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Rod Review

The Search for One: St. Croix Speaks in Xtremes (continued)

Design/Ergonomics: We've discussed the list of acronyms that define St. Croix's blank technology (IPC, ART, FRS, etc.) before, but the most intriguing characteristic of our LXC71MHXF's isn't in the blank it's in the rod's afore mentioned new grip material. Cork, and especially good quality cork, is growing more difficult to acquire with each passing year and rod manufacturers are all seeking creative alternatives. It may sound like sacrilege to many, but I've never been a big fan of cork.

While we enjoyed the material of the grip, we found its diameter just a tad wide for our liking - but we were never a fan of the "power humps" either.

Cork is great when a rod is brand new and on the rack, but it gets dirty very easily and after a few trips, the filler material begins to fall out. Sure you can coat the cork with protective sealers, etc., etc., but honestly, I don't even wax my cars anymore. You think I'm going to take the time to "protect" what I see as a flawed material on a fishing rod?

This cap is attractive but slippery on smooth surfaces making it difficult at times to stand the rod up and lean it against something.

I love it when manufacturers explore alternate materials for rod grips and offer them up to us in a finished product. I was probably one of the few who liked the material of the Kistler Helium II's grip. Most people know I prefer foam. Traditionalists go up in arms when manufacturers use carbon materials in their grips - not I. As long as the material does not get slippery when its wet, doesn't show staining as easily as cork - or is easy to wash off - and does not add unnecessary weight to the rod, I'm all for it.

Fuji's SK-2 reel seat is an excellent choice for a rod this aggressively styled.

St. Croix's new rubber coated foam grip is light, durable, easy to wash off, and most of all is easy to grip when wet, cold, hot, dry, and whether your palms are sweaty, dry, moisturized, covered with gloves. The only thing this new grip is guilt of? It's being different.

If you can only have one, the LXC71MHXF is a rod worth your consideration.

Now, having said all that and essentially sung the praises of this new material, there is one criticism I have of the grip. I find the diameter of the top portion of the grip a little big for my tastes. I've always been one to prefer the thinner handles because they're less tiring for me to hold over the course of one or several days fishing.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for St. Croix Legend Xtreme LXC71MHXF

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Application: Our "Search for One" campaign centers around finding good candidates for those who have restrictions on their arsenal and are looking for key components of their tackle to cover a wide range of applications. It is an attempt to answer that ubiquitous consumer question of, "if you could only have one...".

Bass Rod Application Ratings for St. Croix Legend Xtreme LXC71MHXF

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


The LXC71MHXF from St. Croix is an excellent candidate for this campaign as it is powered just right to handle a wide range of applications. The only technique that comes to mind that it might have difficulty with are any of those applications that require a steady retrieve - like crankbaits. The taper of this rod is a little fast for moving baits, but if you're fishing a stretchy line like nylon monofilament, then there's some wiggle room. Otherwise, this stick can handle a lot of different tasks and handle them well.



St. Croix Legend Xtreme LXC71MHXF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Impeccable as always 8.95
Performance Really great overall performer 8.2
Price High end is always going to get a lower score here but for a flagship series, under $400 is pretty darn good 7
Features Top end components, unique grip material, a rod sleeve, but no hook keeper 7.2
Design (Ergonomics) This stick is comfortable to hold, well balanced so it feels light, and the graphics are there but not blatantly in your face... well done 9
Application Looking for just one stick? This is a product very worthy of consideration. 8.2

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:


+ St. Croix craftsmanship - No Hook Keeper
+ Bold choice in grip material and very effective - The diameter of the rod's grip is just a tad large for me
+ Well balanced - The aluminum butt cap can make the rod difficult to lean upright
+ A truly versatile stick  


St. Croix knows how to build quality fishing tools.


Conclusion: The Legend Xtreme is a relatively new series for St. Croix and has already gone through a couple of different stylistic changes. The current generation's look is aggressive as one might expect from a product named "Xtreme", the build is clean, and balance is excellent. St. Croix chose to outfit the rods with very good component line in a product that is very worthy of its position within the company's bass line - on top. Elite is about tradition. Xtreme is more about being open minded and letting the product speak for itself out on the water. For us, the LXC71MHXF spoke clearly and we enjoyed what it had to tell us.


Looking for the St. Croix Legend Xtreme Rods? Try Tackle Warehouse










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