6' to 8' short-to-mid-length rods, mid-weight lines is where glass really shines - where it out-shines any other MOC - cane or graphite.
Good 6' to 7'rods can only be made in glass - not even cane, it's a modulus thing.
The perfect use of glass is the perfect 705
The very best and desirable glass rods from the '70s are 6'3" to 7'7", and include Phillipson MF70, MF66 - the Phillipsons are rated 6wt, but will fish 4-, 5- and 6-wt lines perfectly - another property of good progressive taper glass rods.
They obviously fish extremely well in tight spaces, cast distance with any rod, and the best quality of a well-designed progressive taper rod is roll-casting.
They do change your thinking on loading rods, because the casting process slows down - that doesn't change their ability to cast distance, gives you better control and better presentation. They load wonderfully with short smooth arm movements and haul.
Tougher competition to find, but the old Heddon 7' Trout tapers and Pal Pro Weight 8381 are in the running.
Fisher-made Scientific Anglers System 4 and System 5 glass may very well be the best fly rods ever made by anybody.
I also have a Vince Cummings Water Witch, 7'6" rated 6/7, but will fish every line down to DT3, where it becomes the perfect dry-fly rod - the same blank was sold with a nicer finish as the River Rat. Along with Russ Peak and Ferd Glaudio glass, these are probably not worth hunting, because people will pay $600++ for them.
(28" sight-fished on the upper Sabinal)
If you want to fill a hole with a 5-wt, impossible to beat Phillipson MF70 or SA System 5.
My venerable 7' 5-wt Orvis Fullflex was built by Phillipson and marked for Orvis, and I recently bought it for $130 in the FFR classifieds - it came in a fancy Orvis tube with a nice-looking Orvis label, but the rod was built for them by Phillipson.
Since I've done so well speculating vintage and venerable tackle over the years, I'm pretty set on rods, and haven't tried many of the new glass offerings, though some of the new rods I've tried over the past decade were trying too hard to act like graphite in their tapers, and were just a waste. This wouldn't be the case with the new Orvis Superfine 805, but it might be too slow for my taste. If you're aiming for trout, the new Orvis glass is probably a perfect rod.
here we go, Cabelas makes a 705 - for $70, this is the rod I would take homehttps://www.cabelas.com/product/CABELAS ... 459266.uts
Phillipson MF70 - this one marked as LL Bean LL - I sold this rod and the reason I bought the Orvis was to replace it
same rod sight-fishing big bass on the upper Sabinal
If you're looking at old Phillipsons, though, I would dodge the 8'ers because they're mostly 7-wt, unless you can find the DFS, which is a true 5-wt