Re: Hello from very snowy MN
Welcome Scott! Good to have another one on these boards.
I like Sage rods myself, and have a 9' 6-wt Flight and a 9'-6" 8-wt VXP. I've used the VXP for both salmon and steelhead (in fact I caught my first steelhead on it) and really like the way it casts. Sage rods have lifetime warranties and I've heard good things about their customer service.
As Fred says, fly fishing is a harsh mistress. I just got into two-handed rods a year ago for steelhead--have managed to catch just one so far--and I tell ya, once you get proficient with a single hander you've just got to try double-handers.
Ah, the madness. . . .