Slow rollin’. Chunkin’ and windin’. Grindin’. Bumpin’ the stump. Burnin’. Helicopterin’. There’s nearly no wrong way to fish a spinnerbait—that old classic bass lure responsible for tournament wins and giant bucketmouths in the boat.
That said, pairing a sweet blade or a chatterbait with a mismatched rod can feel a little like playing a violin with a guitar pick. Accordingly, eliminating the angst of marrying technique and tool, the fishing rod prodigies at St. Croix recently revealed two new specialist sticks designed to make beautiful spinnerbait music: behold the Sweeper Spinnerbait and Sniper Spinnerbait, the newest rods in St. Croix’s masterful Legend Tournament Bass series.
Surely the most thoroughly researched, tested and exhaustively engineered spinnerbait/chatterbait rods to date, the two customized bass tools each perform a dedicated function. “We realized right away that two of the hottest spinnerbait techniques demanded distinctive rod designs,” says Dan Johnston, St. Croix regional account manager, and confirmed bass-sneak. “From continuous retailer feedback, Randy Hamilton—St. Croix southeast regional account manager—and I ultimately convinced our design team to adopt the challenge. First cast with these rods, we looked at each other and knew we’d nailed it.”
At 6 feet 9 inches, Johnston says the medium-heavy power, moderate-fast action Sniper Spinnerbait rod (TBC69MHMF) gifts anglers with the immediate ability to deliver short, pinpoint-accurate casts to cover. “The challenge in building the Sniper was that it needed a very precise power for not only setting hooks and wrenching fish from cover, but also an exacting tip action for pitching baits into small windows. If you create a tip that’s too fast (stiff), you loose accuracy. But if it’s too slow (loose), you sacrifice power and some of the sensitivity.
“Very few spinnerbait-specific rods are totally dialed in, because it’s technically difficult to balance all the needs of the angler and the technique and build a rod that delivers on every front—from accuracy to strength to sensitivity. Like the ability to feel the blades pulsing in your hand, to detect when you’ve picked up a sliver of grass, and to distinguish between bumping a stump and a bass bum-rushing the bait from behind.” Johnston adds that the Sniper also doubles as a choice chatterbait stick.
Beyond pinpoint spinnerbait/chatterbait presentations near cover, St. Croix developed a second superior tool for fishing big blades in open water for outsize smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass. The resulting 7-foot, medium-heavy power Sweeper Spinnerbait rod (TBC70MHMF) has proven itself for efficiently working large spinnerbaits over rocky points and ledges, picking up line quickly and setting hooks at long distances. “The Sweeper is a perfect Great Lakes smallmouth rod,” Johnston affirms. “It’s big and bad enough to punch bullet casts into a strong headwind. Yet it’s got a nice feathery heft that won’t wear you out after a full day of fishing.”
Johnston notes that to reduce tip weight and enhance the balance, touch and performance of both rods, St. Croix developed a specialized guide train, including Fuji® K-Series Concept Tangle Free guides with Alconite® rings and frames. Also resulting from the expertly balanced configuration is seamless, dynamic line flow and exceptional presentations with super braid, mono and fluorocarbon alike.
Like all 27 technique-specific rods in the Legend Tournament Bass series, the Sniper and Sweeper Spinnerbait rods are imbued with numerous high-level St. Croix product patents: select SCIV graphite blanks with a Fortified Resin System (FRS) for superior strength and durability; Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC) tooling technology for unmatched smoothness and sensitivity; Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART™) for industry-leading blank strength to weight ratios. Moreover, the new Legend Tournament Bass rods sport optimized split-grips with super high-grade cork, facilitating effortless cam-action casts. A limited lifetime warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service means these may be the last spinnerbait rods you’ll ever buy.
“Spinnerbait fishing is alive and well,” says Johnston. “Our customers have continually asked for these rods, and St. Croix has delivered. Think of them like your favorite golf club. You want to take it out of your bag and use it because it makes you look good; maybe even helps you perform at levels you didn’t know you were capable of.”