Its more about putting fresh bait in the water and distance is’nt really that important to a certain point. Iv proved this to myself as i try and chuck to the horizon, and my wife justs lobs it out and one day she cuaght the fish a 13kg shark and me zilch. Our daughter just uses a soft action 10foot and one day caught the only fish between us three, the thing that open my eyes was it was a very large specimen red cod and was caught closer to the shore line then i could have thrown a handline!!!
I would suggest avoiding any preserved bait (been there learnt the hard way) and just use frozen quality pilchards or squid or prawns or fresh mullet and crabs with some bait cotton and youll find that surfcasting really isnt that hard to master.