You can start as close or as far away from the end as you want to. The only thing that it will change is how it looks. Some small blanks, however, might be affect by longer over wraps (as well as under wraps) because you are adding to the hoop strength of the blank and bascially making it thicker. This should rarely be a problem, just make sure that it looks good. Tight lines.
Fencer have to disagree with on point if you are referring to really light blanks the addition of an underwrap will not increase hoop strength strength it will just add weight no extra strength it might make the rod look better but at times could reduce the rods performance.
I think that you are right, possibly it is more the weight issue rather than hoop strength. Although I have had some complaints about fly rods have a poor action because of an overwrap that is too long. This could be a weight issue, but at the time it seemed that the person felt there were dead spots at the tip. It wasn't a rod that I had built so I couldn't say exactly how long the wraps were. Weight would probably be more of a problem on a regular basis though.
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