Just to let you know that a big percentage of fish are in the swash channel or trough, which is only a few feet from the beach. So you don't necessarily have to cast long distances. But there are many things you can do to get further casts and more bites from fish. One is to fish your baits in the swash channel. As far as a rod for longer casts, I recommend going to an 8-foot rod because the extra length will give you further casting distance.
I also recommend a smaller reel. A 4000 sized spinning reel would give you plenty of line to handle the large variety of species that you can catch off the beach. The lighter reel and longer rod will enhance your fishing experience. You should be using 15-to-20 lb. braided line. This will give you much longer casts and increase your spool line capacity.
Now as far as your terminal tackle, which is hooks, leader, weights, swivels etc., you should eliminate the steel or wire leaders. They are very intrusive in a fish's world. I recommend you use Fluorocarbon leader. It is fairly abrasion-resistant and is invisible to the fish. This leader change alone will absolutely increase your catching ratio. You had not mentioned hooks, but a 1/0 circle hook should be a good all-around hook to use with the baits you talked about.
Regarding weights, you should be using as little weight or as light as you can get away with. I recommend a split shot, pinched onto your leader. A size # 3 or #4 split shot should be all you need. I would also try and catch some live bait off the beach with a sabiki rig or cast net.
These baits would include scaled sardines, threadfins, pinfish, grunts, killifish, mojarra and more. Shrimp is also one of the best baits which you can purchase at a local tackle shop. If you find a local tackle shop they can assist you in picking out the right tackle. Also, if you go to our fishing forum, you can find someone who fishes in your area and I am sure they will be willing to join you in your search for fish.
Thank you for sending in your question to The Online Fisherman.
Captain David M Rieumont
The Online Fisherman Inc.