Category Archives: Products

Are the St Croix Triumph X Rod Cool Rods?

Just Call it the “Cool Tool”

Triumph X backs its sporty, confident looks with the performance you expect from St. Croix
from Traditions Media

St. Croix’s new Triumph X rod series

St. Croix’s new Triumph X rod series

Park Falls, WI (November 24, 2014) – Even in fishing, style sells. In a sport where product performance should be the ultimate measure – even the deciding factor in sealing the deal at the cash register – looks do matter. Regrettably, some rod makers prey on this premise by putting “lipstick on the pig.”

Fortunately, there are proud, legacy manufacturers like St. Croix Rod who embrace the coolness factor while never succumbing to cheapness.

While visually alluring, even radical in appearance, St. Croix’s new Triumph X rod series owns its price-range in quality and performance. But long before the vibrant, airbrushed colors visually distinguish Triumph X from surrounding rods on the rack, technology and decades of advanced St. Croix engineering underpin its stature.

Beneath the striking burnt-orange and purplish-black façade is an SCII graphite blank that begs to accompany a more expensive rod. But at a hundred bucks, Triumph X is a triumph in blank construction at a reasonable price.

Component wise, the Triumph X features an EVA split-grip handle – again, a feat for the dollars. Split-grip practitioners embrace the progressive design’s balanced casting, comfort and lessened overall weight. Triumph X users will appreciate said benefits, which were once reserved for more expensive rods.

Fuji® DPS or ECS reel seat with black hood(s) complement the blank cosmetics while providing all-day casting comfort. Hard aluminum-oxide guides set in distinctive black frames support casting distance while holding up to the rigors of the sport. And this while precision-wound thread-wraps are safely situated beneath two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish.

All 12 spinning and casting rods in the Triumph X series are cultured for outstanding strength, sensitivity and hook-setting power. And amongst those dozen members are select rods for targeting bass, walleyes, pike, panfish and whatever else swims across your path.

Backed by a 5-year warranty and St. Croix’s celebrated Superstar Service, your affordably priced Triumph X rod doubles as a capital investment.

The Triumph X series is designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin, and handcrafted in St. Croix’s advanced facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. They retail for $90 to $100.
Catch Fish with St Croix Rods
About St. Croix Rod

St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a 65-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite®, Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament®, Avid Series®, Premier®, Wild River®, Tidemaster®, Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph®, Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.

Internet Routers and Other Computer and Phone Hardware and Software

I have had a Linksis 2.4 GH router for many years. Recently I got a Windows 8 computer and everything worked fine with my old computer on Windows Vista. WHen my wife got a new computer, a Dell like mine with Windows 9, every time she turned it on it crashed our router. We are ordering the router below to see if that solves the problem – Dell says it can’t be the computer! We will see.

Update – I ordered the router below and received it in two days. It works! I have two Dell Windows 8 computers, an old Dell with Windows Vistas, a Dell laptop with Windows Vistas, a Samsung netbook computer with Wiondows XP and a Lexmark printer all running through it and it is handling them all fine. And it seems faster!

Lexmark printer ink I use.

I dropped my IPhone 4s and broke it so I upgraded to an IPhone 5. Of course the power cords from the 4s don’t work so I had to order new cords. I had plenty of the USB plugs for outlets and cigarette lighters so all I needed were the cords and they are not too expensive.

I also put my new phone in an Otter waterproof case. It costs $90 at the Verizon store – should have waited to get it from Amazon! I am on the water a lot so waterproof is important. Of course, if I drop it in 30 feet of water the phone wills still work but I could not get it back but if I fall in with it in my pocket, or get soaked in a downpour, the case should protect the phone.

Global Positioning Systems – GPS – Has Come A Long Way!

This was written about GPS – Global Positioning System – hand held units in early 1997 – these units still do the same job, but they have come a long way since then.

I got an amazing toy for Christmas. It is a small device called a Global Positioning Satellite – GPS for short. My GPS is about the size of a TV remote control. It takes readings from satellites and tells you exactly where you are.

The GPS has a small screen where you can view different functions. You can record the location of different spots and the GPS will show you exactly how to get back to them. For example, you can mark a brush pile in the middle of a lake you don’t fish often. When you want to return, put in the name you gave it and the GPS will show you a direct line to it. It will tell you if you get off course. It will tell you how fast you are moving, how long before you get to it and other information.

If you mark a spot and then leave the GPS on as you go back to the dock or boat ramp, it will mark your exact course. You can then follow that track back, going around obstacles and avoiding problems. Most pro tournament fishermen have one mounted on their boat since they fish unfamiliar lakes often.

A GPS is also useful in the woods. You can mark a deer stand and the GPS will show you how to get back to it. If you have one, it is better than a compass, giving much more information.

New Year’s Day I was playing with my GPS while walking around the deer club. Maybe that is why I didn’t see any deer! I don’t think so since I only looked at it when stopped and after looking for deer. I had marked a deer stand and then walked out of the woods. I planned on following a small creek and then cutting across back to where I had parked.

As I walked down the creek, I saw the deer stand appear on the screen. Sure enough, I was within 50 feet of it. I thought I was at least 200 yards away. I did not realize the creek turned and came back to the stand. There were several other instances where the GPS made me realize what I thought I knew was not exactly right.

The GPS I got costs less than $200. It will record up to 250 different “waypoints,” or spots I mark on it. It is hard to believe what such an inexpensive device can do. Hooked to a depthfinder or computer, you can map your course or make your own maps. The GPS uses the same technology that guides missiles to their targets. Many airplanes have them so the pilots can find their way. They are amazing!

What Is A Hydro Glow Fishing Light and Why Do I Need One?

Hydro Glow Light

Hydro Glow Light

If you ever fish at night under a light you should have a Hydro Glow Light. They are fantastic for hanging over the side of your boat or mounting on your dock to attract baitfish that attract the fish you want to catch.

I first saw the lights in action a few years ago during a night tournament at Lake Sinclair. I had fish until almost dark without catching a bass then just as it got dark went into a cove to fish a brush pile I knew was there.
As it got darker I noticed a weird green glow in the water on a dock across the cove from me. I eased over to it and saw it was an underwater light so I started fishing around it. The cabin door opened and a guy came toward the dock. I just knew he was going to tell me not to fish around his dock and start casting so I would have to leave.

Instead, he started asking me about the fishing and told me the light was the Hydro Glow Light system he produced. He said the bass would move in a little later to eat the shad that were already swimming under the light and I could catch them.

As we talked Darrell Keith explained he owned the company and this cabin, and tested his lights here. The green one was new and it was working better than other colors they had tested. Then he said there was a bass at the dock. I could not see it from the boat but he told me to cast a crankbait to the light. I did, and caught my first keeper of the night.

I got a card from him and he told me to stay there, that more bass would move in, and he went back to his cabin.

I did not leave until the tournament ended and caught a limit of bass, winning the tournament. Every time I have gone back to Sinclair at night I have not been able to fish the dock. Too many other fishermen have found it and there is always a boat there.

Hydro Glow makes several lights and have just come out with a high intensity light that is compact. You can choose 12 volt lights for use from a boat or 120 volt for permanent mounting on a dock. Green works best in freshwater but there are different colors for use in salt water that work better there.

Check out their website and watch some of the videos. The lights are fairly expensive but you never have to buy fuel for a lantern like we used to, and they will last you a long time.

Fishing Jigs I Use and Like

I like these jigs for bass fishing:

Strike King Bitsy Bug Jig

Strike King Bitsy Bug Jig

Smallmouths love these downsized Bitsy Bug Jigs from Strike King! Premium silicone skirts and fiber weedguards.

Strike King Tour Grade Football Jigs

Strike King Tour Grade Football Jigs

Strike King’s Tour Grade Football Jigs are the ultimate deepwater, big-bass jigs! A wide football shaped head gives the Tour Grade Jig a superior feel and helps the jig stand-up and tantalize on the bottom. The flat eye line tie helps keep the line, knot and jig in the proper position, while an extra-sharp Gamakatsu 60 round bend hook promotes true hook sets. Featuring durable powder-coated paint jobs and color coordinated weedguards, the Tour Grade Football Jigs sport premium skirts that produce a lifelike look and action.

Strike King Rattling Pro Model Jigs

Strike King Rattling Pro Model Jigs

This double-barrel Strike King Rattling Pro Model Jig packs twice the fish-attracting sound other lures have. A fiber weedguard should boost your confidence by allowing you to run this lure through thick cover you wouldn’t dare cast before. Strike King’s proven Pro Model Jig features Mirage silicone skirts and an ultra-sharp black nickel hook

Why Do I Need An Emergency Locator Beacon?

Emergency Locator Beacons Save Lives
from The Fishing Wire

Are you equipped for a life-threatening emergency?

Emergency Ditch Kit

Emergency Ditch Kit

An emergency kit or “ditch bag” assures safety in the event you have to abandon ship–it goes with you to assure you’ll be found.

“Emergency Beacon and Flotation Devices Save Two off Miami Beach”* read the headline of a recent press release sent in October by the U.S. Coast Guard. It continued, “A personal locator beacon (PLB), life jacket and an inflatable cushion likely saved the lives of two people who were rescued by a Coast Guard aircrew after their boat sank, stranding them in the Atlantic Ocean…”

The unfortunate situation developed when a 22-foot catamaran in distress sank out from under two people who were boating off Florida’s East Coast. Fortunately, an emergency signal broadcast by the PLB they had with them quickly alerted the Coast Guard command center in Miami of the problem and the exact location of the people in the water, who were kept afloat by the PFDs they were wearing. A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter was immediately dispatched and, by tracking the emergency beacon, the members of the Coast Guard were on the scene in a matter of minutes to safely rescue the stranded survivors.

Not all emergency situations at sea end with the prompt rescue of the passengers on board. Having personal floatation devices aboard is not only smart, but also required by law. It’s even smarter to wear them, rather than keeping them stowed away until an emergency situation is imminent. However, it’s important to remember that PFDs do not guarantee you will be found once you’re in the water away from the boat. The ocean is vast, and it is very difficult to spot a person floating in the waves from the air or from the water, especially if conditions are rough. That’s why all boaters should have some type of emergency locator beacon or satellite communicator aboard the boat every time they are on the water.

Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon

LocatorAn EPIRB in a hard container can provide years of service without maintenance, and can be a real life-saver should your boat ever submerge

In years past, the only type of emergency beacon available for maritime use was an EPIRB. They were large, expensive and required frequent servicing, which put them out of reach of most small boat owners. Their use was mandated for vessels carrying people for hire, but not for private recreational vessels. However, in recent years technology has brought the price of a hydrostatically deployed EPIRB under $600, which means putting one on larger recreational boats is pretty much a given. These new generation models can be placed on a center console’s T-top or a cruisers hard top, where they are out of the way and the battery packs do not require replacement or servicing for up to five years. They are housed in a hard shell container that releases them when a vessel is submerged, reaching a depth of three to 10 feet. The EPIRB is activated automatically when it is released from its container and transmits an emergency signal on 406 MHz, which is monitored by the Coast Guard in domestic waters and other emergency responders outside the U.S. Should a boater need assistance outside of radio range while the boat is still afloat, the EPIRB it can be activated manually.

Personal Locator Beacon

Personal Loctor

Personal Loctor

The personal locator beacon assures you’ll be found if you have to go into the water offshore.

For owners of smaller boats and for individual use, there is a newer emergency locator option similar one used by the boaters mentioned in the Coast Guard press story. It’s called a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), a device about the size of a small hand-held VHF radio that can be carried on your person or kept in a convenient spot aboard the boat should trouble arise. The PLB has to be activated manually and broadcasts an emergency signal on 406 MHz like an EPIRB. It also sends a second homing signal on 121.5 MHz. Many models also incorporate an internal GPS unit that broadcasts the unit’s position with accuracy within 100 feet. This greatly enhances the chances you will be found quickly by the Coast Guard or other responders. Most PLBs have batteries with a life span of five-to-six years so they require little or no maintenance. They can be used both on and off the water, so they are also useful if you’re hiking, skiing or camping in remote areas. They have a battery check feature and a self-test mode to ensure they are operational. There are PLB devices available through your local marine supply store or online that retail for as little as $250.

Satellite Tracker/Communicator



Satellite Tracker/Communicators like the SPOT provide tracking and texting abilities to assure you get home safe–and they’re very affordable.

The latest in emergency locator technology is the satellite tracker/communicator. Like PLBs, this device can be used on a boat or on land in remote locations. It can serve several functions depending on the model purchased, and much like a cell phone, a subscription plan accompanies the unit with a service charge that can range from $10 to $50 per month, depending on the level of service required. The basic units can be set up to track your location at pre-selected intervals, and that information is available to people on a list you give to the service provider. These satellite units also have a 911 or SOS feature that can be activated should you encounter an emergency situation. When activated, this feature transmits the unit’s location to the GEOS 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, which then contacts the appropriate search and rescue organization and directs them to your location. In the case of a boater, that would be the Coast Guard.

These units are very compact, battery-operated, and most are rechargeable. They are also affordable, with the basic units carrying a suggested retail price of under $150. There are more expensive units that have greater capabilities like satellite text messaging and even phone service.

It’s up to you to determine the type of emergency beacon that fits your boating needs, but one thing remains certain-having an emergency beacon aboard your boat, in your ditch bag or on your person can increase the odds of surviving an emergency at sea or on any large body of water. Safe boating is everyone’s responsibility.