Bill the rod would be a function of what you will be throwing.
Bait, weight, casting distance, lures and what have you. You would want to balance a Penn 7500 on a 8 to 10 foot Medium rod rated 15 - 30 pound test or 1 to 6 ounces or somewhere like that. You could use it on a bigger stick. Suprizingly it weighs 25 ounces.
Some tie directly to the lure and others will use a leader. When bait fishing I use a flourocarbon leader 18 to 30 inches..
I have yet to fish Block Island by surf but in his book 'Striper Hot spots', Frank Daignault regards the whole south shore as one big hot spot.
According to him there is some readable water in the day time and
you can catch fish on poppers, but at night the real fishing takes place. Especially in the fall. Spots are gaurded with high secrecy.
His tip. Call Twin Maples 401 466 5547 for an island overview.