I would like to try fly fishing, but realize that I expect to get only a few hours a month at the water. Thus, I'm taking a very casual approach. My intent is to chase panfish from local ponds where I typically chase bass. If I hook into a bass, that's just a bonus. I might also try jumping into the tiny streams where I fished for trout as a kid.
With this expectation, I assume it is unreasonable to spend a ton on equipment that may not be used and probably won't be fully appreciated in the near future.
One of the rods that seems to be recommended as good compromise between providing feel and forgiveness for beginners is the TFO Professional. However, with a comparable reel & line, I'd be well over $200 (I've haven't seen them on sale). My thought is getting the TFO NXT outfit. I haven't seen many reviews, but the rod is supposed to be nice, with many of the same characteristics of the Pro. If I get more committed to fly fishing I would upgrade the line, and then the reel. Then, of course, progress to more equipment.
Does it may sense to go with the new NXT 4/5 outfit at a pretty good discount, pursue other combos such as Ross Essence, Fly Logic, LL Bean or Orvis that can be found for about $200 or less?
The other route is to put together my own combo with either a new entry level reel or a quality used reel such as a Battenkill / Venture. New Rods on Clearance that caught my eye were Sage 590-2, Winston Ascent/Vapor 490-4 and a Reddington RS4 2-Piece. And, there' alway the chance of a used bargain on the auction site.
EDIT: I should add that I tried search the forums for NXT and did not find much. I also did not find a lot through Google. Given family responsibilities & the weather
it might be June before I can get to a fly shop. I found an NXT on sale and I'm wondering if it is solid enough to snap up - so I can then focus on how and where to use it