Re: please help with gear set up
There is a rating, and not just name and length, that specifies the rod flex that will be important to determine what you plan on throwing.
For example, there is an XH version of the airwave that I see rated at 3-6oz, and I would generally consider this too heavy for plastic swim baits. However, that might be a great use for large swimming plugs and pencil poppers, which are very popular for fall Striper fishing in many places where the bunker pods come in. Also the XH would be good for surf-based "snag and drop" fishing, where you snag an adult bunker and either let it settle for "meat fishing", or more commonly you swap out your snag treble with some kind of fishfinder/live lining end rig and re-cast the live adult bunker or dead chunk into the fray, both of which require significant backbone in the rod.
for lures in general (the above exceptions noted) I like a medium rated rod in 9-11', something that can cast 3 or 4 oz comfortably and far, that means a 2-4oz type "rated" rod, but sometimes a 1-3 or 1-4oz rod might be better if I often plan on using rubber shads or light jig heads with a paddle tale or similar.
Those are my thoughts. The reel would be matched to the line size, typically 30lb braid and look at the braid's relative mono diameter, the capacity of the reel's spool to decide.
Brands? there are lots and perhaps that Daiwa is fine, I've got Penn Battle's and old Penn 704/706s and a few others... but I wouldn't buy them now unless I wanted "vintage" for a reason (which I do for a couple of vintage rods I just had redone, but again... I have the matching reels for these rods)
Welcome and post up reports in the appropriate reports thread when you get out!