Re: Novice Seeks Advice for Warmwater Reel
You'll want an 8 wt, both for turning over the size of flies that larger bass want to eat and to be able to pull them out of stuff too. I've never had a Bass get onto the reel, but your results may differ.
8lb bass can be landed on a 3wt but that doesn't mean its the best tool for the job. Larger bass generally don't have much interest in the type of fly that can be easily thrown on a 3wt or even a 5wt. You also run a high risk of breaking a 3-5wt rod if you fish the size of tippet needed to pull Bass out of cover.