The Abu Garcia C3 reels are not only less expensive, but they're workhorses and cast great. For general surfcasting, the 6500 size works great. I have several of them myself and they're a joy to use,,, just don't get sand in them
Have you ever casted a conventional reel on a surf rod before? There's a learning curve involved and if you're starting from scratch I'd recommend you stick with 20-30lb mono until you get the feel for it. It takes practice to learn how to handle a conventional casting reel, and backlashes are a pain in the butt to pick out of braid.
A 6500 size pairs well with most rods in the 9' to 11' range, but you'll have a tough time finding a rod that will cast a 1 to 2 ouce jig AND a 4oz bank sinker with half a bunker equally well. Most folks who will be doing both end up going with a couple rods, one for each weight range they will be casting.