You should always fish how you want to fish
You make an excellent point. Most of us want to land fish quickly for their own health and rehabilitation success. A rod that casts more grains makes that easier in most cases. It’s also likely to be easier to use in the wind, get more distance, and be ready to rumble should you hook El Guapo
As you stated, this is about steelhead not chinook or salmon or even Atlantic’s. I never understood the desire to overline rods so much because heavier lines are more work. Unless you require it to cast large heavy flies like squidros and the like which were so popular years ago and still employed some today. Then you need a line that can comfortably work those flies
Bob Clay who has fished what’s likely the strongest steelhead in North America for years feels 350grains can land any steelhead. I mention this because there is a small group of self aggrandizing anglers in the PNW who give reverence to themselves as though streetcred is necessary in this niche style of the sport.
So they would only consider the opinion of someone they deem as mighty as themselves to be adequate. Clay of course is a legend and embodies all that is good in this sport imo
It’s unfortunate too since you would think an “old timer” like some here, whom have lots of experience would understand the bigger picture here and were that the case, would possess less impertinence. But it turns out a lot of them have just been fishing this whole time
Bob Clay will also tell you that materials and their evolution have been and remain critical to getting the most out of the art, the production, giving an edge to the angler, and providing the best experience a designer can for his angler.
Comically Xgolfman has confided in me privately that it was B&W Rods heaviness which led him to CND and to part with so many of his own B&W. Although I was discussing the American penchant for heavy lines
Be that as it may, if you take two anglers; one just started and one has been fishing for years, and put them on the same beat on the same river on the same day - what’s really going to separate them? Casting prowess, selection of the fly IF you think that matters and many don’t, and luck.
How many guides have taken clients to a run and the client hooks up with a life time fish in the first hour. A LOT have!!!!
Anyone with a wallet can fish the Hoh or the Dee or the Deschutes or the Gunnison or the mighty rivers of Quebec. Angling happens the world over. Spey anglers are a tiny small group of overall population who engage the sport. Tiny. Most of us have good intentions
As far as where I fish: I’ll be fishing from Alaska to Scotland, the Natnek to the Dee and every New England river I can. There are large fish here if you know where to go. I’ll be towing a 6w and 7w as that’s what I like to cast and that’s what I was told to bring
If you haven’t fished a lighter rod William, maybe you might give it a go. You know what’s cool though. All the European anglers I meet and talk at length to, are gregariously generous, modest, inviting, and relaxed. No chip on the shoulder and no conceit
Fish what you like. I think B&W Rods are great rods