I'm glad you posted this. I was curious about your thoughts on this rod. Thanks for sharing!
I've been going in circles for an "all around" (dries, nymphs, small streamers) trout rod for the prime spots around the Sierras. I want a rod that I would have confidence in regardless of fly type or method.
8' feels crisp and light in the hand, but it can be a bit short especially when nymphing. 10' seems like it might be too specialized as an all around round, and somewhat of a compromise for swing weight and balance. I'm sure the 10-footers are great nymphing rods, but I'm not quite sold on the idea of a 10' as my primary rod. A light weight 9' might be perfect.
I like to fish as light of a line as I can get away with. A lot of people seem to prefer 4 weights over 3 as the light line for handling a bit of wind. Frankly, it's seems like splitting hairs. I've been out in a stiff breeze when a 5 weight felt worthless. If it's windy, I doubt a single line weight up would make a significant difference. For the waters I would fish, 5 weight could be over kill for a lot of the fish. Sure it can throw bigger flies, but I want to balance rod capability with the size of the quarry.
390 Sage One... looks like you made an excellent choice!