Re: Old reel - new era question
You could get an 8wt on the reel if it were a VERY weight forward configuration, but even with a bit of 20# backing you'll fill the reel to the rim .. and maybe then some. The 1494.5, and larger, will hold an 8wt with greater ease.
As for the age of the reel, doubt there's a whit's bit of difference (the insides) of this one and a new one out of the box.
"“Reputation is what the world thinks a man is; character is what he really is.”