St. Croix Rage Spinning rod

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St. Croix Rod has another spinning rod for you to add to your collection.   In their seventh decade, the company continues to adhere to the highest standards in fishing equipment.   I have had the opportunity to use the “RAGE” spinning rod for my saltwater fishing and charters.    The Rage falls in line with other St Croix products with quality components plus some isolated differences that may be appealing to experienced anglers.    As a longtime user of St Croix products, their handcrafted products have a track record of great weight, balance, power, performance but especially with durability.    With the Rage, the company does not deviate from that protocol and offers another great choice with tremendous value in a fishing rod.

Appearance:

The Rage is an attractive rod, with a nice metallic silver color, with multiple layers of Flex Coat and a slow drying process creating lasting beauty of the rod.   The lower grip and reel seat are significantly different than most St Croix rods.    Grip and reel seat surface is minimal.   People will tell you “that is a nice looking rod.”   Cosmetic, the appearance is a draw but the value is truly realized “in use.”

Construction and Materials:

The power of all St Croix rods, also evidenced in the RAGE:  The components are the sum of all parts making “one whole, quality product”.    The Rage rod has these reputable, time-tested materials used in the construction utilizing Integrated Poly Curve technology.  Also notable in blank and total rod construction: computerization, resin curing and reinforcement technology are critical elements in maximizing sensitivity and performance and also eliminating any deformities.   More information: http://stcroixrods.com/content/engineering_and_technology

The reel seat and grip are set up for proper balance of your reel and are slightly lighter than conventional reel seats.    The reel attaches easily to the seat.    Notes from St Croix:
**”Neoprene skin provides maximum comfort, durability and a positive grip that actually improves when wet.”

And also, “Precision-machined core is customized for each model and provides excellent sensitivity.

The Pac Bay Minima stainless-steel ring micro guides are very light and will not be damaged or easily bent.    The blanks are very responsive, high-modulus SCIII graphite blanks with Integrated Poly Curve technology.    These are blanks custom rod builders would love to have.

Performance:

Without question, a big difference between the Rage rod and other industry choices is the micro guides.    Regardless of your line selection, the much smaller guides keep great control of the line during casts and anglers will experience fewer casting knots and “tip wraps” with this rod.

In my own use, which is predominantly artificial lures for saltwater gamefish, the fishing rod is the most important component in the rod and reel combination.   The Rage provides strength for fighting fish but it also provides a great “feel” for both making long, easy casts and keeps control of light lures for the appropriate presentation to trick the toughest gamefish.    

Warranty and care:

Rod buyers should fill out the warranty registration immediately after purchase.   On the Rage, there is a 5-year warranty (St Croix “Superstar Service”), but based on my past experiences with their products you are unlikely to have a warranty claim.    Damage to St Croix rods is usually user abuse and not the fault of the product or company.  As a personal testimonial on their products:  Of the dozens of St Croix rods I have owned since I first bought my first two in 1997: The most I have ever had to do was glue on a new rod tip.    To extend the life of your St Croix rods, study the tips that are provided by the team at St. Croix on the tags of your new rod.    It is common sense, but there are tips to avoid putting undue stress on your fishing rods.     Another great investment would be to look at the rod “jackets” that are made by Angler Innovations http://www.anglerinnovationsusa.com/rod-jacket.html.  This is a good investment especially for those who are admittedly “tough on my fishing gear.”

To research product warranty information on any St Croix rod, visit their web site:  http://stcroixrods.com/category/service_and_warranty

Pro Tips:

With the Rage’s miniature guides and tip, if you do not know how to tie small line-to-leader connections:   Learn.   A small knot will pass through the guides and tip just fine with little restriction.  Anglers choosing to employ heavier leader lines may want to shorten the leader significantly if their connection knot is larger due to leader line diameter.

For the experienced angler, they will enjoy the construction as much as other St Croix spinning rods.   For the new angler, a first-class start to the sport:  This rod will help with line control for beginners, particularly with braided lines.

Pricing:   The Rage spinning rods retail for around $150.    This is in the “middle range” for price points in the product line of St Croix rods.    This is value for the money, and worth the investment.    In cost comparison, “what you get” is superior to cheaper rod options.   Compared to lower price St Croix products?    It is “apples to oranges.”    All are quality products; you will have to decide which rod is right for you and your choice of fishing venues.

One thing that is definitely worth knowing when dealing with St Croix products:  The Upgrade Plan.   Their “Gold Star” upgrade plan gives you the chance to move up to a new rod model of your choice, with a brand new warranty if you decide to do a trade-in.   So happy with every rod I have ever had, I have never done it but it is a great program by a company that enjoys the loyalty of their clientele.

Recommendation: The Rage will be a great all-around choice for both salt and freshwater anglers but I believe it should be an extremely popular choice for those who like to throw a lot of topwater lures and spoons.    I have used the Inshore Avid, Premier and Tidemaster series rods for many years.    In the future, the Rage will also be integrated into my business- used for all purposes but an exceptional choice for casting and presenting topwater lures.  I did not find a flaw in the design or deficiencies in use. This is a quality piece of fishing equipment that I would use myself every day.

Select the “power” and “action” that works for you.   What are power and action?

http://stcroixrods.com/content/rod_action_and_power

Your choices available in the Rage series:

Model Length Power Action PCS Line Weight Lure Weight Rod Weight Handle Price
RS68MXF 6’8″ M X-Fast 1 6 – 12 3/16 – 5/8 4.0 3 $ 150
RS610MLXF 6’10” ML X-Fast 1 6 – 10 1/8 – 1/2 4.0 3 $ 150
RS610MXF 6’10” M X-Fast 1 6 – 12 1/8 – 5/16 4.4 3 $ 150
RS71MF 7’1″ M Fast 1 6 – 12 3/16 – 5/8 4.2 3 $ 150
RS71MHF 7’1″ MH Fast 1 8 – 14 3/8 – 3/4 4.6 4 $ 150

You can go and look at St Croix products at a reputable dealer:  http://stcroixrods.com/category/dealer_locator
Call ahead to see which models they carry.

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Neil Taylor
Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding. Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.