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Discussion Starter #1
Currently my primary rod is a Shimano 6'6'' Medium power - extra fast action which I've had no complaints on, love the sensitivity and power, also casts great.

St Croix rods get a lot of hype - my buddy actually got one recently with the same stats 6'6'' Medium/extra fast - and likes it so far.

Anyone have any input that would like to share? Pros/Cons? Cost?

(I generally use Shimano spinning reels with my set up)
 

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I too fish Shimano spinning reels and their U/L rods.
In the 6' 6" category, the best rod I've found over the years is the Fenwick HMG series. The 6' 6" is a GS66M-MF. I use this rod primarily for snook redfish and tarpon down here in Florida. It's got enough backbone for sails also, under the right conditions. I would imagine it would be an excellent choice for lakers or pike in Colorado.
I use a #4000 Stella spooled with 10# Fireline on it.
The rod sells for about $100.
Bill
 

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Huge Shimano fan here. Have too many of their rods to describe right now. Fully pleased, and for my fishing needs have zero desire to look elsewhere. Do have a St. Croix fly rod, but that's all. So I can't offer much of a firsthand comparison, just enthusiastic satisfaction with Shimano. I guess my favorite casting/spinning rod/reel company, now that I think of it.
 

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Hop said:
Huge Shimano fan here. Have too many of their rods to describe right now. Fully pleased, and for my fishing needs have zero desire to look elsewhere. Do have a St. Croix fly rod, but that's all. So I can't offer much of a firsthand comparison, just enthusiastic satisfaction with Shimano. I guess my favorite casting/spinning rod/reel company, now that I think of it.
Although I love their reels I am also a fan of the Fenwick I am very picky with a jigging rod and my favorite was their discontinued 6' hard core graphite in medium heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hop said:
Huge Shimano fan here. Have too many of their rods to describe right now. Fully pleased, and for my fishing needs have zero desire to look elsewhere. Do have a St. Croix fly rod, but that's all. So I can't offer much of a firsthand comparison, just enthusiastic satisfaction with Shimano. I guess my favorite casting/spinning rod/reel company, now that I think of it.
Thanks - yeah I have no complaints myself, trying to see if there is a huge difference with St Croix...

I've heard you get a lifetime warranty with St Croix however ???
 

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Shimano vs. St Croix is chocolate vs. vanilla. Depends on what you like. They both make a pretty damn good rod.

I like my St Croix rods and is mainly what I fish.
Medium fast works well for my applications (mainly lakers and walleye with the occasional wiper or green carp). It is sensitive enough for lindy rigging eyes and deep jigging lakers and enough back bone to handle large lakers and wipers.

It comes down to what you like in a rod....

Also
St Croix changed their warranty somewhat recently. I snapped a rod last year(my fault) and they upgraded me to the next higher model for about $20. I was happy with the customer service and their prompt reply.
http://www.stcroixrods.com/category/service_and_warranty
 

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^ Exactly.

Shimano does offer a full warrantee on all of the high end rods though.

I don't know if they still have this program, but in the past you could return a busted Shimano to a dealer for even exchange. The dealer would then do the dance with Shimano. Real fast and painless. The only problem is a lot of dealers have no idea of this.

I won't fish another reel, but I have a mix of Loomis, Shimano and St. Croix rods. I just look for the best stick for the job and for the money.

I would NEVER buy a rod over the 'net... most rods are not built on the spine if they are factory built. I roll them by hand in the store to check the spine. A pair of "identical" rods can perform very different.

You can youtube spine-finding, but it is basically where the rod "wants" to bend. The guides should be in line with the spine, or there will be annoying torque when casting and fighting a fish. Sucks!

SS
 

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Well, if the rod is built correctly, the bulk of the guides DO follow the spine. The idea with a spiral wrap is that there will be less rotational torque due to the guides being below the blank, like a spinning rod.

You still have to find the spine, but I think any rod-builder worth their salt would be hip to this, so I would not sweat it too much.

So, no, not hocus-pocus at all. Just good ole physics. :)

SS
 

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SHIMANO!!!!!
Not a fan of St. Croix rods at all. I have only fished the higher end ones and I don't think they compare sensitivity wise to other top end offerings.

They both have the best warranty in the business.
 

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swimbait said:
^ Exactly.

Shimano does offer a full warrantee on all of the high end rods though.

I don't know if they still have this program, but in the past you could return a busted Shimano to a dealer for even exchange. The dealer would then do the dance with Shimano. Real fast and painless. The only problem is a lot of dealers have no idea of this.

I won't fish another reel, but I have a mix of Loomis, Shimano and St. Croix rods. I just look for the best stick for the job and for the money.

I would NEVER buy a rod over the 'net... most rods are not built on the spine if they are factory built. I roll them by hand in the store to check the spine. A pair of "identical" rods can perform very different.

You can youtube spine-finding, but it is basically where the rod "wants" to bend. The guides should be in line with the spine, or there will be annoying torque when casting and fighting a fish. Sucks!

SS

swimbait said:
Well, if the rod is built correctly, the bulk of the guides DO follow the spine. The idea with a spiral wrap is that there will be less rotational torque due to the guides being below the blank, like a spinning rod.

You still have to find the spine, but I think any rod-builder worth their salt would be hip to this, so I would not sweat it too much.

So, no, not hocus-pocus at all. Just good ole physics. :)

SS
Spine means nothing, it's been disproved to affect anything. All high end rods are built on the straightest axis.

Don't get any of my rods, I'll build on the spine if it's the same as the straightest axis, but not as a rule. If it affected the rod that much, then you'd be casting around corners.

Like Fowl_hooked stated, it's like chocolate and vanilla, both are good, stick with what you like.
 

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Koldkut said:
Spine means nothing, it's been disproved to affect anything. All high end rods are built on the straightest axis.
Here's a question from the Volume 4 - Issue #5 issue of RodMaker magazine:
"First off I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your book, and have found a considerable amount of useful info. I hope you don't mind my picking your brains again. I recently purchased a 4 piece Sage 7 weight XP fly rod blank. The blank has white dots placed on it. Sage's website states that they place the white dots on the blank to "indicate the straightest visual line on the blank" and that is where they wrap their guides. Although I've had some difficulty find the spine on the lowest two rod sections (they appear to have two spines) the best determination I've made is that the dots have no relationship to the spine. Why would Sage not want to place their guides opposite the spine? Is it for cosmetic reasons, or do they think there would be less friction when shooting line?

I'm planning on staying with conventional rod design and place the guides opposite the spine. Thanks for any light you can shed on this matter! Kevin. . . Banning, CA"



Sage is not alone in the practice of placing guides on the straightest axis instead of on, or opposite, the spine. Many if not most of the commercial builders set their rods up this way.
You have to understand that most fishermen do not know what rod "spine" is. But they do know what "straight" is. The next time you are in your local tackle shop watch what a fisherman does when he picks up a rod. He'll shake it, wiggle it and then sight down the rod with the guides either straight up or straight down. He's checking to see if the rod is straight and 99 times out of 100 he will only check the plane the guides are in. If the commercial makers were to put their guides on or opposite the spine, the rod might not look straight when the customer sights down it. At that point, it get returned to the rack and the search for a "straight one" continues!
So in the case of many commercially made rods, some compromise is made on the performance end in order to assure that the sales end stays strong. Until fishermen learn and understand what rod spine is and how it can be used, building on the straightest axis is the smart thing for the manufacturers to do.

On the other hand, the custom builder has the opportunity to work with the customer on a one-on-one basis and can educate him or her on why you locate the guides where you do.
By the way, the axis which exhibits the spine effect to the greatest extent is the one and only "effective spine". A verticle spine finder may make it easier for you to distinguish this. ~ Tom Kirkman

There appears to be a range of opinion on the topic... ::)

Koldkut said:
Don't get any of my rods...
Sounds like a plan Stan.;) I had been thinking about it, because I know that you do very good work. But then again, you don't really make rods, you assemble components. I consider "rodbuilding" to be a minor step up in complexity from tying a San Juan Worm, and I can tie those just fine thanks.

SS
 

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If you want to kill some time on the subject, use the search feature over on rodbuilding.org. Tom Kirkman, the guy who answered the above question owns the site. Lots of good info there, and the photo gallery there has some wicked sick work posted up.


swimbait said:
Sounds like a plan Stan.;) I had been thinking about it, because I know that you do very good work. But then again, you don't really make rods, you assemble components. I consider "rodbuilding" to be a minor step up in complexity from tying a San Juan Worm, and I can tie those just fine thanks.

SS

And it really isn't hard to do, I encourage anyone to give it a shot. It does, however, take some practice to get good with the trim wraps and keeping glue lines and blemishes under control.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Boondock said:
SHIMANO!!!!!
Not a fan of St. Croix rods at all. I have only fished the higher end ones and I don't think they compare sensitivity wise to other top end offerings.

They both have the best warranty in the business.
I like my 6'6 Compre medium/extra fast - but maybe I'll try a St Croix on my next rod and see how I like it. Guess the only way would be to try it out
 
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