Rods

St. Croix Bass X Spinning & Casting Rod Review

A multipurpose, bass rod that is easy to use and well built, the St. Croix Bass X is a great value for the money. At a price well under $150, this rod is hard to beat for the features and quality it offers. With a durable blank design, SeaGuide hybrid guide platform, and split rear grip, the Bass X is ready to tackle any bass fishing situation.

St. Croix Bass X Overview:

The St. Croix Bass X is a value-driven spinning rod with a lot going for it. Priced at around $120, it is a very solid option for anglers that want a multi-use rod that will hold up to a range of fishing techniques.

The Bass X is well balanced with a slight top-heaviness when you’re holding it. This is likely thanks to some of the sizing of the blank. What you end up with is a rod that’s very functional and can handle a wide range of presentations.

With the tip’s sensitivity to most nibbles and bumps and the power available through the strong backbone of the blank, the Bass X is a good fishing rod that can pretty much do it all fairly well.

While the Bass X isn’t what you’d call a “premium rod”, it does afford you the functionality you need, whether you’re fishing on the bank or in the boat, the Bass X will get the job done.

Bass X Specs:

Spinning Models

Table of the Bass X spinning models

Casting Models

Table of the Bass X casting models

Stephen's St. Croix Bass X Review:

St. Croix just released the upgraded version of their Bass X rods. I’ve had the chance to fish the BAS71MF a number of times now, and I’ve been really impressed.

After an initial cast, I was immediately impressed with how smooth the rod loaded. It’s got a really good punch on the back end, and lots of feel in the tip.

I wanted to get the Bass X spinning rod mostly for finesse use. When I started testing the new rod out at Lake Okeechobee I ended up landing an 8 lbs largemouth, so I was really able to test out the rod with a heavy-hitting lunker! The Bass X held up very well, and I didn’t have any issues pulling him in.

I’m really looking forward to using my new Bass X throughout this next year.

Stephen P.

Features:

St. Croix is known for building rods with exceptional quality and value and this Bass X series of rods are no exception. Priced below the Mojo rods, these sticks are very easy to recommend.

The St. Croix Bass X is a value driven bass rod that is packed full of features and functionality. While you can’t expect the same level of craftsmanship as one of their top of the line rods, you can expect a finely built rod with the same exacting quality and attention to detail.

If you are in the market for a high value stick that can do it all, the Bass X is a great place to start.

Let’s take a look at the features of the Bass X.

Durable Blank Design:

The Bass X utilizes a reengineered SCII blank material. This mid-modulus graphite fiber delivers exceptional strength, light rod weight, and a step up above the sensitivity you’d expect from a rod in this price range.

The Bass X feels well balanced in your hand, with a slight top heaviness, that’s pretty easy to forget once you’re fishing with it. The rod is designed with a strong backbone that allows it to be used with a wide range of lures and presentations.

The Bass X is a strong and well built rod that should stand up to the rigors of intense bass fishing.

SeaGuide Hybrid Guide Platform:

The guides on the Bass X are a hybrid design with a combination of black framed SeaGuide Aluminum Oxide guides and PVD coated SeaGuid Atlas Performance stainless steel guides. This guide combination allows the overall reduced price of this rod, without compromising on functionality and performance.

Over the last few years, SeaGuide has set itself apart for it’s high quality components offered at a discount rate. While other brands, like Fuji, are better known, they are also much more expensive.

By utilizing this combination of SeaGuides’ guides, the Bass X combines the materials needed to provide an aggressive platform for modern braided fishing line, while maintaining line sensitivity, and without increasing the price.

Extra Strong Rods Through FRS

By utilizing St. Croix’s proprietary FRS (Fortified Resin System) technology, the Bass X’s blank design is tested to be over 30% stronger than competing rods. To accomplish this increase, the Fortified Resin System utilizes a newly developed super resin which is applied to the blank material. Then, through the use of highly precise computer-controlled ovens, the blank is then cured at the exact temperature and time needed for the resin to perfectly bond. This removes the guess work out of the curing step and prevents micro-buckling, which is one of the leading causes of rod failure.

So, while the Bass X may not have the same look or feel of a high end St. Croix rod, it is built with the same technology and care that goes into each and every one of their rods.

SeaGuide Atlas Performance Reel Seat:

The Bass X now utilizes a SeaGuide Atlas Performance reel seat that is finished with a black hood. The reel seat is a standard locking seat design that will fit most reels on the market. The previous model of the Bass X came with a Fuji DPS reel seat. While to some this may seem like a downgrade, however, SeaGuide has continued to prove themselves with their high quality components season after season.

Built with reinforced nylon, the Atlas Performance is a durable, no nonsense kind of reel seat that provides the no slip, hold on forever kind of solid foundation you need for worry free fishing.

Split-Grip Cork Handle:

The Bass X features a split-grip cork handle that is both comfortable and functional. The cork provides a solid grip and feel in your hand, while the split-grip design helps to distribute weight for better balance and control over the rod.

The cork is nicely contoured to the shape of your hand and the length of the grip allows you to place your hand comfortably above the reel, balancing the rod out nicely.

Closed Loop Hook Keeper:

The closed loop hook keeper provides you with a safe place to store your hooks and keep them organized. This closed loop keeper is located just above the handle area on the underside of the rod blank.

Won’t Weigh You Down Lightweight Performance:

The Bass X is designed with a lightweight construction to make it easy to use all day long. The rod feels light in the hands, and balances well when combined with a reel. It’s perfect for long days on the water when you don’t want any extra weight slowing you down.

Long Lasting Good Looks With Flex-Coat:

The Bass X is finished with a multi-lacquered finish, utilizing two coats of the industry standard, Flex-Coat. The double slow curing finish is designed to preserve its quality and durability. This coating also makes the Bass X a more low-maintenance rod that’s easier to clean and care for.

5-Year Warranty:

St. Croix backs their new Bass X series of rods with a 5-year warranty. This level of assurance is reassuring, but not surprising given the quality of their products. As a manufacturer, they produce rods 100% in-house and this helps them to ensure quality and consistency in their production.

David's BassX Rod Impressions:

One word comes to mind when I think of the Bass X: “versatile”. It is a great all-around rod for everything from jigs for smallmouth to throwing to large spinnerbaits for largemouth. I had the opportunity to fish this rod in multiple conditions and found it to be an exceptionally well-rounded rod that can handle a wide range of applications. The sensitivity, power, and feel that this rod produced really sets it apart from other rods in its class.

David D.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Competitively priced for everything that’s offered
  • Ergonomic and comfortable in hand
  • Strong and durable blank with a good backbone
  • Good choice for a general workhorse rod

Cons:

  • Mid-modulus blank means the rod is slightly less sensitive than high modulus, but sensitive enough for most applications
  • Slight tip heaviness in hand, though this is mostly unnoticed once a reel is mounted on the rod

Frank's Thoughts:

I’ve been using a 7′ Bass X casting rod for the last year and have been very impressed with it. This rod is a tremendous value and more than worth the price. I have used it to fish a wide range of configurations with great success.

In fact, I have been so impressed with the Bass X’s feel, performance and durability, I purchased a second one, this time opting for the 7’10 extra-heavy. The Bass X rod has become my go-to rod when I am on the lake and want to plunk a jig down or a slider bait or paddle tail in front of the boat or along a steep bank.

I am also impressed with the rod’s ability to handle heavy-duty applications such as large swim baits and hefty rigged weedless frogs. If you are in the market for a good all-around rod, I suggest you give the Bass X a try. The quality built into the Bass X is more than worth the price. It is a tremendous value that I feel comfortable recommending.

Frank G.

FAQs

The Bass X series of rods were designed at St. Croix’s main factory in Park Falls, Wisconsin, but are hand made in Fresnillo, Mexico.

Some St. Croix’s higher end models are made completely in the USA.

Founded in 1945 by the Johnson brothers, Bob and Bill, the company had many years of great success. In the years leading up to 1965, St. Croix began to struggle. Gordon Schluter stepped in as an investor and helped bring the company back from ruin. It was then sold to Schaper Manufacturing. After less than optimal success, Schaper Manufacturing was planning on shutting St. Croix down in 1977. At that point, Gordon Schluter and other businessmen from Park Falls stepped in and purchased the company. In the 80s Gordon Schluter purchased out his earlier partners and become the sole owner. In 1990, Gordon Schluter decided to pass on St. Croix and sold the company to his children. Since then, St. Croix has made a new name for itself and has established itself as one of the best producers of bass fishing rods of the day.

St Croix rods are made out of graphite fiber and composite technology. Each rod series is constructed out of a different modulus level, starting at mid-modulus blanks for their less expensive models all the way up to super-modulus blanks for their premium offerings.

Yes, St Croix hand crafts each of their blanks. Depending on the model, they are each hand made in Park Falls, WI, or Fresnillo, Mexico.

The primary difference between the Bass X spinning rod and the Bass X casting rod models is some of the base components to support the different reel form factors. From a technology and design standpoint, they are going to be the same, but since spinning reels and baitcasters attach differently, they require a different type of reel seat and layout.

Rod length is going to be very dependent on your level of experience, fishing location, and the style of fishing you’re wanting to do. The longer the rod is, the more difficult it can be to manage, which is why a beginner might find a long 8′ pole a bit too much. The longer the rod, the longer the cast you can generally get out of it. While this might work well for bank fishing, if you’re fishing from your boat deck, you’ll probably be fine with a shorter rod. Additionally, if you’re deep diving, flipping, punching, etc. these different styles will work best with certain rod lengths. As a general rule, a 6’6″ to 7′ rod is going to give you the functionality for a dynamic range of presentations.

To learn more about selecting the right spinning rod for your use, see our information on selecting the right rod.

The best reel combo will be highly dependent on the type of fishing you’re wanting to do as well as if you’re getting a casting rod or spinning rod since they will only work with their respective reels.

This is especially important to pay attention to for beginners. If you’re wanting to use a spinning reel, make sure you get a spinning rod. If you’re wanting to use a baitcaster, also known as a baitcasting reel, then you’ll want to get a casting rod.

To see some of our top selections, please see the following articles:

Score:

We’ve given the St. Croix Bass X ratings in four categories. They are as follows:

Price: A
Build: A
Feature Set: B
Design: B

The St. Croix Bass X earns an overall score of: B+

Conclusion:

St. Croix Rods has always been an industry leader when it comes to producing high quality rods The Bass X line represents their latest effort to provide a rod that offers anglers a high quality rod at very affordable price.

The Bass X is a no-nonsense, well built rod that’s designed with a wide range of fishing uses. It’s a good choice for a generalized rod. It has a good balance between sensitivity and strength that would allow you to fish finesse styles as well as heavier crankbait presentations. For a rod at this price, there’s really not much to complain about.

The Bass X is an excellent value for the price and is available in a wide range of action configurations, blank weights, and lengths to suit a wide variety of wants and needs of the everyday bass angler.

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