Small possibility I may be relocating and and such smallies, white bass, pike, walleye would become the abundant source of fishing all out of the same water. Wondering if a switch or spey rod would be beneficial as backcasting would be extremely limited, what line weight would be a good place to start? I'm not much of a fast rod kind of guy but I could see it as more of an advantage with switch or spey.
In my opinion a better choice would be a shorter heavy rod and a more aggressive warm water taper than a spey rod. A 7'11" 8 or 9 wt with a bass taper would allow you to make fast cast with minimal false casts. Plus it would be more versatile for other bodies of water. I'm no expert by any means and I hope you get some other answers. Good luck with your move.
Since you generally don't need to protect light tippet when fishing for smallmouth, I like a 9' 8-weight over lighter rods (i.e. no reason not to get the advantage of the heavier line when you're just going to be using stuff like 0-2x tippet....or heavier depending on your location, conditions). Big flies + potential wind = 8-weight in my book, hands down.
A typical WF floating line will probably be your main line, but sink tips, etc. apply depending on your waters --
I use a few rods. #4 for crappie (depending on the average size) and bluegill, #6 for smallies in rivers that don't have other "large" species in them, #8 for bass and top-water pike/muskie work, and a #9 (which is more of a #10) for the deep down and dirty muskie/pike/big game work.
However, If I could only have one rod for warm water, it would have to be the #8. The ability to turn a large grass carp before it runs into the brush is essential. This includes large mouth bass and large smallies as well. Another factor is that in warm water you're often fighting moss. That extra rod weight helps with that, for sure.
Now, this is just for rods. If you have line questions, that's a whole different ball game.
i fish river smallies on my 5wt and never really wanted heavier
i always felt that my 8wt was better suited for putting the brakes on salmon not a 2 # bass
i really only throw streamers at bass in the summer months and have felt comfortable throwing all but the heaviest ones in my box
not trying to disagree with everyone else, its just what i do
I dont completely disagree, but do vary a bit. Most of my bass fishing (smallie, largemouth, river, lake, pond) is done with my 6wt. I even do quite a bit of carping with my 6. Most of the flies I am throwing for those are size and smaller - aka nothing that big.
I do have a big fish/big fly mentality though so when I am going for pike, I am throwing some big and chunky flies that will make my 6wt waffle if I am trying to cast. Don't get me wrong, the 6 could turn most of the pike around that I hook up with but I am much happier throwing the bigger flies on the 8.
With that, I agree that the best all around rod for the species the OP will encounter would be the 8