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An 8 wt is a popular choice for bass and light saltwater use (redfish, trout, etc) and will allow you to cast some of the larger bass bugs, streamers etc....and deal with wind. I'd get a 9' 4 pc rod. Your backing should be 20 or 30# braided dacron....very common. I'd opt for a tapered leader...with different tippet strengths depending on what you are fishing for and how big the flies are...e.g. 8-15# is a good range. Just about any reel will be fine as long as it balances the rod nicely in your hand....and can hold about 100 yds of backing (for saltwater). Prices will range from $40 on up. The $40 Redington Crosswater is a good inexpensive choide. Most will probably spend $100-250 for a saltwater reel....but you don't need to for occassional use. Most any Weight Forward fly line in an 8 wt will be fine. If you get an 8 wt rod...you probably don't want to put a lighter 7wt line on it when you are getting started. The key in salt is to rinse thouroughly each day. The Redington Crosswater 9' 8wt combo retails for around $140 and does quite well. If you decide to buy individual components....expect to spend at least around $200

The princple key to success is to properly learn the fundamentals of fly casting. In most cases that means a lesson or two from a good instructor. Learning to cast properly from the start is more important than how much you spend on tackle. The least expensive outfits will perform quite well....when used with good technique. .
 
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