New Rod: St. Croix Triumph X TXS70MF

New rod, St.Croix Triumph X, Mark Modoski

St. Croix Triumph X

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.

Specs
Length: 7'
Power: Medium
Action: Fast
Line Weight: 6- to 12-lb.
Lure Weight: 1/4- to 5/8-oz.
$100, stcroixrods.com

**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.

Misses
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.