Originally Posted by jfbasser
I think an 8 wt may be somewhat stressed if your plan is to use it for Bluefish of any size on a regular basis.
That's definitely true. It's an ok rod for smaller blues and schoolie stripers, but for anything bigger, you'll need to step up to at least a 9 or 10 wt.
I have an Albright EXS that casts like a dream and falls right in your price range. I'd definitely take a look at one of these rods if you can find a shop that sells them.
Based on your post, you've already decided on the Loomis vs Orvis rods. The Orvis was the rod you liked, plain and simple.