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St. Croix Mojo Yak Spinning and Casting Rod Review
In this review of the St. Croix Mojo Yak rods, we will tell you why they are one of our favorite rods for kayak fishing.
St. Croix is one of the most premier rod manufacturers in the business. Up until this point, we haven’t seen a lot of rods designed specifically for kayak anglers, but here we have it. The St. Croix Mojo Yak is designed specifically for kayak anglers who need the perfect balance of performance and size when fishing from tight quarters.
The St Croix Mojo Yak rods took home the Best in Showcase for new Fishing Rods at the 2018 ICAST.
The first thing you will notice when you get your hands on one of these rods is the shorter butt on the rod. By shortening the butt of the rod it is sooo… much easier to manuver the rod around from a sitting position.
Now let’s start from the top and work our way down. The blank on the St. Croix Mojo Yak is what they call an Integrated Poly Curve. This means that they engineered the rod blank using a continuous grind technology.
The IPC design helps make the rod blank lighter and stronger while providing more action. They mated that with SCIII graphite and gave it a carbon fiber reinforcement on the exterior to help keep the tip strong and prevent your rod from breaking on the end.
Taking a look at the guides, they’ve used a 3D guide design, which is built to outlast abuse when you whack them against the side of your kayak.
Again I want to emphasise the primary feature that makes this rod stand out for kayak anglers comes in the design of the handle. You’ll notice immediately that the handle is much shorter than your standard split-grip handle.
The Bottom Line
- One of my favorite intermediate priced rods for inshore fishing
- Superior sensativity from the SCIII graphite with a strong backbone
- Shortened butt design makes this rod superior for kayak fishing
- Durable Winn grips and Fuji components
The St. Croix Mojo Yak Rods are some of the best and are available HERE.
The butt on the St. Croix Mojo Yak is ideal for kayak anglers because it won’t get it in the way or get hung up in your life jacket or shirt. If you’re still dealing with the handle scraping up against you, they have even rounded the edge of the butt to allow it to slide easily along your body without getting hung up and messing up your cast.
If there wasn’t anymore – we could add we’d be good to go, but they even threw in the patented Winn grip, which is shock-absorbing and comfortable to hold onto all day. When you compare these grips to a standard cork grip, you’ll notice that these are tackier, but you still don’t lose out on sensitivity. When you’re kayak fishing, you’re more prone to getting wet or dirty, so you need a handle you can hold onto and keep a nice grip on.
Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) mandrel technology – This proprietary technology is exclusive to St. Croix and something they consider their most important technology. Rod manufacturing starts with the mandrel and all rods that don’t use this technology, grind on a piece of tapering compound steel.
So as the rods grind along the taper, there are little transitional bumps throughout the process. IPC mandrel technology is ground on a continuous curve, so it is smooth. For anglers, this means a lighter and stronger rod. It also means improved action and uniform wall thickness along the blank.
Premium, high-modulus SCIII graphite – This high-performance material produces a sensitive and lightweight rod. The SCIII graphite is both durable and lightweight, so you get upper-level performance in this price range. The SCIII not only drops the weight of the rod but it also makes the rod faster (stiffer) while still providing a very sensitive tip.
Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames – These 3D guides are built to handle abuse for kayak anglers. The design of these guides solves a problem that a lot of anglers have. Fishing with a braided line transfers a lot of pressure to the guides.
These guides reduce the chance of line interference by building the legs and ring frames separately. By doing this, they eliminate the possibility of your line wedging between the ring and the leg causing friction or even a possible snag.
Fuji DPS reel seat with black hoods on spinning models – These reel seats provide a comfortable place for your spinning reel to land. They are durable and easy to lock into place.
Fuji ECS reel seat with black hood on casting models – Many anglers turn to the Fuji ECS reel seats for their comfort and fit in their hands. These ECS feels great and gets the job done in most situations.
Custom Winn split-grip handle – One of the best features of these rods comes at the grip handle. The Winn split-grip provides a comfortable and tacky feeling that eliminates the risk of slipping regardless of the conditions. You get all-day comfort and control to allow for better casting distance and handling when fighting a big fish.
We have found that even if your hands are covered in fish slime that you can still get a good grip on the rod, this is very important especially when fishing from a kayak.
Kigan hook-keeper – The jury is out on hook-keepers, and every angler you talk to will have a different opinion. First things first, Kigan makes some of the best hook-keepers on the market, and my opinion has nothing to do with the brand.
Second, the keeper doesn’t get in the way of your cast on the St. Croix Mojo Yak. Some rods place the hook-keeper in a place that gets in the way and loops your line around it. We didn’t notice this issue on the St. Croix Mojo Yak.
Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish – A great rod is only as good as it’s finish and with two coats of Flex-Coat, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. The Flex-Coat makes this rod super durable to withstand the extra abuse that often is associated with kayak fishing especially if you are launching from the beach in rough conditions.
Features at a Glance
- Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) mandrel technology
- Premium, high-modulus SCIII graphite
- Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames
- Fuji DPS reel seat with black hoods on spinning models
- Fuji ECS reel seat with black hood on casting models
- Custom Winn split-grip handle
- Kigan hook-keeper
- Two coats of Flex-Coat slow-cure finish
Let’s take a look at the two different rods and how you’ll want to fish them. The spinning rod comes in six different models ranging from 7’ to 7’ 6”. They’re all fast-action one-piece rods with the ML power rated rods capable of handling 6-10 pound line, the M power rated rods capable of 6-12 pound line, and the MH at 8-14 lbs. While this is the official rating from St. Croix, we have fished thin braid in 20-30 lbs such as Suffix 832 with no problems.
Moving up to the 7’ 6” rods which are my favorite as it gives me the extra reach to get around the bow of the kayak with a good fish on. The ML is rated for 6-10 lbs, the M for 6-12 lbs, and the MH with 8-17 lbs.
Another thing to love about the 7’ and 7’6″ rods is they are light enough and fast enough to get a good distance casting from a seated position in the kayak.
For your casting rod, you have two different models. There’s a 7’ and a 7’6” option. Each are fast action and one piece. The 7′ M model takes 10-17 lb line, and the 7’6″ MH takes 12-25 lb line. I personally have my 7’6″ MH rigged with 30 lb suffix braid.
These rods are feather weight between four and five ounces so you won’t struggle with forearm fatigue even after a full day of casting unless you are lucky enough to be just killing it with large snook, and bull reds or some other hard fighting fish.
I really appreciate how easy it is to load up the rod and get great distance even when seated in my Hobie.
For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.
|MODEL||LGTH.||PWR.||ACTION||PCS.||LINE WT.||LURE WT.||ROD WT. (OZ.)||HANDLE|
|MYS70MLF||7'||ML||Fast||1||6-10 lb||1⁄8 - 1⁄2||4||1|
|MYS70MF||7'||M||Fast||1||6-12 lb||3⁄16 - 5⁄8||4.1||1|
|MYS70MHF||7'||MH||Fast||1||8-14 lb||3⁄8 - 3⁄4||4.3||1|
|MYS76MLF||7' 6"||ML||Fast||1||6-10 lb||1⁄8 - 1⁄2||4.4||2|
|MYS76MF||7' 6"||M||Fast||1||6-12 lb||1⁄4 - 3⁄4||4.5||2|
|MYS76MHF||7' 6"||MH||Fast||1||8-17 lb||3⁄8 - 1||5||2|
St. Croix Mojo Yak Field Tests
I had a chance to first cast the St. Croix Mojo Yak at the 2018 ICAST On The Water Event and was instanly hooked. I really liked how the shortened handle allowed me to maneuver in my kayak and not dig into my body or lifevest.
After ICAST, I promptly ordered up a 7’6″ MH which I have paired with my Daiwa Fuego LT in a 4000 size. Together this setup only weighs in at just 13.5 oz and is perfect for stalking large Reds, Snook and even the occasional Snapper offshore. I have found the rod to be extremely sensitive when fishing a live pinfish on a carolina rig for Reds. It is very easy to feel the take and set the hook.
I also enjoy fishing with a combination of topwater lures in the early morning or just as the sun is setting in the sound. I am able to get very good distance out of my casts and I have found the rod to be extremely accurate. The fast tip allows me to get great action out of the lures when walking the dog and the rod has plenty of backbone when a bull red smashes the lure.
For casting, I have a Daiwa Lexa HD 300 spooled with 30 Suffix 832 paired up with the 7’6″ MH. I have used this rod for many a trip for reds in the local sounds off Navarre as well as for a number of trips chasing snapper on the local reefs. Just like the spinning setup, I find the rod to have excellent sensitivity as well as strength.
- Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology
- Comfortable and tacky grips
- SCIII Graphite is great for sensitivity
- Shorter, rounded handle
- The shorter, rounded handle could prove unnecessary to some anglers
Let’s take a look at some other rods to see how they stack up to the St. Croix Mojo Yak. We love these rods, and we think it’s hard even to compare them, but we’ll try.
First, let’s look at the Star Stellar Lite Rods. This one is a bit more affordable, but does it sacrifice any features? You get a more standard cork grip on the Star Stellar Lite, which we don’t believe can compare to the awesome Winn grips.
These rods are around the same length as the St. Croix Mojo Yak, with most models between six and eight feet. One plus is that they offer much more variety in the length and action of rods you can choose from.
The blanks are M7 graphite and offer very good sensitivity and you also get the Fuji reel seats and guides. If it comes down to budget this is a good alternative. Read the full Star Stellar Lite Rod review HERE.
Next, let’s look at a rod that will run you barely a third of the cost of the St. Croix Mojo Yak. You’ve likely heard of Shakespeare, and you’ve probably heard of the Ugly Stik. Here’s the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod.
The rod blank is a combination of fiberglass and graphite, which is said to be lighter and more durable. Shakespeare uses one-piece guides they call “Ugly Tuff.” These are one-piece stamped stainless steel that makes them more durable.
With this one, you also get an EVA grip, which is also durable but nothing compared to the Winn split-grip handle. If you’re searching for a lightweight, small, and inexpensive spinning or casting rod these are worth checking out. Read the full Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod review HERE.
Lastly, let’s jump up a notch in price to the G Loomis E6X Inshore rod. This high-quality rod uses a carbon fiber blank with a single mandrel grind similar to the St. Croix Mojo Yak. G Loomis sets out to minimize weak points and generate uniform wall thickness for improved sensitivity.
These rods come with a full cork handles and range in length between 6’6″ and 8′. This is an excellent rod with the lightweight design and sensitivity you need in your kayak. Read the full G Loomis E6X Inshore Rod review HERE.
We can’t say enough about the St. Croix Mojo Yak. This rod is one of our favorites for a variety of reasons. They’ve put together a lightweight rod with maximum sensitivity that fishes great for kayakers.
You’ll have no problem hitting the mark from your kayak, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a premium, durable rod for years to come.