Sounds to me like you are catching the distance bug too!
The worst thing that happened to me was buying a SA MED Competition line - kind of the "standard" line at most of the distance events in this country and many overseas as well.
It is without question the nicest line I have ever tried, and I fish with it too. The total head length on the 5 wt is 68 1/2' and on the 7 wt (which I fish with) is 72 1/2' . But the taper is a compound taper and the secondary taper toward the running line is not so heavy as the main front taper.
So it handles really well with both short and long carries for fishing. It is really a nice, nice line. Just about every other taper feels clunky to me after using it. I don't think it would float that well in fresh water, but for the salt it's fine.
If your buddy has one, give it a try. If he doesn't, he should get one. The competition model is 120' long.