I just received a shipment of 5 star cork. I plan on using this on the 10 yr rods I am currently working on. Sometimes as builders we become obsessed with things and they don't necessarily have to do with the action of the rods. I have always been a believer is good cork on my fly rods. It makes the whole product look cleaner and better. You really can't buy 5 star cork anymore. The best you can get is Flor and its debatable if it is really Flor grade. However, good cork is hard to find and its expensive.
I have attached some pics of the cork. The top row is the 5 star and the bottom row is the Flor I purchased off the large auction site. Back to the point I was trying to make in the first paragraph. The cost of the grip on the 10 yr rods will be almost 10% of the total cost people paid for the rod. That is ridiculous, but like I said we get hung up on things!