The first real money I put into a fly rod was for a Hardy Smuggler pack rod. Next I moved on to Sage rods--I now own 6. It's cool to see the effort and craftsmanship that goes into producing a great rod. Like Sage rods, Burkheimer's are also very highly regarded. Check out the designing and building process.
Burkheimer Fly Rod Build - Broadband from North Fork Studios on Vimeo.