I just wanted to add my "Me Too" to all the people saying what a great post this is. I'm going to be trying to do some surf fishing up in the puget sound area this summer and your post really changed my mind on what kind of tackle I was after. I'm from the Right coast (North Carolina) and "surf fishing" to me means a 10' rod heaving 5 oz pyramid sinkers 100 yards or so. Well that was many years ago. Time for a new game plan. Thanks for the well thought out and presented advice.