Originally Posted by nattybumppo
OK experts. What is a good quality/value short rod (7.5 or 8 foot) for fishing smaller streams and creeks? Probably 3 weight.
I'm a huge fan of the Sage XP series. They don't make them anymore, but you can sometimes find them on craigslist or on Ebay for around $300-$400. I have a 4, 5 and 6wt. Love them all.
For quality and value, it's hard to beat Elkhorn Fly Rods. They make a 7' 6" 4wt in a 5 piece that's very nice. Plus, they're local. (Loveland) Hard to beat for around $250. http://www.elkhornflyrodandreel.com/product/2EF
I don't own one, but I have fished with one for a day. It's well worth the money.
My all time favorite 3wt rod is a 6'6" Diamondback Diamondglass that I bought almost 10 years ago. They stopped making them, but demand was so high, they started back up again. I think I paid $400 for it back then and I wouldn't sell it for double now. It's the smoothest casting rod I've ever held. I haven't cast the newer model, and of course the owners of the original say the new one isn't as smooth, but that's hard to believe. If you can find an original, it's worth the cost.
The St Croix Avid is another nice rod that is worth the price. I learned how to cast on a St Criox and it's also hard to beat at around $250.
Not sure how much fly casting you've done, but The St Croix and the Elkhorn will be the 2 easiest rods to cast. The Diamondglass will be a much slower rod that takes some time to get used to.