Wow, it's been dead around here, everybody must wrapped up with holiday cheer.
Anyhow, welcome Nick. Sounds like you're going about things the same way everybody else did when starting out. Nothing wrong with that. And remember, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. I'll leave the advice to those that fish the freshwater, who I'm sure will respond. All I can tell you is start out with a floater and a few woolybuggers.