Introduced in 2005, the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Series earned a rapid and expansive following from walleye anglers seeking technique-specific walleye tools handcrafted in the USA with premium St. Croix materials and technologies. In the years since, the Legend Tournament Walleye Series has set many new standards, firmly establishing that a walleye rod should be just that, not something else masquerading as a walleye rod. Never before had there been a more complete series of rods that supported walleye anglers in all the diverse ways they fished and done so at such a high level of performance.
Today, when a walleye angler slides a blue rod from the locker and uses it to snap a jig, pull a harness, flutter a blade bait, or lead a slip bobber, the rest of the walleye world takes notice and recognizes it for what it is… the standard by which other walleye rods are judged.
So, how does one go about improving upon such a legend? Unrelenting in its mission to provide all anglers with the tools that give them the upper hand on the water, the makers of the Best Rods on Earth® started – as it so often does – by talking with anglers; in this case, an elite group of walleye wizards with names like Roach, Brosdahl, Nelson, Bashore and Mason. The anglers’ ask? Make these iconic blue walleye rods even lighter, even stronger, even more comfortable to fish, and then offer even more technique-optimized models that enrich the walleye-fishing experience with improved balance, performance, and capability in any technique or presentation.
Fast-forward through three exhaustive years of research, development and testing and meet the most comprehensive, high-performance walleye-specific fishing series ever created by St. Croix Rod. Dramatically reengineered and expanded for 2023, the next-generation Legend Tournament Walleye Series includes 17 progressive, technique-specific models handcrafted in the USA on St. Croix’s all-new lighter and stronger SCIV+ hybrid carbon blanks. All-new Legend Tournament Walleye series rods feature all of St. Croix’s top technologies, the best-available components, and incorporate redesigned, angler-requested super-grade full-cork handles for improved comfort and control.
Lighter in the hand and more durable than ever, new Legend Tournament Walleye rods for 2023 feature next-generation hybrid SCIV+ carbon fiber blanks. “Designing, testing and building our new Legend Tournament Bass Series opened the door for our team to apply the benefits of SCIV+ to walleye anglers,” says St. Croix Brand Manager, Ryan Teach. “These hybrid materials – namely SCIV carbon and SCVI carbon – allow us to not only build blanks that are stronger and lighter, but to fine-tune and dial-in specific models in the Legend Tournament Walleye Series with the unique performance characteristics that allow them to excel in their intended applications. Each individual blank contains a different and distinct combination of those materials, and the specific and proprietary percentages, locations, and combinations are based on exhaustive research and testing for each length, power, and action.”
In addition to their distinct hybrid blank designs, new Legend Tournament Walleye rods also feature all of St. Croix’s top technologies including IPC, ART, FRS, and TET. “When combined with IPC (Integrated Poly Curve) mandrel technology, which removes hinge points during the layup process for smoother and stronger actions, our new SCIV+ material really shines in its ability to transmit energy, which means even more sensitivity for the angler,” Teach says. Meanwhile, ART (Advanced Reinforcing Technology) is added to further reinforce key transition areas between the SCIV and SCVI materials. “But we also know that extremely lightweight, sensitive rods are worthless without durability,” continues Teach. “ART and FRS (Fortified Resin System) combine to guard against rod failure in every new Legend Tournament Walleye model. We’ve proven it by testing every Legend Tournament Walleye model on our Dynamic Analyzer and confirmed on the water with our test staff. We literally set out to try and break these rods and asked our test staff to attempt the same. These are the most durable Legend Tournament Walleye rods ever made.”
As with previous-generation Legend Tournament Walleye rods, all lengths, powers and actions in the new series are tailored to specific walleye-fishing techniques, and the new Legend Tournament Walleye Series supports more techniques than ever before. “We added some of the new angler-requested lengths, powers and actions that we worked with our field staff to recently develop and offer in the Eyecon Series,” Teach says, naming the deep, fast-water-jigging phenom, HEAVY METAL model, as well as purpose-engineered JIG-N-RAP and RIP-N-RAP models, specifically. All models feature premium componentry like K-style tangle-free guides with Alconite rings and custom, technique-optimized hook keepers.
“The new blanks and components combine for significant improvements in balance and reduced tip weight across all models,” says Teach, who adds Legend Tournament Walleye’s all-new angler-requested full-cork handles play an integral role in furthering fishability. “The reel seats are integrated seamlessly within the five distinct handle designs that provide an extended foregrip for more comfortable fishing. Anglers will also appreciate the machined aluminum locking nuts that further promote comfort while enhancing feel.”
Despite the all the improvements, some things will stay the same: new Legend Tournament Walleye Series rods remain handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin, USA with a 15-year transferrable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service. They retain their iconic Tournament Blue Pearl color, supported by all-new graphics. New Legend Tournament Walleye Series models will retail from $270 to $320.
New St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Features
New St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Models
True legends attain such status by always reinventing themselves to be even better. Such is the case with the next generation of all-new Legend Tournament Walleye rods by St. Croix. Lighter, stronger, and dialed into a wider range of evolving walleye presentations and techniques than ever before, the new era of Legend Tournament Walleye begins right now at St. Croix dealers worldwide and at stcroixrods.com.