|St Croix is a really expensive rod to fish for "whatever bites". Likewise, if you are thinking that you are going to a SoCal pier and use a long rod to over-head cast to honey hole, you will most likely just end up with a court date as overhead casting is illegal on a lot of SoCal public piers. Here in NorCal, I've not seen a "No Over-Head Casting" sign like the ones posted on the SoCal piers. So, up here, overhead casting is the rule of thumb. Regardless, just about any rod & reel can be used to under-hand pitch from those tall piers down south.
Personally, I'm a Calstar & Seeker fan that fishes with conventional reels. I wouldn't even consider offering "coffee grinder" nor non-Calstar/Seeker advice. Still, I just don't see the advantages of a longer rod from the SoCal public piers.
If you are thinking that you could hit the shorelines, be prepared to pay for a temp license for the outing. I don't know the cost, but a google search will get you that info.
Coming back to "Whatever Bites". Sharks & rays really fill that category well... And they get big (comparatively speaking). They can be caught throughout the water column from the breakers to far past the ends of our piers. My absolute favorite catching/eating was the Shovelnose (guitarfish). Big ones went to 50+lbs, but average eaters were 20 to 30lbs. A little tricky to get the loins out, but once you knew how, piece of cake & oh-so-good! Bat Rays are still a favorite of mine when fishing SoCal. I've caught some big ones down there. We won't even go into how big, but I was glad to be fishing a Sabre 670H rod back then (7ft, 50# class rod) with Penn 500/505 reels, & 40lbs test. Some battles were easily 20 to 30 minutes. Crowds of people would follow you as you followed your fish. Back then, the Newport Pier didn't have railing. So sometimes, guys would get so "pressed" by the crowds, they'd fall off the pier while fighting their fish! Thank god the under part of the pier was still accessible. The bait shack would lower the receiver below to help the angler back up.
Anyway, come & fish our public piers. It's free! Pick up a cheap 30-80lb class rod for the "Whatever" category and pitch some whole squid, a fillet of mackerel, or a sabiki caught smelt/grunion. There's a good possibility that you will be thinking, "Something wicked this way comes"!
A jerk on one end of a line waiting for a jerk from the other