Thursday, January 26, 2012
St Croix 15' Avid Review
The specs of this rod are as follows:
*length - 15'
*configuration - 3 piece
*power - medlight
*action - moderate
*blank construction - SCIII Graphite IPC Technology
*rating 6-10lb 1/4 to 5/8 oz
*guides - Fuji® Alconite® Concept Guide System with black frames.
*handle - St Croix Sliding Rings
*manufactured in USA
First off... going in I have to say I had been a fan of the big sticks for a while. For a few years I began to exclusively fish a 15' Frontier. In fact I loved that rod so much that I bought a spare blank to spin up my own personal tie. Life interjected and things seemed to change so I never got around to it. It's on the list though just need to find the time and inspiration. So... I was willing and eager to accept an offer to fish the AVID. My initial impressions of the rod were positive. The glossy slate grey blank offers up a very refined look. The Black Fuji Concept guides add stealth to the presentation and the blue-grey guide wraps add just a enough colour to complement the blank while keeping the package clean and mean. I like the Fuji Concepts and had used them on my 13' Rainshadow 1562IST build a few years back. They are very sharp looking guides and have been bullet proof for me. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the sliding ring handle configuration but I do understand it's purpose on factory rods. It does provide some flexibility for the end user to land on their personal reel placement location.
I didn't put the rod together until we made the cabin last Friday night. When I did I had my 15' Frontier beside her for an accurate benchmark comparison keeping in mind that I have a custom tie with a reduced guide count configuration. The first thing I noted was the blank butt diameter was larger on the St Croix.
The following are my findings... likes and dislikes of this blank.
-visually appealing...clean attractive finish and sweet lines
-Fuji concepts in black...very stealth
-3 piece design...breaks down nicely for transport
-action...nice semi parabolic bend
-power...inherent power of the big stick. There when you need it.
-butt diameter and overall taper
-number of guides
I'll have to admit I was a little disappointed with this blank from the weight and taper perspective. St Croix had the opportunity to take some readily available feedback from the Centrepinning community and really challenge themselves to put out a fair priced production blank that afforded some progression in this regard. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what everyone really wants in a big stick and it doesn't take much effort to drum up that feedback. Also to me it was a marginal step backwards from previous 15' offerings to the steelheading community. Now having said this...the blank fishes well. It is heavy and picks up the wind very easy but it certainly is nice with a critter on the other end. It wouldn't be fair to compare this stick to say a GLX as the price point difference doesn't even warrant the effort. In summary if you are looking for an affordable "brand new" 15' float rod with a lifetime warranty and can handle a minor workout over the course of your day this stick is for you. If you are already suffering from shoulder issues or are just plain soft stay away. This stick is for men!
You can read more about St Croix and their AVID series of rods via their website http://www.stcroixrods.com/