Originally Posted by juro
Definitely include Temple Fork Outfitters in your short list, they are all about economic efficiency in flyrods.
TFO makes great rods for the price point your looking for!
As for a reel, I'm backing the lower price point reels coming from the Ross guys! I've used most and they have all treated me right. In my guiding days I had plenty of clients abuse those reels and they kept on tickin for me.
Good luck and welcome to the sport!