A rod designed for surf fishing is typically longer than a rod intended for boat or bank fishing. That extra length increases casting distance and helps keep line above breaking surf when the rod is resting in a sand spike or PVC rod holder. For smaller species such as redfish, trout, whiting, pompano and flounder, look for a rod in the 8- to 10-foot range. For longer casting to species such as bull redfish, jacks, big stripers, and small sharks, a 10- to 13-foot rod is a better choice. Just remember that sometimes the target zone may simply be the first trough in the surf break, which is seldom more than a lob cast away. Match your rod length to the intended species and expected distance from shore. Ten feet is a good all-purpose length.