thanks for all the great info.
Given the fact that the rod is worth about $5 i don't think i would be a wise investment to put too much money in the thing. And I'm sure he will only use it about 6-8 times before he realizes that he wants to pick up some better equipment. But if a replacement cork isn't too much that might be the best idea. Might be fun to give it a shot.
anybody know of any websites where I can find replacement cork handles?