I found out this year the value of an 8 foot rod (vs. a 7') when casting jigs. I was on a 7 day trip on the Excel and I was working twice as hard to get 20 yards less distance than my bud who was using an 8' rod. So I vowed to get one wrapped before my trip next year. Now, I will use this rod once per year so it probably doesn't make sense to get the absolute best components but I don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish. So help me pick out the components from the blank to the guides to the reel seat and even whether to use a gimble or not. This rod will be used primarily as a jig rod but will need to be a backup for bait. Thanks in advance for your help.