Re: 3 wt. question--
I'm not an expert caster, but I do have the same exact Cabela's combo. So, take whatever I say with a grain of salt.
I can cast this rig 40 ft, but I can't recall ever catching a fish at that distance with it. It took me some time to get comfortable with this rod, but once I learned to let the rod do 90% of the work I started to really enjoy fishing with it. Also, almost all the streams I fish are about 20 ft wide at their widest, so most of my casts tend to be under 20 ft.
I have just learned to double haul this year with any consistency, but I was single hauling on the forward cast most of last year, and this can help straighten out my casts with this little rod. But I can't haul very hard; mostly it's just a wrist haul. I use this trick a lot when I fish my 3 wt. from my tube, but it works just as well when I'm on my feet.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark