I think it may be a little young unless he's big, it'd be mighty hard for a 6 year old to hold a big rod and a drum sized conventional. If you do, slow it down as much as you can and use cheap mono. I'd stick with spinners, but a small 5500 sized levelwind may be better than a drum conventional.
I have a six year old and he slings a spinning reel pretty well. Just last year he almost got me kicked off Sandbridge pier because some stupid surfer was way too close to the pier and he cast out a bottom rig with 3 oz and some fish bite bw and almost took the little bugger off his board. He probably threw it 40 yds. At this rate he'll be passing me by the time he's 8!
I have an 8yr old and he's been throwing a conventional for about a year now. His surf rod is a 10 diawa sealine, with a 6500cs reel. I use the sealine because it is light weight. In the field he can cast 55yds with 3oz. I have seen him hit better distances while actually fishing. If you think hes ready, then let him try, be ready to respool often and pick out a lot of backlashes. This past trip to the obx, he was throwing my saltist 20h on a ballistic rod. While he really struggled with the 13'3" rod, he still could get it out there pretty good.
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