Re: casting weight
What river are you on.. Lower Sacramento? Trinity?
I'm assuming you're doing indicator fishing, with nymphs (or egg patterns)
3 or 4 split shots seems like a lot
For the Trinity or the Sac, I'd think 2 BBs would do most of the river, always did for me, and many places (especially on the Trinity), one is often enough.
I used a #6 for a long time, but did go to an #8.
The weight did have my wife move from her Sage SLT to a faster rod, to dump them over easier. I sure don't cast these like I cast a dry or light nymphs.