Q: What kind of fly rod should I purchase (short rod vs. long rod)?
A: Depending on where you are going to fish you will get the best results with the right equipment – The right tool for the right job applies.
Therefore, if you are going to be fishing larger streams with larger flies you would want a longer rod (8 ft to 9 ft) to get your flies up off the water on your false casts but most importantly to better control the drift of your flies. With a longer rod you can mend your line more efficiently and high stick with less effort therefore making your trip more successful and enjoyable with more fish landed.
On smaller streams a shorter rod between 6 ft to 71/2 ft can be more effective due to the obstacles one may encounter on such streams (i.e. RHODODENDRONS). Usually these small streams are avoided by most fishermen so you may have a shot at catching some larger wild fish that have never seen an artificial fly. Also, these streams tend to be incredibly beautiful places that you would swear no human has ever been. A medium fast action or fast action rod (stiffer) would be the rod of choice as it provides a tighter casting loop to stay out of the trees and a quicker hookset on those amazingly fast wild fish.
Richard Witt ~ CWO Professional Guide