The nine foot six weight is an all around size that is perfect for fishing larger flies for trout, and both small mouth and large mouth bass. A six-weight is more preferable for fishing the salmonfly hatch than a five-weight because the larger line retains the energy to drive flies with more accuracy. This is same reason why six-weight rods are better for throwing bass poppers or fishing for trout in windy lakes. In the modern era, six weight rods are used for both freshwater and saltwater applications. This rod is designed more for larger fish and/or saltwater use, and does have a fighting butt.