St. Croix and Fish USA offer another versatile spinning rod from the angler-favorite Avid X family that provides next-level performance thanks to proprietary technologies and quality components.
Whether it’s the premium, high-modulus SCIII carbon graphite blanks or the Kigan Master hook keeper, this quality rod provides a combination of performance and convenience.
That said, the nearly unprecedented performance and exclusive technologies with this spinning series don’t allow this to be a budget-friendly spinning rod.
That is why this review breaks down the St Croix Avid spinning rod to see if its price range is worth the super-premium features and impressive strength for catching the species of fish you’re trying to catch.
- Plenty of power settings
- High-modulus SCIII graphite
- A plethora of lengths
- Not budget-friendly
- Almost exclusively fast action
- Complicated guide system
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
These spinning rods feature a high-modulus SCIII graphite blank with Advanced Reinforcing Technology, combining integrated poly curve tooling technology with two layers of Flex Coat slow-cure finish.
The premium, high-modulus SCIII carbon graphite makes the Avid spinning series an extremely balanced spinning rod.
The Avid comes in both a one and 2-piece SCII carbon blank construction where the aforementioned proprietary technologies ensure a blend of performance that affords plenty of backbone.
However, you don’t need to trade a strong backbone to get a sensitive spinning rod, but it’s definitely a budget-friendly option either.
Thankfully, the extreme strength of this model doesn’t just end with the carbon fiber composition as the guides also deliver unprecedented performance with premium quality, Alconite rings.
Even better, these fishing poles also come equipped with a select-grade cork handle– though, all of these quality components push the Avid further out of the affordable price range.
With 12 different lengths, the Avid offers one of the widest ranges available with stops at the X’3″ and X’9″ marks on top of the standard X’6″ stop.
That said, only the 6’6″ models and longer come in two-piece options, though the taper enhancement technology ensures even the two-piece models cast with the same kind of smoothness with a strong backbone as the one-piece options.
St Croix often makes its name and stakes its reputation on the materials used for its fishing poles, deriving many of the rod’s benefits from the materials alone.
Now, while an Avid casting model may employ various advanced manufacturing processes to add more value, St Croix still handles the basics too.
In fact, this rod uses premium, high-modulus SCIII carbon which imparts a couple of different qualities onto the rod without even considering any other applied technology.
For starters, the “high modulus” quality simply means that the carbon fibers naturally flex more than stiffer, more rigid graphite fibers.
Keep in mind that not all premium, high-modulus SCIII carbon is the same and heavily depends on the tempering process used to make the fibers.
Though, it should almost go without saying at this point that the Avid doesn’t have any issues here. But the blank isn’t the only place where St Croix goes above and beyond.
The guides use Alconite, as opposed to stainless steel or aluminum oxide, which is stronger than the latter while still providing the smoothness of the former.
This is especially helpful for preventing tangles but also infuses the guides with significantly more strength and durability than you might otherwise expect.
Thanks to the modulus SCIII graphite and integrated poly curve, this pole casts with smoother actions than you’re likely to find on even other rods made of high-modulus carbon fiber.
However, if you’re looking for a pole that employs a moderate action or slower, you’re only left with a single model in the Avid lineup.
It’s even more surprising that this slower action rod is also the longest which normally would use an extra-fast action to account for the drop in accuracy.
Still, the Avids provide an extra-fast action for a wider range of lengths than you would expect– including some shorter models. And, don’t worry about the long poles in general as they also generally include options with an extra-fast action to increase your casting accuracy.
While lesser rods may just stick with medium power and call it a day, the Avid continues to earn its reputation as a versatile spinning rod by taking that approach much further.
Of course, Avid still offers multiple rods with medium power, but there are so many more spec configurations that the medium power models make up a relatively small number.
Instead, this series runs the gamut from ultra-light to medium-heavy, so you can rest easy knowing your pole provides plenty of backbone.
That said, you still may want to sit out wrestling with the strongest fish species as the Avid series doesn’t include any models with a true heavy or extra-heavy power rating.
The taper is generally part of the action, but Avid’s taper enhancement technology with its integrated poly curve tooling technology takes this a step further.
While this is part of what prices the Avid outside of the angler-friendly spinning rod affordable price range, it also prevents the pole from suffering “dead zones” along its length.
This means that the Avid’s casting action remains consistent throughout the motion for even smoother casts.
The Avid uses a Fuji Concept Guide System with Alconite rings that increase pretty much all aspects of the rod’s performance outside of overall durability (which is covered by other features).
Instead, the Concept Guide System with Alconite primarily reduces the tangle, with the Alconite, and casting distance loss (with customizable arrangements).
However, you need to understand what you’re doing to properly fine-tune this guide system to get the most out of it, so be prepared to do a bit of homework.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
The select-grade cork handle used for Avid rods once again exceeds expectations as the contoured grips make for an extremely comfortable handle design.
That said, these fishing poles actually offer multiple handle designs, though they tap out with a normal handle and shorter handle approach.
Given how many long poles this series offers, you might expect that a normal handle or shorter handle won’t afford enough leverage.
Thankfully, the cork grips avoid coming in any genuinely bad split grips since the lighter power focus means you shouldn’t be using this rod in situations where you might need additional leverage.
Uses (Who is this good for)
There’s no getting around the fact that not having an affordable price definitely skews this fishing pole more towards experienced enthusiasts than beginners.
This is a bit odd in some respects since the most experienced anglers tend to move to the more difficult bait casting rod before too long anyway.
That said, the Avid fishing pole is a premium quality product that delivers well above just solid all-round performance with high-end materials, sophisticated manufacturing techniques, and additional features.
If you’re looking to nab a monster fish but want a rod that can still do it all, it’s hard to think that an affordable option would be a better choice.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
These spinning rods feature a FUJI SKM reel seat with gun smoke hoods that provide an extremely secure fit for virtually any spinning reel.
On top of that, this reel seat combines nylon with graphite fibers to get the best of both worlds when it comes to durability and a lightweight design. Of course, durability is only part of what you want from a reel seat.
So long as you don’t have to worry about the reel seat cracking or deteriorating over time, convenience weighs heavier on your average fisherman.
If you want to switch out your reel, the Avid makes that process much easier with cushioned inserts and self-aligning hoods. Basically, as long as you can line the threads up, you shouldn’t have problems switching out one reel with another.
While some St Croix poles come with a limited lifetime warranty, the Avid series offers a 15-year transferable warranty.
This might seem like a downgrade, but the 15-year fully transferable warranty actually works out better for most people in the long run.
The main reason for this comes down to what’s covered and how you redeem the warranty.
For St Croix’s limited lifetime warranty, not only are the situations it covers far more limited, but it also doesn’t account for the redemption fee— which starts at $50.
However, the Avid’s 15-year warranty only costs $25 in shipping and handling to redeem it. On top of that, as alluded to, you can transfer the warranty should you give the rod as a gift or sell it later.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
While the Fish USA Avid X spinning casting rods may be an excellent choice thanks to their impressive strength and top-notch components, it’s not exactly an affordable spinning rod.
Granted, St Croix makes a budget-friendly, reliable spinning rod that delivers solid all-round performance at an amazing price.
But, the Affordable option doesn’t make use of all of the St Croix exclusive technologies.
That said, if you’re willing to invest in a premium quality fishing pole for next-level performance, it’s hard to dismiss the Avid as more than a quality product.
Providing extreme strength as part of a sensitive spinning rod makes this option an incredibly versatile spinning rod that’s an excellent choice for trout or casting crankbait.
In the end, you have to ask yourself, are you more interested in a budget-friendly option or landing that monster fish?