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Rod Review


Legendary Components and Craftsmanship in a US made rod : the 2005 St. Croix Legend Elite (continued)
 

Power: Light weight rods with extra-fast tips are great sticks for targeting smallmouth and spotted bass because these acrobatic battlers are, on average, more compact and streamlined than their larger cousins, the largemouth bass. In fact, a smallie or spot over 5 pounds is considered a trophy in most waters, so using the heavier tackle often associated with largemouth bass fishing is simply overkill both in power and ability to present properly sized lures. Interestingly enough, anyone who has battled either or both of these species knows, that pound for pound, they can put a largemouth bass to shame.

 

The power curve of our Legend Elite EC68MXF

 

So while lighter rods are preferred for their ability to present smaller lures and make catching more fun, power is not something you want to sacrifice. Thanks to St. Croix's advanced engineering, our Legend Elite EC68MXF delivered quick and smooth power ideally suited for presenting downsized baits to powerful, hard running fish. While the triple crown eluded us, we caught several two to three pound spots on our quest that had us convinced they were five pound or greater largemouth until we had them onboard. The energy in these fish is astounding and our EC68MXF held up to the challenge time and time again providing us with solid hooksets and exhilarating battle after battle.

 

A very subtle but welcome detail on our LE EC68MXF was the use of a machined aluminum winding check to cap off the grip assembly.

 

Features: As touched on earlier, the simple, clean lines of our Legend Elite EC68MXF speak well to the quality behind this product. Subtle design enhancements such as a machined aluminum winding check, custom finished reel seat, compressed cork butt cap, and gold highlight threads are a welcome departure from the almost formula driven rod assembly features practiced by most manufacturers in today's market. The one thing we did find odd about this rod was the placement of the hook hanger. Located on the right side of the blank, the hook hanger is a bit awkward to reach for those of us who cast with our right hands. Conversely, left handed casters will, I'm sure, find cause for celebration with this placement as they no doubt find it awkward when the hanger is on the other side of the rod. Funny how something as seemingly inane as a hook hanger can be taken for granted until such time as this.

 

St. Croix moves away from the standard plastic butt cap and employs a compressed cork cap that is both more comfortable against your arm and more attractive

 
Warranty: St. Croix offers a limited lifetime warranty on all their Legend Elite fishing rods. This warranty applies to the original owner of the rod only and is subject to evaluation by St. Croix as to whether the damaged rod will be repaired or replaced under this policy. In addition, rods that have become damaged due to normal wear, accident, or neglect can be replaced under this warranty at a reduced cost from regular retail. The owner is responsible for postage to and from St. Croix. This is a rather solid warranty and just what someone comes to expect from a company with the reputation of St. Croix.

This healthy spotted bass was great fun landing with our Legend Elite rod.

 

Ratings:

St. Croix Legend Elite EC68MXF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very well crafted rod with a fine finish and high quality components. 9.5
Performance Just what we had come to expect of the top end offering St. Croix, a light, sensitive, and strong fishing rod. 9
Price Premium components and performance always comes at a price, and at 300 dollars this is a pricey St. Croix offering. At this level St. Croix goes head to head with the likes of Loomis 8
Features Titanium framed SiC guides, custom finished reel seat, machined aluminum winding check, clean, gap free cork - the devil is in the details and the Legend Elite has plenty 9
Design (Ergonomics) Impeccably assembled with clean lines and finishes from butt cap to tip. Balance on this rod was excellent and actually enhanced with the addition of our Daiwa Alphas. 9
Application With its extra fast tip, this rod shines with vertical presentation baits such as plastics and jigs. It serves well for small cranks and spinners as well, but is a little less suited for these applications because of the recovery time in the blank. An excellent all purpose rod for smallmouth and spotted bass. 8.5

Total Score

8.83

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Some of the highest quality components available in any fishing rod. L Awkward placement of the hook keeper for right handed casters (keeper is on the right side of the blank)
J Super clean detailing L Price is at a bit of a premium
J Nice fast tip  
J Very light and well balanced  
J Solid Warranty  

    
Conclusion: It's taken a while for this editor to pull the trigger on a St. Croix Legend Elite, but I'm glad I finally did. The clean lines and straight forward detailing have really grown on me since I acquired this rod and there's no arguing the top end components that came with this stick. It's refreshing to see a US tackle company paying such close attention to the assembly of their product and making sure everything from each drop of epoxy to the velvety grain of the cork are handled with care. When we pay top dollar for a fishing rod, we want not only top end performance, but attention to detail and craftsmanship. St. Croix definitely delivers in both categories with their redesigned Legend Elite fishing rods.

 

                              


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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