I like a 9' 5wt. for open rivers and ponds, especially in a canoe or kayak where you are closer to the water, it picks up more line and you need that when you are low in the water.
Tight, close streams I like a 4 wt. 7' to 7.5' soft action they can roll out a small amount of line with the whip in the tip. However they don't turn a larger fish headed for the brush as readily.