went to the yard today and cast the new TFO Lefty Kreu signature II. the rod is an 8'6" 5 wt. I had a reel with an new Scientific Anglers Frequency Trout 6wt line and put it on this fly rod. I've found that often a wt. up like from 5 to 6 works pretty well. The Frequency line is not the top of the line but I think it is a good line and at $49 I really don't feel or see enough difference to warrant paying up for the Mastery lines. I have the Mastery lines on my other two fly rods.
Any way the rod cast pretty good and I have decided to keep it. I'd have to pay shipping to send it back. I came with free shipping. That said, had I seen the $159 price for the Professional at another site with free shipping I probably would have paid the extra $35. I liked the Professional I gave my son a little better. It is a better rod as you might expect and 4 piece rather than 2 piece.
I appreciate all the advice....I did what I said I wasn't going to do....I decided on an Orvis outfit and went with the Encounter 5WT 9'....figured after reading reviews and forums it would be a good starter rod. Got the chance to fish Smith Creek DH back the first of November and had an awesome time, caught some nice trout too. Ready to head back up that way soon!
Like others above have stated, I too am on both ends of the spectrum. While I understand the limitations of a short rod, they're the only rods I use on a small stream. By small stream, I mean a blue line. Not waters like the hooch above Helen, Smith Creek, ect. I consider those larger waters, although not "big" water. On blue lines, I use a 6' TFO finnesse, and a 6'2" Cabela's fiberglass rod. Although there are pros and cons to super short rods and super long rods, I simply fish my shorter rods best on a blue line. That's what I started blue lining on, and what I fish best on. I don't find casting distance to be an issue on the streams I fish whatsoever. I can seldom ever get the opportunity to back cast. I can't dabble as well at a distance, but I can sidearm under some unbelievably low rhodo. I've taken my 8' TFO out on a couple of occasions, and felt clumsy with it after becoming so familiar with a really short rig.
I can attest to what Fishinbub said earlier about his 4' cane rod. I have fished with him on the speck stream and have seen him and that rod in action. He straight up slayed with that rod and reel. It was impressive.