I know a few good spey casters who have cast that rod and line combination and they all think is a good match. Since it is apparent that you are new to spey casting, I'd suggest you go up one line size to the 8/9/10 Windcutter until you learn some spey casting technique. This heavier line will load the rod deeper into the butt and provide you with more tactile input on what the rod is doing.
I don't have the cash right now for another line. The problem I am having is my forward loop not straightening out properly. I can cast the whole head but it just doesn't land nicely. I am unable to pinpoint the error. Maybe it will come with time.
I might experiment with my skagit head next weekend.
i'm no expert by ANY stretch of the imagination, but...... if your line is slamming into the water before it onfolds, then maybe you need to aim your cast higher. perhaps stop the forward stroke sooner/higher.
If you can't change the line right now, I would first expriment with slowing your cast stroke w-a-y down (if you haven't already), and also making a high, positive rod-tip stop on your forward cast, as crobarr has suggested. I learned on a sage 8126, and while I'm by no means an expert I was fortunate to get some expert advice from the likes of Ed Ward and Dec Hogan. Dec had me slowing my casting stroke down to a point that felt like slow motion and Ed had me "aiming for the tree tops," as he put it, on my forward stop. It really helps to look up at the tree tops when you make your forward cast -- if you look at the surface of the water 50' in front of you then that's where the line is likely to go first. Working on these two elements should help your cast no matter what line you are using.
David at this point I would not switch back to your 8/9 skagit setup, or if you do then I would stick with it and not go back to your WC until you've resolved your problem to your satisfaction. I believe constantly switching between line styles will only make things worse for now.
If you do go back to your skagit line then I would get a floating tip and use that until you get your casting where you are happy with it.
I had a similar sounding problem for a long time. The problem was not putting enough energy into the back cast. 90% of the energy into the back cast, 10% into the forward cast. Use your hips to twist back on the back cast, then untwist on the forward cast, like golf - wind up, then unwind. And realy flick the line back behind you (while maintaining an anchor). A high stop wont help if the problem is not enough energy (you need both).
"The problem I am having is my forward loop not straightening out properly. I can cast the whole head but it just doesn't land nicely".
The line you have should be ok it may be toward the light end of the grain window.
You may have several problems A Is you forward stop high enough to allow the entire line to turn over before you lower the rod tip. B Do you have enough line speed going into the d-loop to hold the tension during the forward cast. C Are you hitting the forward stop before you anchor has left the water. D Slack in you cast.
Over the years I have found these are the top four problems. For the line piddling and not striating out during the forward cast.
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