really CA red? I've always thought buff-er tones look better. Why not something TIPPED with red? Just a thought.
OK on the winding check. The checks I usually use are sixed in 64ths. So, measure the diameter of the blank EXACTLY where you want to install the check. Then, , say you have, for example, .200. THEN, divide that by .015625. That'll give you the size at that point on the blank in 64ths.
I don't do graphite, so I'm not sure what you do if you are RIGHT in between, say 13 and 14 64ths. I'd suggest getting a larger check and just doing a thin layer of rodfinish or 8/0 thread under it. Again, I'm not carbon rod expert.
If you want a really striking winding check, go to goldenwitch dot com.