Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?
In my opinion an 8wt is the ideal smallie rod. I fish alot for smallies in the "non-Steelhead" season. I fish large rivers. Occasionally I fish Lake Michigan for smallies too. Both of these are open areas and the wind often is a factor.
The average size smallie is 15-16". A large one is 19-20". There is the chance of catching one in the 22" range. One other thing, a river smallie is a stronger fish than a lake smallie and they know how to use the current to their advantage.
I throw smaller poppers (8-10) and large streamers (4-6" long). A delicate presentation is not required, in fact at times a loud presentation is better. Often when throwing very Large streamers (6-10") with a 9wt for Pike or Musky you will get smallies. They can make a 9 wt work.
So, No a 8wt is not too big for smallies.