Wow, i guess my 2 threads got somehow spliced together. :)
thank you all for your replies.
I was running out of time before the trip so I bought a cheapo 8' Sheakspeare set at Sports Authority for $30. pretty much same thing that zimno mentioned and got some lures based on other threads.
I chucked it out there from the jetty at different times of day and guess what? Not a darned thing. not even a nibble. "skunked" is the term I think, right?
first of all there were no "serious" looking anglers out there for the whole week I was there. that to me seemed like its either a bad time to fish or bad place. I have no idea. or maybe they were out there at different times when the fish were actually biting. couple of people mentioned that they saw bass crusing around the jetty but without polarized glasses I couldnt confirm (even if I had those glasses I wouldnt know what to look for).
I did learn some lessons though:
1. family and fishing dont really mix that well.
2. "you get what you pay for" is very accurate when it comes to gear
3. I have a lot more to learn.
All in all it was a good time. Oddly enough I didnt get discouraged by my defeat. just being on that jetty with no people in sight was nice.
I will return the rod I bought and put in the time to find a more decent one that will not break my wallet either and give it a go again.