I’m not on any Pro Staffs for the reels that I review, but I need to give the disclaimer that I have been on the St. Croix Pro Staff for 14 years. I know many of you probably love using St. Croix rods and I can tell you those of us from Wisconsin love that St. Croix calls “up north” Wisconsin home.
I consider myself fortunate to have been fishing with St. Croix rods for years and in more recent years have spent a great deal of time with the Legend Xtremes and Elites. But, after learning about some of the upgrades on the re-engineered Legend Tournament, I thought I’d give them a try this year. I’ve been so pleased I thought I’d give you my thoughts. The first incarnation of the Legend Tournaments were very nice rods, but for me they were a little heavier than I liked, so when I learned that this re-engineering series was going to be lighter, I took note and decided to give them another try. Also, as some of you know I fish Kalin’s Lunker Grubs on 3/32 and 1/16 ounce jigs and for 2010 and 2011 had been using the 8’ medium-light with telescoping handle to get extra distance on the Kalin’s presentation. It threw the Kalin’s a mile, but at 4.6 ounces just felt too heavy. I actually liked it better sitting in my Wilderness Systems kayaks than standing in the Crestliner Fish Hawk. Last winter when reviewing the rods and the “new” weights, I saw that the 8’ medium-light was changed to a 2-piece with a much reduce weight of 3.8 ounces. I ordered two and have fished this model ton since May 6th. And, as noted in the reel review portion of this article, this rod is now my favorite Kalin’s rod, casting this lure a mile with plenty of backbone for big smallies. For you kayak guys, it’s a “great” kayak rod with the length for long casts and leverage needed while sitting and fishing.
In the review on the WaveSpin reel I talk about wind knots, something we have all dealt with when using small diameter braid/superline. Well, with over all or part of 40 days on the water with the Legend Tournament rods that I have, no wind knots. Is this due to the “new” Fuji K Series tangle-free guides? I think it is. Also, along with St. Croix’s ART and IPC technology, this series now comes with NSi, which stands for Nano Silica resin. This 3M product makes the rods stronger and more durable. You’ll also note a very innovative new reel seat from Fuji for the re-engineered Legend Tournaments. I really like it because it puts your thumb and forefinger right at the point of the blank entering the handle for increase touch and sensitivity, along with being comfortable during hours of fishing. I’ve also been fishing the 7’6” medium-light, 7’6” medium and 7’ light action, along with a couple of the baitcast models. The Legend Tournament Series comes in both Bass and Walleye versions with great pricing from $230 to $270 for a high-end rod with tons of great features.
So, even though I’m still enjoying my Legend Xtreme and Elite rods, I’m now spending more time with the Legend Tournament series, which I highly recommend. Definitely a wish list item. www.stcroixrods.com
By Bill Schultz