Re: What's the easiest 5wt rod to cast < $500
I'm going to persevere with the ZXL for awhile. I've been overpowering the rod. Slowing things down got that nice gentle laydown of line right on the target track. Rio Grand is probably a bit too heavy, especially with 35-40 ft of line out so will throw on my reel spooled with Gold and see which is better. The ZXL seems to have some feel to it if I pay attention. Was hitting some 45 ft targets pretty well during my lawn practice session (albeit things might have been a jumbled mess if I had 2-fly set up and indicator).
If I explore other rods I will probably try the pure medium action rods some of you suggested. I've never cast a Winston and although the GVX and BIIIX are listed as fast action, I would like to try them given the Winston hype.
The ZXL is supposed to be Sage's premium medium action rod...sort of the medium action version of the Z-Axis. So, it may be the ticket with some more paratice and a training sortie.