I have owned some nice fishing poles with smooth as silk reels but in the past few years I have gone cheap. My favorite spinning combo is an ultra light ugly stick with a cheap Abu Gracia spinning reel. Its not pretty but its a blast to catch salmon on this rod. Its small enough to pack on my ATV without sticking out, and if I do so happen to break it I wont feel bad. My old favorite was a Berkley Lighting rod with an Abu Garcia bait casting reel. Its small and stout and I used it on every type of salmon in Alaska. I had to retire her though, I prefer a rod with more play.
My favorite fly rod I own is a Plfueger 6 wt Pay-N-Save special with a scientific angler reel. LOL who remembers the old Pay-N-Save's? Its small enough for trout but tough evenough for salmon.
I cant wait to buy my daughter her first Snoopy pole. :-)