Wave energy is a new type of clean energy. Aiming at a low wave energy density and small wave height in China’s coastal areas, a tubular permanent magnet linear generator (PMLG) with a short stroke, small volume, and high power density is designed for wave power generation. Firstly, the generator’s electromagnetic parameters are analyzed by the analytical method, and the magnetic circuit topology and basic structure of the generator are analyzed by the equivalent magnetic circuit method (EMCM). Then, the finite element method (FEM) is used to analyze the influence law of the generator’s basic structural parameters on the output electromotive force (EMF) and its sinusoidal characteristics. The multi-factor and multi-level analysis is carried out based on the orthogonal test method to study the size parameters of the above analysis, and the optimal structure parameter combination for the generator is obtained. Finally, the prototype is trial-produced and tested for steady-state and transient performance to confirm the accuracy of the simulation calculations, and the output performance under no-load and load conditions is examined. The results show that both the optimized prototype’s power density and the output EMF’s sinusoidal properties have been improved under the proposed scheme.