Re: Flies in the surf
So far the 8wt has done the job and has brought in stripers up to nearly 30". If I was outfitting again, I'd consider a 9wt or 10wt. A nice thing about the 8wt is I can cast it for a long time before it wears on the arm. I've never checked out the Orvis Clearwater (I build my own rods, lower budget stuff) or the reel with the combo. Hopefully someone else can advise on that. I use an Okuma Integrity which isn't really made for the salt, but I give it a thorough rinse and washing immediately after each outing. One thing I did was size up on the reel. I use a 9-10 for the salt so that I can load an adequate length of backing. It's been needed more than once.
Look into a stripping basket...it is essential. You can spend as much or as little as you want on that. Nice ones cost upwards of $80. I use one fashioned from a $2 plastic dishpan, some weed wacker line, and a $1 nylon belt. Looks, ugly, does the job.