Re: Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
Eight versus nine? Both can throw flies bulked up with lots of fur and feathers very easily. The issue is wind. How much of it do you have to deal with?
Sorry. I do not have any experience with the St. Croix rods. I used to sell Sage rods. The Vantage is a pretty easy going rod designed for someone who has a slower stroke. The Flight is tad quicker. Both rods can throw most payloads for their designated line ratings.
If you can cast a few rods, go at it. That would probably be best.
I suggest giving the Orvis Clearwater rod a good look. In terms of fit and finish, the current generation of Clearwaters is the best price point rods that Orvis has made even though they are made offshore. As for casting, you can figure that out.
If you choose the Orvis Clearwater, do not get the outfit. Go a la carte. That way you can get the reel that you want. Also you can get the right line to suit your needs.