When building a quiver of rods, one thing I've done is build a spreadsheet and list the rod weights/lengths and reel/line pairings that I've got in possession. Yes I am that much of a gear junkie and perhaps obsessive when it comes to tackle, but I enjoy it. By doing so, it allows me to see holes that *I need* to fill as well as see redundancies. Keep in mind NEED is all relative. The best anglers can pick up one rod and make it do darn near anything for the type of fishing being done at that time.

Great points have been brought up in previous posts outlining the type of flies being used, species of fish and the types of rivers/streams you intend to fish with this new rod. These are important questions. Also consider and give thought as to how you fish. Do you fish mostly in close, say 15-25 feet? Do you frequently cast in the 25-40 foot range? All over the board? My opinion is that you should answer those questions first, then consider a few different rods and go cast them to see what you like or don't like. While doing this, talk to the folks at the fly shop and seek their input as well. Perspective is good. Sometimes more localized input on techniques used in certain areas of the country can be invaluable. Not to discount any of the wonderful contributors advise here on our forum, my advise included.

As for the 8'6 vs. 9'0 debate, I have rods in both configurations and nymph, throw dries, and streamers for both. Really either one will work, though it's true longer rods do make mending a little easier. One downside is a longer rod on a tighter stream can make casting a bit more of a chore if you are faced with tight quarters.

Also liked Eunan's comment regarding replacement/upgrade. Give that thought too. The CT's by most accounts are outstanding rods, I'd hang onto that one for a while if it were me, but ultimately this is about what YOU want.

I once had my mind narrowed down to two rods, a Superfine Troutbum and a Sage TXL. My intentions were to buy the Superfine and cast the TXL for comparison sake. I loved the looks of that Superfine and had my eye on it for quite a long time. After enjoying casting them both, the TXL won me over, it just seemed at the time to be more suited to my casting ability at the time and more versatile for the type of fishing I intended it for.

Last but not least, enjoy the research and the hunt. Getting a new rod is exciting!