I don't yet have a salt water setup but I've been thinking about getting one. I know I need a reel that has everything enclosed so the salt water can't get into the works, but I'm unsure what weight rod I should aim for. I'd be going primarily for blues and stripers.
I would definitely go for a 9wt. You can get away with an 8wt but you will be a little more limited in the wind. If you are on a budget, Lamson reels are hard to beat and for any price point I love Echo rods. I personally use an Echo 3 but I just bought the wifey an Echo Ion 9wt for christmas and she paired it up with the older version Lamson Konic. In my opinion, this konic is nicer than the one that just came out and she got the Konic 4 for $129 shipped on the that well known auction site.
I see a lot of used gear on Craigslist lately.
People are getting out of saltwater fishing what with the crash of the striper population.
Don't get too hung up on what kind of reel to get. All you really need is something reliable and corrosion resistant. I spent my early years in the salt fishing a Pflueger Medalist
IMO, what you buy/use will depend on where you intend to fish most of the time and how much you're willing to spend. I use different set-ups, from a 6 wt to a 10 wt, but I'm fishing primarily tidal creeks & rivers, with occasional trips out into the Chesapeake Bay. This is really brackish water & not that salty. When I'm targeting larger Stripers, which for me has been anything from 18" up to 30", I'll use a 9 or 10 wt most. This is because of wind & the size flies I like to throw. I've caught hundreds of Striper's over the years, but have yet to land one over 30" on a fly. But, I'm OK with that!
I agree with Rip Tide about the reel. For those species, it's not necessary to buy anything special. I use Okuma Integrity reels, which have worked well for me. On my 6 wt is one of the original Lamson LP2 reels (pre-Waterworks), that I also use for LM bass fishing in fresh & tidal rivers. I've landed 30" Striper's with it.
However, if I was spending more time in true saltwater, I would likely want a more corrosion resistant reel and agree the Lamson's would be a good choice.
I've become very fond of TFO rods, but also have a couple of Redington's. TFO are very good rods IMO particularly for the price.
I have fished on the SC coast with what I have, but not extensively. So, what I use for the brackish water has been fine for the occasional trips to "real" saltwater too.
In the picture below, that's an 8wt rod with a 9wt line and that's what I fish the majority of the time.
When it's windy enough I might switch to a 10wt rod, 12wt line but that wouldn't be my first choice.
Even in the surf I'll fish a (different) 8wt but that particular 10' rod casts best with an 11wt line.
The lighter rods are easier on the arm for fishing an extended amount of time but it's the weight of the line that propels the fly
Rip, I have one with a wobbly spool, doesn't look put together right. I bought it for $2 at a flea market. There might be some salvageable spare parts on it. If you want it it's yours.
That's the largest size, a #1898 I think.
I bought it as a spare, but ended up using it a lot.
When they were closing them out, I sent away for a single spare spool and not only did they send me 2 instead, but I got charged less than the original asking price. Can't argue with "free"
Salt tends to build up under the drag plate. That may be the problem with yours