I opt not to use a Skagit on this rod as it a great action more suited to The Scandi style heads do to it's action. For big Flies I would opt for a Rio Vera Tip in 7 or 8 or Airflo Rage. I would opt for no
moth than 480 grain Max including the Tip.
It's pretty well documented in Skagit Master II that a 525 Skagit Short will chuck 12.5 feet of t-14 and an unplucked chicken as far as one needs to with the "Death Star". Given this info I put the same setup on my 8124 and no longer want the TCX Death Star as the result is nearly identical.
A Scandi head is also a sweet deal and casts wonderfully for the reasons that Aaron lists above.
One note if you push this rod with your top hand when casting it will make your day of fishing pretty miserable pretty quick, bottom hand pull is the word of the day.
After casting and fishing it some the rod is surprisingly light and a grain weight right around 500 to 550 seems to be the sweet spot. Of course there appears to be exceptions to that rule but in general 500 to 550 to make the rod very happy.
Not a winter line but an absolute money dry line is the 6/7 Nextcast FF45 I bet the WA45 in a 6/7 would not suck either (WA45 is a FF45 modified for tips).
Adam, you probably not familiar with skagit short line (just curious)?? the Rio 525 short or Airflo called it "Skagit Switch"... is as thick as 720 grain Airflo compact skagit line, if not thicker... it is a garden hose!! has a lot of "payload"... it can deliver 12' T17 with comfort, I use 480 grain skagit switch and love it. But again, that is just my setup for my casting style... Mark
Been casting a 520 S.A. skagit extreme on mine with about a 120 gr tip. I think that 600-650 total with tip is money for winter work. a AFS 8/9 is what I use for summer work. Thats where this rod shines in my opinion.
For +10' of T-11/14/17 and big flies I've used and liked Skagit Flight 525, Skagit Short 575 or the 540 Skagit Switch. Combined with mono running line a guy can get +100' casts (for the rare occasion when that long of a cast is needed).
That rod rocks, it's great to reach out 70' with ease from the bushes. The TCX8119 with a 540 Skagit Switch is also a dream to cast, especially when your up against the bank.