Thanks for the replies guys! I guess the streams around here are more brushy and narrow... thus my father's logic that a long rod wouldn't do. So the majority of the fish will be trout, I believe. My dad said small mouth is supposedly pretty fun to fish for, and there are alot of them up in the Boundary Waters.
So, if I got a shorter rod for the creeks and streams around here, would I be losing a lot if I were to do some fishing out west or on lakes in the Boundary Waters?
As for price range, well my wife is a little hesitant to see me drop too much money. I suppose our basement full of all my attempted new hobbies is good evidence for her case. I like what I've heard/read about the Crosswater, and as a full combo it runs $100-130. I probably wouldn't be too interested in spending much more than that at this point, unless someone can make a very good case for it. I was just curious as to if there was anything else in that price range, or less that would be a good recommendation for a beginning set-up.