This post just gave me a major flashback
. We recently got over a post that had 96 replies. In a nut shell it was started with a query about Sage charging so much and their components looking cheaper.
(most) rod maunfacturers will put the least expensive components on a rod that they can get away with. Why not? The consumer tolerates it so its all good. From cheap reel seat hardware/ inserts, guides, cork, or even the fit and finish every penny saved on on those items is another penny back into the business. It's business... buy low sell high or..... manufacture as low as you can and sell as high as the consumer will tolerate.
Besides building my own Bamboo rods I got into building custom rods so I could put the best on my builds. To me it is better to have a custom XXXX brand rod with top quality components than it is to have same factory XXXX brand rod, that cost more, with components that are not up to my standards. Typically the same warranty as the store bought rod.
To me it's not so much that the components look cheap. It's more that they can be cheap. Cheap guides groove and break, sub-par cork crumbles, reel seats crack, plating flakes off or they corrode and plastic parts break.
Sorry off my soap box now.