I was fortunate to get mine as a gift. I still can't spey cast it properly, but I can do a reasonable decent job throwing heads overhead. If I was just starting out and needed a rod I would build one. One of the east coast catalog/net shops has Batson Forecast complete spey rod kits on sale for $85-100 depending on length & line wt. Use it to learn on and then upgrade to a better rod when your skills improve. Just like in golf. You're better off spending a few bucks on cheap clubs and take lessons from a good pro than dropping 2 grand on a set of new Calloway's and just hacking your way around the course.