I learned about St. Croix Avid X rods last summer at ICAST where I got to feel a few in-hand and experience series features. I’ve even written a bit about the series, discussing features and the niche filled. It wasn’t until last week, though, while fishing Utah’s Lake Powell, that I got to fish with an Avid X rod for a couple of days. As far as I’m concerned, you can hold and shake and flex a rod all you want on a show floor and can learn about materials and features, but you only know so much until you spend time fishing with it.
I actually played with a couple of different St. Croix rods at Powell, but I spent the most time fishing a 7-foot medium-heavy, fast action Avid X spinning rod—a rod that allowed me to handle a variety of light baits on light line to contend with Powell’s very clear water but with enough backbone to bury hooks without having to set the hook hard.
If you’ve fished St. Croix Avid rods, you actually have a pretty good idea how well the new rods perform because Avid X rods are built with the same blanks as the beloved Avid rods. X stands for extra. Distinctives include a split high-grade cork grip, Kigan’s advanced micro-guide platform and an exclusive Kigan hook keeper.
The micro guides, which are built from aluminum oxide and lined with zirconium, make the rods ultra light. Beyond that, though, the stripper guide alignment is optimized to for the line to flow efficiently. The series also includes most of the classic Avid actions but includes some new actions selected specifically for bass applications.
Tech and specs aside, my interest is in how a rod feels and performs, and the Avid X lived up to everything I’d hoped. Light in hand, it was very well balanced and offered surprising casting distance accuracy, even when I was fishing a 1/8-ounce hair jig.
The Avid X rods look and feel a lot more expensive than their $200 range price tag, and they come with an impressive 15-year transferable warranty.
St. Croix officially introduced the Avid X series at ICAST last summer, but the first big public showing to the bass fishing word was at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, South Carolina.
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