Handcrafted in North America
St. Croix has been handcrafting the Best Rods on Earth in Park Falls, Wisconsin for over 70 years.
On the surface, the statement is just what it seems. St. Croix employs nearly 400 people, many of whom use their hands to combine the best raw materials and technologies, transforming them into the fishing tools that give anglers the upper hand in any situation. Yes, St. Croix utilizes advanced machines, computers and tooling to produce its rods in Park Falls, Wisconsin, and that equipment has continually evolved over the past 70 years, but it has always been guided and executed by skilled human hands. It's true; at least 32 sets of hands come in contact with your St. Croix rod before it reaches yours, and it takes extreme commitment and attention to detail from all of them to deliver the rods St. Croix anglers expect - rods that elevate their fishing experiences.
But there's a deeper meaning, too; one that's more difficult to fully explain. We can start by understanding that Best Rods on Earth is much more than a simple marketing slogan; it's a guiding statement equivalent to a personal, daily affirmation that reminds, encourages and empowers every St. Croix team member to be angler driven. Simply stated, an angler's pride and satisfaction with a St. Croix rod is St. Croix's pride and satisfaction as a company. Make sense?
Vertical ManufacturingWithin the realm of fishing, vertical is a presentation. It means covering any part of the water column directly beneath the angler. In the context of manufacturing, vertical means owning or exercising increased control over the elements within the value chain, which consists of all the businesses and individuals that play a part in the manufacturing process. Vertically integrated manufacturing provides significant benefits when it comes to product manufacturing, assembly and supply, including reduced lead times, increased quality, and cost control, to name a few.
St. Croix SouthBeing angler-driven is a part of St. Croix's DNA, so many of the rods it makes are specifically requested by anglers, often because they can't be found anywhere else. Sometimes, these rods are crafted in Park Falls. In other cases, rods that appeal to a wider range of anglers are best delivered by the skilled hands at St. Croix South.
"St. Croix Rod owns outright and operates a manufacturing facility nearly identical to our Park Falls, Wisconsin factory in Fresnillo, Mexico," says St. Croix Director of Operations, Jason Brunner. "The layouts are the same. The equipment is the same. The technologies, materials and manufacturing processes are the same. The only things that are different are the sets of human hands forming and adding value to the Best Rods on Earth." Some of the rod series currently produced at St. Croix South include Mojo, Bass-X, Triumph, Eyecon, Panfish and Trout.
Brunner relies heavily on Plant Manager, Jesus Mario Rodriguez, to keep operations running smoothly at St. Croix South.
COVID-19 placed stresses on all forms of manufacturing in the past year. "Manufacturing is always a challenging and complex process, and last year's shutdowns didn't make things any easier," says Brunner. But he points out that almost any dark cloud can have a silver lining. "We were shut down for almost 6 weeks. We took ten steps back to look at how we operate. Like a lot of individuals did, we reset. We figured out what we could do better with respect to staffing, managing and shipping orders and managing flow… things that are almost impossible to do while you are running. We took advantage of the opportunity to make small changes that have had big impacts. We look at things differently now."
Parting WordsFor St. Croix and its anglers, "Handcrafted in North America" means employing passionate people to transform the highest quality materials into the Best Rods on Earth, classified as such by virtue of their remarkable performance characteristics, overall quality, and ability to elevate any personal angling experience. Whether it's a father and son Canadian fly-out, an inshore adventure, catching bluegills in a farm pond, or competing in the Bassmaster Classic, rest assured that your handcrafted St. Croix fishing rods have been conceived and delivered to give you the upper hand while maximizing your satisfaction on the water.
St. Croix's team members in Park Falls and Fresnillo make certain of it.
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