My fly rod of choice for peacock bass is a 9' 9wt.  I also have a 8'3" 9wt that I use in tight places.  I often get asked if an 8wt rod will do.  The simple answer is, "yes", but I prefer a 9wt for its ability to cast bigger flies.  If you do not own a 9wt, and you have no other use for one, then I would fish with the 8wt rod.  Ten years ago, as my casting ability improved and I decided that I needed to cast bigger flies, I tried a 10wt rod.  It was to much rod, and I abandoned it after one trip.  About that time I discovered the rod and fly line combination that I currently use.  I have found that the best way (for me) to maximize my casting is to use a very stiff fly rod with an oversized fly line.  I will explain my fly line setup in the "Line" section of the "Equipment" menu.  A 9wt rod is more than enough fly rod for the majority of fish that you will catch.  If you are lucky enough to hook up with that elusive 20+ pounder, the 9wt will have the extra backbone that you need to keep the fish out of the bushes.  In September 2016, a German fly fisherman, fishing on a tributary of the Rio Negro, hooked and eventually landed a 28.5 lb. (13kg) GPB (Giant Peacock Bass) on his 9' 9wt fly rod.  This is the biggest GPB ever taken on a fly.  Unfortunately, it did not qualify for an IGFA World Record, because the fly fisherman had help landing the fish.   

All my rods are 3 or 4 piece rods that can be carried on the plane.  Two piece rods will have to be checked baggage, and you don’t want to risk loss or damage to your rods. I probably do 90% of my peacock fishing with a 9wt rod.  I caught my 16 pound fish on a 9wt.  If you have the room you might consider taking a saltwater 6wt or 7wt rod.  Smaller fish (3 to 5 pounds) can often be found on points and mouths of creeks in large schools.  I’ve been in situations where I have sat in one spot for two hours and caught 50 – 70 smaller fish.  On a trip in February 2012, my son, Mark, caught a 10 pound peacock on a 6wt rod, and I landed, with a lot of help from my guide, a 14 pound fish on my 7wt rod.  Smaller flies with lighter weight rods can be a blast. 

You can tell I’m a little paranoid about running out of fly rods, but as long as I have room in my rod tube I will take as many rods as it can accommodate.  Peacock bass are extremely hard on tackle, and this trip is too far, too remote and too expensive to run out of equipment.