From what I've read not really but an 8 wt would be much better for the wild fish. And its not like any steelhead will feel like a bitch on an 8 wt, they will all fight well. Add to the fact that the 8 wt will help you turn over your egg dropper off a dropper egg off another dropper egg off a hevi bead off a squidro better than a 7 wt and its probably a good idea. But at the end of the day its your rod so get what you want
As much as I feel like you need another rod like I need another beer, I'd reccomend the single hander for nymphing because almost all the switch rods on the market are difficult to use single handed, and spey casting a nymphing setup if your not an experienced spey caster is just asking for trouble. The single hand will really be your best bet. The only advantage the switch will have is if you want to do some small to medium rivers dry line stuff in addition to your nymphing.
Don't you already have a single handed 8 weight or some shit? Just a get a RIO Nymph line and ride your majestic steed across the OP with the rest of the Bead Boyz tearing up those gnarly chromerz.
8 wt single hander or a 7wt switch. Both have advantages. I still prefer to fish a single hander outta the boat but a switch from the bank is the only way to go. IMO. I bobber fish an 896 XP and have never thought it was too much rod for any steelhead.
Let me ask you this guys. If I go an buy the appropriate line, is it out of the question to try nymphing with my 12' 9" Echo Classic 7wt? Guy at Red's just told me "why not", so I do not know if hes fucken crazy or not.
I would think it would actually depend on how you're wanting to nymph and the size of the water.
super long drifts & big water? centerpin.
smaller pocket water? SH (personally, I prefer 8-8.5' rods, but most folks like the extra reach a 9'6"-10' rod will give you).
Back when I had a switch (and a longer spey), the only one I ever attempted nymphing with was the switch & I hated it for that application...not that it couldn't effectively get your junk out there, because it could, very easily--too easily even. I just felt much more of a disconnect with the whole experience...but that's just my personal opinion. Longer TH rods are also more tiring if you're tight-lining IMO.