I always recommend a 8 1/2 or 9 ft 6 weight rod, as well. Maybe go with the shorter if you think you'll be bushwacking allot. St. Croix makes nice rods that are affordable. I own a couple of them and they take the abuse well. Reels are not as important until you go after the bigun's. Save your money for the rod, for now. You can get a good enough reel for $50-60... Scientific angler or even a Cabela's in that price range. Line is good to spend on too. I like Cortland 444 stuff personally.
I agree with the previous poster, go in a fly shop and tell them your budget. They should be super helpful. If you get 'tude to the noob... find another. No reason for that nonsense but I've seen it.
Last edited by griz; 10-14-2005 at 11:06 PM.