Would have liked to have seen the process...did you end up working on the rod? If you were delayed or are going to meet again, let me know and I will hook up with you. The splining of the rod is an interesting first step that always fascinated me. I have splined several rods but the process is not a clear right or wrong situation, at least until you cast the stick and see what it does. What length did you cut the stick to? I think we were talking about 10.5 or 11'?
Let me know how it went.