Hi Guys! I finally got all of the guides wrapped today and got to do some test casting. I only cast it with a 250gr type 6 sink tip today. With that line, it casts well. It is a quick and powerful rod, not exactly light but not as heavy as my FF85-5. It shoots awesome, I didnt have a tape or anything, but it was picking up the 20ft head and easily shooting to 50ft +. I think it will be a pretty ideal rod for fishing big streamers in fast water. Once the thread epoxy dries Ill try it out with a DT7, DT8 an "8wt" type 6 full sink, and a mastery bass bug 8. I think the right line would turn it into a great rod for big bass bugs, mousing, or even hopper fishing possibly.
I went out today and did some more casting with floating lines. A DT7 peach is a little too light weight. A DT8 peach is a good fit and would be a top choice for situations where mending and maintaining a good drift in moving water matters. The rod is quick with a DT8, a DT9 might be equally appropriate but I dont have one to try. The mastery bass bug WF8 really made the rod sing, and shoots extremely well. With minimal effort (and casting skill) a 65' cast with a leader as straight as yard stick was easy. This rod really shoots with the right line, and seems to like heavy headed WF lines. Excellent for kayak fishing where false casting with lots of line out is a pain.
The rod balances well with a 1495.5, but its worth noting that I made an aluminum stent to fit the fighting butt. The aluminum stent weighs 0.6 oz, so a slightly heavier reel might be better otherwise.