St. Croix is an ambitious brand that seems to compete primarily by providing novel solutions to perpetual problems in fishing, focusing on innovation to lead the way.
However, these days, there are shrinkingly few major issues that fishing manufacturers need to address with the only real drive of the industry to improve.
St Croix has a bit of a built-in advantage in that the company almost specializes in innovation, but it’s applied a bit unevenly which makes one St Croix model wildly more capable than another.
Often this depends more on the market of the St Croix fishing pole more than anything else.
As such, you’ll find low and mid-tier St Croix fishing pole models relatively unimpressive as they tend to use the same technology and specs as their competitors.
But for high-tier models, like the St Croix Avid casting rod, the company puts all of its philosophy behind it to produce a top-performing professional baitcasting fishing pole.
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
Despite the fact that the St Croix Avid casting pole has no fiberglass in its composition, it still manages to deliver solid durability all-around and exceptional durability for graphite.
This strength mainly comes down to the type of graphite used as well as the manufacturing process to make the graphite itself.
One thing that might seem a tad odd, given the company’s origin, is the fact that it only comes in one-piece models.
Granted, this seems almost necessary for a graphite rod, and the Avid series also helps out a little bit by limiting its maximum length to only 7’0”– but that can still be tricky to transport if you don’t have much cargo space.
As mentioned prior, the St Croix Avid casting fishing pole tops out at 7’0”, but that doesn’t mean that this rod limits your length options– something that would be distinctly average.
Instead, this fishing rod offers more options within a shorter range that impact the rod’s capabilities and versatility.
While 7’0” might be a bit tricky, even fishermen with compact cars should have little to no difficulty transporting a 6’2” pole– assuming the car can fit a 6’0” person in it.
With lengths of 6’0”, 6’2”, 6’6”, 6’8”, 6’9”, and 7’0” to choose from, you should be able to find the rod with the right set of specs that isn’t a pain to transport.
This is one of the areas where St Croix has historically performed well, both in comparison to other brands as well as internally, regularly innovating within this realm.
While the St Croix Avid baitcasting fishing rod may not necessarily break new ground in terms of its materials, it still utilizes some of the best materials on the market.
The blank, for instance, uses high-modulus SCIII graphite which is comparable to an IM7 graphite, so you don’t have to worry, in general.
However, the blank is still made entirely out of graphite, so you shouldn’t expect it to withstand the kind of abuse you could put a fiberglass rod through.
Beyond the blank, this pole uses a “select-grade” cork for the handle, the grade being an internal designation that is better than your basic cork but still not the best.
Likewise, the company pays attention to the guides and inserts as well, using high-quality Fuji aluminum-oxide and also slowly cures two coats of a Flex-Coat seal.
As a professional-grade model, you expect the St Croix Avid baitcasting rod to offer a little bit more spec options than most.
Thankfully, this pole does just that, however, it still focuses more on the quicker actions, which falls in line with the market trend– and the approach may leave some flaws in the overall design and experience.
Specifically, this casting fishing rod comes in Extra fast, fast, and moderate actions which is a bit unusual in that it skips the moderate-fast action altogether.
That said, this series of rods only offers two moderate action options, so the primary focus is on fast and extra fast actions which has some implications.
First, the focus on quicker actions means that this rod is a bit more sensitive than you might otherwise expect, and it casts with greater accuracy, already boosted by shorter lengths.
However, this also has the effect of doubling a flaw of the St. Croix Avid series which has shorter casting distances– and no other feature or spec accounts for this.
This is another area where the St Croix Avid baitcasting pole meets the reasonable expectations you might have for a moderately expensive option.
While the range is not as broad as you might prefer, the options of medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy should provide enough wiggle room to find your best fit.
It’s worth noting that despite using an entirely graphite blank, this rod still provides plenty of backbone when reeling in the fish.
On top of that, most of the spec configurations hover between the medium and medium-heavy power ranges, ensuring that it won’t be too stiff but still able to stand up to plenty of fight or pull out of a snag.
Though not to exclusion, many of the St Croix Avid rod’s different features skew it towards being more sensitive than not.
Granted, this is all-around a good thing, but also comes with the downsides that this pole doesn’t cast as far as comparable competition and isn’t the most durable– though it’s still fairly durable.
However, the predominantly fast and extra-fast actions of this rod definitely help increase the sensitivity.
That said, the SCIII high-modulus graphite does more than its fair share of lifting to provide an extremely delicate touch while the Fuji reel seats even foster the transfer of vibration through the reel as well.
More often than not, you don’t worry about the taper of a rod except to tell you its action, but the St Croix Avid casting pole uses Integrative Poly Curve tooling technology.
This is a manufacturing process that allows the graphite of the blank to bend and transfer smoother during the cast.
As arguably the second most important part of any rod, regardless of its type or configuration, the St Croix Avid pole doesn’t disappoint in this area either.
Employing Alconite, one of the best all-around rod guide materials on the market, this rod covers all of your bases, freeing you up to use whatever type of line you prefer.
This versatility comes from Alconite’s ceramic composition that is durable enough to handle the cutting force of a braided line without breaking and the smoothness of aluminum-oxide.
The slim ferrules and Fuji Concept Guide System help reduce the weight, increase the guide’s durability, and prevent tangles.
Uses (Who is this good for)
Just by examining the St Croix Avid fishing rod and all of its different components and specs, you’d be forgiven for assuming that this pole is a great option for pretty much everyone.
While, on the surface, that’s mostly true, it belies the realities for a lot of fishermen in both a material and practical way.
For the material pitfalls, there’s just no getting around the fact that this casting fishing pole is an expensive option whose high-end performance comes with a consummate high-end price tag.
Secondarily, this rod is also a fair bit more advanced than a beginning fisherman is liable to be able to make heads or tails of– many of its features will go unused or unappreciated.
As such, only those fishermen who both are willing to invest some serious cash and have enough ability and experience to make full use of the rod’s features should buy it.
Thankfully, this baitcasting pole offers more than enough justification for an experienced fisherman to do so, providing an extremely capable product that can both specialize or generalize as needed.
Regardless of the “tier” or quality of the rod, for the price of the St Croix Avid pole, you expect a pretty substantial warranty to safeguard your investment.
St Croix doesn’t disappoint in this department, providing a 15-year, transferable warranty which allows you to include the warranty as part of the product if you choose to resell it or give it to someone at a later date.
From a bird’s eye view, the St Croix Avid casting rod is clearly a top-tier option that covers pretty much every part and component of the pole with a high-quality approach.
This is great in the sense that it ensures all aspects of the rod are equally capable and significantly better than most, if not all, of the competition.
However, this also comes with the drawback that “you get what you pay for,” and St Croix is not ashamed to demand a high price for a superior product.
As such, even though this rod would work well for beginners, it may not be the best entry point into the hobby as the investment is too much for someone who’s yet to develop a passion for the sport.
However, for people who already have a passion for the sport of fishing the St Croix Avid baitcasting rod is an excellent option.
If you are an experienced fisherman and don’t already have a professional-grade fishing pole, you could do a lot worse than this option without room to really do that much better.