What rod should I use with a Abu-Garcia 5500 open-faced baitcasting reel?

I just acquired an Abu-Garcia 5500 open-faced baitcasting reel, and am going to be fishing for northern pike, river catfish, etc…. What kind of rod should I buy? A casting rod I suppose? What brand should I buy, I heard St. Croix is pretty good? Can anybody provide with tech spec of what I am looking for? I am a novice fisherman new to all of this. Thanks!

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