Thanks for the nice comment Ard, here is a pic of the rod with the Cortland reel on it. The owner of the fly shop miscalculated the amount of backing to fill it but I told him that was OK because the type of fish I am expecting to catch probably won't take into the backing. But I may have to go back and get it filled because my OCD is kicking in. I should add that the handle type is new to me but I find it very comfortable.And now a word from the far north ................ Although I seldom take cane rods fishing here Dave I can tell you that I think this is a beautiful fly rod and wish you many a happy day with it. My own small stream bamboo rods rewarded me with some of the most memorable days of my life so I'm pretty sure what lies in store for you.