I've been asked to help buy a FF outfit for a friend that is wanting to learn fly fishing. This will be a Christmas present from his wife and I want to make sure I pick out something he can fish for a wide variety of species with. I think an 8'6" 4 piece with a med/fast action will be best and leaning towards a fast 3wt or med/fast 4wt.
I believe he will be fishing some in the lower elevation streams of the park, some warm water freestones for smallmouth, and bream and maybe some trips to the Clinch and Holston.
The budget is $300 for a rod, reel, line and backing.
I really like the St. croix line of rods myself, and I'm looking at the Imperial line in the 8.5' 3wt over lined with a 4wt to slow it down a tad. The other choice would be the Avid 8.5' 4wt.
Does anyone have any experience with this rod? I have not wiggled or cast one yet myself.
Thought about the TFOs, orvis clearwater, Ross Worldwide Essence but would like to get an American made rod.