Re: In the market for a 3wt
Whatever you do make sure you get a rod that has blank colors to match Abel nippers hahaha see 21 page thread on nippers.
In all seriousness I've had Elkhorn, TFO and St Croix 3wts in that price range. They were all under 8' long so if you are looking at a longer rod this might not apply.
St Croix avid was a great little dry fly rod, right up there in my mind with the likes of my Sage ZXL as far as ability to land a dry softly. Won't really have the horsepower to fight the wind or handle the larger end of te payload scale you might consider when using a 3wt.
The Elkhorn traveler was a little more stout so it gave up a little in presentation but could handle bigger dry dropper rigs.
***Why Flyfishing over golf ? You cant take your phone in the river***