Park Falls, W I— In seeking out the ideal individual to represent your fishing rod company, it probably doesn’t hurt to hire an angler who, you know, fishes a lot. Might be the understatement of the year relative to St. Croix Rod’s elite roster of professionals, its newest ambassador, Tony Roach.
“If I’m off the water for more than one day in a row,” says the affable pro angler and Minnesota based fishing guide, “it’s only because I’m at ICAST or another sportshow, in product development meetings, or any number of other angling events…talking fishing. It’s my favorite off-the-water pastime. The other 250 or so days a year, I’m in a boat or on the ice, casting or jigging.”
Why the rod-buying consumer should care one way or the other about the fishing frequency of one very popular walleye, ice and bass guide mostly distills down to a singular significant factor: on-the-job experience. “When you fish with hundreds of different people every year — all who bring their favorite rod aboard — you get a pretty good idea which gear performs best. You learn which rods stand up and deliver, time after time, year after year and frankly, St. Croix sets the gold standard,” Roach affirms.
For St. Croix, on-the-job experience also means frequently debriefing anglers like Roach about the rod specs that work best in the field, and how to possibly improve upon a fishing rod array that already wins awards.
“Tony Roach embodies St. Croix Rods’ high standard for excellence,” says Jesse Simpkins, St. Croix Director of Marketing. “He’s one of the friendliest, most approachable pro anglers you’ll ever meet. Tony’s more than happy to share his knowledge with anyone who wants to talk fishing — he’s a high quality person and one of the country’s best anglers. We also love the fact that he regularly engages with consumers via his active social media channels and of course, you can’t miss reading about or seeing him in traditional print and TV media. With the famous Roach family provenance, you know you’re working with a classy angler and individual.”
Schooled in boats and ice shelters almost from day one, Tony Roach benefited from the knowledge of his father, as well as his great uncle, the legendary “Mr. Walleye” Gary Roach.
For nearly two decades, “T-Roach” has guided professionally, year-around on Mille Lacs, Minnesota and dozens of other waters around the Upper Midwest. A pioneering walleye and ice angler who popularized active “ice trolling” methods, Roach has also become one of the top smallmouth bass practitioners in the North.
“What’s amazing about St. Croix rods is they don’t just build one or two premium rod series for one or two species,” Roach says. “For the way I fish, this is so valuable because we might completely change programs two or three times in a single day. Pulling plugs for basin walleyes? I’ve got my Eyecon Trolling Rods. Pitching bobbers for crappies? The Panfish Series is perfect. Dropshotting for smallmouths? Mojo Bass, baby.
“Of course, no one understands how to build a true walleye rod better than St. Croix. You pick up an Avid, Legend Elite or one of their Legend Tournament Walleye rods and just sort of fall into a comfortable, fish-catching routine. Fire casts, sense the slightest takes, power hooks home, and otherwise forget there’s even a rod in your hands.
“I can’t think of higher praise for any fishing rod, even the best rods on earth.”