Hi John, Hi Bill
Buy used, that's what I did
I would have to be being paid a lot of money to fish before spending 900 dollars on a rod. The first owner had problems handling the rod and I can understand why. Having not cast since last October I was a bit rough around the edges but got control by keeping things short until I got the feel of the extra 2 feet of rod and the softer action. I can only imagine what happened if the original owner was buying this as a first Spey rod. I was told that the rod was purchased for a trip to Alaska to fish for salmon. From that I can guess it was loaded with a sink tip and a great big fly maybe even with some weight. That would be a nightmare unless you had pretty well mastered casting with a floating line and weightless flies before experimenting with the depth charge rigs
I think my guess is pretty close to what happened because when I received the rod I found it in like new condition, no soiling on the cork, no scuffs on the reel seat or hardware, but..................
The tip and the second section had some gnarly nasty chips on them from being hit with weighted flies or whatever. I had paid 425 for the rod with shipping so I quickly contacted the seller about returning it. The seller was willing to take it back, said he didn't know about the chips
He was also conducive to my contacting Winston about the problem and willing to work with me because if it needed repair he would have to do it anyway............
I took some careful macro photographs and sent them to the winston rod repair shop. They told me to fix them with flex coat and not to worry. I managed to find a matching paint to color the flex coat with (remember one of these was gnarly, at the ferrule wrap) and after a slow build in the crevice created by the chip I finished it off using my little rod turner and a topcoat. You would need me to direct your eye directly to the repairs in order to find them now. The seller refunded me $40 for my labor & materials (what I ask for) making this a 385 dollar Winston Spey rod so I'll live with that until I have out grown the rod. When that day comes I'll probably keep it because at 14 & 1/4 ounces these will not become more popular
So that's the story behind the pictures, nothing in my life comes off easy but I keep on plugging away.