Another potomac angler here
I agree with the above posts that an 8 weight is quite ideal for smallies around here. I like my 6 weight, but it's a ***** to cast #2 and 4 poppers when there's wind, and heavy streamer patterns suck as well.
You don't so much need the heavier rod
to fish the fish as you do the heavier fly line
to cast those big flies IMO.
Plus, warm water does not require light leaders/tippet nor delicate presentations. Go with the 8 weight and I doubt you'll have any problems.