I am currently using mid-range ‘threadline’ reels for surf casting. My current reel is a Shimano Baitrunner 6500b (est NZD $300) which has a good reputation. So it should last.
I have a smaller reel, which is more ‘upper end’. A Daiwa Certate 4000 (est NZD $600), the thing is a piece of art with surplus of drag. But I think it could suffer a bit if a big shark strikes and it is more suited to spinning and jigging then surfcasting. I bleive the drag is sealed so should be alright to take Kayak fishing but would consider getting a alvey now.