I have not actually fished the Canyon but I have sold a few of them since they came out and everyone loves them and the price!!
They are amazing reels and I believe that if Ross priced them at 100 or 150 dollars more they would still sell.
Plus you are getting the ROSS lifetime warranty which is great. Send the reel back to ROSS and you have a new reel in less than a week, no questions asked.
I fished the 8126-3 Graphite IV yesterday. Talk about a rod with a lot of potential. And as you said, I believe that if they lengthened the handle the rod which fish a little easier.
I was throwing a Rio Anadramous Dredger on it all day. The 200 grain was pretty lite and would not load the road, thus I was single handing it all day so I could double haul and get the line speed necassary to cast it. The 300 managed to load the road so I could two-hand overhead cast but it was still very uncomfortable to cast and my arms and back are paying the price at this moment. Put a true spey line on it like Mid-Spey or Windcutter etc. the rod would be a rocket!!! And it is so light that you would not notice at all, casting it all day.
BTW-Thanks to Sinktip and Bunnyleach for a great trip down the Sauk yesterday. We had 7 vis in the morning, about 3 at 11 and at 1 we were down 18 inches, yet the water was still dropping. A couple dollies and unseen, most likely steelhead, LDRed by Bunnyleach. No fish but what a beautiful river. Managed to mark a couple spots I could walk into this April where no game warden could find me...kidding.