Just curious, here. I assume Fender routs a groove in their necks for the truss rod because drilling a straight channel through the neck & then sliding the truss rod in is not cost–effective. Getting the channel lined up straight probably involves a high failure rate, as well. So now they've got these grooves in their necks, with the truss rods placed inside. They fill the grooves with a length of walnut, smooth it out, coat it over, & there's your skunk stripe. What I'm curious about is, why walnut? It seems like most manufacturers would try to match the neck, using a piece of maple. Does Fender feel if you can't match it perfectly, it's better to choose a good–looking, but different, piece of wood, thereby letting the contrast become a style? (Rather than being an obvious, unattractive failed attempt at matching, that is.) Does the skunk stripe offer immediate visual confirmation that there is indeed a truss rod in there? Is there something about walnut that makes it better for the filler job than maple? Is it simply an aesthetic decision? Have they always done it this way? If not, when did they start, & whose idea was it? An idle mind may be the devil's workshop, but the workshop is only turning out innocuous little questions, today.