As a spey-newb I have had many issues over the past year trying to figure out lines. As far as the summer thing goes, I decided to pick up one of the Airflo Rage Compacts a couple of months ago and I frickin' love it. I just went with the airflo recommendation which is to just line down one step (I fish a 540 Skagit, therefore went to a 510 rage) and I've been using longer polyleaders both floating and sinking around 14' (I'm a pretty aggressive caster). This set up totally rocks IMO and was pretty intuitive to get the hang of. I cast it much better than my winter set up.