I have a 14' Wakata 6:4 Tenkara rod.
Depending on the line configuration I choose, I can do anything from French nymphing to delicately presenting a dry fly over 30 feet away and letting it drift while keeping the line off the water. Since it is telescopic, I can fish it as the full 14' down to about a 9' rod. Its slingshot casts are also quite impressive when in tight conditions.
I also have a 12' 5:5 rod that I tend to favor in brook trout streams. Using the 12' rod with a shorter line lets me get in spots that would be a challenge for a 7' western rod.
While the rods do bend quite a bit with about any size fish, I've been able to land some rainbows over 14" without much problem on a 7X. If anything, the extra rod length lets me play the fish out sooner with its ability to move the line in wider arches.
Both rods weigh less than 3 ounces each and collapse down to about 2' long making it an ideal backpacking solution. I sometimes take both if I believe the conditions will vary that much, and it also lets me have two different unique line configurations ready in moments.
It's certainly not a one size fits all solution, but then again, a 3 wt rod isn't the best option for tailwaters either. For under 100 bucks each for a complete rod, it's also pretty inexpensive to gather a few for your fishing quiver.
Bottom line, it's a great opportunity for making fly-fishing a simple combination of rod, line and lure. There's no need to worry about the weight of the line or length of a leader or drag on a reel. A basic furled line or level line of the length you prefer along with as much tippet as you deem necessary is all that is required to put your fly in action.