Thanks for the informative response. I can imagine my question is quite broad. What would be a better way of presenting my question?
I essentially want a dependable, and durable spinning rod setup for bait fishing (clams/bunker/herring/eels) the NJ shore and Delaware river, as well as a spinning rod setup for plugging the same waters.
I don't mind getting two setups, I figured I'd need two. What I don't know is what I will need to accomodate these waters.
The fact that most fish are within 20 yards (during high tides) is very useful, but (again as a newbie reading other sites/etc) there has been discussion of what size fish lay where (1st vs 2nd vs 3rd breaks). That's not to say bigger fish don't come closer, and again I am going based on what I am reading, not by experience. Most of the stripers I caught were from the jetties with spikes and the biggest may have been about 20 lbs or so. No real whoppers. But, I certainly couldn't reach these fish from the beach with the setup I was using.
I don't think selecting a reel will be as challenging as selecting a rod or rods. Even the rod brand isn't as much of a concern as selecting the appropriate height, weight, and action to maximize casting distance as well as maxmizing the ability to fight and land fish.
Thanks again for the feedback, I'll check out info on your favorites and add them to my list!