If you’re in the market for a hot new American-made rod this season you might want to check out the award-winning St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore (LTI) Series for saltwater spinning and casting. Winner of the ICAST 2017 “Best of Show” Saltwater Rod category, these beautiful rods are designed and handcrafted in Wisconsin and are built with high-modulus, high-strain graphite that’s both extremely light and incredibly strong, a common theme in annual offerings from St. Croix. The Legend series was originally developed in the freshwater market where it was so well received that St. Croix designers returned to the workbench to build one for inshore saltwater use. To start, it required using advanced reinforcing technology (ART) to give the rod more power for battling inshore species like bluefish and striped bass. It also meant incorporating Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle solid-titanium guides with aluminum-oxide rings to protect against saltwater corrosion.
If you had a chance to pull on a few fish using the Avid Inshore series (the green rods that won awards in 2015), they’re the same high quality guides you’ll find on the new, blue-colored LTI series from St. Croix. And if you’ve done any jigging with the Mojo Inshore series that uses the same Integrated Poly Curve tooling and ART process, you’ll understand what it means to say lightweight and powerful in the same sentence. For anglers like Crazy Alberto Knie who insist on fishing with only top-grade rods, the St. Croix LTI Series is a wise investment for saltwater anglers who fish hard and fish long.
“In terms of finesse fishing and sensitivity, that’s a real niche that tournament anglers have relied on for comfort and touch, they depend on this when fishing all day long,” Crazy Al said. “Whether saltwater fishing in the northeast or down along the Florida coast, I love the sensitivity of these rods for feeling everything happening at the other end, and they are super strong. Another thing that I like about these St. Croix rods is the two flex coats which adds strength and durability,” Al noted.
There are seven spinning versions which use the Fuji TVS blank-touch reel seat, while the three inshore casting models which incorporate the Fuji PTS blank-touch reel seat with built-in hood. Each features super-grade cork handle preferred for its sensitivity. “It’s a huge advantage, especially in the saltwater environment,” Al said of the super cork grips. “And because of this seat you have the comfort and the feel, your thumb is right on the graphite so you can feel everything.”
Prices start at about $280 for a 7-footer rated medium light/fast, and run up to around $340 for the 8-foot heavy/fast version. Best of all, the St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore Series comes with a 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.