Well I'm almost finished with my 17' 4 pc. 11 wt. Thomas and Thomas two hander. I did all the thread work on the top three pieces, and turned the top grip. I used stabilized burl for the ends of the grip and did a variation of checkers in dark and light cork. I used blue cork burl instead of real cork. The reason is that the last cork I got in an attempt to get good stuff still cost me $3.50 a ring and needed fill anyway. This was a lot cheaper and I wanted to do one like this anyway. The photos did not turn out very well as far as color goes, they are more blue than what shows on my monitor anyway.
I'm making the seat downlocking because even though I have a giant reel for this thing, I also have 17' of 11 wt' to balance. Every little bit helps. I have the bottom grip glued up and ready to turn. I'll do it tomorrow. It has the same wood starting against the seat in a mirror image of the other end. It's followed by the same checker variation.
In the top photo, the cork against the wood will match beter when I get the cork seal on it. I did the rest of the grip but did not want to get it on the wood. I'll go back with a smaller brush and fix it. Plus when it dries it will match more closely. It was still wet when I snapped the photo.