I suggest that you don't tie your own leaders. If this is a learning trip you will have your hands full without confusing the issue with hand tied leaders. Your 8 and 9 wt rods will do just fine with factory tapered leaders. Since you will be fishing a sink tip fly line I would go with short, quick taper leaders from Climax or Umpqua. Umpqua has a 5' taper leader and Climax has a 4'. I use to carry the Climax leaders in 0X and 1X size. I could make these leaders into 2X or 3X by adding a tippet. This leader combination worked well for me. You won't need Floro tippet for this type of fishing.
I used Micron backing but today I would use a braid made from Spectra. As I said before you probably won't get into your backing.
The Tioga reel is a good reel for the money and American made. The Teton model is also nice.
The fly fishing industry has worked hard to maintain list price for its equipment. This allows the manufactures and dealers of high level gear to make a good profit and stay in business. The system is simple, if you cut the prices you won't get any more gear from that manufacture. Why would your local fly shop carry Able reels if anybody could order one from Cabela's at a big discount. I think it is a good system.