Re: Inserts: wood vs. graphite
I don't build fly rods but if I did I would use wood on all my trout rods. I simply love the look of a fine piece of wood surrounded by polished nickel. I'm actually dismayed at some of the new trout rods and the reel hardware that has been put on them, such as the new Sage One and the awful reel seat on the Hardy with that woven look.
One of my Sage LL's - an older 389-2 with GII blank has a downlocking slip ring wooden reel seat. I love that look. My first fly rod was two slip rings on cork, which holds a special place for me, although I don't own any now.