(Jul 23, 2018 - Park Falls, WI)
There are players on the bench that wait their entire careers to get called into the game. Often those players have a very specific skillset that only requires being tapped every once in a while. And when it’s their time to lace up, they better perform. Chad Grigsby has one of those players in his boat.
There’s that moment when a professional bass pro simply changes up. It doesn’t matter if they are engaged in a catching streak—they just know it’s the right time. It’s those on-the-fly decisions, along with being prepared for those change-ups, that separate the pros from the amateurs. For Grigsby, a St. Croix Rod pro, it was what led to his 2nd FLW Tour career win and a $125,000 check.
A big part of being prepared is having the right equipment in your boat. Grigsby only fishes St. Croix rods. “I’m spending the holiday with my family at our cabin in Wisconsin. St. Croix is made here - not just in the USA - but in Wisconsin. And they are a family-owned company. That means a lot to me; I can visit the factory in Park Falls and see the people making the rods I rely on every day,” he said.
Grigsby’s boat is filled with rods. He’s had people come up to his boat and ask why he carries so many rods. “Golf is the analogy I use to explain it. You don’t use a driver on the putting surface and vice-versa. Every rod I own has a purpose; it’s why I have so many rods. St. Croix designs rods with different actions, powers and lengths for each situation. On tour we go to so many different lakes with varying conditions that require the use of multiple lures and techniques. We need rods rigged and ready if the conditions change.”
The Lake St. Clair tournament was a perfect example of this. To win the tournament, Grigsby had to be ready for every change. On the final morning, it was calm before sunup. “I started out fishing a 4-inch green pumpkin and gold-colored Venom Lures Tube on a ¾ ounce jig head with a 7’6” Legend Elite (EC76MHMF) medium-heavy power moderate-fast action casting rod. I was catching fish,” said Grigsby.
During an active bite, the sun popped out. It was at that moment that Grigsby’s instincts made him switch-up. “My photographer gave me a strange look when I set the rod down and picked up a Legend Xtreme (LXS76MLXF) 7’6” medium-light power extra fast-action spinning rod rigged with a spybait. Call me crazy but the change in conditions told me to switch,” he said. On his second cast, Grigsby’s premonition was validated when he caught a six-pounder and sealed the deal for the tournament.
“The smallmouth on that lake are old and smart. You need to throw the bait a long way to get them to bite. When the conditions are sunny and calm, the spybait is the best choice. Because you’re casting a long distance, you’re in for a long fight and you’ve got to keep the fish hooked.
I picked this rod because of the bait. The Legend Xtreme helped me 1000%. This rod has a really soft tip that allows me to throw a 4” bait into the wind a long way. The rod tip is so soft that they can’t pull the hooks out. Also, this rod is super sensitive, making bite detection easier. It’s the key to landing these fish. If people miss fish throwing spybaits, they are using the wrong rod,” added Grigsby.
“I fish Legend Elite and Legend Xtreme in every tournament but this was the only time I used that specific rod this year. Every tournament is different and it’s hard to know exactly when you’ll need a certain rod. That’s why I always carry it-- it’s why I have it in my arsenal.”
Only time and conditions will determine if Grigsby calls on that combo again. Regardless, it will always find a home in his rod locker, hoping to be called into the game.
About St. Croix Rod
Now in its 70th year, Park Falls, Wisconsin based St. Croix Rod remains a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods with a 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.