FTR StaffWritten by

St. Croix Launches New Imperial USA Fly Rod

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Park Falls, WI – The term back in the day is spoken by older generations to describe how things used to be. Depending on the age-gap, the saying may seem like hyperbole, but when it comes to fishing rods, back in the day really isn’t all that long ago. The reality is that new rods make ten-year-old rods seem, well…old.

Since 1948, St Croix Rod has been churning out the Best Rods on Earth right here in the USA. And, the folks at St Croix make it a regular habit of not leaving well enough alone, hand-crafting perfect fishing tools with the finest components and materials available, ensuring anglers from every generation have their very own favorite rod.

When it comes to fly rods, the evolution of design and materials has progressed by leaps and bounds. Lighter, faster and stronger – the latest advancements in fly rod design and manufacture were only a gleam in the eye of many veteran fly anglers, even in the not too distant past.

The 2018 Imperial USA fly rod is a great example of what occurs within the friendly confines of St Croix’s Park Falls, Wisconsin facility when rod designers, engineers and builders decide it’s time to improve upon the past.

The hallmark of Imperial USA is a unique blend of high-modulus/high-strain SCIV graphite and premium quality SCII graphite – a dynamic combination that is lightweight and powerful. Fly casting instructor and national account manager for St. Croix, Dan Johnston has this to say, “The blend of graphite used to create the Imperial is strategically designed for performance. It’s amazingly castable”.

Amazingly castable is an understatement. While the Imperial USA is most-definitely a fast-action fly rod, make no mistake, it’s also buttery smooth to cast. The unmistakable forgiving feel does not limit the rod’s tracking ability, either – enjoy remarkable accuracy without working up a sweat, even when flinging heavy sink-tip lines and weighted streamers. It’s a pure joy to cast…

Designed with new aesthetics and components, Imperial USA will not disappoint the eye of even the most discerning fly anglers. Lightweight, black PVD coated snake guides and Kigan Master Hand 3D stripper guides offer a magnificent interface between the fly line and rod, while slim-profile ferrules provide maximum strength with minimal mass improving blank performance and eliminating any potential flat spot within the ferrule area.

Imperial USA also features a definitive premium-grade cork grip with reliable uplocking, machined-aluminum reel seat (with wood insert on 2-6 wt. models) The rod’s Kigan hook-keeper is sensible and familiar to fly anglers of any generation. Imperial USA comes with a rugged case that includes a handle and polypropylene divider.

The folks at St Croix are confident in their builds, too, so it should be no surprise that the Imperial USA comes with a 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service. Every Imperial USA rod is handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a retail range of $230-$330.

IMPERIAL® USA (freshwater and saltwater fly)

  • Dynamic blend of high-modulus/high-strain SCIV graphite and premium quality SCII graphite.
  • Slim-profile ferrules.
  • Kigan Master Hand 3D stripper guides with aluminum-oxide rings and black frames.
  • Sea Guide® snake guides with black PVD coating for extra hardness and increased smoothness.
  • Uplocking, machined-aluminum reel seat with wood insert on most 2-6 wt. models.
  • Uplocking, machined-aluminum reel seat on 7-10 wt. models.
  • Premium-grade cork handle.
  • Kigan hook-keeper.
  • Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish.
  • Rugged rod case with handle and divided polypropylene liner.
  • 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.

Lightweight, fast action fly rods designed for maximum performance and value.

Whether dialing it down for delicate presentations to finicky trout in gin-clear water or putting the pedal to the metal when throwing squirrel-sized musky flies into the timber along the bank of a dark Northwoods river – one of the 28 models in the Imperial USA lineup will fit the bill.

Joe Sills Hi there, did you know? Each week, we curate a list of the Top 5 stories in fishing and send them right to your inbox. Reading Tackle’s Top 5 is one of the best ways to become or remain an industry expert. -Joe Sills, Digital Editor

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