fishing Sand Spike

Material: aluminum

Length: 60”

Weight: 4 lbs.

Soo Phat has built a reputation on the beach for no-nonsense design and high quality. Their 60-inch sand spikes are all aluminum, made from a 3-inch wide, V-shaped piece of aluminum stock that’s ⅛-inch thick.

At the top, you’ll find a U-shaped aluminum rod holder that’s epoxy coated to protect your tackle, and below, you’ll discover a two-position, aluminum butt cup that’ll keep your rod in place, pretty much no matter what.

When driven into the sand or gravel, the Soo Phat spike has real staying power.

That angled aluminum is simply not going to give up, and it places great pressure on the beach, standing tall even when you hook a bull red, a shark, or anything else massive.

So what’s the downside?

This isn’t an inexpensive option, and if you want additions like beverage holders, you’ll pay even more. And all that hard-core aluminum isn’t particularly light either, with the base model weighing at four pounds.

But if you fish a gravel beach, this is a fantastic option. And if you’ve ever had your spike break on a big fish and you’re looking for the sturdiest option that’s easily available, Soo Phat has you covered.

Pros:

  • Ultra-high quality design and materials
  • Holds long rod securely
  • Great for gravel or sand
  • Won’t damage your surf tackle

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Boone Sand Spike - Most Portable Sand Spike

Boone Sand Spike

Amazon 

Material: PVC rod holder and an aluminum spike

Length: 33”

Weight: ?

Boon’s sand spike is a similar product to Sea Strike’s 28-inch model reviewed above.

The rod holder is made from tough PVC, but not flared, and it’s attached via a screw and wing nut to an aluminum spike.

On the one hand, this makes it the least sturdy of the products on our list, and if you’re looking for maximum strength, this is not the way to go.

But that wing nut offers a clever advantage. Not only does it make this spike adjustable, but when loosened, it also allows you to rotate the PVC rod holder down over the spike, creating a much more portable and storable overall package.

For anglers who need ultra-portability, say, in a tote or backpack, this is a very hard sand spike to beat.

But the caveat here is that the only thing holding this spike together is that same wing nut, and it’s not hard to imagine that really big fish could break that connection by cracking the PCV.

To be fair, however, most surf anglers are after fish far too small to do that sort of damage, and for the vast majority of us, this spike offers a great option that’s worth a close look.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend this style of sand spike for gravel, and like the others of its kind, loose sand probably needs a hole and some packing to secure this spike.

Pros:

  • Light
  • Quality materials
  • Holds long rods securely
  • Can be folded down to make it even more portable

Cons:

  • Only 33-inches long, in total, so it can’t hold firm on big fish
  • Big fish can break the plastic rod holder or rip it free from the spike
  • Not designed for gravel beaches

Sand Flea Sand Spike - Best Light-Weight Sand Spike

Sand Flea Surf Fishing Rod Holder Beach Sand Spike. 2, 3 or 4 Foot Lengths. Made from Impact and UV Resistant PVC. 100% USA Made. (Black, 3)

Amazon 

Material: PVC

Length: 2’, 3’, and 4’

Weight: ?

Sand Flea’s sand spike is a lot like a really well-made DIY version, the kind a tradesman or engineer might make themselves. 

High-grade PVC is the material of choice here. The mouth is flared with a generous cutout to accommodate a big reel. The other end is just cut at an angle to allow it to penetrate sand better.

At 2.22 inches, the diameter of this spike is going to fit even gargantuan rods, and it’ll hold them securely, too.

Available in three lengths, 2-, 3, and 4-feet, if you drive the longest of these a few feet into wet sand, a fish would need to break the PVC to tear it loose, and that’s pretty unlikely unless you hook something massive.

For nearly everyone, this is enough rod holder for surf fishing, and unless I knew I was after monsters, I’d take a hard look at this product.

Very light for length and easy to transport and store in all but the 4-foot length, this is a good option for anglers who want to run multiple rods simultaneously.

It is a lot more expensive than the similar, but one-length, Offshore Angler sand spike reviewed above.

You get what you pay for, however, and if your budget can stretch to these, they’re probably the better buy overall.

Pros:

  • Ultra light
  • Quality materials
  • Holds long rods securely
  • Available in three lengths

Cons:

  • Not designed for gravel beaches

Over The Waves Sand Spike

Over-The-Waves-Sand-Spikes-Surf-Rod-Holders

Material: aluminum

Length: 58”

Weight: ?

Over the Waves, a small company in Delaware, manufactures a tall, all-aluminum sand spike. Made from premium quality components and carefully welded and cut, this is a worthy rival for the Soo Phat model we reviewed above.

Expect a long aluminum spike made from angled flat stock. It’s plenty thick, and I can’t imagine it ever breaking. And when driven deep into either sand or gravel, it’s going to grip like good AT tires.

I seriously doubt anything you hook can rip this spike free, provided you set it firmly and at proper depth.

The rod holder is formed by cutting round stock, creating a big, long cavity to hold your rod securely. Until you lift it free, it’s not going anywhere.

I’d put the weight of each individual spike at roughly four to five pounds, and this two-pack supplies you with a pair to run together.

While not the most portable option on our list, they’re among the strongest and most secure, and for anglers catching big fish or working a gravel beach, Over the Waves’s sand spike deserves a close look.

Pros:

  • Ultra-high quality design and materials
  • Holds long rod securely
  • Great for gravel or sand

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

What We Look for in a Good Sand Spike

Easy and secure penetration

A good sand spike can be worked into the beach pretty easily, typically by rocking and applying body weight. 

You can use a rubber mallet to hammer spikes home, but beware that this will eventually damage PVC rod holders.

And as you’d expect, most sand spike designs aren’t ideal for gravel beaches. For those, you’ll want bigger, more robust all-aluminum models with seriously thick stock.

Once the spike is buried to the proper depth, we like to see them be all but immovable. That’s not as tall an order as it seems, given that the rod and line will absorb shock and energy, acting like two giant springs.

But as we note in the reviews, shorter spikes can be pulled free if you catch a large ray or a monster fish.

Accommodates long-handles surf rods

Surf rods need long handles to facilitate two-handed snap casting. They typically have oversized handles and thick butts.

You’ll need a rod holder that can fit a surf rod comfortably, and all the models on our list are made with that in mind.

Strong and durable

Sand, salt, wind, and sun wear materials quickly.

That’s one advantage of PVC: it can take environmental abuse and shrug it off. 

Aluminum and stainless steel are excellent for the beach as well, resisting corrosion and defying the sand to cause any trouble for them.

The weak point of sand spikes is typically the PVC rod holder itself, which is subject to damage if you strike it with a mallet to drive it home. In rare cases, it can also be cracked or broken by a really big fish, tearing your rod free.

That’s not nearly as likely as you’d expect, however, and if you set your spike properly, there’s not a lot to worry about.

Light

If you walk to your spot, leaving your vehicle on blacktop, you know how quickly every pound adds up.

Fishing carts are a popular pick for anglers faced with long treks across the sand or gravel, and it’s easy to see why. But if you’re toting all your tackle by hand, weight matters a lot, and you'll appreciate lighter, more portable designs even if they lack the absolute strength of all-aluminum models.

Obviously, the all-PVC options on our list aren’t going to be as robust as those made entirely from metal, but for many anglers, that’s a trade-off they’re happy to make.

Final Thoughts

Sand spikes really up your game on the beach, making your time on the water more enjoyable and more productive.

Whether you need a long, solid-aluminum spike that can punch through gravel or form an immovable rod holder in wet sand, or need a light, portable spike that won’t weigh you down as you trek to your spot, we hope that you find just the right option on our shortlist.

As always, we’d love to hear any questions or comments you might have, so please leave a message below.

About The Author
Pete D
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.
Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram