There have been a number of topics posted on this, and people have provided some excellent advice. My set-up is a Sage RPL+ 8 wt for large salmon (chum/springs) and an XP 796 7 wt for smaller salmon (pinks/coho). The RPL+ is a bit dated now, and is a bit heavy for today's standards. However, it has the backbone to give me a chance with those springs. I definitely prefer a fast action rod for river fishing for salmon as you need the backbone to toss heavy sink tips. My most commonly used tip on the Vedder is probably the 15 ft type 6 150 grain tip by Rio. I also use this on the Squamish for the silver chums that will hopefully arrive this Fall! :thumbup:
My suggestion is to go to a fly shop and try casting different rods and see which ones are right for you...as per Stone's advice.
As for reels, I'd also recommend a good quality disc drag system. Mine are Hardy's that are not available any more. However, I've looked at the Ross, Bauer, Lamson, and the like and they all offer good reels - machined with large arbor design - at a reasonable price. FishFinder has the Orivis Battenkill LA and he loves it. One thing I'd recommend...buy a neoprene reel case and never place your rod/reel on the ground without it! Nothing scratches a beautiful reel faster than rocks, and you don't want sand to get inside the reel while you crank it. This will be especially true if you buy a reel with a black or other coloured finish. I even managed to find some tiny scratches on my back Hardy ultralight and I only put that reel down very carefully without the case for a photo shot! I might sound a bit "up tight" about this - and I probably am...but I love my reels! I know this will be tough - especially if you're new to flyfishing and you land that first chrome bar! My first salmon reel was an Orvis Battenkill 8/9 and it got pretty beat up (lookwise).