>Is anything in a "3" adequate?
Sorry. Couldn't resist.
FishHawk - In case you are looking to upgrade from the LP3, I just wanted to relate a bit of my own experience this year buying reels. I took a chance in August and tried Cabelas large arbor saltwater reel.
$125 gets you bar stock aluminum with a very thick anodized finished, a maintenance free delrin disc drag that is ultra smooth, medium capacity spool capable of 180 yrds. of 30lb. backing, and one of the best reel handles I've ever seen in the under $200 class.
I landed a 7lb. Albie on it and feel I could land much larger fish.
I also bought a used Tioga #8 from Dave Peros for about $100. While at the time I would have rather gone with a #10, I landed a 40" bass on the 8 and it was more than adequate.
Someday, I'll go for the high end reel, but as you say, smart children force us to be mindful of what we spend.