Fishing GSMNP is at the least difficult and frustrating.Generally you live or die on your ability to roll cast.Small delicate rods seem bestI have owned at least 100 fly rods in the last 30 years.Some were bad,most were ok,but my Winston LT5's are the best I have every used.I own a 3wt 6'9' that seems made specifically for Smokies fishing.It is light,and casts like a dream.I have a 4wt 7'9" that handles good in the park's streams,it is probably best over all.I used it in Wyoming on Pacific Creek,last September,and caught several nice rainbows,one was 19" long.It was great fun.These rods are a pleasure to put together,thay have a sensitive tip that has action unlike any I have found.
They are expensive,but are guaranteed for life.You will come to covet these rods.These rods are made in Montana,in the USA.They are expensive,but I think the cost is in line with the quality of the rod.Winston's Boron rods are some really "fab" fast action rods.I have a 5wt 9',that worked well fishing Abrams Creek.I should add thay are expensive--well over $600.00--making them expensive.I suggest putting your pennies away to own one of these rods.Don't take my word for it--ask Paula--LRO is a dealer for Winston rods--Winston's are made in a tiny factory in Three Bridges Montana--They are at times hard to get,or they used to be hard to get.
There are many good rods out there,some are made in China(The cheaper Winston model((Can't think of its name)) is made in China,it is not a real Winston and feels like a club)others are made in Korea,Japan etc.Please buy American--Please buy from locally owned fly shops like LRO,not because they need the business,but because of credibility,honesty and services.Used to be,a rod to be taken seriously had to be made in the USA.By the way,have felt 2 really nice rods a friend showed the other day'he could not decide which one he wanted so he bought them both. Rod 1 was a Sage 7'4wt,can't rememberwhat it was called,but it was a blondish-green rod,a new model,that was ultra light and felt like a dream.Rod 2--Was a ultralight 3wt 7' Murray Mountain Rod made in Colorado by --sorry can't think of their name.