In the past decade, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor-based technology has been exploited more and more to characterize the interaction between drug targets and small-molecule modulators. Here, we report the successful application of SPR methodology for the analysis of small-molecule binding to two therapeutically relevant cAMP phosphodiesterases (PDEs), Trypanosoma brucei PDEB1 which is implicated in African sleeping sickness and human PDE4D which is implicated in a plethora of disease conditions including inflammatory pulmonary disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. A protocol combining the use of directed capture using His-tagged PDE-CDs with covalent attachment to the SPR surface was developed. This methodology allows the determination of the binding kinetics of small-molecule PDE inhibitors and also allows testing their specificity for the two PDEs. The SPR-based assay could serve as a technology platform for the development of highly specific and high-affinity PDE inhibitors, accelerating drug discovery processes.