There is only one type of surface wire bait and that is the buzzbait. A buzzbait is very similar looking to a spinner with a skirt on a lead head attached to a wire frame, the only difference being the large propeller like blade. This fast moving bait is really simple to fish and just about as weedless as a spinnerbait. Once you have cast the buzz bait out it is a simple matter of retrieving it at a fast enough speed to make it run on the surface (which is slower than one might think for this wire and lead contraption!)
These are also divided into two separate types, namely the hollow body frog and the solid body frog. Both designs are weedless type baits and they are best suited for heavily vegetated waters. The hollow body frog comes with the hook built in while you use similar hooks on
The third and probably most popular surface bait is the soft frog.
your solid body frog to what you would use for other types of soft baits. With a hollow body frog you have to impart action to the lure with your rod tip by twitching and popping it, and since these frogs float they are also the best choice for when the bass is a little lazy and not interested in eating moving baits. Solid body frog designs come in two types of leg designs namely a ripple tail or a paddle tail. Both designs do essentially the same thing which is to churn water and the best design is the one you are comfortable with. My personal choice is one with ripple type legs, as I like the more subtle action it imparts as opposed to the kicking type legs. To fish these, simply cast them right on top the structure and swim them back to you at a speed that will keep them on the surface, and hang on!
With all of these baits it is necessary to retrieve the lure back as close as you can; it is not uncommon to get a strike with only a meter or two of line out. Pay attention to the speed of your retrieve as it will usually take a few casts to figure out what the fish want on a particular day, and remember what you were doing when you got the bite! It is also important to fish surface lures on a floating line, preferably braid but a strong monofilament will also do the trick. Fluorocarbon line sinks and will thus compromise the action of the lure. Also be sure to keep more than one type of these baits. Like anything else in bass fishing, different surface lures work under different conditions. I would start with the two types of soft bodied frogs and then add to my collection systematically.
A seven foot medium heavy rod should do you just fine for most of your surface angling from the bank. As for a reel, just make sure it is tough, especially if you are to using braid.