Re: New reel
Xi3 #8 is a fine rod for the salt. Yes, Hatch would be a great but somewhat expensive choice as would Abel and Islander. The Nautilus mentioned would be great too, I fish an NV on my NRX #8 and love it. Ross is worth a look see too but the Lamson products, though intelligent in many ways, feature a too wide, too shallow aspect ratio that makes retrieving lots of backing and line, as happens in the salt, counter-intuitive. too much attention is required to regain line uniformly risking uneven build up thus pillar jamming. Not such and issue in most trout fishing but serious stuff with big strong gamefish. Also the non-sealed drag sweep surface is smaller than the saltier reels above. The Kraken, if you are on a budget, seems a fine choice though I have yet to fish one.