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St Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore Review
Today we are going to review the St. Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore Spinning and Casting Rods. These rods are easy to spot on the water, not because there are a lot of them out there but because of their distinctive white color.
The St. Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore is a high-end rod designed for the professional or prosumer angler that is looking for the best rod they can get. St. Croix has really pulled out all the stops when it comes to integrating their rod technology in this bad boy.
What is nice about this rod is it can handle everything from large hard fighting fish like a huge 42″ snook or 80 lb Tarpon down to smaller species such as Trout and Mackerel — all the time providing you with the ultimate in sensitivity thanks to St. Croix’s taper enhancement technology (TET).
St Croix offers the Legend Xtreme Inshore in three spinning models and one casting model. All four rods are one piece and 7′ in length.
Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology – St. Croix IPC technology has to do with the way that the rod blank is manufactured. Traditional rod blanks have very distinct transition points between the different sections of the rod that each have different diameters. Think of it as stepping down from one rod blank diameter to the next.
With IPC, St. Croix is able to manufacture a rod blank that has a very uniform wall thickness from the butt all the way to the tip. What this means to you as a fisherman is that you get a rod that has an amazing amount of sensitivity, smoother action, and superior strength. (See image below.)
Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) – St Croix uses a computerized cutter to cut the rod blank with a slightly curved pattern which has been shown after extensive testing to improve both the action and the sensitivity of the rod blank.
Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART™) – St. Croix ART technology increases the integrity of the hoop strength of the rod by a magnitude of 10x. St. Croix ART proprietary carbon fiber material adds strength without adding weight or bulk to the diameter of the rod.
Simply put, it means that when you have a heavy hook set or are fighting a heavy fish, the rod blank will not lose its round shape or compress into an oval shape under the applied pressure. (See image below.)
Super high-modulus SCVI graphite with FRS – St. Croix uses super high-modulus SCVI graphite with FRS in the lower section of the rod which provides for the maximum strength and power available in today’s manufacturing combined with being extremely lightweight.
High-modulus/high-strain SCV graphite with FRS – The upper portion of the rod is made with High-modulus/high-strain SCV graphite with FRS and carbon-matte scrim. The strength and power to retrieve big fish is gained from using a carbon scrim which is a reinforcing fabric, this provides for incredible strength, durability, and sensitivity.
Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle Guides – The tangle guides have zirconia rings with titanium frames which when combined will provide you with maximum protection against saltwater corrosion. When you look at the guides you will see that they are basically bowed out on the sides and angled towards the tip of the rod. This prevents line tangles and birds nests particularly with thinner fluorocarbon and super braid lines.
Fuji® SK2™ split reel seat – The Fuji SK2 split reel seat provides a solid connection between the reel and the rod where the reel is snugged up against the rod blank itself. This increases the sensitivity and transfers even the smallest bite directly to the angler’s hand. The Fuji SK2 provides for a reel seat that is up to 54% lighter than traditional reel seats.
Xtreme-Skin handle – The Xtreme-skin handle is unique to this rod and is extremely comfortable. The best way to describe it would be a base material that then appears to be either shrink-wrapped or dipped into a proprietary material. The bottom line is that the handle is very rigid while still providing a great grip.
What all of this means to you is an increased casting performance as well as having a grip that is easy to clean and hold onto when it is wet. Most anglers feel like the Xtreme-skin handle provides a better grip and is more sensitive than a cork handle.
Kigan titanium hook-keeper. – When you purchase a rod like this, it is the attention to small details that make the difference, such as using titanium vs. stainless steel for something as small as the hook keeper.
Two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish. – After all of the components have been assembled, the rod is finished off with 2 layers of the Flex Coat slow-cure finish. Flex Coat is an epoxy finish that is used to coat and seal the rod and the rod wraps. When you look at the rod wraps you can not even see the wrapping material, this provides a clean look and added durability.
15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service – St. Croix stands behind their rods when it comes to defects or workmanship for a full 15 years. It is nice to know that when you make an investment in a St. Croix rod that they stand behind it.
Features at a Glance
- Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®)
- Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) blank
- Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART™)
- Super high-modulus SCVI graphite with FRS
- High-modulus/high-strain SCV graphite with FRS and carbon-matte scrim
- Kigan Master Hand Zero Tangle guides with zirconia rings
- Fuji® SK2™ split reel seat
- Xtreme-Skin handle
- Kigan titanium hook-keeper.
- Corrosion-proof wind check and reel seat
- Two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish
- 15-year transferable warranty
When you look at the weight on these rods coming in between 4.4 oz. and 5.5 oz., you have to ask yourself, how is it that they can build a rod that is so strong and yet so light?
The answer to this is all in the rod blank, remember the rod blank is the backbone of the rod itself. For more on rod, construction read How to Choose a Rod.
St. Croix has some of the most advanced rod building technology in the marketplace that all comes out of their facilities right here in the USA. The combination of their proprietary tooling and computer-driven manufacturing process with proprietary carbon fiber resins, tapering, and final curing process leads to unprecedented strength, sensitivity, and durability for such lightweight rods.
For field testing of the St. Croix Legend Extreme Inshore, I chose the model XIS70MLF which has a medium-light power and a fast action. I paired this with the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ in a 3000 size. Together the total setup weighed in at just a hair over 11 oz. Having grown up fly fishing for trout, I can honestly say that this felt like I had a really nice Sage rod in my hands.
I put the combination to the test by first pitching artificials of varying weights for trout and reds. When retrieving the lure, the sensitivity is absolutely incredible. As you crank the bait, you can feel every little vibration from the lure swimming through the water. I was amazed at how even the smallest nibble on the lure from something as small as a lizard or pinfish was transferred right to my hand.
Once I hooked up with a few trout in the 16″ – 20″ range the fight was awesome. I regularly fish a St. Croix Mojo Inshore of similar length and power/action and I have to say that the difference between the two rods is night and day, but so is the price being almost 4 to 1.
Later in the early evening, I was lucky enough to have a chance to pitch some small pinfish under some docks near my home. The weight of the pinfish loaded the rod up but it was able to handle it no problem. Once the fish was in the water, I again was amazed at how I could feel every little movement of the bait fish.
I managed to hook onto a nice 28″ Snook and the fishing was again awesome on this super light combo.
- Super lightweight
- Xtreme sensitivity
- Super accurate casting capability
- It is expensive, in this case, you get what you pay for
- The Rod butt is known to slide on the boat deck
- Some reports of discoloration of the handle
If you want to stay with the St. Croix brand then you want to make sure that you check out the St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore which won “Best Saltwater Rod” at ICAST in 2017. This is an excellent rod that has many of the same high-quality components of the St. Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore for about 3/4 of the price. Read the full St. Croix Legend Tournament Inshore review HERE.
Also, check out the St. Croix Avid Inshore another excellent rod for about half the cost of the Legend Xtreme Inshore. Read the full St. Croix Avid Inshore review HERE.
Moving along to another brand I would have you take a look at two rods from G. Loomis. For half the cost of the Legend Xtreme Inshore read the full G. Loomis E6X review HERE.
If money is no object then you might want to take a look at the top of the line offering from G. Loomis the NRX. Read the full G. Loomis NRX review HERE.
Overall I love the St. Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore spinning rod. When you combine the incredible build materials of this rod with state of the art engineering you get a rod that is lightweight, durable and provides a level of sensitivity that can only be rivaled by the G. Loomis NRX for about 50% more in price.
If you have the budget and are serious about inshore fishing then I can highly recommend investing in the S. Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore, you will not be disappointed. It is also nice to know that when you make an investment like this that St. Croix backs it up with a 15-year transferable warranty.