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Rod Review


St. Croix's technique specific Legend Tournament Bass Teaser rod helps provoke strikes
 

Date: 12/6/04
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: St. Croix
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 8.91

Introduction: St. Croix continues to make advances in the rod category, with a heavy emphasis placed on advanced research and development. This year they have unveiled a new series of Legend Tournament Bass technique specific rods that incorporate their famous IPC technology and the new and innovative "ART" rod building process.  We take a closer look at one of the new Legend Tournament Bass rods, the Teaser, a great rod for taunting bass into striking.

 

St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass - Teaser (TBC70MF) Specifications

Material SCIV graphite
Length 7'
Grip Length 9"
Line Weight 10-17 lb
Lure Weight 1/4-5/8 oz
Pieces 1
Power Medium
Action Fast
Color Cobalt Blue Metallic
Weight 4.30 oz
Warranty Lifetime limited warranty
MSRP $200.00

 

Impressions: The Legend Tournament Bass series is quite an impressive piece of hardware with plenty of detailing and implementation of quality components. Akin to a composer who toils away putting together a piece of music, only after endless editing is the composition worthy of play in front of a live audience. This is what St. Croix has done, and the company is now ready to familiarize anglers with an entirely new line of rods for fisherman to applaud.

 

Introducing the stunning detailed Legend Tournament Bass Teaser rod by St. Croix

 

"The Legend Tournament Bass series has Japanese detailing incorporated into a high-end US blank," states Jeff Schluter, St. Croix's Vice President of Marketing. The Legend Tournament Bass Teaser rod is stunning in appearance. The blank sports very striking graphics and quality shines throughout the rod's workmanship. The rod is built with St. Croix's high- modulus and high-strain SCIV graphite, marking the first time such material has been used on both St. Croix casting and spinning rods. The Teaser rod is built with both IPC and the all new ART technologies. The Cobalt blue metallic blank is very pleasing to the eye and is complemented with quality Fuji guides housed in chrome frames wrapped with matching blue threads and satin silver metallic trim.

 

The Teaser rod incorporates both IPC and ART technologies.
The Cobalt blue metallic blank is just plain "cool" to look at

 

ART: Advanced Reinforcing Technology, or ART, is a proprietary St. Croix manufacturing process which adds strength without adding weight or increasing the rod's diameter. Each of the Legend Tournament Bass rods apply ART from the butt and up, usually to about three-fourths of the blank. ART uses a layer of exotic unidirectional carbon fiber material that's extremely strong and thin, and is wrapped around instead of along the blank. This allows the Teaser rod to be made without increasing its diameter or weight, and prevents "ovaling" or wall deformation of a round blank while under a stressful load. Also, ART adds approximately 10 fold increase in strength and adds protection against accidental crushing.

  

Complete Rig for Legend Tournament Bass Tests

Rod St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Teaser
Reel Daiwa TD-X 100HSD
TD-A 153HST
Line 50 lb PowerPro
12 lb Big Game

    

Field Tests: Medium in power and fast in action, the 7 foot technique specific Teaser baitcast rod was designed to tackle bass using "teaser" style lures such as the famous Senko and other types of soft plastics.  St. Croix also points out that the TBC70MF is an excellent choice for buzzbaits as well. We paired the Legend Tournament Bass rod with a Daiwa TDX baitcaster and set out with various soft plastics, and the Daiwa Advantage to target bass using various reaction lures to entice strikes.

 

Legend Tournament Bass series is technique specific.  The TBC70MF model is the bass teasing model used to toss plastics such as Senkos, Brush Hogs, tubes, etc.

 
Casting: With each swing of the arm, no matter if it's overhead, sidearm, or pitching and flipping, the Legend Tournament Bass Teaser rod casts with great control and is extremely accurate at hitting targets. We conducted numerous casting tests using both weighted and weightless soft plastics and all Editors agreed on the rod's excellent casting ability, where the rod would arc and whip back in perfect motion slinging the lure the distance. With buzzbaits and other lures within the rod's specifications, it's just as easy to toss in and around tight spots. The 9 inch long handle is an advantageous length and allows anglers to double-hand cast when needed.

 

Casts are smooth and controlled even with weightless plastics

  
Sensitivity: Working teaser lures especially on slow cold Fall or Winter days requires a sensitive rod, and St. Croix has built an exceptional tool for this application. The SCIV graphite makes the rod feel almost like you're holding directly onto the line, and transmits a majority of the vibrations from hitting structure and strikes directly to your fingertips.  The amazing senses are not attributed solely to the St. Croix blank, but are aided by the Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology that eliminates discontinuity, 10 quality Fuji guides, and a blank through reel seat.

 

Crawling that Kreature through structure to test its sensitivity

 
Power: If you're pitching or flipping into cover or teasing bass to strike on the bottom, having a sure hookset is important when driving the hook point into the fish's mouth. With a quick jerk of the rod we were able to apply a solid hookset every time thanks to the fast action tip. Once hooked the rod managed fish with authority with support from the strong butt section.

 

The new ART technology adds strength without increasing weight or diameter

 

Comfort: While applying the Teaser rod for specific techniques such as pitching a Senko or creature bait, one can expect to make scores of casts on one trip. Comfort is quite important even to the most practiced anglers. To achieve that comfort zone, the rod must be both lightweight and balanced.  Balanced meaning not just the rod alone, but including the reel and line. The TBC70MF it comes out to be 4.30 ounces which is an average weight without removing the cork above the reel seat, and the balance point is about 2 inches above the reel seat. Many rods that are longer than 6'6" are top heavy, but we find this St. Croix rod to be more balanced that others. To perfect the balance, it would be fantastic to see St. Croix apply a weight balancing mechanism at the end of the handle in future models.

 

St. Croix uses quality Fuji components on the Teaser such as this grip that exposes the blank to increase sensitivity

 

Application: If you follow what has been released in these past few years, more and more companies are introducing technique specific rods. You have ones designed with the right attributes for plastics, crankbaits, dropshot, etc. The Legend Tournament Bass Teaser rod is a great choice for tossing soft plastics such as Senko type of stick worms and creature baits such as the Gary Yamamoto Kreature, Zoom Brush Hog, tubes, and much more. Aside from these teaser soft plastics, the TBC70MF Legend Tournament Bass rod is also a good topwater rod for lures such as buzzbaits. The rod has the power and support to keep this lure on the surface but still have the right action and power to allow a bass to attack and seize the lure in its mouth before a hookset.

 

Not just an awesome soft plastic rod to taunting bass, but the Teaser can accommodate other lures as well

 

Though designed to be a technique specific teaser bass rod, I would also consider this Legend Tournament Bass rod to be a very good overall fishing rod. While some rods have specific attributes that limit its ability to fish other lures, the Teaser baitcast rod can be used for other applications from finesse fishing to jerkbaits. If the situation calls for such techniques and you don't have the right rod for it, don't hesitate to put the Legend Tournament Bass rod to use, it will stand up to the occasion.
  
Ratings:

St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass - Teaser Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality St. Croix has one of the best rod building facilities in the US and through innovative building processes such as IPC and ART, they designed this rod with really high quality detailing as seen on Japanese rods and use their premium US made blank to create the Teaser.  Coupled with Fuji components and fine craftsmanship, this rod is amazingly well built 9.5
Performance A high performing rod that is strong and sensitive, and a great rod with the proper attributes to tease bass to strike 9
Price The Legend Tournament Bass series was designed with a top quality St. Croix blank and uses quality and yet economically sound components that allow it to be priced at $200 for the Teaser rod. A premium casting rod with a respectable price 8.5
Features This rod features eye-catching details throughout the blank, IPC and ART rod building technologies that improves performance and durability, and high quality components 9
Design (Ergonomics) The rod weight is good, but what's just as important in terms of ergonomics is the balance. When you put a reel of choice on the rod, it must feel balanced and this rod's balance point is perfect if you're palming 8.5
Application Designed to be a technique specific "teaser" rod using soft plastics, this rod is a great overall rod that can be used with other types of lures as well. The attributes do not limit it to its designed abilities, though it will excel at teasing bass to strike while tossing lures like Senkos, Brush Hogs, tubes, and much more 9

Total Score

8.91


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Innovative rod building technologies that improve the rod's performance and durability L Balance is good, but to perfect, a balancing system for rods 7' and longer would be the trump card
J Great for flipping and pitching  
J Not just a technique specific rod  
J Very Sensitive  
J Lifetime limited warranty  


Conclusion: Bass anglers now have a great selection of high quality rods to choose from for their technique specific applications. The Legend Tournament Bass rods are an all new series by St. Croix who uses their premium high-strain SCIV graphite to create an attractively detailed Cobalt blue metallic casting rod for bass fishing. Built using hi-tech rod processing technologies such as IPC and ART on their US made blank sporting high-grade Fuji components, the Teaser rod we tested resulted in exceptional marks. The performance of this Teaser rod made fishing soft plastics easy and effective, and will make anyone a better angler when targeting bass with that specific technique. And though it was designed for soft plastics such as stick worms, creature baits, etc., the TBC70MF doesn't limit its abilities and allows it to be used for plenty of other lures like buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits. The 2005 St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass rods, including the Teaser model, are just now becoming widely available at local retail stores and online for anglers who call for another premium technique specific bass rod designed to "tease" bass and provoke more strikes.



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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