Re: Hardy Featherweight, Lamson Guru, Orvis BattenKill LA, or Orvis CFO or
First off congratulations on your purchase. I have the same Z Axis rod and it has become one of my favorites. Solid advice thus far from all--not surpising on this board the group is one of the more helpful and useful forums I have found for fly fishing. Mosca hit the nail on the head in deciding to go with click & pawl or drag. Think about what species of fish you are targeting and the type of water you will be fishing when you make your choice.
I mostly throw my 5wt fishing larger streams/rivers, when I need to throw longer line (not the accomplished caster as some are here) and it's wonderful for streamers. The Z is a very versatile fly rod though, and I think you'll find that you can also turn over a very small dry fly with it as well. I am targeting trout and ocassionally smallies so I prefer a drag.
I have mine paired with a Ross Evolution LT #2 and really love this setup. $285 is just a little bit more than your budget of $250, but if you are considering a reel with drag, the Evo is certainly worth a look. Good luck in your search and let us know what you end up with.
~*~Leave only your footprints~*~