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I picked up fly fishing about two years ago and recently broke my beginner combo pack I got off Amazon. I'm really getting into the sport and thought this would be a good opportunity for me to upgrade my kit (which I feel like I'm growing out of). I'm looking at a budget of about $300 for both rod and reel. If you have either of decent quality that you have any interest in selling, please shoot me a message. Thanks!
 

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Good info here on rods. I really really appreciate the Trident shootout below. Its real. Anderesens (Yellowstone angler) isn't accurate and somewhat polluted personally, yet still good info. When I buy rods, I go and cast a bunch of them. There are certainly rods that are forgiving to the user who isn't a great caster yet. That will result in more fish for you for sure. The old Sage XP comes to mind, any dude could pick it up and feel like a stud caster. Very cool, blew my mind years ago when I finally went to buy a high end rod. Perhaps the VXP is similar? That deal above is certainly worth considering. Reels are not big deal typically for a 5wt, though that Lamson reel contains the same conical drag in it that their 600$ reel has if I recall. Great reel for the money. When I buy a trout rod, I do a boat load of research, cast buddies rods, do side-by-side casting and then find something I absolutely love. To heck with the reel. you can upgrade that later. You can find deals on the RIGHT line (important) as well. That's why I sink my money into the rod. If this is you really stepping into your first "real" rod, I'd find a premium rod for cheap. I just bought a premium new rod that retails for 850$, a legendary Winston rod and a old classic...each was less than 350$ shipped. CraigsList and Ebay are the place to go for good prices. Craigslist people will ship easily in my experience. Take a hard look at Hardy Zenith 5wt FYI. If you are mainly fishing medium to small waters, I'd buy a sweet Winston Biit, or if you have the patience to figure it out...a Biix 5wt is one of my favorites of all, but not for everyone. I LOVE mine, though they aren't big water rods. I go 6wt for that anyways.

http://www.tridentflyfishing.com/bl...vis-hardy-scott-sage-best-fly-rod-review-test

https://www.yellowstoneangler.com/g...ardy-wraith-sagemod-sage-bolt-loop-optistream
 

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If someone mentions the trident shootout then ignore them. Go test cast some 300 dollar or 2oo dollar rods at your local shop. Also decide what you will be fishing for with said rod then make your decision. A redington CT is always an entry level option to look at by the way.
 

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If someone mentions the trident shootout then ignore them. Go test cast some 300 dollar or 2oo dollar rods at your local shop. Also decide what you will be fishing for with said rod then make your decision. A redington CT is always an entry level option to look at by the way.
WTH? I went and cast most of those rods and found their shootout to be pretty accurate. I didn't cast that greys rod (retails at 290$) but they apparently liked it and recommended several other inexpensive rods. Blind testing with regular (non-guide) opinions as well. Am I missing something? Why buy a cheapo rod at full price? Easy to find a Cadillac for same price. There are great deals on Zenith as they are made overseas and have been closed out. Thereby you get a legend of a rod for that same price range.

FWIW, I've cast and fished many of the cheaper Reddingtons. I bought and fished 3 of them this summer for family who will fly fish maybe 5 times in their life. They weren't great by any means. A bit more money spent on a BVK (big water rod) or Winston Passport is much, much better. I thought trident highlighted that nicely. Pretty sure Andersen did too. But yeah, ignore me.

Side note, Fenwick HMG (Atmos maybe too?) rods are amazing for trout as well. Old school but I think I saw somewhere that they were bringing them back. Should be within your price range. VERY sweet option, loved by many. By far better than the Reddington at twice their cost imo. (red chromer is insane though, only rod I've liked from them...its lifeless but throws a lazer. Butter stick wasn't impressive.)
EDIT: here they are:
http://www.basspro.com/Fenwick-HMG-Fly-Rods/product/2277825/

Second Option: buy the classic legend
This is a pretty decent list, I've cast some. You can find a 8'6" Winston WT 5wt for about 400$. Some say the best trout rod ever made. Scott G/G2 would be super rods as well. Cult following on those, so you'd have to dig a bit. Worth it though. You'll notice the HMG is on the honorable list. I've fished that a fair amount years ago and would concur.
http://yobiadventures.com/The-Underground-Picks-The-Dozen-Best-Fly-Rods-of-All-Time-Period

Third Option: Steffen Glass - unreal glass rod. A thing of beauty. Not my ideal for big water tho.
http://www.steffenbrothersflyrods.com/fiberglass.htm
 

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I'm sorry, I thought you said you were looking for a rod and reel combo for 300 total. MY BAD. Good luck finding your caddy and living and dying by a BS shootout.
HMG and Atmos is about 150$ or 180$? Top picks at Trident on the cheaper side were 240$ and 225$ and 290$. Buddy bought a Sage XP for 250$ the other day. What am I missing? Great options. All worth casting and even better getting one on a deal on a used one too.
 

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HMG and Atmos is about 150$ or 180$? Top picks at Trident on the cheaper side were 240$ and 225$ and 290$. Buddy bought a Sage XP for 250$ the other day. What am I missing? Great options. All worth casting and even better getting one on a deal on a used one too.
I don't know man. The XP wasn't on the shootout so it's impossible to tell if it's a good rod.
 

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Good info here on rods. I really really appreciate the Trident shootout below. Its real. Anderesens (Yellowstone angler) isn't accurate and somewhat polluted personally, yet still good info. When I buy rods, I go and cast a bunch of them. There are certainly rods that are forgiving to the user who isn't a great caster yet. That will result in more fish for you for sure. The old Sage XP comes to mind, any dude could pick it up and feel like a stud caster. Very cool, blew my mind years ago when I finally went to buy a high end rod. Perhaps the VXP is similar? That deal above is certainly worth considering. Reels are not big deal typically for a 5wt, though that Lamson reel contains the same conical drag in it that their 600$ reel has if I recall. Great reel for the money. When I buy a trout rod, I do a boat load of research, cast buddies rods, do side-by-side casting and then find something I absolutely love. To heck with the reel. you can upgrade that later. You can find deals on the RIGHT line (important) as well. That's why I sink my money into the rod. If this is you really stepping into your first "real" rod, I'd find a premium rod for cheap. I just bought a premium new rod that retails for 850$, a legendary Winston rod and a old classic...each was less than 350$ shipped. CraigsList and Ebay are the place to go for good prices. Craigslist people will ship easily in my experience. Take a hard look at Hardy Zenith 5wt FYI. If you are mainly fishing medium to small waters, I'd buy a sweet Winston Biit, or if you have the patience to figure it out...a Biix 5wt is one of my favorites of all, but not for everyone. I LOVE mine, though they aren't big water rods. I go 6wt for that anyways.

http://www.tridentflyfishing.com/bl...vis-hardy-scott-sage-best-fly-rod-review-test

https://www.yellowstoneangler.com/g...ardy-wraith-sagemod-sage-bolt-loop-optistream
I couldn't disagree more. Both Trident and Yellowstone Anglers sell rods and, of course, are going to be biased towards the rods they sell. Watch the Trident guys cast, and then watch the Yellowstone Anglers folks cast. The Yellowstone Anglers are much better casters. If I were to "trust" or rely upon recommendations, it would be that of the Yellowstone Anglers. A big part of that is because my casting style is more similar to that of the testers.

Also, consider the fishing environment of each. The Yellowstone Angler foks fish where a stout rod is necessary for the conditions. The first guide I used to fish the Madison and the Yellowstone area used to refer to Winston rods as "Wimpstons".

I've owned an XP 590-4. I sold it because it was really a 6 weight and was not a very accurate rod for in close casting. Want to rifle a long cast or handle heavy flies, it's a good rod for that. It was and is a stiff butty rod. The Z Axis came out to replace the XP, and it was/is a much better all-around trout rod than the XP. Better in close, much more a true 5 weight, but would still cast at least as long as the XP. I also own a Zenith 590. I also owned a Helios. I've owned or own SP's, DS2's, RPL's, RPL+'s, TFO Professional and TiCr and TiCr-X's, Orvis Helios and T3's and others, Loomis IMX and GLX's, St Croix Legends, various Redingtons, Scott S series rods, Fenwicks, etc. They are all good, but in a perfect world a person needs to find the rod that best fits their casting style and fishing environment.

The rod reviews of both Yellowstone Angler and Trident provide good starting points, though personally I much prefer those of the Yellowstone Angler.

Out of my stash of sticks (my buddies call my house "Richard's House of Graphite"), my classic GLX and my Z Axis are my favorite all-around 5 weights, though I do really enjoy my Zenith and my SP and ...
 

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HMG and Atmos is about 150$ or 180$? Top picks at Trident on the cheaper side were 240$ and 225$ and 290$. Buddy bought a Sage XP for 250$ the other day. What am I missing? Great options. All worth casting and even better getting one on a deal on a used one too.
Not everyone wants a used rod. Believe it or not, advancements do happen in the fly industry. Sometimes the current mid range models are more advanced than the top of the line models 10 or 15 years ago.
 

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Not everyone wants a used rod. Believe it or not, advancements do happen in the fly industry. Sometimes the current mid range models are more advanced than the top of the line models 10 or 15 years ago.
Hence my recommendation of 2 rods under 200$ that are awesome and new. Does anyone read anymore?? All of those other rods were new too save for the XP. Come on dude lol
 
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