There's a thread in the FAQ section on first rod and reel purchases. Click here
The great thing about this time of year is that shops start discounting products that are slated to be discontinued. You can find good values. I know the popular Sage Launch is being discontinued. You could probably find a five weight discounted up to 30% off. I think the Redington SV reel is being discontinued, too.
Good luck with your search.
Edit: Orvis usually runs specials on its reels. Take a look at its website or one of its stores.