Originally Posted by tex
Problem isn't the reel, its the spey line itself. $150 for the Rio Skagit setup with the MOW tips...ouch!
"Also wondering if there's a really compelling reason to use #30 or #35 backing rather than the #20 that I have a bunch of. I figure even with #20 the tippet is still going to be the weakest link by a fair bit. "
Wrong call on the 20# backing!
The internal of an 8wt line will usually be right at 25 to 30#'s so you need backing that's at least as heavy. You've got no bit deal if you hang up your leader, but you do have a very big deal
if you hang up any part of your fly line.