I was in a similar position after I moved back to Texas and started to get back into bass fishing again. I found the "6 rod bass fishing system" to be the simplest guide to covering all the bases:http://wired2fish.scout.com/story/1465944-6-rod-and-reel-bass-fishing-system-rodshttp://wired2fish.scout.com/story/1465964-6-rod-and-reel-bass-fishing-system-reels
I stuck with BPS Pro Qualifier reels for my baitcasters - they are extremely good for a mid-range reel. They retail for $100 but can be found for a good deal less on sale at BPS or eBay. I paired them all on BPS CarbonLite rods, which have been great, and All Star ASTeam rods. All Star has its detractors (quality has gone down since they moved manufacturing to China) but these rods have been fine for the amount of bass fishing I do (10-12 times a year).
For white bass, I have become partial to Okuma spinning reels spooled with 12-14 lb Big Game on 6'6" or 7' M and MH Berkeley Lighting Rods. These have performed well with different white bass baits and are easy for guests/beginners to manage. They are a little light in case you hook into a big hybrid, though. It's also not the end of the world if one of them breaks and they're cheap enough to buy 3 or 4 matching setups so all your guests can fish.
For cats, I've got 7' MH Ugly Stick Catfish rods. Very inexpensive and durable with some decent features. I have two spinning setups, each are Abu Garcia reels I took off of two surfcasting rods I already had, and two baitcasters, each Ambassadeur 5500 C3. Everything spooled with 30lb Big Game. I think these setups cover most bases for catfishing though I am no expert.