research. research. research. Thats all I can say.KNow the tapers you like, paynes or others. Find a builder who build on various styles and cast several. cast the rods feel the actions and decide which one fits your style......then look at the price tags. Walter Babb makes a nice rod and so does GMREEVES. I have cast old orvis cane rods and loved the stroke but hated the weight and I have cast lighter rods that felt like broom handles. So there is a lot to consider. Dont buy off of a certain authers opinion go off what you like .
Romans 10:9-10 KJV