I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with St. Croix bass fishing rods throughout my lifetime. A few months ago, I was finally able to try some of their new Legend Tournament Bass spinning rods and was nearly overwhelmed by how impressive they were. I get to test a bunch of new fishing rods for my job and it honestly takes a lot to rouse me these days.
You’re going to find a lot of rods out there that are built in the same factories with the same blanks and the only difference will be the aesthetics. That was absolutely not the case with the St. Croix spinning rods I tested, so I’ve been very eager to try their new Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rods. Being a shallow-water angler for a large majority of the year, I wanted to try some of their close-combat options and see what they’re made of.
Fast-forward to today and I wish I had entire front deck-full of them. These new rods are some of the most impressive baitcasting rods I’ve tried in many years. They’re comfortable, lightweight, beautifully balanced and incredibly sensitive.
Hang with me for a minute or two and we’ll run through the characteristics I like most about ’em.
You’re not going to have any line management issues when you’re using the new Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rods. The Fuji K-Series guides with Alconite rings help facilitate long and accurate casts regardless of the reel you choose to use. I’ve tested a bunch of rods in the past few years that seem to have a lot of tangle issues, especially with braided fishing line. That hasn’t been the case with these rods. In these particular photos, I was using 12- to 15-pound fluorocarbon for reaction baits but I’ve also used these rods to frog fish with braided line. Not once have I had a single tangle, even when fishing in especially windy conditions.
I’ll also note how well-made and durable these guides are. Although I don’t encourage it, you can step on these guides on your front deck, put the rod in the back of your pickup or put it in your kayak and you won’t have to worry about the guides failing or breaking. This is a darn-solid rod in which I’ve developed full confidence.
Perfect for a wide range of techniques
I could go into the complicated details regarding the design of this rod, but man… these St. Croix folks are on another level when it comes to the design of their rods. So here’s a link if you really want to dive deep into the specifics of these rods. In this review, however, I’d rather focus on my personal experience with ’em and let you make your own decision.
These Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rods come in 16 new models and I don’t believe they’ve forgotten or overlooked a single technique. While I’ve only tried a handful of them, I’m incredibly impressed by how detailed they made these different models. Whether you’re wanting to throw small crankbaits, frogs, punching rigs, deep crankbaits or anything in between… you’re totally set with this rod series.
I’ve been using the pictured rod for squarebills, lipless crankbaits, smaller spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits with outstanding success. The action is crisp and you can feel every single movement your bait makes.
Precision-machined aluminum reel-seat nut makes a huge difference
I didn’t really think was a big deal until I fished with it but this aluminum reel-seat nut adds an enormous amount of sensitivity throughout the retrieve, whether you’re using moving baits or bottom-contact presentations. Instead of the usual cork or EVA foam, this denser aluminum transfers a bunch of vibration to your fingers so even when the bass aren’t biting aggressively, you can easily detect those subtle strikes.
Again, this is something that many folks might not notice when they first put this rod in their hands, but once you get on the water and really start fishing hard with it, you’ll immediately notice a big difference. Kudos to St. Croix for doing something a little different on these rods. It’s a big deal, in my personal opinion.
Unique reel seat
I’ve become pretty fond of jerkbait fishing the past few years and one thing I’ve noticed is that the hard-plastic reel seats of many rods will rub my knuckles raw after several days of twitching a jerkbait. It doesn’t really bother me for a day or two but if I get on a good jerkbait bite, several of my rods have just destroyed my fingers. This cork reel seat, however, is a really cool addition to the Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rods. I can twitch a jerkbait or walking topwater lure for days on end without any undue fatigue or wear and tear on my hands. Again, a very small addition to these rods that makes a noticeable difference after considerable fishing time.
I sincerely suggest you putting one of these rods in your hands; you’ll see and feel exactly what I’m talking about. These are some high-end rods and after fishing them for quite a while and putting them through their paces, I can absolutely imagine these rods lasting for decades to come. They’re made in the USA, they’re total quality and they feel like a dream in your hands. I can’t expect much more in a bass fishing rod.