Re: Help getting started
If I were you, I see what I could do about procuring that #6 sage. It's sort of splitting the difference between what you need for small rivers and smaller pike.
There is a a lot of good quality to be had in the beginner combo set ups. Any of those listed will work well. Fly good fly rods are not nearly as expensive as they used to be. They can be, but you can easily find a good rod & reel which is inexpensive and not 'cheap'.
Petee - I hear you on the feeling old thing at the mention the early 90's. I had already started my life over at that point. I think I need to go put on my favorite tweed jacket, grab my pipe and go be a grumpy, old, crusty, cantankerous curmudgeon for a bit.
I'm currently out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message, and if you would like to reach me by phone, please hang up now.