Re: First Fly Rod..
I'm a Great Lakes fisher as well (Canada side) and started fishing all species here with a 9' 7wt...'cause that's how I roll (hah). I did use different lines for different species and/or fishing styles though.
I do have a range of rods/reels/lines now so am not stuck on 'A' rod. That said, for dumb bass..... 9' - 5, 6 or 7 wt (for casting bigger bugs, not because the fish are big).
For steels...I wield either my 10' 7 wt or 11' 7wt switch...and soon ('soon' being a relative comment)....I will add to my arsenal, my 13' 7wt/510-540gr Scandi spey which I am building.
Long story short....7wt is all you will need....over sized for bass....about right for the majority of great lake steel.
My 2 cents added.
King Joe Outa Here!