Re: What rod weight/length/action is best for nymphing
You said you were targeting smallmouth in the 10" - 14" range. Then, I would say a 9' 6wt should get the job done, for nymphing, small to medium size streamers and small to medium size poppers. Rod action would be up to you, but a medium/fast would be a good start.
My two smallmouth rods are a 9' 6wt St Croix Legend Ultra, 4 pc and a St Croix Legend Elite 9' 8wt 4pc.