Hello, Crappiedude, & welcome to the Club's Forums. I'll bet when they mention Wal-Mart, they can't say they got a rod just like the one you built!
How are you, Troutchaser? You are about to open yourself up to a whole new world. There is NOTHING like the feeling of catching fish on a rod you've built... or rebuilt. You have a much more intense feeling when you haul that first fish in with something you've created with your own hands than you get with any store-bought stick. And you always get the exact rod you want this way, too. To me, it's always been a lot more fun, & adds a whole new dimension to the sport. Enjoy, my friend, enjoy.
Keep the line fresh, the hooks sharp, and have fun fishing. God bless you. -Sonny, Life Member since 2002