Re: Rod Recommendation
Maybe its just me, but I've learned to favor the even numbered rods. Sounds silly I know, but think about it. The 5wt is the "do anything" trout rod between the purpose built 4 and 6. Same with the 7, its a trout and bass rod and the 9 is between bass and the salt. Now don't get me wrong, I own all three, but I find myself reaching for either my 6 weight Sage RPL (still good after all these years) or my Loomis 10 weight 8 times out of ten. Which I grab depends mostly on how hard the wind is blowing or how big a fly I want to throw. (Disclaimer, I'm not into big tarpon, I prefer three footers. Big tarpon and its a whole other ball game) The 9 weight gathers dust. If you're looking for reds in SC or bone fish on the flats, I'd go with an 8 weight as the do it all. Keep the 6 for bass and calm days and maybe a disposable 10 weight like the Albright or Reddington that you won't weep bitter tears over if you do hook up with an 80 pound monster in the Keyes. Otherwise, I'd just buy a good fast action 8 weight. I load mine with a WF-F bass bug head designed to turn over large flies (though I fish the mangroves more than the flats) and I like a tropical line that's designed to deal with salt and sun. Orvis makes a good one, so does Airflo,but there are others. Just remember to rinse your line out just like your reel.
Cheers and good luck
PS, the main determinate here is how big a fly you're throwing, and what the wind conditions are. That should determine the rod weight. I like light tackle and will throw weighted clousers on a 4 weight for bass, but if its blowing ten knots and you're throwing three oughts? Then a ten weight or up is what you want.