Works of art are always more expensive. As you stated its a tool that serves a purpose. At least if you drop or snap the maxcatch you won't cry.I think you just have to be realistic in your expectations. Of course the Maxcatch rods aren't going to be as carefully put together as a rod costing ten times the price.
Here is a picture showing the cork and bindings on my two Maxcatch ultralites vs a more expensive rod (L):
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and close ups of the bindings:
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The Maxcatch cork has plenty of filler, and the bindings don't look as pretty.
The question is, are you buying a tool or a work of art?
The other thing you can see in the top picture is the Maxcatch corks are stained with use, the other cork still has the plastic on even though it is older. Simply put, I use the Maxcatch rods all the time. The 3# has caught hundreds of fish.
If you can afford a good looking, well designed rod, from a local tackle dealer, then you should absolutely buy it. If you are just starting out, or need a knock about rod to keep in the car, then Maxcatch is amazing value for money.
You can leave about 1mm max, but even his rods that he build goes to the end it seemsBeautiful rod. But the notion that the whipping does not go right to the end is a cosmetic issue involving no danger of "splitting."
David Norwich, a renowned and master rod builder for many, many years, stated that whippings at the joints were for purely cosmetic reasons NOT to strengthen the female or male joints. Modern carbon, he argued, had all the strength it needed around these joints in the weave of the carbon cloth alone.
Enjoy...Well, bit the bullet after my 2nd order (fly lines from Maxcatch went missing), and I ordered 3 spools for the 2 Avid reels I had purchased on my 1st order.
Order arrived today, but instead of 3 Avid spools they have sent me 1 Avid reel,
Now it's more emails.. bah humbug