Lightweight Fly Rods

What exactly are the advantages to these lightweight rods?

Q: "I've noticed that there has been a recent influx of lightweight fly rods on the market. I enjoy flats fishing tremendously and use an 8- or 9-weight rod most of the time. What exactly are the advantages to these lightweight rods?"

Joan Johnson,
Birmingham, Alabama

A: First of all, there is nothing wrong with the conventional rods we've been using for years; however, there are advantages to using lighter rods. For example, if you are young or elderly or female, you might not have the strength of an adult male. For most freshwater applications, a 7-weight is about the heaviest rod you need, but this is different once you enter the saltwater world. It's only an opinion; however, I believe that a major reason women and many young people have not taken to saltwater fly-fishing is simply because the tackle is too heavy. As you said, a number of rod companies now have these lighter rods available. Hopefully rods such as these will encourage more young, elderly and female anglers to stick with fly-fishing.