GEAR RODS Posted Jul 09, 2015 By: St. Croix 57 New Legend Elites: A Benchmark Rod Series Made Even Better St. Croix makes 'the best' even better by overhauling flagship freshwater rod series PARK FALLS, Wis. – In 1957, automotive engineer Ed Cole created Chevrolet’s now classic car design. Also in ‘57, American guitar manufacturer Fender moved from ash to alder Stratocaster guitar bodies. The rest is rock ‘n’ roll history. Enter another legendary American icon-creating company for whom the number 57 is significant: family-owned and operated St. Croix Rod of Park Falls, Wisconsin. Among today’s countless rod options, St. Croix’s flagship freshwater rod series, Legend Elite, has earned near magic wand status with anglers across the globe. It’s the rod that stands steadfast on a mantle; an aspirational stick by which all others are judged. Basically, when your passion drives you to fish only the best, the choice is simple … Legend Elite. And “the best” just got better. In St. Croix’s never-ending quest to design and build the best rods on Earth, Legend Elite has been completely overhauled for 2016. No toe-dippers here, St. Croix has redesigned the entire series. 57, in fact, all with specialized tapers for bass, walleye, pike, musky, salmon and steelhead – and dramatically improved balance, reduced weight, and unprecedented sensitivity. “Our goal with the new Legend Elite project was to make the best even better. We talked to our pro staff, customers, and spent a lot time at the whiteboard crunching numbers, refining processes and investigating the absolute finest components available,” says David Schluter, VP Engineering. “We took what was already our best platform of blanks, did some tweaking and found the best guides available. The cork is similar to the previous version but the reel seat has been updated. We knew it would be a huge undertaking but one we could really feel good about. The end result is the ultimate cork handle rod with the very best guide train in the world,” adds Schluter. To take on such an ambitious plan, St. Croix engineers used every bit of cutting edge technology, refined building processes and improvements in components to create the new benchmark rod series. Unique Proprietary Technologies St. Croix’s standards for blank-building excellence stems largely from proprietary technologies and processes like IPC, TET, FRS, and ART, all integrated into the creation of the new Legend Elite. And so, each Legend Elite enters the world as a consistent, perfect blank. St. Croix’s exclusive Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) tooling technology and their new Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) provide unique, computer designed-and-cut patterns for improved actions and increased sensitivity. They’re built with high-modulus/high-strain SCV graphite with carbon-matte scrim and reinforced with super high-modulus SCVI graphite for added power and reduced weight. Both graphite materials utilize St. Croix’s Fortified Resin System (FRS), which combines a fortified super resin with computer operated curing ovens that provide improved temperature and time management through all stages of the blank curing cycle. Blanks manufactured with FRS are up to 33% stronger than those built with standard resins and curing methods. They are further enhanced with Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART) at strategic locations along each blank for added strength with virtually no additional weight. Two-piece models feature ART-reinforced slim-profile ferrules with exceptional strength. Advanced Components Legend Elite’s new, advanced components include Fuji Torzite guides with solid-titanium frames for unrivalled, 100% corrosion-proof performance. It’s worthy noting that Torzite is the first ceramic created specifically for fishing rod guides, and it is stronger, lighter and five times smoother than Fuji SiC, the industry's previous gold standard. Torzite has allowed significant weight reduction with improved guide strength while downsizing the frame but keeping a maximum guide opening. New Legend Elite spinning rods also feature Fuji TVS blank-touch reel seats with built-in hood, and casting rods feature Fuji PTS blank-touch reel seats with built-in hood. Musky rods sport Fuji PLS-LD palming reel seats with shiny grey hood for greater ergonomic and aesthetic appeal. All models include anodized, machined-aluminum wind checks, super-grade cork handles (split-grip handles on musky models) and exclusive Kigan titanium hook-keepers. Thread wraps are protected by two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish. “We’ve all been completely blown away by the end result of the new Legend Elite project. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work, immediately apparent when you hold one in your hand. The rods have a very airy quality and practically float in the hand. Our pro staff is really excited and we think our customers will be, too,” says Jeff Schluter, VP Marketing. The new Legend Elites are designed and handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin, come with a protective rod sack and a 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service. They retail from $370 - $550.