I am new here, so take my advice with caution. I am also fairly new to striper fishing, so again, take my advice with caution.
With that said, here is my advice...
First off, when fishing topwater for bass of any species (yes I know that a striper is not a bass species, but that's what it is called), I do fish a lot with braid. I love to catch largemouth with frogs using braided line and a medium heavy to heavy 7' rod. I am a very cheap guy and don't like to spend a lot of money, but have found lots of really good braid on clearance cheap.
The big reason that a lot of people don't use braid or fluro. is because they say it takes away from the action of the bait because it does not float as much as the mono does (from my understanding). Also, the mono will stretch when the fish inhales the bait. This helps with not pulling the bait out of their mouths before you get a chance to set the hook. Usually, when bass fishing, I will use braid as long as I am not letting the lure sit for long periods of time. The reason for this is that the braid is more visible than mono and when it sits there, it gives the fish more time to see it and say "nope".
As for the reel, I cannot speak for trolling because I cast only for them. However, when I go to the river to catch these awesome fish, I have always taken my bass gear. I use 14# mono most of the time because I usually fish with grubs and soft swim baits. I use a lot of Pinnacle reels and a few Quantum and a few BPS reels. Like I said before, I don't use a lot of the higher priced stuff, and I have never had a reel break on me. I have had several rods break on me a lot, so I do use higher quality rods.
This year I am going to buy a few rods and reels just for these fish. I think that I am going to buy a Ambassador reel and another baitcaster (not sure about it yet). I think that I am going to buy either a Extreme or a Pro Qualifier from BPS. I know that I am going to get one 7' and one 7'6" Ugly Stick Lite rods. I won't h ave to worry about them breaking like some other rods in their price range. I would save your money on reels and get a few good rods and a bunch of lures and line. Just my .02 cents though.
Where exactly do you fish in Indiana? If I could throw a rock across the Ohio River, I could throw a rock and hit Indiana.
Let me know, maybe we can meet up this spring and I could take you out to my favorite fishing spot. They will be running before too long!