I started a very cool new build today. I purchased this interesting amber colored fiberglass blank from Shane Gray of Graywolf Rods, which I think he originally got from Jory Ward of Westslope Rods. If you were watching closely, a number of these blanks were listed on eBay several months back in some very interesting colors (red, blue, orange, yellow, raw, etc). I was little skeptical at the time and as a result, probably missed out on the opportunity to pick up a few. It's my understanding that more of these blanks will be released at some point in the future, which is great to hear if you know how difficult it can be to find quality fiberglass blanks at an affordable price.
This blank has a larger O.D. at the butt, which gives this rod plenty of power in the lower section of the rod. This three piece blank is visibly reinforced at the male and female connections and comes with spigot ferrules, which I prefer in this weight class. Based on the "wiggle test," it definitely feels faster than most of the 5/6wt glass rods I've fished.
As for components, Shane was good enough to hook me up with an unobtrusive and unique looking 1/2" cork ball for the fighting butt along with a beautiful all nickel uplocking seat by Joel Lemke. The grip is a full wells flor grade cork. I'm using a chrome size 12 stripping guide (to match the larger diameter) along with bright chrome Universal Snake Brand guides and tip top. I'm using red silk tipped in light brown, which will look awesome when varnished.
More pictures to come soon, but this will be one to watch over the coming weeks as I finish it up. I'm probably going to put a retro reel on it with a 5wt line to wrap up the combo. I'm still green, but I really enjoying rod building.