hello, BH Spey,
I think I understand now that the waters you fish have different bank characteristics then the rivers I am used to and perhaps require different techniques for landing fish.
If you must have a three or four piece rod for travel, you probably know that all the major manufacturers make good travel rods. Once the modulus and taper and reel seat and the other bells and whistles have been accounted for in the price, what is left is warranty.
I am a Sage kind of guy not only because they make a real nice rod but because of their warranty. It's bullet proof (even if you purchase a second-hand rod through ebay or some place like that they'll treat you more than fair).
So my recommendation would be, get on the Sage website, look at the 3 and 4 piece rods they offer, and choose one with the length you require for the fishery you have in mind. My one recommendation, however, would be that you consider going to a 9 weight, maybe even a 10. I think for bread and butter / knock down and drag out chinook fishing, an 8 weight is not appropriate, especially when you have to "tail" fish in the manner you described.
And one last thing: if you get a multi piece rod, watch the ferrrules like a hawk. Always make sure they are fitted tight, both for casting and beaching a fish. My guess is more rods are broken due to loose ferrules then for any other reason (aside from getting slammed in a car door)