Sorry if I came across as bashing short bellied lines. I agree they have their time and place. I just wanted to make the point that air temps in the 20s are not their strong suit.
Brian, you are right on the heavy tips comment. I fish some heavier tips in the winter but I do so on my 10 weight. It is no where near as nice to cast as my 8 though but then again, the 8 will not handle those tips even with a windcutter style line. Perhaps a good stout 9 is the answer. The Scott 15' 9 is a great rod and have heard good reports on several of the newer batch including the 14' and 15' Sages.
Doublespey, excellent observation on the short bellied line being more brush friendly.
Tight lines everyone (no matter how long their belly is)!