Re: Fly rod for my wife
I don't think that there's any substitute for her first learning how to cast from a reputable organization. After that, the next step should be for her to audition several rods, to see which one(s) best fit her natural casting stroke. From there, the first purchase should be pretty straightforward and it will have the extra benefit to her of having played an active role in picking out her first rod; which I've found to be a big plus and strong motivator for most people who are just starting out; whether they're male or female.
Separately, but related, my wife really likes her Winston BIIx 8'6" 5 wt. (so do I!).