You cant have it both ways. On one hand you say that you burst my bubble which is another way saying that your wrong. Then on the other hand you admit the handle is a 600 series graphite which makes it not 100% factory which falls under the category of frankensteined. Though one could argue the minor technicality.Hate to burst your bubble, but spoke to the seller, and this reel was as produced at Valley Mfg. other than the handle changed out to a 600 series graphite. Big tip for you all is the reel has the 5 stack drag and to plain bars that Keith produced for thi reel. The plastic reel base was narrowed to 2".
On my own 521 I replaced the plastic reel base with a narrowed aluminum, and removed the top post and installed threaded inserts at the top of the inside cage rings.
For $860. it should be 100% factory and better be signed by Carl N himself!