Re: A couple things
braid is fine on those reels.
look into conventional rods and reels.........
your baitrunner's good to have to cast plugs and jigs.
a rod for your boat is one of the most important purchases you can make. just cause it is a 20-40 rated rod doesn't mean it has a good bend or is sturdy enough for a beast.
your gonna have to bite the bullet on that one i'm afraid.
a good boat rod will not be cheap. all around good boat rods for bass and bluefish are reasonable but,, a really good sturdy stik can be pricey. invest in one or two that have backbone. suggestions? a few, but i'd look into the shimano trevally rod.. great bait rod but excells at jigging "and that is one of the things ya wanna get good at is jigging off a boat" don't skimp on the rod as conventional reels are a dime a dozen on ebay. imo, that shimano rod is even ideal for trolling. i'm not sure if it has carboloy guides for wireline but. do some homework on other ideas and deals you see. you have plenty of time to get great deals over the winter.