While I was in Florida I became interested in fishing the miles of ocean beaches around Daytona, New Smyrna and Ponce Inlet. It was a new type of fishing for this farm boy fishing small streams and rivers flowing up. The concept of cast and wait was new to me. The concept of casting 4 oz and bait into the wind was new to me too! Needless to say the learning curve was steep.
However, once I got the right gear and practiced, getting the gear out to the fish in the right area was easier. 11-12′ rods with ABU 6500 CT sized reels, spooled with 50b braid and 30lb shock leaders handled everything from Bluefish to Sharks to 5′. I am convinced now that casting technique and having the reel properly set up is the key to happiness fishing the surf.
I researched long distance casting and landed on the CT frames from ABU and a custom one piece frame out of England, called the QTC. The QTC is solid as a rock and will not torque under load. Free spool is excellent. The ABU frame converted CT with SS bar is strong but not the same as then piece frame. I put after market mag control on each of them to control them in the changing conditions at the beach.
Good clean bearings, carbon matrix drags, ground flat drag washers, with 6:1 gears. I upgraded the handles to counterbalanced power handles with larger knobs for more cranking power and it is appreciated when you hook the beast.