Re: Need a good powerful rod...
I recently purchased an 8 wt. Before I made my decision, I tried different rods from a number of different manufacturers. I ultimately chose the Sage Xi2, but I also liked the Orvis Helios and the TFO TiCr X. The Helios required a bit more effort to cast than the Xi2. The TFO cast very well, but again, the Xi2 fit my casting style better than the TFO. I could cast it further than any of the other rods that I tried AND it did very well on shorter distances. Few of the rods that I tried could load well for both short and longer distances.
Some people really like Winston's BIIMx series for its power and I think that line is worth trying - depending on your casting style. Some people also really like the Sage Z-Axis. I did not try it b/c the Xi2 worked well for me and it has a stronger butt section than the Z-Axis. Another rod worth trying is the Scott X2s.
If $700 USD is your limit, try Sage Xi2, Scott X2s, TFO's TiCr and TiCr X, and Winston BIIMx. Others might include something from the St. Croix or other manufacturers. I didn't because I do not have experience trying the other rods.