You just caught the wrong snook................
You just did not have the right Snook on, I bet this one would take some drag off that eight weight (I do not know the angler just that it was from Panama).
As mentioned earlier - Fishing for snook is about the take and the 20 seconds after the take. I have seen more than one 9 weight snapped at the base while trying to stop a pig from trying to make it back under the dock.
Even though they do not have the stamina of a bone (or the speed for that matter) - this fish still offers one of the best takes and pulling power of any shallow water fish in Florida!