Just to answer my own questions - I read through some old posts about rod/reel setups for plugging the bay, and it sounds like my 8'6" Salmon/Steelhead setup is actually pretty close to many of the recommendations for a versatile setup. It's a bit hard to make accurate short distance casts and often requires me to ensure I have clearing behind me before casting (either from rocks, trees, or people), but it does get the job done. The next step might be to get a shorter casting rod in the 6'6"-7'3" for smaller baits, which I can throw in either the north or south bay spots when the wind isn't up.
Hello - what are the most popular/common baitcasting setups for throwing plugs for stripers (and halibut) in the bay? I mostly fish the south bay and occasionally near GG or San Pablo pay. Typically plugging from the bank, off of rocks or bay trails, and depending on location may need to battle wind. I've been using a Shimano Clarus 8'6" Salmon/Steelhead rod with a Curado 300EJ. The reel is great but the rod feels a bit too long for accuracy and not enough power for windy conditions. I'm wondering if a common freshwater bass setup is appropriate, and if so which casting rod would be a good choice.