i'm no expert but here is my .02. I own 5 surf rods. I have 2 twelve foot ugly stiks, 1 8 foot ugly stik, 1 8' power stik (thats the same as an ugly stik but made by Pinnicle but halve the price) and a 9' Star rod that cost $200, but I cut about 10 inches off the butt to make it alittle easier to handel for lures. While I do not set up all 4 rods at once I always have 2 rods out plus the star rod that I always have set up to cast some sort of lure. Now with that said, I have always owned ugly stiks and really feel compfortable using them. As much torture and abuse I but them threw I have never had a problem with any of them other then the 8' ugly stik and the varnish flaking off. However I also love my star rod, but I would not go out and buy 2 12' star rods when I have 2 perfectly fine ugly stiks. Personally you have used ugly stiks and know what you will get out of them and I am sure you have adapped certain ways with that rod that may be different with another rod. Also, 98% of the time I have cut bait on the 12' rods or a mullet rig. On the 2 8' rods I use high low rigs. I have never casted a lure with the 12' rods or the 8' rods, they are 2 heavy. Thats why I bought the Star rod, its only rated up to 4 oz where the 12' are rated over 10 oz and the 8' rods are rated to 6 or 7 oz. I also run shimano baitrunners on all of them but the star rod I just bought a Tica Libra 4000 to replace an Okuma Expixor 65 baitrunner that did not handle salt and sand to well. Also, a 12' ugly stik with a Shimano 6500 baitrunner, probaly around $180 add the line( I use power pro on everything but the Tica which has Suffix it on it) you be alittle over $200.