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The octagon makes a good looking stick. I have made a few in the past. The only issue I have with the shape is that the edges are more vulnerable to dings and damage and they are more noticeable than a round shank. The last one did was 50"walnut. I did a separate topper about 1 1/2 " high round dome to mount on the stick. Then I dropped down 2" from the bottom of the topper and rounded off a 8" length down the stick for a black para cord Spiro rap with a Turks head at each end of the rap.Which I did after finishing the stick with Tung oil.
The paracord idea is great! I've done a similar thing with suede lace, although it's probably not resistant to rain.
 
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