The 10' 5 wt would work OK, although it is a bit light for shad. I used to use a 9' 6 wt. since the graphite revolution was in its infancy in the mid to late 70's and the fast 10' rods were not available then. However, because the river is so large in the water gap area, the 1208 would allow you to make longer casts and cover more fish effectively. Don't forget, the 1208 is a light line 2-hander and the shad you are targeting will run between 3#'s and 6#'s. They will prove to be a fine fish on the 1208. Shad are a lot stronger than folks who have not caught them reallize.