Wednesday, August 22, 2012

St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod Woes

At the end of July we took a trip to bass pro. I wanted to purchase a smaller spinning rod and reel for crappie fishing this winter but also something I could fish for bass with too. I intended on trying out braid with this setup. I wanted as much sensitivity as possible for light winter bites and braid would supply just that. I did my research and found some good candidates to examine in store beforehand. I ended up purchasing a Pflueger President 6900 (6925) spinning reel, a St. Croix Premier spinning rod (6' light power, fast action, PS60LF4), and some 15lb power pro spectra braid (4lb mono diameter).  I liked the president because it had a braid ready spool so I didn't have to worry about putting tape on the spool to prevent the braid from slipping. I also wanted to try a higher end rod because it seems I go through reels much quicker than rods so I thought id invest more in the rod.

Soon thereafter I took my new setup on its first trip. We went bluegill fishing at Rocky Fork Lake. Upon initial reaction the rod and reel felt great. Everything was smooth with the reel and the handle felt great. The rod was very light weight and had great sensitivity. I was immediately hooked on the braid. It gave fishing an entirely different feel without the stretch in the line. Setting hooks and feeling bites seemed easier. Fighting fish, even bluegill, was fun without the cushion that monofilament stretch provides. So all went well on the first day and I was pleased with my purchase.

A couple days later I took the new rod/reel out bass fishing at Rocky Fork Lake. About an hour into the trip I snagged on a submerged tree I was jigging. As we always do, I stuck my rod tip into the water and reeled the bait to my rod tip to pop it free of the snag. After a couple tugs the jig popped free and pulled my rod out of the water only to find the tip snapped on my new rod. This pretty much ruined my day of fishing and I found myself wondering if it was just bad luck or these rods really are that delicate.
Broken St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod
After reading the warranty information on the rod I found that it would cost $20 + whatever it cost me to ship it too them to get a replacement or repair. I didn't like the idea of spending another $40 to get a replacement when I would lack confidence in it. So I emailed St. Croix explaining my story and asked for a refund if possible, I even offered to ship the rod to them. They responded that they would waive the $20 fee and that I could purchase shipping for $10 through their FedEx partnership. This didn't sound so bad. I then got the idea to ask a local bait shop if they had any rod shipping tubes they would be willing to part with to eliminate the price of packaging. Sure enough, they did have a shipping rod tube that they gave to me for free. The next day I shipped the rod for a total price of $10.

About 10 days later, I received a new rod in the mail from St. Croix. I've used the new rod once and it performed well, I am hopeful that it was just bad luck. I've always herd good things about St. Croix rods and I hope they can live up to that name. At least I know their customer service is good.

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