There are some great 'starter' combos available today. Two of the best run approximately $300 for a quality rod, reel and line (with backing). You can read details about the Orvis Clearwater Combo here: http://www.adventuresnw.net/2012/03/orvis-offers-excellent-entry-level-combo/ and the Redington Voyant here: http://www.adventuresnw.net/2012/03/entry-level-gear-redington-combo/ If $300 is too steep for a full outfit, the Redington Topo is a more affordable ($200) combo kit (review included in my Holiday Gift Guide package here: http://www.adventuresnw.net/2012/12/holiday-gift-guide/) with a slower action rod and a cheaper reel. The Topo combo includes a good beginner rod/reel, but you'll grow out of it quickly if you stick with the sport whereas the Orvis Clearwater and the Redington Voyant are both rods (with matched reels) that you'll enjoy using for years. I especially love the Clearwater Rod -- I have a 3 wt I use for fishing on small streams.