Re: Best bang for the buck.
I'll response to the points you make on my post.
When I say "Fast" I mean BVK and many current fast rods now need plenty of rod speed and very tight loops to keep the line in the air. This is really from a bit stiffer backboned rod. Hard to load a 'fast" rod with 20' of fly line.
Just read posts on this section of the forum about TFO's working well when "over-lined" meaning using next line weight up. I use a 5wt Signature II with a 6wt Bug Taper. I need this to load the TFO for shorter and medium casts we make throwing poppers and bugs.
Understand that Sage's and current maker's med-fast is still much faster than what we cast 20yrs ago and are thus no noodles. Just in my view a bit more complete with what you can do. It still casts distance well, maybe gives a bit of line speed & distance to BVK in a wind but not enough in my view to make up for BVK's short range performance.
I don't have much experience with Rio lines but my SA Bonefish last very well and is a smooth casting line. The Orvis has a slighlty better "feel" but slight is the difference. I wade fish in often times bit sloppy/muddy/sandy conditions and use no shooting basket. Thus the line is exposed to pretty tough conditions. Both of these lines stand up to this wear and tear well. I've tried "on sale" house lines which cut easily. After a while they hold sand/grit easier and thys feel rougher when casting.
It is my experience a top flight line will make a lesser rod cast better.