The advice of going to a shop that has a variety of 8 wt rods to test cast is right on. But remember gently casting on a soft lawn on a balmy day may be quite different than the casting conditions you'll face on the water. Practice casting in no wind on smooth grass I love the slow feel of classic cane. But it ain't the way I pound a river and slam weighted flies or lines around or stretch for that distant bone in the wind with the boat blowing away at some angle. We were crossing South Dakota with a tailwind blowing like we were in , well the Dakotas, and stopped at the Mitchell Cabelas. They let me take an armfull of 9' 8wts out in the wind. Of them all I did like the feel of the Sage but the high speed Cabela's cast further in the blow and cost half as much. My point here is ya gotta try 'em yerself and do it under conditions as close as possible to the conditions in which you fish, the way you fish.