Selecting Plug Distance Equipment
Plug Distance Rods:
The ACA rods for the two spin-distance events are just fine. The ACA blank for two-handed revolving is only perfect for beginners and seniors/women. It's a little too soft.
Plug Distance Reels:
In 1/4 oz distance you have should find reel that has a spool with an angle between 5-12. I have a Shimano Super Aero 7000 for two-handed spin distance. There have been other aero models that work too. DAIWA SS2600 ($89..$99 new) with a 12 degree cone angle which is borderline too much. Buy ACA conical spool(s), but you can get started with any light reel with a big spool.
2-hand spinning = you pretty much want the reel Dale has (at least had) for this event. It's reasonably light and has a huge conical spool, no drag (so that the spool can't accidentally rotate and allow the line to cut your finger). Dale used to ask $150 for it, but that may have dropped. A bunch of those (or similar) were raffled off at the nationals in 2004 - so spares may be available from individuals.
2-hand revolving = I used to say that all decent reels (ABU 1600 ...max, Calais 100A, ABU record 2100, Bantam, ...) are all the same once all extra parts are gone and the brake weights are arranged properly. I recently changed my mind. The ABU 2500C with the available spool (japantackle.com for $78) is a bit better. I think it's mostly because of the ultralight spool (not counting the axle) which requires a smaller brake weight.
1/4 oz: Fireline 4lb (1lb diameter) is the only choice (to my best knowledge) gray is best, green is not proven to be worse but has much better visibility. Use a Palomar knot to tie on the plug.
2-handed spinning AND revolving: the official line requirements are the same. Any soft line will do - as long as its diameter is as close as possible to 0.25 mm (use micrometer, measure in many places). You definitely want to be below 0.26 mm. IZOR line Platinum 6 lb, was the line I used to win in 2001. It's cheap and used to be available everywhere.
For the leader, you can use 20 lb (or less) fire line or monofilament (0.35 to 0.40 mm). I haven't decided yet which is better. I believe the fireline has an edge in 2-handed spinning. I use the Albright knot to tie the mono leader to the running line and a uni-to-overhand knot with the fireline leader.