Meet and Defeat Hardwater Walleyes

New Croix Custom Ice (CCI) Tubular Carbon rods are engineered for unmatched performance

Park Falls, WI - The witching hour is approaching; that magical window when wolf packs of hungry walleyes invade, hunting an evening meal before the long, dark night returns. Faint blips appear on sonar screens, and baits are jigged aggressively to draw attention. With the suddenness of a broken shoelace, our quarry materializes, and the rod loads - the fight is on.

It is a scene repeated across the Ice Belt every season, particularly for anglers using equipment optimized for the task of hooking, fighting and landing hardwater walleyes. Central to this pursuit are premium technique- and species-specific rods, especially ones brandishing the St. Croix name. Meet two members of the Croix Custom Ice rod family: the 32-inch Search Bait (C132MF) and the 36-inch Outside Eye (C136MF), each fashioned from a U.S.A. built blank that utilizes a carbon - unique and differentiated from St. Croix's open water rods - specifically designed for use on the ice.

32-inch Search Bait (C132MF)
36-inch Outside Eye (C136MF)
Tubular carbon blanks find their roots in the making of premium open water rods. Lighter, more sensitive than solid carbon and infinitely more sensitive than solid glass, St. Croix tubular carbon ice blanks are true featherweight walleye weapons, balancing beautifully in the hand and dramatically reducing fatigue through days and nights of rip-jigging for winter gold.

St. Croix pro and ice aficionado Joel Nelson remarked that, "though rod manufacturers have long appreciated the weight savings, increased sensitivity, and improved hook-setting backbone of tubular carbon blanks, none have been able to make a blank that is strong enough to stand up to the rigors of our favorite frozen sport - until now. St. Croix developed a new carbon to create the CCI Search Bait and Outside Eye ice rods, providing superior feel and control of baits in tight quarters, driving small trebles through hard mouths."

Croix Custom Ice Search Bait and Outside Eye rods feature medium powers and fast actions. From the angler's perspective, these characteristics translate into sensitive tips that reveal lure action and deflect nicely on the strike, with a smooth transition to stout backbones that provide hook-setting leverage and the confidence to manage an agitated predator.

The 32-inch Search Bait rod is the ideal choice for aggressive presentations, like the dynamic lipless rattlebaits that dominate the trophy fisheries of Lake Winnipeg, the Great Lakes, and Lake of the Woods, or the familiar jigging minnow-style lures that excel on countless inland waters. The 36-inch Outside Eye rod delivers the same level of premium rod performance with four inches of additional length, enhancing the comfort of standing anglers searching for bites outside of their shelters.

Joel Nelson said that, "the 32-inch Search Bait rod offers distinct backbone yet is nimble enough to fish a wide range of hard baits. It has enough length to absorb wide head shakes, and the power to quickly drive home treble hooks into harder mouths. As search bait fishing becomes a more widely utilized technique for roaming large expanses and picking off active fish, this is the first rod on the market to offer the perfect tool for the job."

When describing the 36" Outside Eye rod, Nelson reflected that, "this is a big water walleye rod designed for the roaming angler. It offers the ability to stand - not sit or kneel - next to the hole while keeping the rod tip near the ice. That's important for preventing wind from blowing around slack line, which robs anglers of lure control and strike detection. The Outside Eye's leveraging ability is superior, especially when the potential for trophy fish and slack-inducing head shakes can mean the difference between the fish of a lifetime and another "big-one-that-got-away" story."

A host of premium components complement the tubular carbon blanks of the Croix Custom Ice Search Bait and Outside Eye rods. Both feature black pearl REC® Recoil® guides, integrated hook keepers and split-grip/super-grade cork handles. Croix Custom Ice Search Bait and Outside Eye rods are designed, engineered and manufactured completely within our Northwoods home of Park Falls, Wisconsin, USA. We live and work in the heart of the walleye belt, and that knowledge, coupled with our industry-leading rod-crafting experience, has yielded two outstanding rods that have earned spots in your hardwater walleye arsenal.

Croix Custom Ice rod features:
  • Search Bait (CI32MF): 32", medium power, fast action.
  • Outside Eye (CI36MF): 36", medium power, fast action.
  • Proprietary tubular carbon blank technology for extreme performance.
  • REC® Recoil® guides with black pearl finish.
  • Split-grip / super-grade cork handle.
  • Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish.
  • 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.
  • Designed and handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
St. Croix Rods
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