Go cheap for starters!
You dont need to be forking out $300 for a surf combo if you are just starting out .I started out with a warehouse brand 12footer and I still have it.I packed it away and upgraded to two kilwell 1403su’s (14footers) beaut rods but the reels needed replacing before long.I basically learnt with these rods and they were used most weekends.I ended up giving one to my mate who was starting out then pretty much the day after,I smashed mine in the car door .
Pros-They are cheap,comfy with a good action,light but heavy enough to take a beating and basically well balanced with good length in the butt section.Cons- the reel that makes up the combo.I also have a brandnew 15ft silstar which is pretty much on par with the likes of kilwell and jarvis walker etc.Although I prefer the kilwell rods out of the 3.I have my trusty 16foot penn powerstick which cost me $300 and that is probably the most I will spend on a surfcaster.
Basically all im trying to say is you dont need to startout with the expensive gear.Start with the cheaper but quality gear and suss out what you need in a rod and what works for the areas you fish.Sometimes that $150 combo will fit better than that $400 one.
Please take no notice if you have more money than brains