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Pretty much anything that needs to be done on a small stream can be done better with the 8' 4wt.

Even on large streams, if you're wading and need super-accurate casts, the 8' 4wt might be better.

If, when wading, you need to drive a fly under overhanging brush to get it to the bank, again, give me an 8' 4wt.

The 8' 4wt is a fantastic, useful configuration, especially if you wade small and medium-size streams. I wish more manufacturers made rods like this, but the 9' craze seems to be entrenched.
 

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Joe Streamer
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If both are graphite and both from the same manufacturer's series, then they will be a little similar. They'd overlap. On the other hand, if your 9' 5 was a fast graphite rod while the 8' 4 was medium action graphite (or better yet) fiberglass, then the shorter rod would truly be different and could be used in much smaller waters with a sweet spot casting short, roughly 10'-40'. That's how I have my arsenal set up. Everything 8' and under are modern glass rods, while everything longer is faster graphite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your help.

It's essentially the same 'type/mfr.' rod, just a foot and one line wt less. I love the action and balance of the one I own, and the one I'm looking at has that good feeling too. [Now I know why people have a series of same Mfr. rods. Keep me away from Winston....]

I am not really able to tackle stream wading. The best I can do is similar to Rocky Ford. Cobbles are killers on my back. I have tended to stay away from the under-9-foot-balanced rod, thinking they are stream rods.

Would the 8-foot be more handy from a tube or pontoon?
 

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Custom Title
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For years I fished a 7-1/2' glass rod that I had made - brushy streams, big rivers, & stillwater (I still have it & a companion 6' rod.). After I started float tubing & became enthralled with fishing from tubes, I advanced to 8-1/2', then 9', and now I use either a 9'9" or 10' rods exclusively when tubing. I realize a distinct advantage when casting from a position so near the water surface & have no difficulties landing fish - whether I'm lipping bass, netting carp & trout, or grabbing the fly & shaking-off a fish. The only thing I watch-out for when using the longer rods, is clearance when I'm finning/maneuvering near brush/reeds/etc. and the rod tip is down (such as when launching/dismounting from a tube or retrieving a snagged fly.). I use a Super Fat Cat, & I prefer to position my rod vertically by sticking the butt-end & reel in the pocket on the seat back when launching/dismounting whenever feasible. I use shorter rods when I fish smaller brushy water & fish/stream size allows & dictates.
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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I love tossing dries on those shorter rods. They just aren't for streams though.
I bought a 8' Orvis 4 wt over 30 years ago. I love taking the thing out on lakes when a good chironomid hatch is going on.
Tie on a foam back raccoon, gink it up and have lots of fun......Totally different feel and fight versus a 9' rod.
SF
 
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BigDog
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longer rods and heavier lines will make casting big flies (e.g., streamers) easier and will make it easier to cast in wind. As Jim noted, a longer rod offers an advantage when you are sitting low in the water in a float tube, simply by keeping your line above the water more easily. When standing, that usually isn't a problem (and you can certainly learn to cast with a shorter rod when low to the water.

Many folks find shorter, lighter rods simply more fun with a small fish on the end of the line, as you are most likely to have when fishing small waters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think this urge for the 4wt can be called "impulse syndrome". You folks are pretty good doctors! Maybe, I will recover in the morning?

The concept of length per water type is still hard for me to understand. Based on my limitations, the 8-foot probably won't see as much water. Maybe, a longer 10-foot in trout wt? Nymphing...

Thanks!
 

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dead drifting into thread drift
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sounds like I should just throw away my number one lake rod (and number one stream rod, and number one large river rod, and number one trout rod and number one smallie rod.....yet still can somehow (sarcasm) handle summer steelhead)....My 8 foot (gasp) 5/6 Steffen (along with my amazing 7'6" Lami 4wt).....ok, most of that post was incredibly sarcastic, except that I actually do use that rod for everything because it's just so damn good at everything....at least for me.

shit, how many parentheses can I use in one 'sort of sentence'....
 

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If 8.5' and 9' rods are the standards, there's still a lot of use for shorter rods, mainly 7- 7.5' rods of 3 or 4 weight. The real issue is fly- and line-grabbing foliage. If you have to look over your shoulder for at least half of your casts, you should be fishing a shorty. As for coverage, I can roll cast a dry/nymph tandem across the Twisp River with a 7.5' 4-weight, and I've fished the Firehole River bank to bank with an 8-footer.
 
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Count me in the camp that simply finds 8 foot 4wt more enjoyable to cast as well as play fish on. I will use my 8 foot 4wt TMF for just about anything I can get away with. I throw dries, nymphs, emergers, small streamers, there's nothing I won't do with that rod. And this is a one that many call a dry fly only rod. The rod doesn't know what I'm to casting with it, it's simply a tool. And one that I enjoy very much, and it's the first one I grab unless I know I'm doing big water with big flies.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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BTW, Mike, what is TMF?
Seattlesetters already replied, but just a particular Winston 8' 4wt Winston model. I happened to get a blank and wrap it so mine isn't a factory built rod. If you have any interest in building one, and you like a more moderate rod, my second favorite rod is a rod I built my dad from a Talon Chalkstream Series, also an 8' 4wt. You used to be able to get them from Anglers Workshop or directly from Talon. A wonderful blank!
 
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