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I'm looking to start surf fishing and am shopping around for a rod/reel set up. There's so much out there from cheap $50 or less setups to outfits costing hundreds of dollars? What's good for the L.I. mostly south shore area? What should I be looking to spend? I want to spend as little as possible but then i don't want a piece of crap that's going to break on me after a season or two. Any advice? I would love to walk into a local fishing store and buy but I feel like I'm getting ripped off. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Pascal,

The tackle places have quality equipment and expertise. You aren't wasting your money. Yes, it's cheaper on the web but you can't touch until you buy.

If you want to keep cost down until later, go to Sports Authority or the like and pick out a name brand (Penn, Shakespear, etc.). For the south shore a 10 foot Pen rod (under $100) and a 704Z reel (under $80) would be good. This is great equipment and will last many years. Try different brands and see what feels comfortable.

You can get the Lamiglas/high end equipment after you get some experience and decide surf fishing is really your thing.

Best of luck.

Waterlockd
 

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What he said...I'd start you off as I did for the south shore. Pick a 10ft Ugly Stik and go with the Penn 704. I would also like to recommend a "Quality" Mono within the 15 to 17lb test range. I'd wait on the braid, expensive and you may not like it.
To this you could tie a blood knot (clip the tag ends close)to about 25ft of 25lb mono for a shock leader. Rule of thumb here is 3 wraps on the reel then through the guides and back down to the reel for length of leader. You'll know why you need this the first time your bail trips tring to throw a 3oz bottle plug! Many other reasons to have it but I've been glad I've had it for this reason before I did a manual conversion on all my 704's. For an investment of under $200 total you'll have an outfit that will last as long as you want it to.
IMHO...

REDGILL
LIBBA # 1883
 

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You cant go wrong with the Penn Spinfisher rods and the Penn 704Z or 706Z. The two 11' Spinfishers arent good for light plugging. Theyre more suited for light/med chunking and heavy plugs and tins. The shorter 10' and 9' foot Spinfishers will fit the bill if youre looking to throw plugs exclusively. You can purchase the rods at Cabelas.com for about $90.00. The 704z goes for about $75.00. Sports Authority has the Spinfisher rods, but theyre way over priced (up to $140.00!)

UglyStiks are strong, inexpensive rods. I dont like them for plugging. The action is a bit too soft for me. I use the UglyStik to chunk. The 10' rod goes for about $70.00. Shakespeare, the company that makes UglyStik, also has reels that you can use for the surf. You might want to check out their Pro Touch series. They range from $25.00 to $37.00. You can purchase them online at Basspro.com

Good luck in choosing an outfit!
 
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