March 16, 2012
Cast. Jig. Rig. Dabble. Drag. Whether you choose to use livebait or artificial incentives, to say there's an abundance of ploys for plundering panfish is an understatement. The aforementioned methods are a mere pittance of what crappies, bluegills and perch anglers practice.
Now add to the heap of techniques all the places panfish position themselves. At any given time they can lurk from the darkest fathoms of big water basins to murky backwater flats. As a result, anglers are compelled to tote an arsenal of equipment, including an infinite array of lures, terminal tackle and bait. But all the while, regrettably, serious pan-people have been saddled by rod selection, left choosing the lightest fighters in boilerplate series.
In most cases, the “ultra light” is the most sought-after stick. But while they may be the most entertaining—turning the fight of the tiniest fish into a bucking bronco—most are built for pulling panfish no larger than a teacup saucer from thick brush, tangles of weeds…or scrape brutish panfish off bottom in 30-plus feet. Similarly, mildly beefier “light-power” rods designed for bigger scaled beings can't finesse lightweight lures on the cast; and once a fish is hooked, the oomph often rips the bait free from loosely nipped lips.
Because one skinny panfish pole can't be everything to everyone, St. Croix concocted the premium Panfish Series of rods (nine, to be exact); each with the perfect ‘pop' for hooksets as well as pulling pans from particular places, be those shallow or deep, debris-free or a lattice of snags.
“I've been targeting Jurassic panfish since I was a kid,” quipped a foremost expert on crappie, bluegill and perch fishing, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl. “And up till sporting St. Croix's Panfish Series, I'd never found a rod that could set the hook into the boney mouth of a bluegill or bubba perch, while at the same time not tearing the thin-skinned yap of a crappie.
“Whether I have the 5-footer in hand, perfect for whipping featherweight jigs, or the long 11-footer extended into overhanging brush, they all scream sensitivity,” promises the guide and St. Croix Pro Staffer. “It's in the high-quality materials, from the composite of the blank down to the guides and handle. That, and St. Croix's commitment to engineering unique rods for every situation. This time, panfish were paid the utmost respect.” All nine manipulations in the Panfish Series (five single-piece rods from 5- to 7-feet in length and four stretch-back-into-the-bulrushes 2-piecers from 8- to-11 feet) are manufactured with premium-quality SCII graphite combined with high-modulus/high-strain SCVI graphite to produce optimal actions, sensitivity, weight and balance. Then, after the blanks are fashioned, each rod is equipped with Pac Bay Minima guides rather than ceramics to further reduce weight and improve balance. Premium-grade cork handles coupled with Pac Bay Minima reel seats with custom inserts yield unmatched sensitivity. Best of all, they're steady and comfortable in the hand, which reduces forearm fatigue after grinding it out from sunrise to sunset. And, of course, each is backed by St. Croix's Superstar Service 5-year warranty.
So whether you cast, jig, rig, or dabble – the feel, set and fight with all St. Croix's Panfish Series rods will make plucking pans more pleasurable than ever.
About St. Croix Rods St. Croix Rod is a family-owned manufacturer of high-performance graphite and fiberglass fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite®, Legend Ultra®, Legend Tournament®, Avid Series®, Premier®, Wild River®, Tidemaster®, and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company's mid-priced Triumph® Mojo, Imperial® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.