hi mike, you dont need the cheater, the general rule is 3x the rod length but you dont have to in buy this 'rule'. I use a rio
skagit short on my 4 wt switch which is a 20ft long head with basicaly no front taper, and i attach my sink tips or floating tip straight to it, is it a skagit short head or a normal length head? Either way you dont need the cheater, as said i use head - poly float leader or sink tip - leader.↲
Even on my 8133 2 hander i use an airflo compact skagit head and attach floating or sink tips to this, the 3x length is just a guide and thats why rio
made the cheaters, but its not mandatory, you could use a skagit short at 20ft (and appropriate grain weight) and them poly leaders or custom made tips then your tippet, your rod being only 11ft gives you the option to not use the cheater, i think it might be relevant for longer rods, 14ft and longer etc, and i guess for these longer rods without the cheater blowing your anchor might be the problem.↲
Just remember to slow down with your skagit head casting, using the water to grip the line with good controlled movements, they are a different beast than your steelhead line, learn casts like the perry poke, very powerful cast and good for casting heavy sink tips and big flies.↲
Good luck at the tongariro you lucky bastard hahaha.
Just reread your post, the airflo heads do definately not need a cheater, and they atleast have some taper on the front, good lines! custom make yourself a 12ft floating tip out of the first 12ft of an old 8wt floater if you want to fish in the top levels of the water or rio
t11 or 14 sink tips from 6 to 10ft long for deeper work, perhaps t 8 to, you could order the MOW tips from rio
in t11 and 14 which should cover you for everything you should ever need, t11 would be my choice, they come with 5tips i believe, from floating to full sink tip and everything inbetween.