Originally Posted by JR SPEY
The best new rod for under $300.00 would be the TFO/BVK in my opinion. The only way to do better is to buy used. I own several of the BVK rods and find them light, fast, and very accurate. Almost any 9 weight would work for steelhead, although most of us would consider a nine to be more than needed for them. If anything, the reel is more important than the rod due to the long runs that bonefish make. Reels such as Cheeky, 3-Tand, and a few others offer a smooth sealed drag, minimum startup, and a realistic price. It's too bad that the TFO/BVK reel doesn't come in a size appropriate for a nine weight. Although not in the league with Cheeky or 3-Tand it would have served you well for that first trip, anyway. Add a good line to this setup and you're in the under $700.00 range for new gear. The well known auction site as well as many of the fly fishing forums have used gear. That's normally where your best prices will come, but it can be a bit of a minefield. Many flyshops are also selling tackle on consignment for their customers. Lots of chances of making a mistake there if you're not real familiar with the gear. If you can afford $700.00 I would say you're quite safe with my recommendations above. By the way, I've made 25+ trips to Andros and have fished from the Joulters all the way down to the tip of South Andros. Where abouts are you going to be fishing?
Thanks for the detailed information about the tackle. I'm still doing my homework but will look at the rods and reels you have suggested.
We are staying and fishing at Two Boys Inn with Frankie Neymour as our guide.
I believe the area is Beyring Point.