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Rod Review


St. Croix Delivers Value in our Search for One with the BXC71MHF (continued)

Sensitivity: It's a good thing I tied on the Vatalion too because on that day of testing, I wanted to use a jig to evaluate the BXC71MHF's sensitivity but the bite simply wasn't on for jigs. With the Vatalion, I was surprised I could feel the bait's clumsy swimming motion through the BXC71MHF which made it easy when a fish actually struck the lure. Additionally, I was able to discern between an actual fish strike or when the bait ticked and caught a weed. I was really surprised.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
St. Croix BassX BXC71MHF against our 2010 The Search For One baseline rods.

Power: Power-wise, for a seven foot stick, the BCX71MHF lines up quite well with our deflection curve from 2010 of our GLX2000, a 6'-6" medium heavy powered stick. Which means it has more backbone than our MBR843C, so the stick is definitely on the heavier side of our typical "medium heavy". It certainly had more than enough backbone to set hook with the Vatalion and still enough give to make the battle enjoyable.

Checking out the rod's tip.

Design & Ergonomics: Ergonomically, the BCX71MHF is relatively light at only 4.9 ounces, but tip heavy with a balancing point of 9.5 inches above the mid-line of the reel seat and a balancing torque of 0.27ftlbs (as opposed to 0.19 for our 2010 Search For One average of 26 different sticks). For tip down techniques, this naturally is a non issue, but in cases where you're trying to keep your rod tip higher, the BCX71MHF can be more fatiguing than average.

The rod's logo is a bit large and uncharacteristic of St. Croix, however, its colors are not garish and after fishing the stick for a time, you actually forget its even there.

Stylistically, the BCX71MHF is pretty typical of St. Croix and that's understated - except for the rod's logo. Bass X is spelled out in big, bold letters on the blank just above the reel seat, but even though the graphics are big, the colors of the logo are somewhat understated so after the initial hit, the log is pretty easy to disregard.

Guides are a no-name brand with aluminum oxide inserts and stainless steel frames.

Lab Results for St. Croix BassX BXC71MHF

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
St. Croix BassX BXC71MHF
MBR783C GLX2000
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

There's also a closed loop hook hangar just above the reel seat.

Price & Applications: Bass X represents St. Croix's latest value priced series of rods. Most, including the BXC71MHF are priced at an even $100 and given how well it performed, this series provides an excellent value overall for anyone looking to break into the sport or fill out an arsenal without breaking the bank. The BXC71MHF itself is suitable for a wide range of applications and is an excellent Search for One candidate.


St. Croix BassX BXC71MHF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Even at this price, St. Croix's commitment to a good, clean build is evident 9
Performance Perfectly rated and surprisingly sensitive for a rod at its price point 9
Price An excellent overall value 9
Features Nothing too exciting component wise 7
Design (Ergonomics) A bit tip heavy 6
Application Excellent Search for One candidate 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Really good value - Tip Heavy
+ More sensitive than I expected  
+ St. Croix quality + a 5 yr warranty  

The BXC71MHF is more powerful than a typical "medium heavy" but also more sensitive than I'd have thought for a rod at this price point.

Conclusion: St. Croix continues to add to their legacy quality products with their brand new Bass X series of rods. The BXC71MHF was a surprisingly good performer especially when matched with the Quantum Smoke S3 casting reel, and I was really surprised to remember this stick retails for only $100. It is a bit more tip heavy than I'd prefer, but this aspect is easy to overlook when you consider its overall value. Relatively light, good casting and pitching performance, and surprisingly sensitive, the BXC71MHF is a worthy Search For One candidate at any price point.


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