Re: Fly Rod Choices
I think the industry may have realized that pushing "fast, faster, and fastest" for rods has set alot of new buyers up with a rod that isn't very well suited to their casting abilities. Thus there may be a shift back towards rod actions that aren't so fast.
I generally think of fast rods as still being ideal when casting longer distances, and slower rods more ideal when you will be casting to spots closer to you. Long casting situations aren't restricted to saltwater or fishing from a boat. Similarly, short casting situations aren't restricted to small trout streams.
If you're going to be fishing for smallmouth on small streams, but will be pursuing big fish, a medium action 7wt might be perfect. If you're going to be fishing larger rivers for 1lb smallmouth with trout and panfish mixed in, and like fast rods, a fast 5wt might be best.
It's your call. I just think that its erroneous to think that there is a specific type of rod and only that type that is suited to a given species of fish.