Re: Need help from Orvis rod users
The ~7 flex rating is what most people would term a medium or medium fast action rod, and the ~9 is a fast action rod. Just as Orvis indicates, the ~7 is more versatile and forgiving, and it protects tippets better due to the increased rod flex. I find the ~7 flex a great choice for a wide variety of fishing conditions. It can cast near and far, and it can cast close with greater accuracy and delicacy for the average caster. The ~9 is built for distance casting, which I do not consider a 5wt. to be well suited for in the first place.
The ~7 would be the choice of most casters in a 5wt, but if you like the feel (quick short casting stoke that involves better timing on each cast) of the ~9 - buy it.
A fast action rod does not seem to add any distance to my cast. I can cast my ~7 9wt up to 70 ft (usually about 60 ft) with a single back cast (no single or double haul). Is that good or bad - I am just throwing it out as a point of reference.