Interesting discussion! I'm not a rod builder, but there does seem to be a push towards lighter weights with all types of rods. These questions & discussions about weight come up on bass fishing sites where most are using spinning or baitcasting rods, on surf sites for both spinning & conventional gear, and even when folks are discussing trolling rods.
The general thought is that lighter rods not only weigh less, and that lessens fatigue for the angler, but are also more "sensitive".
What you all are discussing seems to me to be cumulative weight added to a rod based on the components. I'm sure the same would be true for other types of rods as well.
So far, I've yet to get concerned about actual weight of any rod I own. I even use some surf rods that are fiberglass & some of my trolling rods are solid fiberglass. They're relatively heavy, but I won't stop fishing with them, or go looking for the latest, greatest in lighter weight rods to replace them, primarily because they still work fine for me & replacing them would be costly. I've yet to see a real fatigue factor. Sure, I get tired after a long day of fishing, but hey, not like I get after a long day at work! Huge difference!
I have to wonder, even with the technology being what it is today, how much weight variance is there between blanks of the same model rod, since I'm sure there would be some in the manufacturing process. This would mean that not all of the same model/size rod blanks are "identical" as is being said here. So, how much variance in weight would you actually get if a blank is on one side of that variance range, and you add the components, then compare to another of the same rod with the same components, then again compare with the different components being discussed here? Is it a difference of grains, grams, ounces or pounds? Is it enough that the average user could tell the difference when handling each rod?
I'm also wondering if anglers have become a bunch of wusses, or if there is a real advantage to having the lightest rod of any style, and not just a perceived advantage?
If you told an angler a rod weighed "X" but it really weighed more or less, would he/she know or could tell the difference if they have nothing else to compare it to?
Is rod weight a "real" concern or a bunch of mind games we play to convince ourselves of why it will help make us better at fishing?