Originally Posted by NDuncan
Personally, I think it depends on what kind of fishing you are planning to do. Tailwater big water and tight mountain streams have their own issues. I can fish tight conditions with a $25 crystal river 7 piece rod and it works fine, and I use it because the conditions don't require long casts, but there is a good chance of losing/breaking a rod and packing down small is a huge advantage in terms of creek access and what not. But I'd never try to make a long accurate cast with it.
I found that for me a faster rod actually made fishing small streams much easier. I could quickly deliver a fly ten to twenty feet rather than having to wait for a slower rod to load. Many times I found that a full backcast was not happening and a fast rod allowed me to do a half or quarter backcast and still present the fly properly. However, I'm unusual in that I prefer a 9' rod even in the tiny creeks for line control