I side with Rip Tide on this issue every time it comes up. I think many of us have a wide variance in what we think of as "Small Streams". I have 2 small water rods. One of the rods is 6' 6" and the other is 6' 3", not that I think three inches makes any difference when trying to work a fly rod and line in tight confines. If you add two or more feet to these rods now you're making a game changer. Many people have been willing to debate their ability to handle even 9' rods on small streams with myself and others over the years. For the sake of consideration I offer this; I know many 'tight streams' that harbor some very large fish. I will be glad to go with a fellow using a 8.5 or 9' rod to carry beer, food, and camera, while that person tries to swing that rod around.
Think about it, most people will wade confidently into rivers like the Madison, Penobscot, Salmon, and countless others carrying a 9' rod. Why would you wish to select a rod that was approaching 8.5 or 9 feet for fishing in a stream of water that may be less than 10 to 12 feet wide in some channels? When I say "small stream" I am thinking maximum width 15 - 20 feet with overhanging trees and plenty of brush and grasses along the sides.
Just my thoughts on the word small
Here's one close to the house;
One of the trout, they come bigger, some come from the sea, they get real big;