Re: What role does length play?
I used to go with nine foot rods for most all that I did but lately I have been more into the 8.5 and 8 foot rods. I know that it is not that much of a length difference but I think it makes a lot of difference in the casting. I can still throw just as much line (not that you need to though as the vast majority of my fishing is done within twenty feet of me) but I find that the shorter rods are much more accurate. There is less tip bounce and it tends to track the line in a straighter path. With that length, there is not issue with mending either.
I have been using an eight foot five a little now and love it. I think it is a much finer stick then my nine footer.
All Means All