Re: How important is rod length?
What you have learned about longer rods is true.
Here is how I look at it.
The 10 footer is a great tool for nymphing. That extra foot gives you an extention for better line control. Mends will be easier. You can have less line on the water which will give you less drag on your nymphing system. Downside is that if you overhead cast, now you have to deal with a foot of extra mass to wave around all day. That could get tiresome.
The 9'6" length is a compromise length. I used this length in a 6 weight for years. It gives you the extra length for better line control, but it doesn't give you too much mass to wave around if you want to do some overhead casting.
Edit: I use a switch rod quite a bit. The 11 foot length allows me to have a long nymphing stick. I can also fish it like a two hander to throw those long bomb casts. It's wonderful to throw 60 to 80 feet of line when I only have 5 feet of backcasting room. The best thing is that I am less fatigued by the end of the day compared to using a single hander.
Last edited by MoscaPescador; 12-14-2009 at 02:07 PM.
Reason: added the switch comment