Re: 8.5 or 9 ft for a 4wt?
I am speaking of an economy brand here so take this for what it's worth but I replaced an 8.5' Fenwick HMX 6wt with a 9' HMX recently because I had lost the tip section of the 8.5' rod. I can't believe the difference in feel that 6 inches made. I don't find I like the longer rod as much; seems a lot heavier and thicker in the butt section, almost feels more like an 8wt than a six.
"I cast my hook into a single stream; but my pleasure is as if I owned a kingdom." - Chi K'ang (223-262)