St. Croix Avid Fly Rod Review
While the Streamflex may be my go to trout rod, my St. Croix Avid 4 weight 8' 6" is my small stream fly rod. Utilizing SC III graphite and a proprietary Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) taper, St Croix has put together a very sensitive yet strong fly rod at an affordable price (MSRP $260-$300). The progressive taper creates a moderate action that is a bit slower than many of its' contemporaries offerings but I find this makes a far more enjoyable rod to fish, especially when you are tucked away and communing with nature at your favorite trout hide. Subtlety over speed. Further the smooth transition in the blank allows one to fish a lighter tippet than they perhaps normally would, as the rod itself will absorb much of the initial shock of a take. An absolute pleasure to cast with, these rods are truly at home when a subtle accurate presentation is required. Keep things smooth and don't overpower your cast and this rod will do exactly what you want it to. Finally I find the slower, more meditative cadence required to cast this rod forces me to be more reflective and aware of the surroundings and at the end of the day that what it is all about; getting back to nature, enjoying beautiful water and beautiful fish.
One last point: if for any reason you have issues with the rod, the customer service at St Croix is top notch and they will do their best to get the stick back in your hands as soon as possible. Made here in the US at their factory in Park Falls Wisconsin, the Avid comes with a lifetime warranty and it has been my experience that St Croix stands by their word and reputation. I have had this rod for several years now and it has accompanied me on some of my most memorable trips and in the process has put more smiles on my face than I can remember. Anyone looking for a classic trout rod would do themselves a favor by considering the St Croix Avid.