DWFII I used to agonize over this subject the same as you seem to be. It leads to nowhere but Maalox. Now I find a line that fits whatever rod I want to fish and go on with my life. After the starting point the numbers can blur but if the line is going out to my satisfaction then that's all that matters.
Not arguing Poppy, but you've a lot more lines to choose from than someone like me has. And if, like me, you're semi-retired you don't have the resources to buy a line, try it and then toss it in the closet. Much less the points to get away with it if SWMBO finds out.
I don't hesitate to acknowledge your generosity--you have offered to send me lines to try. I guess I'm just funny that way--I don't want to put you to the trouble and expense (and yes, I know that at least on one level you're not losing
money...I have a business myself) and I don't like to take advantage of people casually. Part of that, of course, is that I don't spend 300 days a year on the river. If I got a demo line from you I'd have to have it several weeks to even have the chance to fish it for an hour or so.
That said, I'd be emailing you right now for a demo Rio
Max except the next time I will be on the river (the Rogue) will be the 19th through the 21st and am hoping to try one out at Two Hands.
Beyond that,from the people I talk to and the emails I get, I'm not alone in my confusion or my frustration. Even the flyshop owners don't seem to have any real certainty...and that makes their advice (any advice) slightly suspect.
Anyway, believe me I know and understand...intellectually at least...that it all comes down to "different strokes" (see, I even cliche-d it). But it's hard for a trainee to even know what his stroke is
until he's cast a dozen different rods, each with a different action, and each with a half dozen lines weights for, like you, a dozen years or so.
It's a catch-22--the permutations are mind-blowing.