Thanks Sean- Buy you a beer a the Squire next time I see you there. The current line I have is the Orvis 7 wt. short head. Again, the consensus of the instructors of the class was that my rod will be great, but that the timing required to make it "behave" makes my learning curve long and steep. I checked out ebay this morning and there are several 14' 9 wts on there now. My other thought was to have a heavier stick to use for stripers as well. You know the old adage, buy something that tries to do all things and it does nothing well.
I would whole heartedly agree with your discipline comment Sean. My biggest problem was that I had a lot to "unlearn". A lot single handed habits crept into my casts and set me back. Very frustrating to pick up a fly rod and struggle so much. For whatever reason, my left hand dominant double is far and away my best cast now, that came to me almost instantly, but how I did struggle with right hand single, drive you to drink.
What about the RIO versa-tips? Too hard to deal with for a rookie?
Keep the comments and advice coming.