I own a 9'6" 8wt rod and it was my right arm for years of steelhead fishing in the pacific northwest. I also used it for ocean coho, river salmon including chinook and chum, and stripers on the east coast. Then I found out I had a left arm too! I went Spey and am still g-o-i-n-g....
Best of luck with the new rod, I hope to see some bright ocean fish photos soon!
Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!