I'm have a bit of a dilemma - time for me to pare down my fly rods, but I don't have the experience to make smart decisions here. So I'm looking to lean on yours.
I did some fly fishing when I was young (with whatever I could scrounge), then went to work and didn't get back to it at all until a few years ago. Bought a lot of equipment but still haven't fished much. Found time to practice cast and a little freshwater. Not much more.
I live in the northeast, and basically I would fish 2 categories A. small freshwater (trout, rock bass, perch, bass) and B. salt water mostly from the surf (striper, bluefish, etc).
I'd like to end up with enough of the right rods for myself and a buddy/backup - not trying to raise money, just to not be a dope with a lot of rods that don't see the light of day. Will probably keep 7 or 8 rods total. More if it makes sense.
There are a few that I know I like and will be keeping:
Echo Original 8ft/4wt/4pc. IMO this is a little gem, at least with dry flies and WF line. Never tried it with anything else. Can't imagine selling it.
Cortland Endurance 9/5/2. Very soft tip section and not a distance rod, but even I can cast tight loops with it pretty easily. And I never find myself needing distance in fresh water.
If nothing else its the rod that helps me get my casting halfway decent again after a layoff. I basically have to keep it just for that.
Diamondback Backwater 9.5/8/3. Its an odd one, but I like the way it practice casts, and seems like it would be a good rod to fish for striper from a center console in Narragannsett Bay. The stripers get right in the teeth of the rocks and you can have a ball when you work the foam with Sluggos, etc. I'd love to try fly fishing that.
Diamondback All American 9/10/2. I know its only a 10wt but everything about it says "take me to the shore and lets catch fish". Rugged rod that is NOT a broomstick. Don't know why this was considered an entry level Diamondback.
The rest that I will pick from:
1. Down Under 9/4-5/2. Nice quality rod with a big price tag. I have cast it well in small spurts, then I go right back to hacking away with it again. I think an experienced caster might really like it. Maybe someday that could be me. Seems like I was close once.
2. R. L. Winston IM6 7/5/2. The best rod I own. It simply makes everything a pleasure to do. Short, soft casts to long throws and everything in between. And its only 7ft long. The only problem I have with it is that its too good for me. I feel like I'm its caretaker, not like its my rod.
3. Echo Trip 9/5/8pc. I heard fantastic things about these after I bought this one, and I hear that Echo Customer Service has a list of people looking for them. Don't know anything else - its still NIB along with a Teton reel I bought to go with it.
4. Cortland Precision XC 9/5/2. Not sure how I feel about this one. Just haven't cast it enough. Seems like its a little too "something" for me. Again, I'm pretty sure its me. Its basically a better quality version of the Endurance, which is a good thing.
5.TFO "Lefty" Pro Series 9/7/4. Bought it because I really didn't have anything between the trout rods and the saltwater stuff, and it felt good when I was playing around with it at the fly shop. Never fished it.
6. Scott A4 9/8/4. Fast action, somewhat soft tip. Id call it more of a 7wt tip on an 8wt rod for backbone if that makes sense. I mean it as a compliment - this is a quality rod.
7. Down Under GIII 9/8-9/2. Working mans rod, and proud of it. Looks like it was intended for salt water. Its hard not to like the action too.
8. TFO "Teeny" 9/9/4. Light and lively. All I can say is that it seems like a hell of a rod to me. Seems like a shame to get salt water on it too but hey, you only go around once.
9. J. K. Fisher GT-40 9/9/2. Used but in very good shape. Has a great feel to it. I can understand why they had a strong reputation.
10. Ross Essence FW 9/10/4. Used but in very good shape. Also has a great feel to it.
11. Reddington SSF 9/10/2. New. Again, I bought it because I liked it but haven't done anything with it.
12. Fisher Natural 9/10/2. Strong rod, weighs less than you might think even though its older. Has a nice medium plus or medium fast action. Should be easy to feel the line load, and have a ball with a fish on.
13. Albright A5 9/10/5pc. A little stiffer than the other 10 weights but only a little, and that may help in the wind. Great to keep under the seat too. Wish I still worked near the shore.
Sorry for the long post but there was a lot to list.