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Hey guys,

I am a beginner fisherman and I've always used a sink & hook with worm as bait but I'd like to start trying to use lures. I have some rusty old fishing rods that my family bought long time ago and they don't cast out very far. Don't know if it's the rod, reel or both but I want to invest in a good rod & reel. I looked around the forum and found this link in The Fishing Bible section:

http://www.pierandsurf.com/fishing-forum/showthread.php?70887-Best-surf-rod-and-reel

These all look great but they seem to be a little out of my budget as I am a recent college graduate with a hefty debt.. I'd like to spend about $150 for both rod & reel. Do you guys have any recommendations? I would prefer a multi-purpose rod that can be used for topwater and bottomwater fish. Also, any helpful tips on for top water fishing would be appreciated. I'm planning to fish around different parts of the Bay as well as Delaware, Nj and OC within the next few years. Thanks!

- John
 

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Since you are just starting out, I'd just pick up a decent 7 foot saltwater spinning combo from Walmart. Spend a few more dollars and get a spool of decent 20 lb mono and respool it (stock line is often twisted crap on those) and you can catch most of the fish in the ocean accessible from a pier or the surf. That will leave you plenty of cash left over to spend on rigs, gear, and bait, which are just as important as the rod and reel in many cases.
 

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for ideal topwater fishing- you would want a very specific rod- I use Shimano Teramars/symetre combos- outs of your current budget.

I think a 7 6' Ugly stick inshore select (50$) with a Penn Fierce 4000 off ebay (should be able to find one in the 40-50 range) would be a good start for your budget.

line- 12# mono for versatility- may need something heavier for outside the bay

learn to tie your own rigs- 2 dropper loops off 30# mono and a sinker for bottom fishing...... wire spreaders are not necessary.
Sinkers are cheaper off ebay in bulk
 

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Bass Pro Shops has reasonably priced combo inshore set ups such as Shimano and Penn for under $150. The guys in the fishing department will help you out.

I prefer them over Walmart any day of the week for combo packages.
 
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