Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
I don't disagree that long rod-short line can be effective. However longer rods do present some challenges on small streams with overhanging branches and brush extending right to and over the water's edge. A line must be long enough that the rod can be held high enough so the bend of the entire rod fights the fish to avoid breaking the tippet or worse; the rod tip, and that there will be enough of a bend in the rod to grab the line so you can land the fish! From the TBum article mentioned above:So, I'm confused: Ive mentioned two near-by creeks that he assumes hold 11-12, maybe 13", trout and he's getting recommendations for 11, 12 & 13' rods? I don't get it........
Tenkara rods are light and long. They let you reach over currents and rocks for amazing fly only presentations. On a small stream I catch way more fish with my long tenkara rod than a fly rod with line hitting the water.
"Update 8/18/15 ...(when a friend hooks) a large fish, the fish will immediately pull the bend out of the rod, pull the rod tip down and break the tippet. I think you can keep your rod tip high enough if the line plus tippet is equal to the rod length but if it is substantially shorter than that you can't."
"Update 4/30/17 ..."I finally experienced what my friend had told me. He'd said with a short line the rod tip will be too low, so if a large fish takes (particularly near the end of a drift) you will not be able to get the rod tip up high enough fast enough to get a bend in the rod. He was right. I hooked what must have been a very nice fish, which immediately ran and I couldn't get the rod tip up - there was no slack in the line to permit it."
I have experienced this; holding my 13' mid-flex rod too low and had a nice fish break off before I could even react to set the hook (or moderate it) 1/4" below my tippet knot yesterday. In my case, it was for distance in one particular spot I couldn't reach because of the water's depth. A longer line or my 17' Keiryu rod would have been a better choice in that one spot.
On another occasion I lost a big Brookie in a small stream with an 8' 10' full-flex small stream zoom rod because there was too much flex in the rod and at the 8' length I couldn't move the rod far enough with overhead branches to get a solid hookset. But that rod is exciting and will manage and land chunky 13" fish in heavy current with a good hookset. Conversely I have a stiffer 8' 9.5' 11' tip-flex zoom rod that gets better hooksets in tight quarters but is unpleasant to cast a light level line at the 8' length, and will easily (and clumsily) launch dinks into the streamside brush until I get used to it.
That's why I asked about the size of the creeks and the creekside environments.