Originally Posted by nick k
If I build a rod myself, will it perform the same as a factory rod of the same blanks, just look different? Or can building a rod yourself change its performance?.
Depends on the factory rod. Like Sage, who builds on straightest visual line, if you build it on the spine yours should perform better than theirs. If it's a factory that builds on the spine, then there should be no difference. Even if you built it on straightest visual line as Sage does, it would not matter for at least 95% of casters.
There is also things like the size of the guides, and there is some debate on how that effects it. Larger guides are thought to reduce friction on the line and get you more distance, but larger guides effect how the blank behaves. I don't think it effects it in any significant way myself, especially in the bottom half or better of the rod. I think you gain more than you lose by not using tiny snake guides. Most of this stuff tends be way overthought.
I'd buy the parts sepererate unless you see a kit that has everything exactly like you want it. The odds of that are pretty slim. The whole idea of building it yourself is so that it's the way you want it, not how the guy that tossed the kit together thought most people would settle for.