The St Croix Triumph is a versatile spinning rod that should definitely be part of your arsenal of fishing rods.
However, savvy anglers know that whether you’re on a freshwater fishing trip or game fishing for that wily trophy fish, you still need premium quality.
Thankfully, the Triumph has numerous options to suit pretty much all fishing styles.
Of course, it never hurts to find quality products at a reasonable price range, but that doesn’t change the fact that every “good” fishing pole needs to meet a minimum standard floor.
That’s why this St. Croix Triumph spinning rod review breaks down this affordable model to see if it’s right for your next fishing expedition.
- Lots of rod options
- Great budget price
- Solid reel seat
- EVA foam handles
- Not for braided line
- Primarily fast action exclusive
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
The Triumph spinning casting rod earns most of its value through high-end materials, though the Triumph doesn’t necessarily include all of the additional, advanced technology that comes with their other spinning casting series rods.
Still, the advanced carbon fiber construction allows even St. Croix’s budget-friendly spinning rod to offer solid all-around performance.
Even better, the premium graphite construction includes advanced reinforcement technology with a flex-coat slow cure finish that provides enhanced strength with sensitivity enough to feel the slightest nibble.
This applies to Triumph’s entire spinning lineup, including the two-piece rods, to provide a bit of additional strength.
Made in North America, you don’t have to worry about this rod using cheap, soft plastics at any point or on any component.
To top it all off, the Triumph has a classy design, though the absence of Mandrel technology from this budget-tier product is a bit disappointing– if understandable.
This aspect generally doesn’t bear mentioning unless it’s exceptionally good or exceptionally bad.
Thankfully, this is an instance where the maker does things right and provides a litany of different lengths to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about the size of your transport or the body of water.
For the Triumph, this includes 5′ all the way to 7’6″ and every point in between at 6″ increments.
Even better, half of the lengths come in two-piece models for those of you who drive to the water in a car or other vehicle with limited carrying capacity.
This spinning casting rod features premium materials compared to some of the competing casting models at the same affordable price.
Part of this comes from Triumph not using common graphite fibers to ensure outstanding strength with sensitivity.
While common fibers may still provide a lightweight construction, they’re not the strongest.
Beyond the graphite blank, aluminum oxide inserts may not offer extra strength but make the already tricky task of casting with a spinning reel easier.
The handle’s cork composition with protective silver hoods all combines to make a balanced spinning rod that’s perfect for all-day fishing comfort– even in uncomfortable conditions.
Every serious angler knows that casting distance hinges heavily on the fishing rod action of your pole, and Triumph satisfies this need with primarily fast-action rod options.
If you’re looking for a model in this spinning casting lineup with a slower action, the only option that satisfies this premise is the 5′ model, which comes with a moderate action.
However, for everyday fishing, the fast-action rods afford some of the most accurate castings while still providing excellent distance.
That said, coastal anglers may want to look elsewhere when going after coastal fish since even the longest, 2-piece design tops out at a fast action and won’t be able to hit the distances you’re really looking for.
On the other end of the spectrum, this focus on fast-action models definitely gives this sensitive fishing rod a leg up when fishing in smaller bodies of water.
The fast action, while modestly limiting the pole’s maximum distance, still ensures that you don’t overshoot your target or accidentally drop your lure in a big clump of vegetation.
The maximum power of the Triumph may not match that of some composite rods out there, but it still packs plenty of impressive fighting power.
Granted, this heavily depends on what power rating of rod you choose, but they all perform admirably well for their rating and deliver excellent hooksetting power for their class.
That said, the ultra-light and medium-light power ratings aren’t going to deliver the kind of strength you’ll get from the heavy power option.
Oddly enough, this is one of the few rods in its price range that doesn’t just specialize in medium power poles with a few outliers thrown in.
Still, the Triumph certainly provides impressive power, whether from its medium power models or otherwise.
This rod features premium quality, slim aluminum oxide guides that inherently come with some advantages and disadvantages.
For starters, the guides with aluminum oxide are arguably one of the best options when it comes to bass spinning rods.
The slim aluminum oxide guides help prevent the line from catching during the cast regardless of the lure rating.
Keep in mind that these black aluminum oxide guides will do nothing to stop the line from tangling at the reel if you’re not skilled enough to use a spinning model.
On top of that, the use of aluminum oxide precludes you from casting braided line with this pole unless you’re comfortable with the line cutting through the guides at some point.
It also bears mentioning that the combination of guides with aluminum oxide with a spinning rod design means that the inserts are unlikely to be the strongest either.
While this won’t necessarily affect the maximum power of the rod, it means that even with the proper line the guides will likely require some work eventually.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
This pole comes with a premium-grade cork handle that affords better qualities than you’re liable to find from an EVA foam model.
The only potential advantage EVA foam has over a cork grip handle is comfort since foam more easily conforms to the shape of your hand, but Triumph’s ergonomic cork handle has you covered there as well.
On top of that, this premium cork handle comes in 7 different styles, depending on the length and power of the rod.
That last bit is especially interesting as it allows you to find just the right balance for your fishing needs.
Keep in mind that fishing for larger fish with more strength might require higher power, but it also requires good leverage.
With the different sizes for the cork grip handle, you can fine-tune the choice of the rod to suit both your length and leverage needs.
Uses (Who is this good for)
Experienced fishermen, aka anglers, will appreciate that this affordable spinning rod features premium quality materials for a solid all-round performance.
However, even a budget-friendly option needs to be able to handle dozens of fish without issue as a day of fishing means your rod will likely be pushed to its limit at some point in time.
Keep in mind that no budget-friendly option is your first choice for premium fishing gear, and the narrow range of spec combinations can limit you a bit.
For instance, no affordable option in this spinning lineup is going to be ideal for woody, bass fishing applications unless you’re incredibly skilled at drop shot fishing with less than ideal equipment.
Of course, if you consider something like a hook keeper a crucial component, you might end up being a bit disappointed.
However, there aren’t that many key performance differences between the Triumph, and the affordable price of this wallet-friendly spinning rod still includes the advanced reinforcement technology that you come to expect from St. Croix.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
This sensitive spinning rod comes with a top-quality Fuji DPS reel seat and eco-friendly sandblasted hood that provides a secure base for almost every spinning reel on the market.
Even better, the cork grip handle flows almost seamlessly into the reel seat, which ensures that you don’t have to worry about the crook of your thumb rubbing raw after a full day of casting.
However, the top-quality Fuji DPS reel seat also contributes to making this an especially sensitive spinning rod too.
With the use of carbon fiber for the spinning reel seat, you don’t have to worry about losing the slightest vibration, allowing experienced fishermen to distinguish between a little nibble and a full-on hit.
While the Triumph doesn’t provide a fancy “limited lifetime warranty” like some of its higher-priced competitors, it still offers a decent 5-year warranty.
While that’s not great for even some of St. Croix’s more expensive models, it’s actually pretty good for the Triumph whose similarly-priced peers generally only provide a 1 or 3-year warranty.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
When looking for a budget-friendly, all-around freshwater spinning rod, it’s hard to ignore St. Croix’s affordable option in the Triumph.
With minor to non-existent key performance differences, this versatile spinning rod provides solid all-round performance at an affordable price with excellent hooksetting power even from a medium power model.
While coastal anglers would likely do well to look elsewhere for rods with longer casting distances, the Triumph affords impressive fighting power and extra strength due to its great build quality.
This makes it a better budget-friendly, reliable spinning rod than you’re unlikely to find at a better price and with more options than most of the competition offers.