I fish the beach front a fair amount. Like others have said, it depends. The surf here is a different animal almost every day. Sometimes it's rough, full of strong currents and or seaweed and very difficult to fish. It can be sandy and still have good fish in it. Too clear is almost bad. If its rough or has a lot of current, it helps to have a pretty long stout rod and some decent amount of line on a reel to chunk the spider weights necessary to anchor the bait. I usually set a mix of small live and cut mullet cast netted from the surf on circle hooks.
Other times, the fish can be in the first gut right next to the beach. Topwaters, tails and plugs can work when things are like that. They can be in the second gut as the sun gets up and you can stand of the bar in waist deep water and cast out to them. Fishing with lures/flies and fishing with bait each has its charms. 2-4 bait rods are usually all you need to stay busy baiting, rigging, catching, casting. I like to have a mix of bigger and smaller rods. maybe get some whiting on small hooks closer in with dead shrimp and a couple of longer heavier rods to throw out as far as you can for sharks, redfish, gafftop, maybe trout. Jacks patrol the surf at times. So do Spanish mackerel and bluefish so have some stout fluorocarbon or wire handy. Often times, the bait activity will give clues to where the fish are.
Have a very long stringer with a quick release or walk your retained fish ashore because sharks are very apt to go for fish on a stringer.