I've said it before, and I'll say it again: buy the rod, and then find a reel
to fit your needs. Choosing a 5wt as heavy as an 8wt will be a drag
You can pick up something like an Okuma SLV 5/6 for $60 retail. I've used
them quite a bit, and they are a very nice reel for the money. They are
cast, but must be machined a bit as well, since they don't wobble like so
many other cast reel. The drag is infinitely adjustable, and smooth as anything else (large impregnated cork surface).
Having said that, I use a Ross Rhythm #2 for my 5wts, and have a Rhythm
3.5 for my 8wt. I bought the reels at a huge discount after they were discontinued, and the spare spools were $29/each! Lots of deals can be
found on closeouts. Cableas was blowing out Ross Momentum saltwater
reels for peanuts early this past summer.
Swing weight is part of the Common Cent System for measuring rod action/wt, etc.
I read the article a year ago, and then forgot most of it.....I don't even remember if that's
the correct name of the "system".