I can drive to montauk in my old 1979 ford F-150 with no heat or radio and get there just fine.But I have chosen to go in my 2010 Toyota Tacoma as it is a bit more comfortable.
To answer your question,no you don't need all this fancy tackle.On Sunday I fished an old plain wrapped composite stick with a DAIWA 30 H and mono,next to a Billy 40 super seeker Super custom wrapped with a Daiwa saltiga 30 and braid.Hey the both caught just as well.The truth is I can afford the tackle and truly appreciate fishing with it.Some like vintage cars,I like a Rodwinder/B40 Rod that feels like an extension of my arm.TO EACH HIS OWN.
Will the expensive tackle catch you more fish-NO
But if it is what you like and gives you more CONFIDENCE-Then Maybe yes.
We all know that a good fisherman will catch with any gear,I need to bring over some of my wifes GREEK family from the agean that use handlines
Bottom line is Fish with what ever works for you.That may be a $79 ugly stick or a $600 Rodwinder special.JUST MAKE SURE THE TACKLE YOU USE IS THE PROPER TOOL FOR THE APPLICATION.
Please do not show up with a 12' SURF SPINNING ROD AND REEL.
And the jig I used the other day was George Kellar $4 defect 6oz. hammered Norwegian that he sells on e-bay.Caught fish just like any other jig that was being used by my buddies.
Cod are not the smartest fish in the ocean!