I finally finished the rod and got it out fishing last weekend, as you probably already know.
I was slightly disappointed in the final product after getting the finish on the rod. The light gray I chose for the trim wraps was meant to compliment the light pewter color anodized reel seat. And I am happy overall with the colors. But the tags of the gray NCP thread's bands are clearly visible under the nylon wraps. That bummed me out ... until I went to the shop and looked at some $700+ Loomis rods that had the same look, only sloppier. The tags of their trim wraps where long, inconsistent and plain bad. So then I felt a better about my job.
Though I used "flor grade" cork there were inevitable pits. I used Elmer's wood filler as recommended by more that one person but it is far too light and doesn't match the cork. I am hoping it will soil with use.
Other than that, I am pleased with the finish. I used Thread Master Lite for first time and appreciated all the qualities and characteristic they tout: easy mixing, long pot life, very little air bubble issues and great crystal clear finish. I focused on making a smooth, even surface by hand rotating the rod every 20 minutes or so while watching for sags and brushing them out, then rotating 180 degrees and waiting again. After a few reps of that I let it turn overnight.
Insights and critiques are welcome and encouraged! I am still learning quite a bit after this, my 5th rod.
The light trim band tags can be seen here on the guide wrap: