RE:Building a Fly Rod
For those with the means(I am not such a person), I stumbled across this while at my in-laws house in Winchester, VA.
The Shenandoah Rod Company offers cane rod building classes. The cost of the class includes the finished product. Finished rod in hand you can put it through it's paces on the Shenandoah river, fishing for smallmouths.
At the very least, this would be a rewarding experience, especially for the purist.