As fishermen, we don’t always have to be flippin’ for hawg bass as many fishing shows would have you believe. Sometimes we just want to spend the day filling a basket with bluegill for fish fries to come, or, pitching, skipping and jigging for big specs (crappie) around docks and submerged brush. Fortunately, St Croix had us in mind when they designed their Panfish line of rods.
These rods range in length from 5 to 11 ft. and from ultralight to light on the power scale. Line weight is 2-6 lb. on the shorter models and 4-8 lb. on the longer end of the series. The thing that sets these rods apart is their action. Too many ultralight rods have a softer action, meaning that the rod flexes a good distance down the shaft toward the handle when under load. This can adversely affect the rod’s castability and capability to muscle in bigger fish.
St Croix has given their Panfish series a bit more backbone while still keeping an incredible handle on sensitivity. The Pac Bay Minima guides are considerably lighter than ceramic and have a long offset keeping the line from contacting the shaft during casting. This combination gives the rods a high finesse factor. The pairing of this delicately nimble feel and moderate backbone makes the entire series exceptional throughout their intended range.
With enough ‘feel’ to pick up on even the slightest crappie hit and enough backbone to really cast for distance, or lift the biggest slab bluegill or crappie into the boat with confidence, you really can’t go wrong with these rods.
I can’t say enough good about my short model. The creek where I live is loaded with bluegill, goggle-eye, and modest smallmouth bass. My 5 ½ foot model has become my absolute first choice when spin fishing. It is nimble enough to dance with any of these fish and packs enough power to muscle in the occasional 18-20 inch smallie. And, the shorter length is very handy when hiking in and out or contemplating the next cast in the dense, overhung tree cover.
The 10 and 11 ft. models are perfectly suited for pitching brush for crappie and jigging in deeper water. The intermediate lengths make casting to docks and other structure a breeze. That is where you really get an appreciation for these rods’ ability to cast.
At a price point of right at one hundred bucks for the smaller models to one twenty for the longer ones, you get fantastic quality at a reasonable price, not to mention a five year warranty. In my opinion, St Croix has the Panfish Series dialed in! Check them out today stcroixrods.com/products/freshwater/panfish-series.
Shop for St. Croix Panfish Rods on Amazon Here- St. Croix: Panfish Series Spinning