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Rod Review

Creature Fever : Avid About St. Croix (continued)

Power: With its extra-fast taper, the AVC70MHXF transitions quickly into a very good backbone. There are other manufacturers where an extra-fast taper transitions even more quickly, but St. Croix does an excellent job with this stick. Once you do get into the AVC70MHXF's backbone, power is consistent, smooth, reliable, and as long as you keep the strength of your line in mind, more than sufficient to control your catch.

A picture moment courtesy of a Clear Lake bass.

Out on the Amazon, this meant keeping steady pressure on the fish until they tired and with the AVC70MHXF's nine-inch handle there's just barely enough length to lock that rear handle under your forearm for added leverage. Another inch or two would be better, but then the handle might start getting in the way during pitching presentations.

The AVC70MHXF, same as all of St. Croix's Avid Series sticks, is very conservatively styled.

Sensitivity: I fished the AVC70MHXF primarily in tight line applications with braid. I offer that as a caveat because line choice and application makes difference in your experience with a rod's sensitivity. In situations where I'm fishing on a slack line, my material of choice is fluorocarbon and with moving baits any of the three apply.

This stick features Fuji Alconite guides with stainless frames.

This stick has good sensitivity and is about what I'd expect for a rod at this price point. To maximize performance in this category, St. Croix makes use of their Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology creating a blank with their SCIII graphite that minimizes transition points between tapers and material application creating a more uniform blank that helps to maximize transmission of vibrations and other cues the angler needs to feel what's going on. This is a technology St. Croix uses in all their rods.

Just a hint of pearlescent glitter in the blank's finish.

Design/Ergonomics: Avid is St. Croix's former entry level bass series and perhaps their most conservative. The traditional full rear grip and foregrip made of cork have remained on these sticks since I can remember. The blanks were once a kind of flat grey but now have a bit of metallic flake in them viewable only under direct sunlight (St. Croix refers to this color as a Carbon Pearl). The recent Rage and Mojo series were introduced at price points below Avid and carry with them a lot more moxy featuring more contemporary grip designs and colors. Avid seems targeted towards those anglers who value substance over flash and value over luxury.

Compressed cork cap.

Certainly St. Croix's Avid line of rods are not the only series by any manufacturer to take this approach. There are still several manufacturers building rods in this manner. G.Loomis's Mag Bass rods, Lamiglas' Certified Pro, Falcon's Cara sticks all come to mind as examples of sticks with traditional stylings and that are still sought after in today's market. Design, as always, is just a matter of preference.

Very clean cork for the grip.

But after a several uses, well, this is why I personally prefer Eva or Hypalon.

Ergonomically speaking, we touched on the AVC70MHXF's nine inch handle and how it seems to strike the right balance of being long enough to tuck under your forearm for added leverage when battling a fish, to not being so long as to get in the way when pitching your bait. The rear handle is sculpted slightly with a bulge near the reel seat, and another towards the butt end.

A peacock bass courtesy of the AVC70MHXF, Shimano Chronarch E7, and a Rapala Glidin' Rap.

I don't normally care for handles that widen towards the reel seat, but the AVC70MHXF's is not so large as to become intrusive like those rods from other manufacturers that feature the "power bulge". Those types of handles I really do not care for at all.


St. Croix Avid AVC70MHXF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality St. Croix is consistently among the best in this department 9
Performance Very solid performing stick 8.5
Price Based on components and blank, very competitively priced 7
Features Alconite guides, cork grips, Fuji ECS reel seat 7
Design (Ergonomics) Conservative with just a hint of more in the blank's finish 7
Application A good rod for vertical presentation techniques and the Amazon if you're so inclined 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ The AVC70MHXF has a real nice taper - For this Enthusiast Tackle Editor... just a tad on the conservative side with regard to styling
+ If you like cork grips, the Avid series features very clean cork - at least when new  
+ The blank's pearl finish is well done  
+ Solid performance worthy of its price point  


Conclusion: We knew what we were getting into with the St. Croix Avid, a conservative rod built to perform and that won't break the bank. That's exactly what the AVC70MHXF delivered. To expect more would be a fallacy, to expect less would mean you're not familiar with St. Croix. Speaking of which, one of my favorite things about this company? If you really like what we have to say about it but would just prefer to tweak a feature here or there, maybe you'd prefer SiC guides, eva grips, a split rear grip or even an overall design that's just more contemporary? Well guess what, you can have your blank and style it however you want because St. Croix makes this and all their other blanks available for purchase. There are only a handful of companies that still do this so when we run across one, it bears mentioning.

Looking for solid performance at a solid price point? The AVC70MHXF belongs on your short list.

As for the AVC70MHXF, if conservative stylings are your thing and you're looking for a solid performing rod in all categories including a good cost of acquisition, you will regret it if you don't put this stick on your short list. St. Croix Avid was one of our first picks when looking for a cost conscious travel rod option and I'm glad there was a stick in the lineup that suited my application. I still prefer the Legend Elite series but one thing is for sure, as long as it's made by St. Croix, the likelihood of being disappointed is very low.

Looking for the St. Croix Avid Casting Rods? Try Tackle Warehouse










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