If your just getting started head to one of the sports stores and pick up a 10ft shakespeare ALPHA (not ugly stick) with reel combo for about 40 bucks. I still use mine till this day and its 6 yrs old. I have since moved into plugging and bought a better reel and stick for that, but IMO you don't need to go all out for a bait stick.
Go to your local bait and tackle and get a Shimano Baitrunner with a 10' Lamiglas Surf King rod. The reel is the best buy for the money, and I love the baitrunner option. The rod is rated for 3 to 8oz, great for bait and weight.
I am with Lamimike... Get something good if your going to get serious.. therefore it is good and holds up.. plus the good companies make a heavier rod for throwing more weight and clam balls and bunker..
Remember... throwing 6-8 ounces plus a whole surf clam and the hook and such can add anoher 4 ounces!!! YIKES!!
get something that can handle.. There are days when the best fishing is a noreast and i am slinging 12 ounces from the beach and slaughtering fish!!
I agree don't waste your money on the alpha.
I was just out Saturday, my buddy had an alpha and was trying to throw 4 oz. and a worm and it just wasn't happening.
I let him use the other Dicks Sporting Goods special the Okuma Sentra and he was 100% improved.
I have a shimano 10' rod and Pen 525 Mag and love them. For throwing bait you get impateient letting it soak cause it's so much fun to throw.
I'm in the position now where I ebayed a bunch of stuff I tried and just wasn't cutting it.
Skip the Alpha!
Try takin a look at the Tsunami Airwave rods.You can pick up a 11 footer (3-5 oz) for just over a hundred bucks ,or maybe less on ebay.Their my favorite of the "less expensive" rods.Baitrunners are good reels or try the Penn Slammer live liner reels for about the same price.