Since opening a production facility in Fresnillo, Mexico, St. Croix has made some serious waves on the lower-pricepoint side of the market with rod series like “Rio Santo” and its newer “Imperial” rods. They’re perfectly functional, and supremely cast-able, without costing an arm and a leg. St. Croix also is one of the first rod companies to delve into the relatively young “technique-specific” realm of fly rods, for example, by creating the “Bank Robber” series in concert with streamer maven Kelly Galloup, which proved to be another home run with angling consumers.
This year, St. Croix introduces its “High Stick Drifter” rod series, designed to perform best in “high stick nymphing” situations. And why not? Since 99 percent of most anglers in the Rockies (and more and more in the Midwest and the East) rely on high stick nymphing techniques to catch trout—that only seems natural.
The “Drifter” rods feature 3M’s “nano silica” resin (like many of the new generation rods), but they’re designed to have a lightweight tip section that enhances sensitivity, and also reduces angler fatigue (when standing in a river, in the “Statue of Liberty” position for hours on end). The lower sections of the rods are where you find the reserve power, and overall, St. Croix pulls it off with excellent balance. If you fish below the surface more often than not, St. Croix has made an appealing option (in Park Falls, Wisconsin) for $430. They’re slightly longer than the norm (another benefit for nymph applications) at 9’6” for a 4 weight, a 10-foot 4, and a 10-foot 5.