L.L. Bean’s First Cast Outfit is an excellent start-up kit. (A First Cast vest, fly selection and accessory kits are available separately at economical prices.) With the kit you get a choice of two-piece graphite rods: a 7-footer for 5-weight line or an 8-footer for 6-weight line. Actions are moderate for easy loading, making it easy for a beginner to cast. The reel is made from graphite composite and has a compression disc-drag system that has a modest setting range. The reels even come pre-spooled with backing, a weight-forward floating line and a tapered leader.($79; 800-221-4221)