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Rod Review


 

St. Croix's All Purpose Victory Series Rod

 

Date: 6/23/22
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: St. Croix
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.92 - GOOD

Introduction:
Following on our successful introduction to St. Croix's Victory lineup with the VTS73MXF, we felt it was appropriate to investigate a more well rounded candidate within the same series. This is TackleTour afterall and that Search for One is eternal. Admittedly, that search also means different things to different anglers, but in the category of one rod to handle it all, it's tough to overlook that classic, "medium heavy" specification. On that note, here's a look at St. Croix's Victory VTC73MHF.

 

St. Croix Victory VTC73MHF Specifications

Material SCIII+ - A Combination of SCVI + SCIII fibers
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 14-65lb
Lure Wt. 5/16-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+Tip Fuji Concept O (Aluminum Oxide inserts)
Rear Handle Length 10"
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4 oz
Origin Made in USA
MSRP $190


Introducing St. Croix's Victory VTC73MHF

Impressions: Like the VTS73MXF we previously reviewed, the VTC73MHF is built from a blank rolled with a specific blend of St. Croix's SCVI and SCIII graphite. It is a seven foot, three inch (7'-3") casting rod rated up to a full ounce (1oz) in lure weight and finished with Fuji Concept O guides (stainless steel frames with aluminum oxide inserts).

 


St. Croix installs an EVA foam bridge in the middle of the reel seat

 

The rod's handle configuration is a split rear and no real foregrip. Just an EVA sleeve over the reel seat locking mechanism. The somewhat peculiar characteristic about this rod is the reel seat. St. Croix is using a Fuji split reel seat (SKTS) for this casting rod, but instead of having the exposed blank between the reel seat components, the manufacturer has fashioned an EVA bridge. This bridge matches the diameter of the reel seat in such a way as to make it all feel like one piece. I can think of no other way to describe it other than saying it's odd.


Among the baits used to test the VTC72MHF, Rapala's BX Big Brat

Real World Tests: My job as a tackle tester is to discover these oddities, but fish them with an open mind, so that's exactly what I did. I matched the VTC73MHF with my Abu Garcia Revo EXD spooled with SPRO's new 8x Finesse Braid in gau #2 (~14lb) and a leader of ten pound (10lb) Sunline Maboroshi FC Leader connected via an Albright knot.


This stick comes with a closed loop hook keeper

Casting: Initial casting tests were conducted with the assistance of Rapala's BX Big Brat Squarebill secured to the end of the line. I say secured, because I fished the BX Big Brat on a snap instead of tying to the lure's split ring. Right off the bat, the VTC73MHF felt like a prototypical "medium-heavy" to me in the way it loaded and fired off this three quarter ounce lure. Sometimes, St. Croix sticks can feel more stiff or a step up in power from their rating, but the VTC73MHF was none of that. There was no adjustment period for me to grow accustomed to how this stick loads and unloads during a cast.


Early success with the VTC73MHF

Sensitivity: While I had very good feeling of that squarebill doing it's thing during the retrieve, that task is hardly a test of a graphite rod's sensitivity. If I couldn't feel it, then we'd have a problem, but of course, that was not the case.

Next Section: Sensitvity, Power and Ratings...

 

   

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