Fly Rod Review: St. Croix SOLE

St. Croix Sole Fly Rod

St. Croix Sole Fly Rod

Specs first: 2-piece, one 7’ section plus a 2’ tip, rod comes with two tips, fast action.

That’s the St. Croix SOLE, sounds like a bizarre little animal – until you fish one.

Safe bet that most new-gen anglers never fished a one-piece – I’m one. Nothing against them, but they’re boat rods, and I rarely find myself in a boat.

Casting a SOLE and playing fish on it is similar to the first time you fish a glass or a cane rod. It’s an experience in itself.

Whenever I’m faced with an unabashedly unique product such as the SOLE, the first question that springs to mind is, What was the manufacturer aiming for? because this is a rod that deserves a thorough explanation. The short answer: one-piece (granted there’s one ferrule in the system), but the rod designers cleverly placed it far up the blank so as to keep its workings imperceptible. The SOLE is an inventive, well-informed blend of modern tech with heritage feel. Obvious markers are reduced weight and suitable power – all the while imparting that heritage feel. While clearly not a glass or cane rod, the SOLE’s action will prompt instant recall in any angler who has fished either or both of those products. At times, I found it to mimic light-line rods, or a very amped up glass rod. Again, a very inventive – and pleasing – rod blank.

For anyone looking for a stationary “boat” rod, look no further. Fishing a SOLE is a bittersweet experience: what the model lacks in portability it more than makes up in fluid performance, to the extent that it demonstrates – very physically – what it is that travel rods are missing.

The package includes top shelf hardware, terrific blue blank and an ultra-modern reel seat. Well priced at $340.  Go to the St. Croix website for full specifications.