Rods, to start
Big E 77, Is there a Fly shop in your area that you can visit? If there is, I would suggest going there and trying every rod that the owner will let you try! Low ball, top-o-the line, what ever you can get your hands on.
See how the rods feel in your hand, test cast it, check the action, balance. Most shops will be glad to let you do this, for free! Let the sales person explain action, types and weights of line, reels etc.
1 hour or more in a shop can give a novice a wealth of information that will help you in chosing the right set-up, whatever the price! Even if you have to drive a stretch to get to a shop, go! Make a day of it, take the wife along, heck, she might see that big grin on your face and let you spring for a little more$
There is alot of inexpensive, quality equipment out there, and IMHO you should go with a 9' 5wt. 2 piece and adapt your style to smaller situations! I do, and it's easy, trust me. Then your covered for whatever you encounter, from Sun Fish to Steelhead.
Glad to have you aboard!