So I probably didn't play lead guitar for 5 years or so; at least not focused, multiple songs, steady practice, as I've been playing acoustic and teaching myself slide and playing acoustic and harp at the same time. Playing a ton of songs and singing but mostly chords. But in the past with practice I could wail pretty fluently and mostly easily. So now I've been practicing leads again for a while, expecting to get more strength, but it seems like I keep fighting strings above the 9th and mostly E B G, not E A D so much. My setup is a Stratocaster 10's(10-46) tuned a half-step down(E sounds as Eb). I also lock the whammy down so I'm not fighting it pulling up while I do double bends etc. I bought a new Strat that came with 9's and it played like butter in E, before I changed it to my 10's, that I've used for decades and had it setup for that gauge and in Eb. And I am fighting it. My Gibson 135 with a shorter scale plays like a dream(10's/Eb). I'm wondering if my old hands are telling me it's time to go down to Light Top/Regular Bottom(9-11-16-26-36-46) or even 9's? I've always been hesitant because I always assumed the half-step down tuning would warrant heavier strings, but maybe it doesn't matter. Thoughts? Experience?