Since you are completely new to rod building, I doubt if you have access to a lathe that you can turn cork on. As your first build, I would recommend that you buy a kit, with blank, preformed grips, and guides, then all you will need is thread, glue, finish and time. I would recommend one of the less expensive blanks to start with. Get some practice wrapping thread on a dowel or scrap rod blank until you are able to make nice tight wraps. Then practice your finish application on the same wraps before you try it on a rod you obviously would like to turn out nice. Practice and experience can do wonders!!