Yeah I understand what you are saying and it is my intention to get some tuition once covid sorts its life out!Mike,
Whether this or that rod casts it's 'true' weight (no such thing...), is something you won't be able to discriminate until you have cast lots of rods, and moved further along your casting learning-curve. Literally ANY modern rod will be fabtastic - even the £30 ones (esp. the Maxcatch ones...)
Don't think about it too much & get a cheap rod, reel and line and learn to cast well enough to be able to understand it's strengths and weaknesses. Along the way try as many rods as you can and start saving to replace the cheapo one with something you KNOW that YOU like.
There is no other way, you cannot rely on opinions of others when buying rods. You have to try them. And you have to know what you are doing when you do.
Spend some of the money you save on casting lessons. If you are any where near Cornwall, I will happily give you some free tips. I used to instruct in a former life....
I'm local to Bristol, so a fair way from Cornwall but thank you for your offer.
My casting so far isn't the best. I can do my version of the double haul, after watching Hywel Morgan's tutorial on YouTube many times!
The 7wt Shakespeare does feel like a powerful rod is all, hence fancying a lighter rod to pair with it when weather conditions are more favourable!