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Rod Review


St. Croix's 8'8" Legend Glass : What's the Dealio? (continued)

Needing to eliminate the stretch in my line to isolate the casting performance of the rod, I dug through Zander's stash of line on his boat and found a 71 yard spool of Sunline JDM Stuter braid. Only 71 yards? Seriously? I stripped off some, but not all of the mono, tied a connection knot and wound the entire spool of this 55lb line onto my Bantam MGL. Now I was ready.

But that trigger is pretty big.

I retied with the original bait I used to begin the tests, reared up for a cast and voila - the Super DD Crank flew through the air to a spot much more commensurate with the rod's length nearly spooling my Bantam MGL. A reel with slightly more line capacity may be a better match if distance is your primary concern..

Guides are K-Series SS frames with Alconite inserts by Fuji.

Sensitivity: Today's glass rods are much better at transmitting vibrations and giving you a feel for what's going on at the end of the line. Certainly they're still a ways off from a quality graphite cranking stick, but it's difficult to make a cranking stick with the same buttery feel of fiberglass when a fish is at the end of the line. The LGC88HM's has that typical, modern glass feel to it.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
St. Croix Legend Glass LGC88HM against our cranking rod averages

Power: Aside from affecting the length of your cast, an 8'8" rod also gives you leverage. Normal sized fish (anything to about 3 or 4 pounds) really don't stand much of a chance against this stick. However, that leverage can go both ways when you have a crazy, hard pulling, beast at the end of the line. It takes some getting used to working such a long rod around the boat once your catch gets close.

The very minimal butt end of our LGC88HM.

Design & Ergonomics: It's a foregone conclusion that a rod of this length is going to be tip heavy. It's also pretty much a given that a glass rod of this length going to be heavy. The LGC88HM is both but surprisingly, not really a burden to hold and fish.

The difficulty with this stick, again, goes back to the casting. The extra "oomph" it takes to swing that tip around and launch your bait comes at a price and your shoulder, elbow, and/or wrist may feel the affects after a few hours. For me, it was my shoulder. I couldn't fish this stick for more than half an hour or so at a time before needing to take a break.

Lab Results for St. Croix Legend Glass LGC88HM

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
St. Croix Legend Glass LGC88HM
Shallow Crank Avg
Medium Crank Avg
Deep Crank Avg

Because the LGC88HM's blank is so wide in diameter, the rod's reel seat is quite large as well with a correspondingly large trigger. The rear grip is a split design and made from good quality cork and the guides are stainless steel framed, Fuji Alconites (K-series).

The LGC88HM is part of St. Croix's top end cranking rod lineup but retails for under $300 at $270.

Price & Applications: St. Croix offers four lines of crankbait rods, two of which are based off of glass blanks. The other two series are built from graphite blanks. Their Legend Glass cranking sticks are, of course, their top end offering, yet for a flagship cranking rod, the price is still under $300 (ranging from $249 - $270 depending on the model). The LGC88HM specifically, carries with it a retail price of $270. For some, anything over $150 for a cranking stick is too much, but those who can appreciate the refinement of St. Croix's "Legend" offerings can easily understand the draw that label represents.


St. Croix Legend Glass LGC88HM Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality St. Croix seldom disappoints in the build quality of their "Legend" sticks and the Legend Glass is no exception 10
Performance Matching this stick with the right reel and line is critical 7.5
Price On the high end for glass, but not so bad considering it's a Legend 7
Features Linear glass blank, good quality components in general 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Not your typical cranking stick. That extra length requires a period of adjustment 7.5
Application Good choice for a variety of moving bait situations where you want to cover a lot of water 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:


+ Extra length = extra distance (when matched with the proper line) - More difficult to manage than anticipated
+ St. Croix Legend build quality  
+ That buttery feel of glass  


Conclusion: St. Croix's Legend Glass LGC88HM is not a stick you can just pick up, match with any reel and line, tie on a bait and have at it. It's a pretty specialized tool that takes careful consideration and time to grow into and it's all because of that extra length. It will launch baits a good distance if you're using a low stretch line like braid. It will cause a little wear and tear on your elbow and shoulder just from the torque of handling such a long stick. But it will also open up water you may not have been able to reach casting your bait on a "normal" length rod from the front or back of the boat. If you like to kneel and reel, you can push your line deeper into the water. If you like the length and taper of a cranking stick for your punching, the LGC88HM is actually a viable candidate.


The LGC88HM is an obvious choice for deep cranks, but of course, capable of so much more.


For me, I actually like sticks like this for tossing baits like Megabass's Vatalion, Bull Shad's BullGill (5"), Jackall's Gantarel Jr., Ima's Glide Fluke 125. I thought the LGC88HM would make a good stick for a double bladed buzzbait like Picasso's Din-R-Bell, but it's difficult to be accurate with baits that can sail on you when using a rod of this length. In the end, the LGC88HM is more than just an obvious deep cranking stick and if you take the time to condition yourself to the rod's length, it can open up some new water for you to explore.


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