Re: 3wt fly rod
$500 is able to get you pretty much anything you desire besides some bamboo, provided you do a little searching online. Can you tell us a little more about the fishing conditions? Is the area open enough to use a longer rod without too much trouble? I frequently fish tight tree and brush choked streams and find that a short fiberglass rod really shines in this area. I use a Scott F2 6'6" 3wt for this type of fishing and it is an absolute blast.