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ICAST 2011 Coverage

St. Croix Introduces New Rods with Neoprene Skin, Micro Guides, and More

Date: 7/27/2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Manufacturer: St. Croix Rods
Reviewer: JIP

Each and every year St. Croix introduces new rods that address specific applications, and while the company has a wealth of offerings they all look and feel like they are all from the same family. The St Croix family of rods are among the most hi-tech and consistent sticks on the market. Not only do they continue to design and manufacture their own blanks they also boast one of the most robust rod test labs in the U.S.


Introducing the new St Croix Rage Rods


Rage: This season there was a big gap between the Avid and the Mojo Bass Series rods. The popular Mojo Bass continues to grow in popularity but there was just something missing in the line... this is where the new Rage rods come into play.


A neoprene skin handle on the Rage series


The Rage rod isn't a low end rod at all, instead it makes use of some interesting new materials. The Rage utilizes a more sensitive, high-modulus SC III blank compared to Mojo's SC II. Also, the new St Croix rod uses their IPC technology when manufacturing this new Rage series.


Showing the core and neoprene skin


Precision machined core wrapped in the skin


St Croix took a slightly different approach with this micro-guided rod by downsizing the stripper guide, but not reducing it to the micro size, thereby allowing for improved line flow. The Rage rods feature Pac Bay Minima stainless-steel ring micro guides that provide a 20-30% weight savings over ceramic guides, and will not crack, break or groove even with braided line. The Pac Bay Minima reel seats deliver maximum blank exposure with a weight savings of 10-20% on the spinning models and 30% on the casting rods.


Reduced size guides are used but not micro guides


To top it all off the Rage rods get a unique handle with a neoprene grip material and a precision machined core material for improved comfort and sensitivity without adding extra weight to the overall rod.



The Rage series consists of 12 casting and 5 spinning models with prices ranging from $150-$170, and each rod includes a 5 year limited warranty and the entire series will be available this August.


An example of a Rage series spinning rod 


Legend Tournament Bass: The technique specific Legend Tournament Bass rods have been redefined to make them even better. This new lineup, 18 casting and 7 spinning, are built on completely re-engineered mandrels designed with St Croix’s proprietary Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) tooling technology. The blanks combine high-modulus/high-strain SCIV graphite with NSi (Nano Silica) resin – a proprietary Matrix Resin from 3M that significantly increases strength and durability with no change to the weight. The new rods are further strengthened with Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART).


The Improved Legend Tournament Bass


“The re-engineered Legend Tournament Bass rods represent the state-of-the-art in spinning and casting rod design,” explained Jeff Schluter, St. Croix’s vice president of marketing and sales. “We’ve improved our very popular series by increasing the quality while maintaining a similar price. The blanks are newly designed and feature innovative
3M™ Matrix Resin which we call NSi for a 30% increase in strength. In addition, guides are updated to Fuji® K Series Tangle-Free with Alconite® rings in smaller sizes to reduce tip mass and we’ve added Fuji’s new SK2™ split reel seat for the ultimate in lightweight and sensitivity. The result is a series on the cutting edge in regards to smooth casting power, lightweight balance, extreme sensitivity, rugged durability and striking appearance.”


Fuji K series tangle-free guide frames with Alconite rings


The newly redesigned rods also feature the new Fuji SK2 reel seat


Legend Tournament Bass rods also feature split-grip/super-grade cork handles, machined-aluminum winding checks and trim pieces, and Flex-Coat slow cure thread finish. These technique specific rods will come backed with St Croix's lifetime limited warranty. They will retail for $230 - $270 and be available August 2011.


The new spinning reel seat from Fuji


Panfish: St Croix has developed a complete line of high-performance ultra-light and light-powered spinning rods designed specifically for fishing crappie, bluegill and other small game fish species. The new collection, appropriately named the Panfish Series, includes two design platforms from which to choose. The first consists of 5 spinning rods up to 7' in ultra-light and light powers with precise, crisp actions. The second features 4 spinning rods from 8'-11' with light powers and moderate-fast actions.


A new series of Panfish rods


Specifications made for fun fishing


These premium rods feature blanks built with a combination of SCII graphite and high-modulus/high-strain SCVI graphite for optimal weight, sensitivity and balance. Outfitted with Pac Bay Minima guides that provide greater sensitivity and a 20-30% weight savings over ceramic guides, the new Panfish Series come with premium-grade cork handles and Pac Bay Minima reel seats for improved sensitivity and comfort. The Panfish Series retails from $100-$180 and available this September.


Pac Bay Minima reel seat with custom insert for improved sensitivity and comfort


Conclusion: Leave it to St. Croix to once consistently deliver exciting new offerings. This year they introduced new rods based on new processes, materials, and all with unique yet familiar St. Croix characteristics. The Rage Series looks like a great workhorse series rod that features a sensitive and responsive blank along with the IPC tooling technology. The redefined Legend Tournament Bass rods now have reduced guides instead of micros, still giving anglers plenty of the benefits without some of the sacrifices. It was also great to see the company specifically address Panfish applications with a specific series designed for finesse fishing for these small yet aggressive fish.










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