Re: mid priced 5 wts.
I have a TFO 4 wt with an Orvis Battenkill that I use 9 times out of 10. I can cast it about as far or further than anyone I fish with that's using a 5 or 6 wt. I've casted it alongside Scott, Orvis, Loomis, Sage, and St. Croix that were twice the price, and honestly couldn't find anything better about any of them. As far as length goes, I personally prefer 8' and 8'6'' rods. They are a bit more compact, and I feel like I have better control. But like some of the guys above have said, cast as many as you can before you buy anything.