Re: help picking a rod
A lot of the introductory rods have very friendly actions, and are probably worth checking out. I have a couple cheapo Pflueger 5-weights that I picked up as beater rods and for friends to learn on. They are surprisingly good for the money and a breeze to cast. They don't "track" as well as higher end rods, but they are certainly workable, and I've caught loads of fish on them.
I'd mainly just look for something that you can learn on before you blow a lot of money on a new sport. As far as lines and reels, I've never had problems casting the cheaper Scientific Anglers, RIO or Orvis lines. And a reel for smaller fish is just there to hold line and backing. No need to break the bank.