Wanted to post an update:
I stumbled across a fly shop today this is going out of business, went in to talk to the guy and see what they had left, walked out with new line, backing, and reels, LOL.
Everything was 40% off, I bought 3 metal fly reels (the one that came with el-cheapo was mostly plastic, and pretty much fell apart while the guy was trying to fix the drag)
We put 20lb backing on, and WF8F Rio Windcutter line on it. I wasn't sure about whether to go up above the 6/7 of the pole, but they were out of 7, and the guy working there assured me that my rod could handle it, and said I'd probably have better luck casting it. Also picked up one of the knot tying tools (and finally understand the nail knot) and some flies that are popular locally. No luck finding anything barbless in my search today :-( I'll crimp the barbs myself.
Also picked up the SA Intro to Fly Casting video, it's helpful, and the guy at the fly shop pointed me to someone who gives lessons locally.
Hopefully I'll have a chance tomorrow to go check out how my cast is with the new line and after watching the video.