Re: New Fisherman
Welcome. You can get a pretty good set-up with $350. I would do a search on this subject as I believe there are more than a few threads about this.
Also, I would Google "best beginner 5 wt. fly rods," or something like that and start doing a little research. Pick out a few then start looking around and see how many you can test cast.
Reason: everyone casts a little different, and so will you. Some rods will feel 'good,' while others will feel 'wrong.'
Also, test cast a few that are well beyond your price point. Feeling and seeing the difference between a $50 rod and a $700 rod can help you decide what you want/need in a rod. And chances are pretty good that you'll find something near your range that feels similar to that expensive stick. Bottom line, do some casting before you pony up and find out later that you don't like the thing.
As for reels, while it is nice to have a high quality reel, IMO there is no need to spend real money right out of the gate. Do another search for entry-level reels, and check a few out.
When I started, I bought a Cabela's Traditional 2 combo (9 ft. 5 wt.) for $90 (rod, reel, line, backing). It turned out to be a pretty good set up to learn on and I caught a few hundred fish on it before eventually upgrading.
Anyway, a few rod companies in no particular order that are popular with new fly fishermen, as well as the more experienced:
And a few reel companies:
All of these manufacturers sell at least one 'entry-level' reel, and have pretty good track records.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark