I've got rods from 6'3" to 9'6" and they share two common traits: 1) They are all bamboo. 2) I use every one of them in the GSMNP.

I would have to say that for the most part the 7'6" - 8'0" are the most comfortable to use, unless, as stated above... you get into some really tight quarters. The ability to wrist cast with cane is a definite plus... especially on some of these "blue lines" we fish.