“A shorter rod excels in small-water situations where short casts are the order of the day. If an 8- to 8 1/2-footer is stiff enough, I find that I can create tighter loops with less line outside the rodtip than with a 9-footer. I did cast a friend’s 8-foot custom rod a while back, but it was built from a moderate-action blank, and just did not create the line speed needed to shoot a tight loop. Tight loops greatly aid in general accuracy and tucking a fly under overhanging structure.” Shallow Water Angler editor Mike Connor offers a deft summary of the advantages of under-nine-foot rods for saltwater fly fishing. He mentions the most recent offerings from Redington, G.Loomis, and TFO.