Originally Posted by flgatorgirl
I will be fishing lakes and ponds around and need to keep my budget to $300, "hook, line and sinker" so to speak.
How about $150 for a like new Orvis clearwater mid flex 2 pc nine foot eight weight with a 7/8 NIB Okuma reel, two lines and backing and a tube for $150 TYD? Down side is the reel though great, only holds seventy yds of twenty pound dacron, but I've got 115 of thirty pound braid on it. Its plenty for bass, snook and seatrout, not so much for tarpon. There you'll want around 200 yds capacity.
I'm not trying to push my used stuff on you, but it sounds like it would serve your purposes well. Look for the details in the classifieds. If you just want the rod its $100.
Also check out the Cabelas bargain cave. Some of their house brand stuff is going for good prices, and there's ebay. Regardless of who you buy from, the eight weight is your best bet for a three hundred dollar outfit. To get a six weight that will do the job the price point jumps a lot. Good luck and don't get brand focused. There is a lot of good stuff out there.