Building on the historic and wildly successful March, 2020 Bassmaster Classic launch of St. Croix’s most-sensitive rods ever, four new, made-in-the-USA Legend Xtreme freshwater rod models are being unveiled at ICAST 2020 Online.
Insanely sensitive and awash with St. Croix’s proprietary technologies, these rods are extreme in both design and on-the-water performance. New models include 6’3”, medium power, extra-fast action (XFS63MXF) and 7’6”, medium power, fast action (XFS76MF) spinning rods; and 6’8”, medium power, fast action (XFC68MF) and 6’8”, medium power, extra-fast action (XFC68MXF) casting rods. The expanded Legend Xtreme freshwater series now includes 11 rods – five spinning models and six casting models – supporting anglers in an even wider range of freshwater presentations and techniques with pinnacle St. Croix performance.
Rated for use with 6-12-lb. line and lures from 3/16 to 5/8 oz., the NEW 7’6” medium power, fast action Legend Xtreme spinning (XFS76MF) model is designed and handcrafted as the ultimate utility rod. Serving discriminating freshwater anglers with the utmost in sensitivity to support wide-ranging techniques with plastics, topwaters, jerkbaits, jigging presentations and more, the versatile new XFS76MF’s generous 7’6” length affords long, accurate casts, fast line pickup, and is also ideal for kayak use. The ultra-sensitive XFS76MF is so versatile, in fact, it has been selected by St. Croix for entry into the prestigious 2020 ICAST Online New Product Showcase Awards in the Freshwater Rod category.
The reengineered SCV carbon found in the new Legend Xtreme is an example of St. Croix’s constant drive to obtain the unimaginable – proven Xtreme durability with proven, unprecedented sensitivity – so anglers can fish without compromise. Engineered as a result of a new proprietary manufacturing processes, the new Legend Xtreme employs a resin that significantly increases strength in compression during the hookset, as well as flexural strength when the rod is under load. The new SCV carbon construction also incorporates an improved, overlaid ART (Advanced Reinforcing Technology) to yield the highest levels of carbon fiber density found on any fishing rod on earth. Simply put, the new Legend Xtreme offers an unquestionably pure and dense carbon, to transmit the slightest vibration through a carbon fiber guide train and proprietary new handle, all while achieving a tensile strength never attained in any previous St. Croix fishing rod.
A Blank Slate
The story of the NEW Legend Xtreme begins with the series’ incredibly sensitive blanks, which feature Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC™) mandrel technology and design for more refined powers and actions. IPC adds continuous tapers to eliminate “stepped” transition points to create blanks that are smoother, stronger and more sensitive than traditional designs. They also feature a new and improved version of St. Croix’s Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART™), a high-tensile high-modulus cross-grain material that reinforces the blank and allows for the use of less material while maintaining strength and decreasing weight.
Additionally, Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) blank design provides curved patterns for improved action with increased sensitivity. “We add a little bit of curvature to the patterns to refine the actions of the blanks even more… which is especially noticeable in the extra-fast models,” says St. Croix Engineering Supervisor, Gavin Falk. “Taper Enhancement Technology makes these new rods even smoother.”
New Legend Xtreme rod blanks also feature St. Croix’s most exotic blend of carbon materials. A super high-modulus SCVI carbon in the lower section joins high-modulus/high-strain SCV carbon in the upper section to yield maximum power, unparalleled strength, durability, sensitivity and reduced overall weight. St. Croix’s Fortified Resin System (FRS) is also employed throughout the entire blank. FRS combines a fortified super resin with computer-operated curing ovens that provide improved temperature and time management through all stages of the curing cycle. Ultimately, FRS prevents microbuckling by keeping the carbon fibers in proper alignment throughout the critical curing process. Blanks manufactured with this advanced manufacturing protocol consistently test out at 33% stronger than those built with standard resins and curing methods.
Finally, a new, stealthy, Black Coral finish completes the upgrade to the new Legend Xtreme’s incredibly sensitive, high-performance blank – the ultimate canvas for additional sensitivity-enhancing features and components.
Moving beyond their remarkable blanks, new St. Croix Legend Xtreme rods take sensitivity to insane levels via the all-new, exotic Daiwa AGS carbon fiber guide train.
“The Daiwa AGS carbon fiber guides with Fuji KG tip top and torzite ring are brand new to us, and we have the both the knowledge and the exclusive rights to use them,” says Falk. “Their rigid frames are what really set these guides apart and make them so unique. They transfer energy much more efficiently than other traditional guide platforms. Their rigidity increases responsiveness, which is beneficial in every fishing situation… not just the obvious ones; they reduce recovery time when making a cast, for example. The bottom line is that the angler is always feeling what’s happening with their line and lure.”
Think these new carbon guides are weak? Think again.
“Of course, we did strength and durability testing,” says Falk. “They tested much more rigid than a stainless steel guide and frame. And while they don’t bend or deflect like traditional guides, it actually took twice as much force to break them in our testing.”
The end result of pairing the new Legend Xtreme blanks with the Daiwa AGS carbon fiber guides is a rod that goes far beyond what anglers previously considered sensitive. In a way, it feels like there are no guides at all. “When a fish bites, the sensation is intense and immediate,” summarizes Falk, “but the technology doesn’t end there.”
Getting a Handle on Sensitivity
The process of making a rod this sensitive shouldn’t ignore the critical connection point between rod and angler. That’s why St. Croix developed an all-new handle worthy and on par with the rest of the astounding, new Legend Xtreme.
“Our first generation Xtreme-Skin™ handle is an incredible performer, but we wanted to take the opportunity afforded by the new Legend Xtreme launch to improve upon it by creating an even better handle with both improved grip and heightened energy transfer,” says Falk. “We came up with a rain drop coating that offers more friction points, a grippier coating, and not just a smooth surface like the generation before.”
The result is the Gen2 Xtreme-Skin handle, which improves handling in both wet and dry conditions and transmits feedback from the rod better than ever before. It’s also extremely resilient. “Through our salt spray tests we discovered it’s also very easy to clean and very durable,” says Falk, who opted to pair the new handle with the Fuji® SK2™ split reel seat. “The entire handle assembly is lightweight and extremely durable, while complementing the sensitivity of the overall package.”
New* St. Croix Legend Xtreme Models
* ICAST 2020 Introduction, Freshwater Rod New Product Showcase entry in bold
New St. Croix Legend Xtreme Features