Re: St. Croix Rio Santo Rod
I also have a rio santo--it's an 8ft 4wt. I bought it because I needed a cheap rod outfit to splash around in a small creek for little fish in N ga. I was really surprised by how much I like this rod. Although it feels like a wet noodle compared to my faster action Sage RPL, it handles big fish just fine (if not better, and protects light tippet better), and once I got used to the slower action I really enjoyed casting it. I found the slower action helped me avoid those dreaded rod-tip impacts with weighted nymphing rigs. The presentation was also more delicate I found.
I did break the rod when trying to free a tree'd fly. My Sage can handle much more abuse, so beware there and practice patience... I had the broken section repaced for $30, so I still feel like I'm ahead of the game.
Recently I've been fishing a trophy stream in N. Ga and I keep breaking off big fish on my RPL+. I'm seriously considering fishing it with my Rio Santos instead.