Re: Novice Seeks Advice for Warmwater Reel
Ok, you have opened a huge can of worms here. If the primary use is warmwater, the absolute heaviest you should go is a 5/6. Leave the 7/8 for saltwater. Judging from your reel choices, you plan on carrying a lot of line, but I recommend the Lamson Konic 2. You can get into that reel for $129, and put that on a 9' Sage FLi 5wt. If it were me, I would overline that rod with a WF6F Rio Gold and enjoy.
For the species you are targeting, you can get by with as light as a 3wt under all conditions. Even a 2wt is not out of the question, but if this is one of your first rods, get an 8'6" 4wt with a Konic 1 and enjoy!