spinning rod for shore salmon
I have a cheaper 8'6" Daiwa I use, too, and a 7" walleye rod that also have caught many salmon and trout.
I don't own that avic, but I have used them (and know plenty that do use them), as well as the wild river models (which are a little cheaper, but virtually as good IMO) and they are top notch rods, their M/H models have plenty of backbone and a nice soft tip, so they also cast really well. They are built for the task of Chinook.
I use the Loomis GL2 mainly when float fishing or casting smaller spoons/cranks for browns/steel. It is a medium action with a moderate parabolic bend. I use 10 lb PP and just cannot hook the fall kings with the larger (3/4 oz) cleos/krocs. I love using casting rods, but I get tired after casting for several hours, so spinning is my choice normally. I am eye-balling the Avid 8'6" MH spinning with maybe 20 lb PP. I figure somebody has this rod and would know if it is nice to use.
Salmon do frequently hit hard, but they are fast, and anytime one hits coming right at you it will knock a little slack in the line, if you aren't feeling everything well before that hit, you certainly are not gonna even notice that kind of hit very often without a certain degree of sensitivity.
The other major factor is the hits on the drop...don't feel them immediately, and they are gone and you never know you had a hit very often. Some days (most days) as much as 80% of all the fish I hook, hit while the spoon is falling. those fish need to be hit right away or they are gone. These fish will spit a spoon so fast you need to react quickly to have a high hooking percentage.
Another more subtle advantage is the ability to determine currents by the way your spoon/jig reacts, as currents change, so should your retrieve. With sensitive equipment its easy to feel them, and be able to tell when they are changing, either direction or strength, which helps make good decisions with regards to presentation or fish positioning while on the water.
Maximize your fishing experience and use sensitive equipment, without it you miss a ton of bites and, other than those straight retrieve bites, you only really catch the ones that hook themselves...with their bony mouths, a proper, well timed hook-set goes a long way. There are plenty of times where the salmon bite very light despite their ferocious feeding response.
There are 2 reasons why so many cast with braid, the first is obviously casting distance, the second, and just as important, is the added sensitivity and better hook-sets with softer rods.