Rob Thats a tough one for me to answer. Ive included some info for you at the bottom of the post to see whats available to you.
I've only used the low end or high end stuff myself, really nothing in between except a custom rainshadow by Batson. If your want to try to build your own this winter or next. Have a look at Wickford rod works
He carries the full batson line and instructions on how to beginner rods. The Gunny Floats and Sudsy can help with this as some of the other guys are better equipped to answer this question.
If it were me and its not, and I wanted a store bought off of the rack for $130 - I would purchase the Ocean master from Bass Pro to give it a go. I have read some good reviews, but I have mad money sometimes to tinker with. (The last rod I bought for $120 was a batson rainshadow custom from ebay)
Another choice at that price would be the lamiglas surf king; although it is manufactured in China it has the lamiglas name and warranty.
Lamiglas surf King
(The MSRP is always higher. Not good to undercut your distributors.)
Another rod at the 200 buck price range might be the seeker rod also good reviews. (East coast american surf)
If you searched thousand threads here and elsewhere most north east coast surfcasters are throwing Lamiglas, Gloomis, St. Croix, Batson and Seeker rods. South Eastern Coast its the hattaras type heavers breakaway rods and the west coast its lamiglas, cal star and seeker.
Saltwater Rod Manufacturers