RE:Selecting a new Fly Rod
When I first started fly fishing, the only fly rod I had was a 7 1/2 foot Shakespeare Wonderod. Glass naturally. Talk about being limited, but it really didn't matter. Made that rod do so many thing never thought possible. Back then, rods were not graded. It took experience to match the line with the rod. Sometimes it took several lines changes to get it right. HCH was the system they use to grade fly lines. The middle letter meant the weight and would change accordingly. Ex. HDH (heavier line)
Whenever I rolled cast, I could always keep up with longer rods. Probably because I honed my skills using just one rod. People were amaze how far I could get that rod out there. Things are very different today. Don't know your casting techniques in the rivers you fish, but roll casting was predominate here in RI.
My opinion is that length is not the really a factor in roll casting, but the transfer of energy is. A mid to full flex rod will keep the coil moving longer, much better than a fast tip rod that imparts the energy quicker. Fly presentation is the other principle most of us are concerned about when trout fishing. How the fly lands? Fast action rods are incapable of presenting a dry fly correctly. Line will slap the water. You want to land that fly like a butterfly with sore feet. Mid flex will give you an all around good stick for trout fishing. Stick with the rod that fits your primary way of fishing. If it's small streams, down size.