Not sure exactly what your price range is...? But a TFO Professional II would be nice rod, if its for high country only I would get 7'6" in 3 weight. That would be nice and light and small. As far as a reel goes you don't anything special for up high, more of a line holder, so keeping price down I would throw on a Cabelas wind river or prestige, or an Okuma SLV. I think any of those would get you out of the door with a solid rod and reel for right around $200.... hope that hleps
I have a couple Sage rods, a Loomis, a couple of TFOs and others, including a few that I built. TFO rods are plenty good - quality components and workmanship. You don't have to spend $800 on a rod to get one that'll keep you happy and fishing for years. No knock on the high dollar rods. They're great, and I love 'em. But in all honesty, I don't see $600 difference.
Buy used and get more value for your money. You can get a high end rod that's no longer made for pretty cheap.
Go for a used 4 piece sage xp. Great rod, but its not the latest and greatest model. Stiff rod with a good tip. If you get one, buy line one weight heavier then the rod rating. It will cast better. You should be able to get one for $200, maybe less. They were $700 new, but now an old model. Just as good as any of the newer rods out there (I have a few of them). Ideally make sure you get the warranty card and it's still blank. This way you can return it in the event you break it. Avoid those that have the original buyers name on it. Only buy those built by sage. Some guys buy the rod blanks and build them. I say this only for warranty reasons, they cast the same.
Loomis GLX is another good choice. I would pass on anything Orvis unless its a helio, but then you're back in the expensive bracket again.
IMO the sage TCX is too stiff unless throwing streamers or sinking tips.
Best advise I ever got was to buy the most expensive line that a manufacture made...make it Rio, Orvis, ect. Its amazing how much better the good line casts. Say $60 last time I bought Orvis top shelf line. And I see everyone here wanting to shave weight on what they pack....pick up one of the Orvis top end rods at the store just to see how it feels. Feather light!!! But alot of $$$$.
Absolutely. I was told, when I got my flyrod, to make sure I bought something that came with either a lifetime warrenty or the 25 year Orvis warrenty. My parents gave me the Clearwater setup from Orvis, which at the time was slightly more that $200. That's for reel, rod and line. That's the cheapest rod Orvis carries that still has their 25 year warrenty. I fished that line for a few years until it wouldn't stay floating anymore, and then replaced with the top of the line Orvis stuff. Looking at the Orvis website right now, I don't see the stuff I bought. Maybe just new packaging. Anyway, my point is that with that midish grade rod that I fish on, I could tell a huge difference. And I also wish I would've bought 6wt for my 5wt rod, but it still was a noticable difference. And as far as rod goes, not sure where you fish, but I would go with a 4 or 5 wt rod. If you do more than just backcountry, go 5, if you only go backcountry, you might have a lot of fun with a 4.
Not the answer you are looking for but most of my back country fishing is on pretty small streams with thick willows type brush so I have almost given up on on a fly rod. I bring only tackle and line then cut willow switch when I am ready to fish. Works pretty well and there is just something cool fishing with a stick.