I Love Skinny Water
I'm thinking a 9 wt. Can do a lot. Can't remember what reel and rod is my 9 wt an I'm to lazy to go look
I would agree with you, depending on the rod; many modern fast action or saltwater oriented 7 weights are, to me, 8 weights with 7 weight labels on them.7wt for me would be the one rod choice. A little much for most freshwater stuff, just fine for typical saltwater and a little light for some of the larger salt fish. Most of the upsize/downsize can be accomplished with your leader and tippet size. I've landed some really big fish on my 6wt with a 12lb tippet so it can be done but it isn't ideal. I see this question often on another fly fishing forum I'm on regularly. The difference is this one is mostly saltwater and most users have some to a lot of experience, while the other is mostly freshwater and a lot of the users are new to little experience. A 5wt is generally considered the do all freshwater rod and the 8wt is generally considered the do all saltwater rod so, the 7wt it is.
Agree with this; in most situations, I would rather be a rod weight over than under-gunned. That, and sometimes the extra variables (wind, fly size etc.) make working with a bigger rod easier, even if the casting may not always be.I would agree with you, depending on the rod; many modern fast action or saltwater oriented 7 weights are, to me, 8 weights with 7 weight labels on them.
Other considerations are the physical fishing environment (physical environment and weather) and what other bycatch fishes are lurking about that might jump on the fly. If fishing in an area with a lot of structure, say mangroves, to where a hooked fish might run, it might be prudent to use a rod a little more beefy in order to keep that fish out of the structure. Also, if fishing in a breezy locale and many of the casts are long, best to move up in rod weight in order to power through the wind. Also, if fishing in an area where this is a good possibility you might tangle with a fish larger than your target fish, you might want to upsize the rod weight. An extreme example, but when fishing in Baja, everything eats a sardine, from a 3 pound bonita to a 100 pound sailfish, and they frequent the same waters. Matching gear for the 3 pound fish could end up badly when a 45 pound dorado shows up and pounces on the fly. I typically use my 10 weight; sometimes it's too much rod, sometimes it's just right, and it's rarely undergunned.