I’ve been building my own for 35 years now, for pretty much the same reason I tie (and build furnitue) - nothing off the rack looks or feels exactly right anymore. The guides on so many production rods, even relatively expensive ones, are one of the areas that they seem to cut costs as an example. I’ve replaced quite a few guides that had broken, gotten crushed, etc. Plus, the custom wraps, inlays and reel seats (I’ve only turned a few grips and it’s not one of my stronger skill sets, so most of those are off the rack) just set the rod apart from the crowd a bit. Different strokes for different folks I guess. And I still think you can build the equivalent of a lot of $700-1000 rods for well below half that cost. Valuing your time cheaply, o’course.