News & Press

The St. Croix Rods Testing Ground: Lake Picachos

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At Anglers Inn, we’ve made our mark on the world of sportfishing by taking the world’s most serious anglers to the globe’s best fisheries. Wherever we put down stakes there’s going to be a fertile body of water at our doorstep, but we’ve also managed to go where the fish are consistently just a little bit meaner. Their numbers and genetics make every day a fierce battle for survival and that means if there’s a weak link in your tackle system, it doesn’t matter how many bites you get – you’re going to lose more fish than you land.

That’s why savvy manufacturers like St. Croix, makers of the best rods on earth, bring their rods to our proving grounds before they release them to the public. They want to make sure that every single one lives up to their standards and reputation, and that by the time it’s in your hands it’s the best that it can be. 

“We make thousands of casts and catch hundreds of fish on a single rod to ensure they meet our performance expectations,” said Jesse Simpkins, the St. Croix Director of Marketing, who led a testing group earlier this year. “When at the end of the day four testers anglers return and have no changes they would make, that’s when we know it’s ready. This is especially important for rods that can be employed for multiple techniques. It’s particularly helpful to work with an organization such as Anglers Inn because their customers demand rods that perform, so we are able to let others ‘field test’ the rods while we are in camp. If they come back ‘sold,’ we know we’ve met all expectations.”

Watch this video and you’ll see how serious they were about the process:

Well, it’s tough to take things too seriously when you’re catching fish after fish after fish, but beneath the smiles, the laughter and the sheer awe at the incredible bite these guys were working hard. Nothing was manufactured for the cameras – on the contrary, the unspoken feelings demonstrate why you should invest in these St. Croix Rods, whether you’re joining us in Mexico, the Amazon, Idaho, or just fishing them on your home lake.

“That kind of emotion can’t be duplicated and faked,” Simpkins said. “When you see and feel the real emotion and genuine excitement brought to life in the video, it’s visceral and real. Hard core anglers get that. We were enjoying the experience. It’s all made richer because the rods performed EXACTLY as designed, cast after cast after cast.”  

“While Picachos was the perfect grounds for shooting videos for the Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville, it also sets up perfectly for getting vital rod performance information back to the product development team in Park Falls, Wi., especially the engineers,” said Dan Johnston, the National Accounts Manager. “The fact that St Croix is a ‘vertical’ manufacturer, meaning we have control over everything we do, makes this communication not only vital, but easily achievable. Bottom line is this, St Croix exists to make anglers better on the water, and having control of the manufacturing process, in addition to testing at such an awesome place as Picachos, makes it a great time to be a St Croix angler…..this is all about you!”

FLW Tour Pro Cody Hahner was enlisted as part of the testing group, and he was assigned specifically to put the Mojo Bass Glass 7’2” HM Rip and  N’ Chatter Rod, Legend Tournament Bass Glass 7’2” H  HM Rip and N’ Chatter Rod, and the 7’5” MHXF Swim Frog Rods in both the Legend Tournament and Mojo Bass series through their paces.  

“Each rod that we tested was made for a specific purpose and technique,” he said. “I break down my fishing into specialized systems. Having a rod for each technique fine tunes my fishing and provides me with a distinct advantage on the water. After putting both the 7’2” HM Mojo Bass Glass Rip N’ Chatter rod and 7’5” MHXF Mojo Bass Swim Frog rod through a rigorous workout, I can confidently say the 7’2” HM Mojo Bass Glass will be the rod which will fit precisely into my Chatterbait system. I was excited to discover the 7’5” MH XF Mojo Bass rod will decidedly improve my open water frog fishing.”

In his time on tour, Hahner has seen equipment failure rob his fellow anglers of fish that could have been landed, reducing their catch rates, monetary haul, and overall enjoyment.  

“What you saw in that video was one of those rare moments all fishermen hope to achieve when they are on the water,” he said. “It was one of those times when there is a perfect connection between the fish, bait, line, reel and rod. All systems were working harmoniously and my only thought was, ‘How fast can I throw another cast?’ When you reach that state of bliss, you know your equipment, especially your rod, are performing at optimal levels.”

Testing a fishing rod is no different than putting any other high performance piece of equipment through its paces. We can’t promise our customers that they’ll land a personal best or have the greatest day of fishing of their lives, but we can do everything within our powers to make that happen. One such step is to put the best possible equipment in their hands. That includes St. Croix Rods.  

“We trust them because we’ve felt how silky smooth they feel in our hands, and how well they perform on the water,” said Billy Chapman, Owner and President of Anglers Inn. “Additionally, and just as important, we know that they’ve been put through a rigorous screening process that ensures perfection from the start of the cast until you lip the fish of a lifetime.”  

All of the rods seen in this video will be available to Anglers Inn guests by the Fall of 2019 at no charge. You have to bring your own smile and laughter, but we’re pretty sure they come with the package.