St Croix Premier Casting Rod Review

St Croix is an interesting fishing company in that it understands its place in the market and stays in its lane to great effect.

That said, the St. Croix is definitely more of a generalist brand that doesn’t provide the absolute best performance or the greatest value but offers a good mix of the two.

As a mid-tier brand, that means you need to set your expectations appropriately when considering the St Croix Premier casting rod.

Thankfully, this particular rod comes in more configurations than most, providing you the opportunity to find the perfect rod for your preferred or regular type of fishing– as well as some smaller niches if you’re interested.

However, the St Croix Premier casting rod easily places itself ahead of most other mid-tier models with a host of design features and construction choices that are better than you’d expect.

Still, is it enough to justify purchasing a rod that can easily be out-performed by more expensive rods made for professionals?

Review

Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)

Whenever you come across a mid-tier rod, the most important thing to consider is the construction or overall quality.

Many mid-tier models will provide nice extra features that might improve your quality of life, but it’s just a distraction to prevent you from noticing its inferior build quality.

Thankfully, the St Croix Premier casting rod doesn’t have that issue as it focused specifically on general durability and overall strength.

Granted, this baitcasting pole sacrifices a little bit to get there, but the worst thing for a mid-tier rod to do is to break because it wasn’t cheap enough where that doesn’t matter and not expensive enough to avoid the issue altogether.

 

Length

Given that this is a mid-tier casting rod, one of the first things that you expect to go are the options since mid-tiers usually work best for mass markets.

However, the St Croix Premier casting rod takes the opposite approach, at least as far as lengths are concerned, and offers more choices than most.

This baitcasting rod comes in four sizes ranging from 5 ½’ to 7’ and at every half-foot in between which results in a lineup of 5’6”, 6’, 6’6”, and 7’.

While this does remove the super long-casting 7’6”+ options, you still have more than enough lengths to play with for fishing different species and in different situations.

 

Material

This is another area where the St Croix Premier casting rod really shines as it uses high-end materials for virtually every part of the rod.

For starters, the blank is made out of SCII carbon-graphite fibers and is known to be of excellent quality by professionals within the industry.

However, St. Croix backs this up by using high-quality materials for both the guides as well as the handle, ensuring this is a well-made casting pole regardless of the componentry.

 

Action

In a surprising, and relatively rare, turn of events, the St Croix Premier casting rod does not exceed all reasonable expectations with its action.

That’s not to suggest that the action performs poorly, but with all of the different options and configurations available, the only action this rod comes in is fast.

That’s not terrible if what you’re looking for is control and sensitivity, which is generally a good bet for fishing.

However, you do give up a bit of distance which is already two small knocks in a single category that might be a big deal for shoreline fishermen.

 

Power

The St Croix Premier casting rod’s power is another solid aspect as it comes in ranges of medium-light to heavy, covering the bulk of power options.

That said, it’s worth noting that this rod is specifically made with medium-modulus graphite, providing more power than the more common high-modulus graphite.

 

Weight

With so many different configurations, the St Croix Premier casting rod comes in a wide range of weights, but the overwhelming majority of them hover around 4 to 5 oz.

Neither spectacular nor disastrous, this baitcasting pole’s weight shouldn’t be an issue either way.

 

Sensitivity

Despite being made of graphite, the medium-modulus composition of the St Croix Premier casting rod ultimately reduces the sensitivity.

Granted, you get far more power and overall durability than you give up in sensitivity, but if you have difficulty identifying a bite, this might not be the rod for you.

 

Taper

As a fast action baitcasting rod, the St Croix Premier casting rod already starts out with a shorter taper than most, but when you add the stiffness of medium-modulus graphite, this rod can feel stiff when casting or setting the hook– though, that’s generally a bad thing for the former but a good thing for the latter.

 

Markings on Rod

The St Croix Premier casting rod possesses all of the relevant information you would expect to find on a casting rod, including the lure and line weight.

The markings are easy to read with yellow text on a black background, though some people may need to wear glasses to see the size of the font.

 

Rod Guides

Covering all of the bases, the St Croix Premier casting rod uses Kigan Master Hand aluminum-oxide guides, so you don’t have to worry about braided line cutting through like with stainless steel guides without inserts.

 

Handle (material, shape, etc)

This is arguably one of the few parts of the rod that’s merely good, not great, though good is usually good enough when it comes to a rod handle.

To point, the St Croix Premier casting rod comes with a split cork handle whose design will change a little bit depending on the reel seat you choose.

The cork is comfortable enough and offers a decent grip, but there are more ergonomic, non-slip options on the market.

 

Type of Rod

The St Croix Premier is a baitcasting rod that positions the reel seat at the top and is good for both beginners and experts but can be tricky for intermediate fishermen.

However, the mid-tier position means that intermediate fishermen are the economic target which is likely why so many extra features are included.

 

Uses (Who is this good for)

While technically anyone can use this rod and get good results with it, it’s probably not ideal for beginners.

That’s not to suggest that novice fishermen would struggle with this rod as that couldn’t be further from the truth– especially when you consider all the options to make a near-custom choice.

No, the main reason not to get a beginner the St Croix Premier casting rod comes down to need: chances are this is more rod than a beginner really knows what to do with.

If the beginner suddenly decides they’re not interested in fishing, it’s an easier loss to swallow when the rod costs half as much.

 

Reel and Real Seat Compatibility

More often than not, you check to make sure that the reel seat is compatible with the brand or type of reel you want to use and leave it at that.

However, with the St Croix Premier casting rod you’re given the choice between three different types of reel seats depending on the type of grip on the handle you prefer that’s usually heavily influenced by the type of fish you’re trying to catch.

In this instance, you can choose from an ECS, TCS, or PSS reel seat with the TCS being the design closest to the industry standard for an “off-the-rack” reel seat.

You choose the PSS rod seat if you prefer additional palm support, especially helpful for pulling out heavier fish, or the ECS whose narrow, tapered neck provides more control over the bait when luring the fish.

 

Warranty

While not nearly as attractive as the limited lifetime warranty that some of their competitors offer, the St. Croix Premier Casting Rod is still better than the industry average.

Where you might expect the rod blank to be covered for anywhere from one to three years, this casting pole gives you a little bit extra with a five-year warranty.

Keep in mind, this only covers manufacturing defects and the like, so you’ll still have to pay for any guide replacements.

 

Customer Service

St Croix advertises a Superstar Customer Service and surprisingly delivers on that promise, though it shouldn’t be all that surprising considering the company’s philosophy.

Still, it’s worth noting that people who didn’t like the St. Croix fishing pole still respect the company due to its stellar customer service.

 

Conclusion

The mid-tier market can be a hard place for a single product to survive, let alone an entire brand, but St. Croix not only survives but thrives.

By offering higher-end features and specs at a lower cost without sacrificing the extra trim, the St Croix Premier casting rod is a great all-around option for virtually anyone.

Whether big or small, young or old, beginner or expert, this baitcasting rod comes in enough options that pretty much everyone can find the rod for their type of fishing.

Keep in mind, despite finding a fair number of top-tier qualities, it can be easy to think about the St Croix Premier casting rod as a rod that costs much more than it does. 

While this is great, it means it can also be a bit easy to forget the limitations of the rod as well which is where most issues stem from.

However, if you understand the capabilities of the rod and match it to your fishing, in particular, the St Croix Premier casting rod is one of the best all-around values on the market.