until very recently, my go to stick for steelhead has always been the sage 896 RP. of course this rod, in this material, is no longer made by sage. funny how when they come up with a winner, they change the product. you will occasionally find them on ebay. i have fished with the rod since the 70s and still use it today. my newest steelhead rods are the short skagit variety. kerry burkheimer built me an 11'6" designed for the 550gr skagit line. what a joy this rod is to cast, he does an amazing job of rod construction. he also built, a first for him, a seperate set of the top two sections to enable me to cast a 450gr skagit for the summer fishes. salmon are another whole ball game. for the silvers up to about 12#, the same stuff you use for steelhead works just fine. once you get up into the larger fish, you really should start thinking about a 10wt. when i was river fishing for 20#+ chinook, i never left home without the 11wt, they are just too much to handle on a smaller rod. of course, rod/line weight also should be considered in terms of whether or not you are consumtive fishing or practicing C&R. if the later, you need to beat the fish fast to give them a chance before that lactic acid takes ahold.