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I Love Skinny Water
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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
 
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"I got to stop wishin'. I've got to go fishin
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Florida Sportsman had an article 15 or so years ago called “Nine is Fine.” Point was that you’re a little over gunned for trout, bones, and slot reds, but you’re in good shape for any snook, Bones in the wind, and Tarpon (I want to say up to 50lbs). I’ve looked a couple times because I don’t remember the other details, but haven’t found the article since it reappeared in the magazine a couple years after I first read it. That being said, I have an 8 & 10 and fish the 8 99% of the time.
 

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I'd choose an 8wt, simply because I don't own a 9wt. I never saw the need for a rod in every weight so I tend to stick to the evens. Where my 8s can't get it done, I go to the 10. Where 8 is too much I string up the 6.

Having fished with 9s during guided trips, I would probably do that, assuming the hypothetical OP because it bridges the gap between 8 and 10. Not the best for the surf round here but not too much for most conditions and fish.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
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.

If I had just one to choose, I'd probably go with a fast 9 - something with enough sensitivity so I could use on flats, but also stout enough in the butt section to launch a short and heavy-headed line and bigger flies up here in the Northeast. If exclusively Northeast, I could probably make the case for a light 10wt too.
 

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Practice catch and release.
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Man that’s a tough question. If I had my preference and conditions were always right I would and do throw my 7. However the wind is almost never perfect so the 8 comes into play. I am glad I am not faced with this first world problem.
So I will keep the quiver of 6-11 weights.
 
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