It all depends on you're fighting style. Your choice decides the order abilities are learned, that's all. If you like magic, choose the rod, fighting, sword, defending and helping party members, shield. so, these are your choices, choose well --- YOUR MOM'S FACE'S MOM... SHUT UP
You should pick the sword first. Shield is your second preference, but do not at all costs pick the magic rod. I'll give you reasons for each: SWORD: A lot more damage earlier in the game. First to use the amazing luckylucky ability. SHIELD: A lot of defensive abilites first. Won't die at all in the beginning of the game. MAGIC ROD: A lot of magic boosts early in the game. First to get draw ability.
Now for the downsides of the weapons: SWORD: Second chance at level 85 (not a big fault) SHIELD: Negative Combo at level 73 (you will have to wait to use this awesome ability) MAGIC ROD: Gets luckylucky at level 99! Huge ability to have in the game. Gets finishing plus really late too. Another huge ability to have.
Definitely pick the sword or shield (sword first) or suffer the consequences. --- It's very dangerous to wave to people you don't know because what if they don't have hands? They'll think you're cocky.