"Lucky Bob" here... I am the proud owner of the new custom rod Mike described above. I echo everyones comments regarding it's beauty. Mike is an amazing craftsman and his attention to detail is second to none. Mike was kind enough (a cleaver plot) to allow me to try a few of his rods last year. Of course once I tried them I knew I had to have one. Our good buddy, Kent Lufkin also let me try some of his bamboo rods for comparison over the summer. Looking back I'm thinking they were in cahoots and knew they'd hook me into bamboo. I was originally enthralled with Kent's Leonard Duracane "755" and Mike was willing to build one for me. I tend to be a bit deliberate in decisions like this so took my time, tried several different rods. After fishing Mike's Dickerson taper I knew I had found "the one". I liked everything about it. The feel, weight, balance and action. I swear that sweet rod actually made me a better caster (no small task). Since making the decision to go for a custom rod Mike has been great about engageing me in any decisions and keeping me in the loop with frequent e-mail updates (with photos). Mike even allowed me to come watch (& drink beer) whenever I had time. Waiting for the rod to be complete has truly made this a special Christmas for me. I am especially proud of the fact that Mike makes nearly all his components. I just picked it up last night and due to holday time constraints haven't had a chance to cast it much less fish it but will happily share those experiences once I do. Everything about this rod is special to me. The fact that it was made for me by my good friend Mike Monsos is the best feature of all! Thanks my friend "Lucky Bob"