Actually, there is an avid saltchuck coho group here - perhaps not all that talkative though
I have fished an 896 RPL extensively in both salt and fresh, both coasts. Mine is the original RPL but I figure you probably have a bit more power in the butt section with that blank. I fish the 9wt rplxi frequently in saltwater as well and have cast that 896 quite a bit although I don't own it.
When fishing for saltchuck coho I prefer either an intermediate line or a sinking head line like the Rio deep sea. The sinking head line is probably the most versatile for flyfishing from boats whether out in the shipping lanes or in the tiderips by the kelp for big fish duty. My experience in the straits and beyond has been that when the fish are up, the flyfishing is hot - when they go deep, the flyguys have a tough time of it.
The hi-density head lines can run a little heavy so I wouldn't go over 300 grains since the AFTMA grain rating for 8wt is ~240 I think.
For the most amazing coho fishing you gotta try Leland's floating line and a popper technique! The salmon come out of nowhere and smash the surface popper like Texas largemouths. I was a little skeptical until I saw it myself. I am a believer now! :eyecrazy: