St. Croix Legend Elite ReviewMarch 21, 2014
- Better casting power than most
- Stiff butt section provides great fighting power
- Fast action effectively counters windy conditions
- Most expensive in the class
- More difficult to lay down delicate presentations than most
- Sensitivity is compromised in favor of power
Designed as a fast action multipurpose rod, the Legend Elite actually performs as fast action power caster and big-fish fighter. Though accuracy and delicacy are sacrificed, for anglers who focus mostly on situations that require long casts or big flies, this rod out-performs any other we tested. For that reason, though, it underperforms if you are mainly looking for versatility.
The St. Croix Legend Elite is a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod designed for general use primarily in fresh water conditions, but suitable for light salt-water applications.
While not an overly versatile rod, we found the Legend Elite to be a powerful stick for anglers pursuing big fish in big water. St. Croix’s carbon composites use what they dub Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART) to provided greater strength while reducing vibration. The resulting rod allows longer casts with better accuracy. The downside is the stiffened rod lacks the sensitivity needed to make soft presentations and to feel delicate strikes.
Casting Distance and Accuracy
The St. Croix threw line farther with less effort than any rod in the test. Those long casts proved accurate but presentation tends to be heavy, even with small dries. We found the Legend Elite especially excelled at swinging streamers but worked well too when drifting heavy nymphs from boats.
General fit, finish, and feel
The emerald green rod blank and maple reel seats offer a clean, attractive package. The deep half-well grips comfortably fit within the hands of each of our larger testers, regardless of size. That smooth fit coupled with the rod’s lightweight design make this a comfortable all-day caster.
The Legend Elite trailed the other rods in this “All Around Rod” test, but that’s not to say it’s not a top-notch rod. Though it comes up short as a solid “quiver-of-one” rod, the Legend Elite earned top marks as power caster.
We tested the 9-foot, 5-weight version, but the Legend Elite is available in 3- through 12-weight in a variety of lengths.
Dan Nelson- Fly Fishing Editor
Dan Nelson is GearInstitute.com's fly fishing editor. He is based in the Pacific Northwest.