Re: 8wt Predator
I borrowed the 8 weight and did some pond casting with various flies. With a tuft of yarn and a standard 8 weight line, the rod casts fine. When I threw a deer hair fly or a big popper, the Predator didn't have the power to cast them. The best line to use is an 8 weight Rio Outbound Short. That line is really a 10 weight line (315 grains). That extra mass will load the rod significantly more to help throw those wind resistant flies. I could really feel the rod load up with that line.
One of my friends took that rod to the Yucatan to do some Baby Tarpon fishing. The line that he used was an 8 weight Rio Tropical Outbound Short. This was the rod and line combination that the Redington rep recommended. He threw the traditional streamline splayed feather flies (Black Death, Marquesa Sunrise) and some modern wind resistant flies (Tarpon Toads). The rod handled them fine.
My take is that the rod should be uplined at least by one (no more than two) to cast a variety of flies. It's going to be a personal preference. I know someone who swears to that rod with a 9 weight SA Mastery Bass Taper.