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Complete ICAST 2016
Coverage

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Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel Review
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Kistler Rods Magnesium 2 Review
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DUO Realis Onimasu Swimbait Review
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First Look Inside Shimano's New Compact Curado
 


 


Rod Review

 

St. Croix Ups the Travel Gear Ante with Legend Trek (continued)

Features: As mentioned earlier, the LTC76HF comes with a full rear grip and foregrip made of good quality cork. The filler is not extensive and seems to hold in well after a couple of uses. The rod's guides are by Kigan and feature their tangle-free design with titanium frames with zirconia inserts. The rod's reel seat is an exposed blank Fuji ECS reel seat so even though this is a beefy stick, the smaller reel seat helps to lessen that impression and make it easier and more comfortable to grasp the rod. The rod's hook keeper is also by Kigan and is their double, closed loop design - not the open ended version.


The rod's grip is of good quality cork.

One of the coolest features of this rod and no doubt a factor in its overall cost is the case within which it comes. It is a rigid plastic case covered in a durable nylon material featuring a nylon handle and soft nylon divers inside to separate the rod's 3 pieces. The case's lid is secured with a nylon buckle strap. The case measures thirty four and a half inches (34.5") in length and should easily fit in the overhead compartment in any commercial airliner.


Not entirely necessary, the rod's case has a carrying strap.

Features Ratings for St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
4
3
5
20
25
8.0


Inside the case are dividers to define three separate sections - one for each piece of the rod.

Design/Ergonomics: For how big and powerful the LTC76HF is, it actually compares quite favorably against our 2008 All Purpose Swimbait Rod Average when it comes to weight. Where it falters is in balance - it's difficult to make a multi-piece stick that's also balanced. The LTC76HF balances at twelve inches (12") above the midline of the reel seat which actually isn't that bad, but it's balancing torque of 0.44ftlbs is closer to our Heavy Hitters SB average than the All Purpose.


The butt end is capped off with an EVA butt end.

Lab Results for St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF
1.10
Fast
6.7
12
0.44
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.46
--
6.45
7.8
--
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.18
--
8.49
6.68
0.26
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg
0.84
--
8.03
11.63
0.53


Normally travel rods with this length and power have a massive reel seat. The LTC76HF has a standard, Fuji ECS real seat - so much more comfortable!

Otherwise, the rod's grip is pretty standard issue with no special contours or bulges - just a straight cork rear trip. The rod's dark blue color with lighter blue thread wraps and silver thread highlights is very clean and understated. This rod as a super clean, and sophisticated, if not conservative, aesthetic.


We're beginning to see this Kigan hook keeper and its open ended sibling on a lot of different rods.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
2
4
13
20

6.5


The LTC76HF is a wonderful all purpose big bait rod.

Application: It's obvious this sticks applicability extends beyond bass fishing, but that's all we're able to score it against today, because that's the capacity in which we actually used the rod. Yet it actually has a lot of utility where bigger baits are concerned. For example, this stick would make an excellent choice for an old school Alabama Rig, Carolina rigging, throwing a Lunker Punker, dragging a Huddleston bait along the bottom, or swimming a glide bait back to the boat after a super long cast. Again, if you need a big bait stick to take with you on that next trophy bass destination, this stick will suit most of your needs.


One more, super clean detail before the end of this article.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
5
5
4
21
25
8.4

Ratings:

St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very clean, multi-piece build 8.42
Performance Fishes like a one piece and that's all you can ask for with a travel rod 8.8
Price Quite possibly the most expensive travel rod option I've seen to date, but given the rod's components, case and fishability, a good price for this stick 7
Features Really good components and an excellent carrying/travel case 8.0
Design (Ergonomics) You have to give up something with a multi-piece rod and in the case of this one, it's balance 6.5
Application In bass fishing terms, a really good all purpose big bait stick 8.4

Total Score

7.85
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:

Plus

Minus
+ A three piece stick that fishes like a one piece - Tip heavy
+ Carrying case works well to protect your rod and fits into overhead compartments - No marks at the ferules to aid in aligning each piece
+ Rod features a clean aesthetic with quality components  

 

Conclusion: When given the choice, one-piece sticks are always my preference, but when travel enters the equation, this priority is quickly shifted. There's no bigger hassle when traveling to a fishing destination than the quandary over what to do with your rods, and a compromise always has to be made. If you choose to stick with one piece sticks, you sacrifice extra luggage fees and the security in knowing your rods will: 1) arrive to your destination; 2) arrive to your destination undamaged. If you choose to go with a multi-piece rod you usually sacrifice quality, components, or aesthetic - sometimes all three.

 


This travel rod will cost you, but at least you don't have to worry about questionable workmanship and stare at inferior components, so you can concentrate on fishing!

 

St. Croix attacks this challenge straight on with their Legend Trek series of travel rods featuring the legendary St. Croix build, quality components, and nice clean aesthetics. The LTC76HF, once assembled, fishes like a one-piece stick save for the rod's balance. It'll cost you, and if you're bringing multiple sticks, you need to figure out a larger case to carry multiple rods, but at least you don't have to worry about questionable workmanship and stare at inferior components while you're fishing. Thank you St. Croix for addressing a missing niche in the market.

 

Looking for a St. Croix Legend Trek LTC76HF?

Try Monster Fishing Tackle!!

 


 

 

 

 

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