St. Croix Triumph - Nice Surprise
A friend of mine decided to start fly fishing, and wanted to keep the initial costs as reasonable as possible. He asked what brand/size rod would be a low-cost but decent rod for a beginner. A family member recommended that he try the St. Croix Triumph rods on clearance sale from Cabela's for $50 - I suggested the 8'6" 4pc 5w. Well he went to the local Cabela's and bought the 8'6" 2pc 5wt (they were out of the (4pc), and we tried it out this afternoon in the backyard. To be honest I was surprised at how well the rod felt and cast. My past experience with a low-end St. Croix rod (Premiere) left me unsatisfied, since the Premiere was at best a medium flex rod, much softer than I prefer.
The Triumph rod is called "Moderate Fast" and it feels a little bit softer than the 8'6" 5wt TFO rod we compared it against. That being said, the St. Croix Triumph is a very decent rod in finish and function, and with the current price it is an absolute steal! I was impressed enough with the performance of his rod that I ordered an 8'6" 5wt 4pc for $50 to have as a teaching rod when I want to loan out a rod to a beginner wanting to learn. I think the slightly slower action works great for someone brand new to fly fishing.
I saw a couple of threads earlier this month where forum members recommended the St. Croix rod (in an 8'6" 5wt) as a good starting rod for beginners. I had my doubts, but you guys really hit the nail on the head. Great advice!