St Croix Avid X Rod Review

     The release of the new Avid X line of rods from St Croix has generated a lot of buzz lately.  Everyone from industry insiders, to sponsors, to club members have been talking about what a great addition these rods are to St Croix's lineup.  Normally I don't get sucked into this kind of hype.  I have always been able see through the whole, "this didn't exist last year but you can't fish without now" horse and pony show.  This time however, I let my guard down for a split second in Chicago and BAM, I owned a new fishing rod.  Owning another rod isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Summer frog fishing is coming up and the snakehead rod that I imported from Thailand a few years ago is broken starting to look a little worse for wear.  With this in mind I picked up the Avid X in a 7 foot Medium Heavy Casting.
       The Avid X lineup of rods feature a lot of the same things that we already love about the Avid line.

  • SC-3 Graphite Blanks
  • IPC Tooling Technology
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Select Grade Cork Handle
In fact the only major differences (besides the warranty) are:

  • Split Grip Handle
  • Kigan Z Micro-Guide Platform
  • Exclusive Kigan Hook Keeper
  • "Radical" new graphics look
     The new Avid X lineup is available in 18 different models covering just about every conceivable angling situation (spinning and casting) you could run into in freshwater.  The only thing missing is some musky rod sizes, but St Croix has that more than covered in some of their other rod lineups.  Since this is a St Croix rod we know the build quality is good.  After all they are made here in Wisconsin.  The real question I wanted to answer was, how do they fish?

     To answer this question I tried out the rod in as many scenarios as I could.  I took it walleye fishing, used it in a kayak tournament, drug it all over the shoreline, and even handed it off to clients.  So far the rod has performed perfectly.  The rod loads up evenly when casting allowing for accurate lure placement.  I was able to fire off cast after cast to weed pockets from the kayak with incredible precision.  It's casting accuracy is phenomenal!!!  The Kigan Z micro-guide system controls the line very well, and works great with both braid and fluorocarbon line.  Upon hook set the rod really shines, giving you plenty of back bone to help horse the fish in.  The fast action let's you control the fish, not get bullied by it.  This rod feels like quality in your hands and inspires confidence when you're casting. Plus those "Radical" graphics look pretty sweet too, it really is a nice fishing rod.
     That said, there were a few things about this rod that I didn't like.  Being that I am kind of a shore fishing specialist I have grown to favor longer rod handles.  The Avid X split grip handle feels really short to me.  This makes it harder for me to use both hands when making long casts.  While this may not be an issue for the boat bound anglers, it drove me crazy having to cast with only one hand on the rod.  Also the micro guides seemed excessively noisy when using a round bait casting reel.  I am guessing this is due to the more extreme line angle coming into the stripper guide.  The noise wasn't an issue when using a lower profile reel so it isn't a deal breaker, just something to be aware of if you like to swap reels a lot.  Also, I'm not a fan of the hook keeper on this rod.  Since it sits on top of the rod instead of to the side I kept getting the treble hooks on my Echotails wrapped up in the line.  Not a problem for the recreational angler, but tournaments are all about efficiency.  Definitely something to think about if you're constantly fishing against a clock.
      All in all the Avid X Medium Heavy is a great fishing rod.  The Avid line has always meant affordable quality, and this series certainly doesn't disappoint.  I would happily recommend this rod to other anglers.  If your a recreational boating angler this rod is perfect.  The casual shore angler will also love this rod for it's power and accuracy when casting.  You get a lot of top shelf features for the $200 price tag, and it's made in the USA.  To learn more about the Avid X series of rods or to purchase one of your own click here.
     Tight Lines.

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