Re: Advice on kit max $400
I cannot comment on the Ross Essence Elite since I have not casted it.
The Sage and the Redington outfits have different personalities to them. Whichever one you feel matches the way that you want to fish is the one that you want.
I found the Sage rod to be very versatile. It can cast a wide range of lines and flies. One day I fished it with a 7 weight type 3 sink tip and size 6 weighted streamers. The rod performed fine. On that same trip, I used it with a 6 weight floating line with size 16 dry flies. The rod performed fine with that, too. I feel the rod's medium fast action gives the rod its versatility.
The 1650 reel works as a good line holder. I couldn't judge its drag since I did not have to put a fish on it.
The Redington CT outfit is one of my favorite price point outfits. I found the CT to be a fun dry fly rod. It can handle tiny size 20 flies as well as large size 4 stoneflies. Last year I had a fun time fishing for some large resident Rainbow Trout on a local river using size 8 foam hoppers. If you can get your timing down with this medium action rod, it can throw some weighted streamers.
The Redington CT reel is one that you would either love or hate. It has a click drag that makes start ups jerk free. It is also noisy. The reel is machined from barstock aluminum, so its tolerances are very close. The smaller rim diameter makes it look more like an old school reel, but it also makes reeling in line slower. At least there are two choices in reel color: titanium or black.
If you want versatility, you may want to lean towards the Sage outfit.
If you want more of a dry fly specialty rod, go with the Redington.
Edit: The two outfits come with a Rio Mainstream Trout lines. They will be fine to start out with, but you may want to order a premium line for better perfromance. I would recommend the Rio Gold WF6F for either rod. Both rods cast well with it.
Last edited by MoscaPescador; 07-20-2011 at 02:03 AM.
Reason: Just some thoughts on line.