Two piece rods

To some extent the plug craze has been replaced by a rod craze. The most remarkable part of it that it wasn’t some super-duper-one-piece blank that has all the internet boards buzzing, but instead its two piece offerings from companies like St Croix, CTS and Century.

Who would have thought even 5 years ago that we would be comparing a two piece rods to one piece sticks? I would have personally put a large wager on the fact that after fishing my Lamiglas 1321M for ten or fifteen years, I will never ,ever fish with two piece rod.

And what am I fishing with today? Two piece St Croix Legends and Mojo rods.

I am not much of a “must get the hottest toys” kind of a guy. I buy my trucks used instead of new. I wear $99 LL Bean waders, $70 Grunden splash top and cheapest laced up Korkers boots they make. My plug bag is stuffed with Super Strike and other affordable lures. The only “fancy” thing I do fish with is a VS 250 that I’ve had for a  decade. Its it so beat up, most of the paint is gone. And this is all fine with me, I prefer to let others beat up and test new products. If I learned one thing over the years is that hype is rarely justified when it comes to fishing products. If for no other reason than because our personal fishing styles are so different.

When we tested St Croix Legend and St Croix Mojo rods I was impressed in how light, crisp they were. In Mojo’s case I was surprised at the retail price too. That is a lot of rod for your money. My Lami 1321M seemed like a dinosaur compared to these rods. But one thing about the Lami, it has never failed me. It has tossed ten ounce rigged eels and ½ ounce bucktails when asked too. It has fallen with me from the rocks, whipped some big fish and fell on ground more time than I care to admit.

I was intrigued about the St Croix Legends but one thing gave me a pause, the placement of the reel seat. It was just too low for the way I cast. So I got two Legend blanks , a ¾ to 4 and 2 to 6 and had our Surfcaster’s Journal Rod Guru Lou Caruso wrapped them and placed the reel seat where I wanted. He also added butt cap, something I suggest all of you do it if you are fishing on the rocks. For few bucks its  very good investment.

So although I used the factory Legends in Costa Rica and little bit last fall and this spring, I eagerly awaited the custom ones Lou was building. I finally got a chance to use them on our SJ annual Cuttyhunk trip .I thought this would be a great place to put them to the test. I used ¾ to 4 exclusively back home throwing lures and caught few fish . I already used this blank in Costa Rica on some very powerful Jacks and Hound fish and I had an idea of just how responsive it was and how well does it cast. Since my plan was to use rigged eels that were  anywhere between 4 and 10 ounces, my 2 to 6 ounce model was going to get a workout…

And that was some workout!

It handled the casting of rigged eels into the wind with ease. It cast the rigged eels with a wind for a country mile. It swam from rocks to rocks with me, it pulled giant stripers onto rocks, it yanked the big 8/0 hooks out of the bubble weed forests on the bottom of the sea. It whipped the schoolie, the teen fish and even few twenties with ease. It handled many thirties without issues and forties were no  match either. The darn thing is so light, so crisp, that after doing an all-nighter everything hurt but my shoulder, something I wasn’t expecting.

You are probably wondering after all this swimming, catching, falling, how many times did I have to adjust the guides to be in line with a reel? Exactly once and only because I placed the rod on top of the rock I could not get on, only to watch a wave sweep it into the water. I did find it and yes, the guides have moved a little but that is the only time I had to fix them.

All in all , I am thrilled with the performance of the Legends. I am sure many of you guys have had the same experiences with CTS or Century rods Lou or someone else has built for you. If I ever had reservations about two piece rods being inferior in any way to a one piece stick, I don’t have them anymore. There is nothing wrong with a having a one piece rod. In a lot of ways, one piece stick will always be more desirable because they have, well, one less piece. But there is no reason to not consider a two piece rod when looking into buying a new stick. Just saying….

9 comments on “Two piece rods

  1. Ctmatt

    I saved up for my first Legend recently and although I was originally gunning for the 10′ 3/4-4 I found a deal on the 10’6″ for only $365 and couldn’t pass it up. I like further up reel seats for casting leverage/loading and this rod delivers. Still about 15-20% lighter then the same rating mojo
    Killer for pencils and live/rigged eels
    I sold my 10′ mojo for the Legend but I am most likely keeping my 1-4 9′ mojo just because of the size/light weight and muscle for such a nice package. Most people don’t need a Legend unless it is exactly the rod you need. For everyone else the mojo is so different then any other blank/setup out there it is worth a few casts to see if it is to your liking.

  2. rob

    1pc, 2pc, 3pc, 5pc travel – who really cares? certainly not the fish. you find something that seems to work and that matters far less than … the fishing. some fish for meat, some for aesthetics, some for both – in the end, it’s the happiness you make that matters most.

  3. joe

    The 9 and 10 Ft legends, with a 150 or 200 VS are the great4st rods in the world!!!! Light weight, balanced, and do the job!!! and they fit in the vehicle no matter who is driving to whatever place the surf has fish!!!

  4. John Martines

    Most Rod builders have know this for years about 2pc rods. Fly/Spey fishers have used 2,3,and even 4 pc rods for a long long time.There are a few brands of 2pc out there that I wouldn’t touch! Z you are wise.. in that Hype is rarely justified, But it catches fisherman all the time.

  5. Matt

    The ecomy has produced a new need, and its not based on just affordable rods but the need to transport rods in commuter cars. Not everyone lives near water or can afford to burn gas in a suburban equipted with all the comforts of sleeping in, the extra cost of a roof rack ect. I have a rack but its reserved for a kayak so ski racks to hold my rods would be problematic. If you live in an apartment you may only have a closet to store gear. The 2pc has its quirks and they do manifest and can be annoying but the rods peform well. They fit the bill lagistically for an ever growing surf fishing market. Many of us would like a 1pc but its just easier to have a 2pc and now we arnt loosing out on any performance. I will just add ferruls are a point of stress and if a rods going to break that will be the area they will most likely let go first but it does take allot of stress.

  6. John S.

    I agree with Zeno’s comments…..The performance of my new 11′ CTS surf exceeded my expectations during 3 days of tough conditions while wetsuiting Block Island and 1 night on Montauk fishing with Bill Wetzel in calmer surf during mid-June. The rod had more than enough backbone to toss large GRS pikies and the authority to control strong fish in heavy current and the boulder fields of the Block Island surf. It also had the finesse to handle the smaller sand eel imitations I tossed with Bill on the western north side of Montauk. Bill made few casts with my rod too. I won’t speak for him, but I did note a big smile, and the only problem he could find with my set-up was the tactical angle clips (Bill ties direct) and weathered 30 lb fireline fused (Bill recommended heavier braid).

    I appreciate Lou Carouso’s referral to Rich Hedenberg (RH Custom Rods), who met with me on short notice and gave me the chance to cast several different CTS models before making the final selection that was sized correctly for me. Travel in my honda accord, from my home in South Jersey up to Montauk, and passage on the Viking ferry would have been more complicated had I been unable to break this rod down to two pieces. The action, strength, light weight of this rod allowed me to keep up with much bigger and more experienced casters on the trip who were all throwing 1 piece lami blanks.

  7. PA Matt

    I enjoyed my 10′-6″ 3/4 to 4 oz legend tremendously during its first real outing to MV in June. I thought it fished like a much smaller rod due to the weight and diameter, but was supper at working plugs and controlling fish.

    One thing that I’ve been looking for is a transport case. the upper portion of the rod is just over 7′ so the cases I’ve found are too short. Anyone out there have a suggestion?


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