I would recommend nothing under 9ft.
I have 3 rods I use only with lures.
8.6ft St. croix even though it falls
short of 9ft rod its still a good
rod for the North shore.(penn 5500ss)
2nd one is a 9.6ft Allstar Breakaway rod
(penn 6500ss on this one)
3rd one is a 10ft St. croix (penn 704z)
For under $100, I would recommend a Daiwa Eliminator Surf Spin 9', MH, 2 piece, 12-30lbs, 1-6 oz. $50.
Of course the other anglers suggestions are very good and excellent, but those rods are expensive. More than $100. I would not spend that much for a fishing rod, maybe the reel. I have not caught a fish that have broken a rod yet.
Shop around and ask the bait & tackle shop and fellow fishermans for more info and suggestions before you decide to buy.
In my humble opinion, go with an ugly stik. I have a 12 foot, 2 piece, and I absolutely love it. There are enough varieties of ugly stik for you to choose from too. Oh and the ugly stiks are not going to make your wallet cry for mercy either.
I also have a 12" Ugly Stick. This was my first rod and it was a good one to start with. The only complaint that I have was that it was so heavy that I thought my arm was going to fall off after holding it for a while. So now I have my St.Croix which is much lighter and a **** of alot more sensitive. I also agree with Van staal. Loomis makes a great rod also, but its just a little more expensive. If you really plan on going, I would recommend spending the extra $50-100 and getting either a St. Croix, Loomis or Lamiglass Rod. Believe me, you will notice a difference and you will be glad that you did.
Have to agree with the poster just before me - went with St. Croix for the sensitivity & lighter weight.
Was using a 11 foot Eagle Claw - too heavy to repeatedly cast. Wore out the arms after awhile. With the St. Croix you get more sensitivity & a rod you can cast with all night without wearing out the arms & can cast a country mile. My 8 footer outcasts the 11 foot rod I previuosly used.
If you're gonna leave it in a sand spike - the heavier rods will do - I don't & perfer the lighter weight St. Croix. Lighter but you lose nothing in the strenght department.
I have a St Croix, and a Lamiglass. Both are excellent rods for plugging and bucktailing. I do like the Lamiglass a little better. I can do more with it. I don't know if you plan on doing any bait fishing with clams or bunker, the St Croix can't really handle a 5-6oz weight plus a chunk of bunker. I also get more distance on the Lami when tossing a big plug out in Montauk.
bassman - I've used the 8 foot St. Croix to sling eels - don't use any weights/sinkers when doing this but get decent distance. Haven't yet tried the 10 footer but expect better distance then the 8 footer with the eels.
sandman - so it should be excellent for slinging eels from shore then - that's it's intended use.
Fishing on the river is best in late August thru September & really tops out during the first 3 weeks of October. So we got a way to go yet.
I'll start fishing it experimentally within the next couple of weeks tossing lures - switch over to floating clams & worms when the bass season opens in May & move to eels late June/early July.
Rumor has it there are a fair amount of schoolies lurking around in there now. I check it each morning before leaving for work - have yet to see any telltale "swirls".
I'll let you know how it progresses & maybe we can hook up some Friday night. That's when I do most of my bassin'.
Regarding the vacation- Venezuela was excellent - tremendous fishing - more species than you can shake a rod at. Look for my post in the Reports Section dated somewhere around 3/13 - 3/14 for the full report. Used the 8 foot St. Croix off of the beach a couple of mornings - unforetunately nothing hit it. Was hoping to grab a tarpoon or two from shore. A local told me they do come in there.