Fortunately living in central south Georgia I am about equidistance from the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. (about two hours to either). Most (rather all) of my surf fishing has been done in the Gulf panhandle. The tide is such that it is common to walk 2-300 yards into the surf to find water deep enough to hold fish. Once there deeper water may only be fifty foot or so from where one stands consequently distance is not necessary only helpful. Target species are Speckled Trout (spotted sea bass), Redfish (red drum) Flounder, Spanish Mackerel, and an occasional Cobia. Whiting which are common in the Atlantic are not found in the Gulf. I have both ten and eleven foot surf rods with spinning reels. I have found these to be both unhandy and unnecessary. Normally I fish with a much handier eight foot rod. Based on this I bought the seven foot six inch level wind rod. I want to start fishing the Atlantic which is a slightly easier ride for me. Now I find out that I possibly should have bought a much longer surf rod. Oh well, the rod will work great from my bay boat.