Sand fleas, otherwise known as sand crabs or beach hoppers, are tiny crustaceans that live just a few inches under the sand in places where the ocean breaks on land. They’re quite abundant and fairly easy to spot by the ripples in the water as the tide recedes back into the ocean.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that these tiny crabs actually make for excellent fresh fishing bait to catch everything from pompano and striper to croakers and redfish. Catching them is also remarkably simple, given that you have the right tools. You can easily collect hundreds of these fleas in just a couple minutes with a sand flea rake.
Unfortunately since the rake you have at home is ill-designed to catch these crustaceans you will have to pick up a rake specifically designed to dig through the sand to collect them. That’s why we’ve reviewed the best four sand flea rakes on the market and have summarized them for your convenience:
- HOSKO 5FT Sand Flea Rake is the best value for your money.
- Exact Design Sand Flea Rake – Best for People With Back Problems.
- Fish-N-Mate 181 Med Sand Flea Rake – Best for Ease of Use.
- Shoreline Industries Full Metal Sand Flea Rake – Best for Multi-purpose Use.
Our Top Overall Pick
- Exact Design Sand Flea Rake is our pick based on value, durability and utility.
|Exact Design Sand Flea Rake||Check Price|
|Fish-N-Mate 181 Med Sand Flea Rake||Check Price|
|Shoreline Industries Full Metal Sand Flea Rake||Check Price|
|HOSKO 5FT Sand Flea Rake||Check Price|
Top 5 Best Sand Flea Rakes
1. Exact Design Sand Flea Rake – Best for People With Back Problems
- 52-inch long handle
- Curved handle
- 16-inch wide basket
- Sharp teeth
- Price: Check Price
This is one of the best sand flea rakes you’re possibly going to find. The main highlighting feature of this tool is the bent handles around the gripping area where you’re supposed to hold it for use.
That’s intentional and is provided to aid people with back problems. When using this rake to filter through the sand, you do not have to bend yourself like the regular sand flea rakes require you to.
You can stand tall and get the job done. Because of the elevated handle, the basket will dig the sand surface with ease. The sharp teeth on the front of the basket is another distinguishable feature. The steel teeth make it easy for you to dig and fill the basket with sand. It works wonders, even in hard sand areas. So a minimalist design but goes a long way in offering the flexibility and functionality people with back problems need.
- A curved handle doesn’t require you to bend when raking sand
- Ergonomic padded handle to offer you a better grip
- 52-inch long handle offering extended reach
- Relatively expensive
2. Fish-N-Mate 181 Med Sand Flea Rake – Best for Lightweight and Easy to Use
- 58-inch long handle
- 12 X 6-inch basket
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Highly durable
- Price: Check Price
This sand flea rake has a rather classic, simplistic design that’s geared towards regular rakers. The handle and the basket are made from Anodized Aluminum. For the uninitiated, aluminum is one of the lightest metals used to make lightweight appliances and parts. The aluminum body makes this sand flea rake extremely lightweight to work with.
The aluminum is anodized. The metal is first cleaned and then processed in an electrolytic solution as the “anode.” The final result is that the aluminum metal gets coated with a layer of aluminum oxide.
This layer provides protection against corrosion, scratches and makes the handle durable. The 58-inch long handle is long enough to help you collect sand fleas with extended reach. So definitely a product to go after if you’re looking for a lightweight and high-quality sand flea rake.
- Anodized Aluminum to prevent rust and corrosion
- Long handle for better reach
- No blades attached to the baskets requires you to apply added pressure.
3. Shoreline Industries Full Metal Sand Flea Rake – Best for Multi-purpose Use
- Full-metal body with no point of weakness
- Multi-purpose rake
- 62-inches long handle
- Price: Check Price
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose rake that can be used other than at sea for collecting sea fleas, then this product is for you.
This product is a full-metal, one-piece tool that is used to clear the garden and for collecting zebra mussels or goat pellets. Since it’s a single-body and has no joints, it’s sturdy and durable. You do not have to worry about it bending or breaking when you’re at work. The 62-inches long handle makes your job easier if you want to cover large areas in a short amount of time.
For using it at the beaches, you may have to pair it up with nets for the best results. So definitely go for this product if outdoor activities are your thing and you’re looking for a multi-purpose tool to accompany you.
- Single-body design to offer durability
- 62-inches super long handle for more reach
- Not specifically meant for catching sand fleas
- It can be heavy to work with
4. HOSKO 5FT Sand Flea Rake – Best for Budget Shoppers
- Gardening bow rake
- 14 welded steel tines
- 60-inch long handle
- Price: Check Price
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use rake that you can use both at the sea beaches and garden, then this bow rake is the right fit. The tines are made up of steel, which helps you to filter through the sand with ease. But it only works well when there is a lot of debris. Otherwise, the previous products are better suited for catching sea fleas.
This is more geared towards gardeners who want to keep their gardens neat and clean. Not only for cleaning, but you can also use the rake for mixing and leveling the soil. To use it at beaches, you must get a separate basket or at least a net for best results.
The long handle is another reason why it’s popular among consumers. You have a 60-inch long handle and 13-inch wide head to help you work with flexibility. So there are some impressive features to look forward to.
- Multi-purpose rake
- 60-inches long handle
- 13-inch wide head with welded steel tines
- Cheap and affordable
- No specifically designed for catching sand fleas
Needs and Requirements
Before you begin looking for sand flea rakes, you must understand your needs and specific requirements. That’s because the rakes vary by design and features. So if you do not focus on the needs, you’ll most probably get the features that are either irrelevant or unfulfilling.
If you inspect the features, the above-recommended products are quite different from each other.
The rake from Exact Design has got bent handles. This is meant for people with back problems. Besides that, it makes it easy for tall people to reach for the surface without bending themselves.
So if you fall into any of the two categories, you can purchase the same rake at a premium cost.
For those who want more of a multi-purpose rake, there are other options that will come at a lower price tag.
The sea flea rakes can be constructed from a variety of materials. You have got stainless steel that offers the sturdiness. And then you have aluminum rakes that are lightweight.
You may also come across rakes that are made from plastic. But it’s better to stay away from them. They’re more prone to breakage with even minimal pressure.
Some rakes may have steel baskets but are provided with plastic handles. These aren’t good either, especially for long term use.
It’s better to stick to steel or aluminum sea flea rakes when you’re inspecting the construction material.
Another primary feature you should look at is the size of the basket. The size determines how much sand you’ll be able to filter for one scoop. This shouldn’t either be too big or too small. The ideal length is between 12-15-inches wide and around 10-inches in length.
The volume would be just enough to filter the sand and catch the sand fleas.
Get a basket too big, and you’d have to filter it multiple times to completely drain the sand. Get a basket too small, and you’d have to make multiple attempts to catch the sand fleas. So balance the size before placing the order.
While the length of the handle is not of primary concern, it’s important nonetheless. A long handle will allow you to have a broader reach. So once you spot sand fleas even at a distance, you can attack them right away.
A long handle will benefit both tall and long guys. But long guys particularly will benefit from it since they do not have to bend to catch the sand fleas.
Most of the rakes mentioned here are at least 50-inches long. That’s more than enough for anyone to work effortlessly at the beach.
Weight and Durability
Ideally, you’d want your rake to be as light as possible. Nobody likes working with a heavy tool. And with the wet sand adding up to the weight, handling the rake properly would require greater muscle power.
Plastic may offer the least weight, but they’re also prone to breaking easily. Steel or another material can excessively increase the weight of the rake. So the middle ground is aluminum.
Aluminum also ensures durability. If there are minimal joints and fewer weakness points, then the rake will last long for sure.
Corrosion ResistanceYou’ll be using the sand sea rakes at the beaches. And as you might know, seawater is naturally salty with excessive salt.
This leads to rusting, which is a common form of corrosion. Rusting can eat up the metal from the inside out and cause serious irreparable damages.
So you should preferably look for rakes that are built to resist corrosion. The sand fleas rake from Fish-N-Make is a perfect example of what a corrosion-resistant tool should look like.
It’s coated with aluminum oxide that protects the aluminum from the wrath of saltwater. Look for rakes along similar lines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best sand flea rake?
The best sand flea rakes depend on how you define them. Do you need a sand flea rake that takes up more sand in one scoop? Then you might need a rake with a bigger basket and a metal tooth embedded in it.
If you’re looking for a lightweight option, then the rakes made from aluminum might be the best choice for you.
But all sand fleas rakes should come with a mid-sized to the big basket, lightweight, durable, and be corrosion resistant.
The above-recommended products are selected based on the above criteria. Select the one that closely reflects your requirements.
What is a sand flea rake used for?
A sand flea rake, as the name might suggest, is primarily used for catching sand fleas or Mole crabs. You’re going to find them roaming around on the beaches.
They lurch along the beaches in search of food. The sand fleas are active in the night hours and stay hidden during the day time.
But you can still spot them in the waters where they resurface from the sand underneath.
With the rake, you’ll capture the sand fleas along with the sand. Then as the seawater retracts, it drains the sand within the basket, leaving behind the sand fleas.
So that’s what a sand flea rake is used for in a nutshell.
What can you do with sand flea crabs?
Sand fleas are widely used as live bait for catching fish. Their size of a sand flea crab is around half an inch to an inch. But females can grow up to 2 inches in length.
Like most crabs, they can live both underwater and on land. They have gills that help them in breathing. Once on the land, they can stay alive for a few minutes to a few days, depending on the conditions.
Fishermen use them as live baits. These attract more fishes than artificial baits and lures. So when you’re heading out fishing with sand flea crabs, you increase your chances of returning with a fish or a couple.
How long will sand fleas stay alive when in a bucket?
Sand fleas have gills that allow them to breathe underwater. And they can stay outside of the water for few minutes too.
To preserve them for a longer period of time, you must make arrangements. You can fill the bucket with moist sand and wet papers. This would keep the sand fleas alive for few hours a day.
If you want to increase the duration and keep them alive for 3-4 days or more, then you’d need a larger bucket filled with 2-3 inches of sand.
It’d be better if you can arrange a cooler to regulate the air.
Do I need a rake to catch sand fleas?
Well, you can catch sand fleas with your hands and fingers, too, if you’re skillful enough. After all, all you need to is run your fingers through the sand and catch the mole crabs.
Alternatively, you can use a net to collect a portion of sand and then filter it for sand fleas.
Sand fleas rakes are designed specifically for catching sand fleas. So they offer both speed and accuracy. So it’s definitely a wise investment to make.
People who are into fishing and go on fishing trips regularly should seriously consider getting a sand flea rake. These are a one-time investment and will last for years. So they’ll help you catch live baits for every fishing trip. Choose from any of the rakes recommended above to start catching sand fleas today!