Originally Posted by ausablebrown
When I think of windy days, I think of putting away the 4 wt rods; especially the slower action 4 wt rods. Personally I would go with a 7', not the 7'9. It would be nearly a duplicate of your Sage SLT, what...6 " shorter, small slow action rod, nearly the same thing. I love a 7'3 wt, it really lets you unleash it in small spaces. You can actually make a casting stroke when you are surrounded by brush. I've cast several 7' 3wts and they have all handled well, I'm sure the Avid would also.
I'm not trying to change your mind, but you asked for thoughts. IMO 7'9 is still pretty long for small brushy streams. This was my formula when I set out to get rods to cover everything: I got a 7ft 3wt, 8ft 4wt, and 9ft 5wt. I can fish anything from 6ft wide brush creeks, to the Yellowstone River with these three trout rods. I'd feel way oversized in alot of the places I fish if I was trying to use a 7'9" rod. And you wont be losing much with the 7' rod; it will still put 35-40 ft out there if you need to.
Thanks ausablebrown, you bring up some good points that I had no considered. I pondered my choices some more and I have ruled out the 8'6" 4wt weight as it is too slow for even moderately windy days and doesn't offer anything over my SLT. That leaves the 7'9" ... or the 7' 3wt you suggested.
You are correct, the 7'9" would be a duplicate of the SLT but here's what I am thinking: All the "brushy" streams (and there are not that many of them) I have fished I got away with my 7'6" 4wt just fine. Another 3 inches wouldn't hurt but my 8'3" is just too long. I can afford to have duplicate rods because I often times take folks with me fishing who just own a 9' 5wt or no rod at all.
I strongly considered the 7' but a few things held me back. Being a 2 piece rod (my 7'6" was too) the tube is pretty long and a pain in the arse to strap to a boat on float trips. If it was a 3 or 4 piece I would give it a whirl. The second thing I thought was that I really struggled with my casting my 7'6" rod. Slingshot and bow "n" arrow casting I could pull off okay, but normal casting with no brush to worry about..well, I was all over the place. Seems anything under 8ft gives me fits. If I went 7 ft or shorter it would be limited to strictly super in tight work...which I don't see much off. For that kind of stuff I think I would want to go glass....a much more expensive investment.
Maybe I should consider selling the Avid out right and finding a 7 ft 3wt 3 or 4 piece?