I did some horse trading last week. Traded a recurve bow for a new Winston BIIx 13'3" 7wt Spey Rod.
I got out to cast it this morning and all I can say is wow!
I have been fishing a Beulah Platinum 7wt that is a fantastic rod. I expected the Winston to be similar to that rod and boy was I wrong. The Winston is closer to a traditional flex meaning it loads deeper in the mid section of the rod. The benefit of this is when the rod unloads the cast. It will pick up and launch the cast a country mile. The downside to this is if you don't have your technique down. It requires good timing to achieve the best cast.
The Beulah is a slightly lighter rod and definitely faster action. I had a novice spey caster with me and he did find the Beulah an easier rod to cast. My observation is that the faster rod is keeping the line in better position, off the water, when he was setting his D loop. It also unloads slightly faster so if he misses his stop at the top of the cast the rod sometimes forgives the lack of technique. I am recommending he start with a Beulah then decide if he wants to move into a Winston after he has his technique down.
If you are a spey caster try the BIIx Winston if you can. It is expensive but you can feel it's quality in every cast.