Drastically Different : The St.
Croix RAGE RC71MHXF Rod (continued)
feel the sensitivity is about average. There is decent feel both with bottom
contact and swimming baits, but I really prefer using braid on this rod for the
increased touch it affords. The minimalistic handle helps to improve blank
contact, but I really wish it was easier to put an index or middle finger past
the reel seat threading and onto the blank for added contact. Unless I
uncomfortably stretch a finger to it's max, this isn't possible. My preferred
method of fishing many plastics, jigs, etc. is to have my index finger on the
line, and middle finger on the blank. This really gets me in tune with what's
going on, and I feel like I seldom miss bites.
A foam butt cap
protects the end of the handle.
Power-wise, the ratings and strength of this rod are pretty accurate. Once you
get past the light tip, there is ample backbone and the rod lacks nothing for
power. You can turn a fish easily and stay in control the whole time. Despite
the reserve power, after getting this rod I was actually surprised the line
ratings started at 12lbs. With the tip softness, I would be more inclined to
see it starting at 8, or 10lb.
Getting back to the tip again, for overall fishability, a slight increase in
stiffness would be welcome for bottom contact techniques. Fishing a football
jig around rocks, or a Texas rig through weeds is not a place for a soft tip.
It is acceptable for techniques like those, but could be better unless your
rigs are on the lighter side.
red trim provides a nice contrast to the wraps.
Application, Warranty, Price:
Application wise, this is a rod that can do many things but isn't going to be
perfect for all of them. Bass fishing with soft jerkbaits, Senkos, hollow body
swimbaits, and spinnerbaits immediately come to mind as what it's suited best
for. I like it for bottom contact techniques only with smaller baits and
weights. This would also make a killer saltwater rod for throwing single-hook
baits like swimbaits, plastic shrimp tails, and jigs. I don't care for an extra
fast action with treble hooked baits.
The RC71MHXF Rage has an MSRP of $150. The pricing is in line with other rods
at the medium price point. St Croix backs the Rage rods with a 5 year warranty.
underside of the Pac Bay Minima reel seat.
Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)
St. Croix Rage
RC71MHXF Casting Rod
Build quality is decent,
but a few imperfections were noted upon close inspection.
Accurate caster with nice
power. The tip was softer than expected, though. Average sensitivity.
Compared to the
competition, could be a bit more refined for the money.
Some interesting features
but nothing mind blowing or of above average quality.
It's a shame the exposed
reel seat threads are present, because the handle is comfy otherwise. The
rod as a whole is just a tad tip heavy without a reel.
Good application for many
techniques. A slightly stiffer tip would make it even more versatile.
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
Pluses and Minuses:
+ Extra fast
- A couple minor cosmetic
quality control issues|
+ Decent versatility
- Tip could be slightly
+ Handle material is comfy
- Exposed reel seat
threads aren't comfortable
+ Price tag is affordable
The RC71MHXF made
quick work of this quality Largemouth.
The St. Croix Rage RC71MHXF has proven itself to be a good stick overall, but
like every other rod on the market, it's not 100% perfect. At a price of $150,
it sits in a sea of strong competitors. As manufacturers fight for notoriety in
the mid priced rod segment, it becomes even more crucial that the design and
craftsmanship of a rod stands out in the crowd. While the Rage certainly stood
out with some unique cosmetics and design, it lacked the true “wow factor” in
the bang for the buck department. Just because it wasn't ideal for me, doesn't
mean it won't be ideal for you. If you're searching for a mid priced micro
guide rod that's a bit different, it might be just what you're looking for!
Looking for the St. Croix Casting Rod?