I bought several St. Croix Pro Graphite rods when they were discontinued around 2002. They all had full wells grips, and the 7'6" 4wt had the same grip and reel seat as the 9' 6wt. I began sanding the grip down, and that revealed a ton of voids on the inside nearly every ring. It was amazing that St. Croix was able to cut these rings to hide the fact that 1/8" below the surface, the cork was worse than swiss cheese. It was a Made in USA rod that sold for $80-$95 full retail, so I forgave them and bought a new grip and reel seat for $25--a VERY nice grip and reel seat BTW. Just a heads up on what you might encounter with cork.