Originally Posted by marshlanddawg
Work is going well, and I'm looking at upgrading my outfit. I'm looking at getting a 9 wt, and I'm wondering if its better to spend more on the Rod (scott, hardy, sage) and a mid-range priced reel, or cheaper on the rod (st croix) and more on a reel. I'm guessing its better to go w/ a topline rod and mid-line reel. I know its a big purchase, but I can't get my mind off a Hardy 9wt Proaxis and a good Nautlius reel.
First of all, buy what you can afford.
With that out of the way, when it comes to saltwater, get the best quality gear that is available. Rods need to deliver a variable amounts of payloads in variable conditions. Reels need to be able to handle fast running fish on a daily basis. Some of the "oversized" trout reels will hold the capacity, but I would worry about the long term durability.
If you can afford a Hardy ProAxis and a Nautilus CCF or NV, buy the rig.