New rod, St.Croix Triumph X, Mark Modoski

This new line of rods was definitely on my radar; I have an older Triumph with countless miles on it, and so I was amped to try the souped-up X. The series includes both spinning and casting rods and covers power ranges from ultra-light to medium-heavy to target everything from panfish to walleye.

On a crisp November day last fall, I took a 7-foot Triumph X spinning rod bushwhacking along a small river near my home for bass, pickerel, and pike. This was a solid test, I felt, because success depended on pinpoint casting through trees, steering fish away from cover, and detecting soft bites in murky water. Plenty of fish were willing to play, giving the rod a full work-up for its casting ability, comfort, sensitivity, and strength, as it picked up light hits from finicky bass and subdued a 35-inch pike. All in all, I was impressed.

Length: 7′
Power: Medium
Action: Fast
Line Weight: 6- to 12-lb.
Lure Weight: 1/4- to 5/8-oz.

**Hits **
The two things that stood out the most were the rod’s sensitivity and hook-setting power. I had a handful of takes that were barely detectable, but I was still able to hood up because the rod picked up the slightest hint of a strike. For a medium-action rod, it did an impressive job of driving hooks home and steering big fish away from heavy cover. For the quality, the price is hard to beat.

Call it a personal preference, but I’m partial to full-cork grips over split-foam.

The Bottom Line
This is a high-end rod at a mid-range price, making it a solid choice for both the weekend warrior and the hardcore angler. For anyone looking to make their first step up to a better fishing rod, the Triumph X is a great choice.