The St. Croix Bass X is a high-quality product that uses premium components to deliver nigh-legendary performance with a wide range of baits.
While the BassX Series may not come with all of the proprietary technologies or use the advanced design tooling technology of their flagship models, it still strikes an excellent balance between performance and price.
However, as it is not a true budget spinning rod, the lack of super-premium components made with extreme technologies may turn off some tournament anglers.
That’s why this product review examines the Bass X versatile spinning rod to help you figure out if its solid all-round performance is worth the fishing gear investment or if you’re better off getting a proper budget-friendly option instead.
- SCII carbon blanks
- Carbon graphite reel seats
- Hybrid guide system
- Iffy shipping and handling
- Not a budget-friendly price
- Not many spec configurations
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
The Bass X spin rod uses premium-quality SCII graphite with a blank design that affords this series of rods a strong backbone thanks to St.
Croix’s Advanced Reinforcing Technology boosts the blank strength.
The graphite design provides a blend of performance with a lightweight profile for finesse techniques on a more sensitive spinning rod.
However, the blank’s construction is not the most interesting part of this spinning pole’s design (surprisingly) which comes from the SeaGuide hybrid guide platform which uses both aluminum oxide and stainless steel Atlas Performance rings.
Though, be aware that the blank’s grading and stainless steel make this a tip-balanced spinning rod.
Moving along, the St. Croix BassX also comes with premium-grade cork split grip handle options– though the spinning handle options only offer two styles.
Either way, it’s a nice touch that these fishing poles customize everything down to the handles, providing additional control and leverage over the rig and even bumping up this pole’s already excellent hook-setting power.
While not a huge deal, it’s also nice that the St. Croix comes with Kigan Master Hand 3D hook keepers, positioned just past the handle.
This won’t necessarily improve the rod’s performance, but it does a great job of making sure you don’t accidentally snag on something and ruin your setup, taking valuable time away from fishing.
All-new, premium-quality SCII carbon material is a mid-modulus carbon fiber composition that not only increases flexural strength but makes it a much more sensitive spinning rod as well.
Even better, the carbon construction employs two rounds of Flex Coat slow-cure finish to reinforce the solid backbone and ensure the rods integrity.
Keep in mind that the mid-modulus graphite design may not afford “unparalleled strength,” but strikes a great balance for finesse techniques while still delivering surprising sensitivity with minimal impact on its maximum power.
Continuing down the blank, the Bass X pole employs a two-material guide system that makes it a friendly spinning rod for finesse applications thanks to the use of two different materials in the guide system.
The majority of the guides use aluminum oxide with its silky smooth inserts to prevent tangles and increase all-around casting capability.
However, it’s the use of stainless steel at the tip-top guide with SeaGuide’s exclusive technologies that steals the show.
It also doesn’t hurt that SeaGuide pulls out more proprietary technologies with its PVD-coated tips that allow for almost as smooth a cast as aluminum oxide while still having the strength to stand up to braided fishing line.
The split-grip premium-grade cork handles on this casting spinning pole aren’t anything special– in the materials realm– but they are a welcome alternative to EVA foam.
Aside from the fact that premium-grade cork is generally more durable than EVA foam, many fishermen prefer the material for comfort and grip.
Finally, the St. Croix’s comes with a carbon fiber reel seat, one of its many classic finesse components, that only further increases the already impressive sensitivity of this pole.
When you consider the mid-modulus graphite blank, the lightweight hybrid guide system, and the reel seat, most materials transfer vibration as well or better than the overwhelming majority of their competition.
Bass fishing circles will love how the Bass X Spinning rods favor drop shot fishing and other finesse applications, allowing a wide range of presentations through matching action by power.
Granted, there are no slower or heavy action models available with all four of the spec configs limited to either fast or extra-fast actions.
Regardless of what action rod you choose, this bass series of rods increases its already decent sensitivity at an affordable price without costing extra money for extreme technologies you’d hardly even notice.
That said, be aware that the increased casting accuracy and casting control comes at the cost of some casting distance.
While the BassX series hovers around the medium power rating, it also offers select models with a medium-light or medium-heavy power rating.
Of course, if you want a high-quality rod with extra-extra-heavy power, you’re going to have to look outside of the spinning category and move into the conventional styles.
Still, the reinforced blank with high-grade, mid-modulus carbon fiber affords plenty of backbone and, when combined with the quick pole actions, provides deep hook sets.
Granted, the Bass X might not have a wide range of choices with configs generally seen on a bass rod with legendary performance, but it’s acceptable for an affordable option.
While not technically one of St. Croix’s exclusive technologies, the hybrid guide platform that sees the use of aluminum oxide guides with a stainless steel black finish guide for the tip-top allows for a wide range of line and lure choices.
With exclusive technologies like the Atlas Performance stainless steel tip-top, you won’t have to worry about braided fishing line digging a groove into the ring.
Even when fighting larger fish with the medium-heavy power model, this guide system offers next-level performance.
You could argue that this alone prevents the BassX series from being a budget-friendly option, but the wider range of presentations that it allows more than make up for the extra money it costs compared to budget rods.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
A couple of the Bass X spin caster’s features depend on the specific model you choose, starting with the handle.
Thankfully, the spinning and non-swimbait casting models both use a cork split grip handle.
It is worth remembering that the spinning options, in particular, come with a split-grip premium-grade cork foregrip.
Even better, the spinning handle options are designed for specific bass-catching techniques.
This design allows you to maintain better control over your rig in the water while further reducing the amount of strain and fatigue on your hand over time.
And, of course, the premium grade cork affords a solid grip with comfortable durability.
Uses (Who is this good for)
Passionate bass anglers talking in their bass fishing circles already know about this versatile spinning rod and its ability to effectively perform numerous bass fishing techniques.
But as far as bass fishing rods go, these finesse rods offer outstanding performance with everything from crank baits to drop shot fishing to bank fishing.
That said, this versatile spinning rod handles covers than just exceptional bass fishing methods– though its exclusive technologies focus more on next-level performance for its bass fishing solutions than anything else.
Still, you should expect solid all-round performance when targeting a wider range of species with this angler-friendly spinning rod.
As this is not a budget spinning rod, it is a bit difficult to truly recommend it for beginners.
However, it’s still a reasonably affordable spinning rod, so you shouldn’t have the same reservations for an intermediate fisherman or someone dedicated to the sport.
Still, it’d be better if it were a budget-friendly, reliable spinning rod rather than something in the $120 to $150 retail-price range.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
Black-hooded Sea Guide reel seat may not seem all that impressive at first glance, but on top of keeping your reel firmly in place, it adds to the functionality of the rod as well.
However, the different types of rods come with different reel seats, like how the non-swimbait casting models come with an XCS seat.
Regardless, the spin casting rods come with an NPS reel seat made out of carbon graphite fibers.
Aside from the fact that this design makes the rod a little bit lighter and reduces the fatigue associated with all-day fishing trips, it also has the added effect of better-transferring vibrations through the rod’s blank and into the palm of your hand.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
It’s not hard to see why passionate bass anglers see the Bass X and its affordable price as a great rod for the money– especially when you consider its premium components.
Granted, it might not boast the same tooling technology that provides the legendary performance of a less affordable option but still surpasses previous models.
From the split grip / premium-grade cork handle to the classic finesse components, most of the product details highlight a top-notch performance– not to forget the Kigan Master Hand 3D excellent hook keeper.
That said, the true clincher for this casting spinning rod is the hybrid guide system that allows you to employ a broad range of baits for bass and many other species.