Didn't really mean to horn in on the originator's thread but after looking so long and not finding what I want in a rod my options came to either commission a custom rod ($$$!) or build one ( and more later) myself. The possibility of not re-couping my costs by putting a FW grip on a lt wt rod is a non-issue as the rod would be fished til worn out, rebuilt and broken or retired. Your experience, Wee Hooker, and information goes a l-o-o-o-o-n-g way towards boosting me through this learning curve. After decades of hardware slinging, the long stick feather chucking is where it's at for me from now on. I firmly believe that if I had not gone ahead and bought two low dollar, Big Box Store, SA outfits with graphite reels to test the waters and cut my teeth on, that I probably would not have ever taken the plunge in fly fishing, directly due to the fact of the very high cost, IMO, of the better quality stuff. My hardware slingers are Abu Garcia, Penn and Loomis rods. $600.00 plus is just a little too, much (OUCH) for my budget for a daily driver fly rod-not the way I drive! That would put 2 maybe 3 quality-blank homebuilts into my arsenal or heaven-forbid-now-that-I-know-better buy around 30 of the "so cheap as to be nearly disposable", $20.00, SA rods that got me into this game in the first place. As I progress along the curve though I just might change my tastes and go for the fancy-smancy Abel, Hardy or other top reel and a top of the line rod to put it on.........we'll see.
PS- I did find some rather low cost , decent name rods on a certain auction site but if I name them you guys might outbid me especially on the Powell. Oops!
"Time's fun when you're having flies!"