Re: Need rod info..
You're in the same boat I was two years ago. I go often enough to own a rod and reel specifically for saltwater, but not enough to justify more then one. You will end up being a little over gunned for some fish and a little under gunned for others.
Any medium heavy 7ft fiberglass rod should do fine. Tsunami has some decent rods in the 50-75 dollar range. I personally went with a rod builder in Pt Pleasant named Kevin Bogan. My rod was $140 in my choice of line wrap colors, name decal, and fish logo. Not a fancy custom rod, but the little personalization was nice and if I have any problems with the rod I can take it in for repairs.
For a reel I went with an Avet SX 5.3 with the cast control.(Google Charkbait in CA. free braided line and sometimes shipping) This set up has caught flounder, sea bass, blackfish, ling, blues, stripers, and even grouper in the gulf of mexico, plus a multitude of non target species.
It is definitely worth having a saltwater designed rod for saltwater fishing. I started out with a big heavy ugly stick, and I see quite a few guys with them on the party boats. They just aren't designed to handle the heavy sinkers. They are bent almost in half when bringing up even small fish.