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Rod Review

Creature Fever : Avid About St. Croix


Date: 5/9/12
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: St. Croix
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

If you're a regular reader of our site, you know that when it comes to rods and reels, the great majority of my reviews are on the higher end product. It kind of goes with the territory and title of "Enthusiast Tackle Editor". But there comes a time when even I am curious about more affordable alternatives and this is especially true when weighing my options on gear to take with me on travel. See, I've very little trouble purchasing and using top level gear when I know I'll be the only one handling that piece of tackle. But all that goes out the window and into the cargo bay when packing fishing rods for travel.

St. Croix's Avid line is built to strike a nice accord between performance and affordability.

Of course, if there were suitable options available in a multi-piece rod, things would be different, but the fact remains if you want to bring a stick with specific performance specifications with you on that trip of a lifetime, you're going to have to find a way to pack a rod tube.

And when it comes to travel rod options, that's a nice balance upon which to rely.

St. Croix's line of Avid rods may not be first sticks that come to mind when considering one-piece rod options for travel, but these mid-range sticks are built to strike a very nice accord between performance and affordability. I've always been a fan of this company's Legend Elite series of rods, so when it came time for a more sensible alternative to take with me on my most recent trip to the Amazon, looking to the Avid series was an easy decision. Presenting our look at the St. Croix Avid AVC70MHXF.

St. Croix Avid AVC70MHXF Specifications

Material St. Croix SCIII Graphite
Length 7'
Line Wt. 12 - 17lb
Lure Wt. 5/16 - 3/4 oz
Pieces one
Guides 9+tip (Fuji Alconite w/ SS Frames)
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Extra-Fast
Rod Weight 5 ounces
Origin USA
MSRP $180


Impressions: St. Croix has never been afraid to take chances with the cosmetic treatment of their rods. Witness the striking blue color of their Legend Tournament Series, the aggressive styling and graphics of their Mojo rods, and the bright color scheme of the Avid Pearl. The standard Avid series, however, has always been about function over form. This is the blue collar series of St. Croix with no-nonsense full rear and foregrip handles, and very modest thread wraps. Nope, with the Avid rods, it's all about performance.


Introducing St. Croix's AVC70MHXF.

The Lab: But of course, before taking the AVC70MHXF out on the water, we had to put it through our standard barrage of measurements courtesy of our RoD WRACK. Even though this rod was acquired with travel to the Amazon in mind, here at TackleTour, we're always thinking ahead. The AVC70MHXF also fits right into this year's theme of Creature Fever and as such, we plotted its rate of deflection as compared to our baseline rod for this year, G.Loomis's MBR844C GLX.

Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of the AVC70MHXF as compared to our Creature Fever baseline rod, the MBR844C GLX from G.Loomis. You can see that although the Avid is rated as a MH stick, thanks to its extra-fast taper, it has plenty of power behind the tip.

We can see from the chart that even though St. Croix classifies this rod as "medium heavy" powered, it aligns almost perfectly with our baseline demonstrating once again why we go through the trouble or wracking sticks in the first place – because there are no standard performance metrics within the industry for the terms "light, medium, medium heavy, heavy, etc.." when it comes to fishing rods. The final results vary between manufacturers and even between lineups within the same manufacturer depending upon the rods' intended use!

Lab Results for St. Croix Avid AVC70MHXF

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)

Field Tests: Speaking of use, the primary testing grounds for our AVC70MHXF was the Amazon Rainforest and our 2011 Headwaters trip with Adventure Travel Alliance. Here I matched the Avid up with a Shimano Chronarch E7 as well as a Daiwa Z200HL. Back home I fished this rod with a Shimano Scorpion DC7 and again with the afore mentioned Chronarch E7.

A look at St. Croix's interpretation of "extra-fast".

Casting: The AVC70MHXF loads very well on a cast with half ounce jigs as well as wooden plugs that weigh in excess of one ounce. The maximum lure rating on this rod is three quarters of an ounce and judging by how it behaved with a KLures wood chopper, I'd say its rating is very conservative. If you're in the market for this rod, I'd be comfortable with lures up to an ounce.

At home, the AVC70MHXF makes a wonderful stick for pitching creatures.

On the low end of its specification, St. Croix is recommended a minimum lure weight of five sixteenths (5/16) which is one sixteenth over a quarter ounce. The AVC70MHXF's lower end lure rating is more on target although the lowest I went with this rod really was probably about three eights of an ounce. Fished in Creature Fever applications Texas rigging a craw bait with a Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt attached I was able to pitch and cast a Big Bite Bait Company Yo Daddy without a second thought. This stick loads really well on pitching applications.

And of course, in the Amazon, well... the AVC70MHXF is easily Amazon Certified.

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