Re: learning rod
After teaching 13 women last year at the Lodge, I will say, I had the best success when I put a Glass rod in their hand.
Women don't hammer a lot and that is the motion you want. One gal, darn near broke the tip of the rod with the wrist breaking. I put a rubberband around her wrist and stuck the rod butt in it. This helped a lot!
A newer light weight 7' glass 4wt rod worked fantastic. They could feel the rod load-up and they had to wait for it.
I personally feel that Fast action rods cover up a lot of our mistakes.
Women aren't a delicate as thought. They can handle those 9' five weights just fine, and I never understood the special rods, other than maybe hand size.