Good to have you on board, nice to see the next generation of fly guys getting involved. An 8 wt. is IMHO the crossover point from "Light Tackle" fishing. Made for working "Larger" fish. If I might ask, what kind and size of fish are you targeting there in your home waters? What do you fish more, fresh or saltwater? Is there a fly shop in your area that you could bring your rod to for use with demo reels with line loaded on them?
Some reel / rod combos you can "vary" the line weight up or down depending on the type of fish that you hit most often. Others are less forgiving in that respect. Trial and error with your "Wallet" can be spendy, so any time you can "Try" a product for free, well free is a good thing.
I will let you ponder those Q's and post back!