I think my point has been misinterpreted somewhat. I've done my fair share of lift plans for cranes, been around them for 35 years in construction and now days, the site requires my signature to do lifts. There is a lot more in comparing a crane with a 40ft boom and a crane with a 100ft boom for a lift. I have never lifted a steelhead or salmon out of the river. That is not the function of a rod. So the fulcrum in this case is all about applied force ratio, to exiting force, giving force resolution.
Yes, the rod is indeed a shock-absorber, some call it a spring, which indeed adds to the "cushion" effect, let's call it deflection and reflection. That is a governing factor of the "power" rating of the tube, which dictates how much force can be applied to the tube (or lever) before it either breaks or collapses.
An 8wt single handed rod is compared to a 5wt switch rod in grain ratings if you use some of the resources we have out there in selecting lines from Rio
, Airflo and OPST, just to name a few, in which rod designers have come up with, not saying it's right or wrong, but to use as a comparison. To put that into perspective, I wouldn't use an 8wt rated rod to chase trout in my local creek, but I would use a designated 5wt rod.
I'm all about matching gear with the conditions, I think that is the most important factor in choosing what we fish with. It shouldn't just be about how comfortable we want to be and I completely agree with jdcross's statement about fine tuning and outfit from a 8/9 to a 7/8 or maybe even lighter if conditions dictate and I agree completely with Vic's statement about, "the right tool for the job". I'm all about that and I evaluate each of my outings that way. However, I feel in no certain circumstances, should my decision ever be potentially harmful to the fish. I would never use a 6/7 rated two-hander during my salar hunt on the east coast, I don't even bring one. The potential to have a 30lb plus fish take my fly is too great. Yes, technique has a lot to do with it, however when you don't have the horsepower to apply, it's an up hill battle all the time. That in my opinion, is disrespecting the fish from the beginning no matter how you cut it.
My concern is, why would anyone take the chance of harming one of these fine creatures.
PS: Rifflehitch - Right-On and I share your statement completely !!