What type of line are you using, leaders and tippet materials? *I currently use a 8'6" 5wt rod as well but medium flex for smallmouth fishing with WF5 line with a 9 foot/3X leader. *This size allows me to cast and roll cast under the overhanging tree limbs when wet wading.
i use a 5 wt winston JWF, sa gpx wf line. 3x 9 ft leader *(orvis). i tend to flail with anything bigger than a size 10/12 fly...worse if it is weighted
would i be better served with a 6 or 7 wt? or should i take a lesson or 3 *