I appreciate everyone's attempt to help. Thank you.
But here's where I'm at now. Maybe rather than trying to replace a rod that has a really unique flex and taper not found in most modern rods and what I sold only because it didn't travel well being 3 pieces, let me be adventurous.
How about your advice on this:
A quality, nice casting-nice fishing
8wt 4 piece steelhead rod . I don't necessarily want a do-it-all rod, although, if there is such a thing, terrific. But I want a rod that's pleasurable to fish all day, easy to cast and well balanced (I don't want to work hard) and capable of casting a maximum
of 800 grain head, including the sink tip. Ideally, a 600gr skagit short and 150gr sink tip, not much more. Any more and I feel like I'm weight lifting, not casting to steelhead! All the previous requirements apply.
Nothing too fancy, nothing clunky, just a workhorse. Sage, Anderson, Meiser, Hogan, Beulah come to mind. No CND, Loop, TFO
(too entry level) or Loomis (too noodly).
I'm guessing the Z-Azis 7136 is not enough rod, the 8134 is too much work, a Hogan 8133 or 9136 (I've heard if fishes more like an 8wt) might work. What about Beulah Platinum 1248 or 8136?
Keep in mind I have a 12'6" 7wt rod I love that casts up to a 570 skagit, but won't do any more, so heavy sink tips and big flies are not possible with this rod/line combo.