Re: Snook in the flats... Rod/reel recs?
Anything from a 7-9 wt with a reel that roughly matches the rod rating is fine. I've caught 30+ inchers on a 4 weight in open water, but bigger snook have incredible power in short bursts and are masters at using cover to their advantage, so something with a bit of sack is advisable near structure. A guide will most likely have you pitching flies along mangroves and oyster bars, especially at this time of year since the fish will either be holed up in backwater haunts or in the back bays beginning to transition outside—depending on cold fronts. The old stand-by is an 8 wt rod/reel combo, and you can't go wrong with it. I favor 7 wts for the Florida backcountry. Like you, I am a fan of Galvan reels (T-6 and T-8), either of which will do the trick down here. That said, a more affordable option like an older Teton Tioga or an Orvis Battenkill Mid Arbor IV will suffice. As for a rod, I do not see the sense in spending big dollars on rods since so many "entry level" rods nowadays perform on par with the big-ticket stuff. I use an old Heliply 12 for big tarpon, but otherwise I rely on a very budget-friendly—and very capable—Echo Ion 7 wt. There are scores of rods from other companies—Albright, Redington, Colton, etc—that will offer similar performance. (My other rod is a TFO TICRx). The best thing about this sort of 7- or 8-weight outfit is that it can be used for many other pursuits, from steelhead up north to bonefish in the tropics.
Have a ball, and know that redfish, juvy tarpon, speckled trout, jack, etc. are likely to join the party.