Unveiling an American classic – the St Croix Imperial Fly Rod – that has been crafting fishing stories for over 50 years. As an angling enthusiast with years of experience, I’m taking you on a journey through the waters with this incredible fly rod.

St Croix: A Legacy of Excellence

Hailing from the late 1950s, the Imperial name is synonymous with St Croix’s rich heritage. For more than half a century, this series has continually exceeded expectations on the water. The St Croix Imperial Fly Rod effortlessly outperforms its counterpart, the Orvis Clearwater, across various casting ranges.

St Croix Imperial is a medium-priced, fast-action rod that delivers extraordinary performance for both novices and veteran anglers alike. Its silky, smooth guided setup ensures a consistent flow of the line. With St Croix Imperial, you are investing in a high-powered, exquisitely constructed rod that reigns supreme in diverse water conditions.

What’s in the Box?

One of the first things you will appreciate is that St Croix Imperial comes with a Cordura rod case, protecting your rod from rust and corrosion.

Mastering the Waves with Swift Recovery Speed

During my fishing escapades, I was astounded by the rod’s incredible recovery speed as I rolled my line out of the water. The St Croix Imperial boasts a faster recovery speed compared to the St Croix Elite, which is crucial in luring fish with minimal effort.

Hook Keeper: A Subtle Game Changer

I cannot emphasize enough how relieved I was to find that the St Croix Imperial has a hook keeper. Many fly rods on the market lack this feature. A hook keeper enhances the line’s performance, giving you an added advantage when out on the water.

Imperial USA Fly: A Work of Art with 28 Models

The St Croix Imperial USA Fly series comes in 28 different models, ranging from a two-piece to a four-piece, from 2 wt to 10 wt, including four switch models. What really captivated me was the remarkable blend of carbon fibers – mainly St Croix SCII, fortified with a pattern lay of SCIV. This combination makes the rod exceptionally castable, adept at battling fish, and Tippett-friendly.

Furthermore, the Imperial USA Fly features upgraded componentry, from unlocking reel seats to black PBT-coated snakes for increased smoothness. What sets it apart is that it’s handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin, USA, adding to its authenticity and quality.

Performance Insights: Key Features

Pros & Cons


  • Hook Keeper
  • Premium grade cork handle
  • SCII premium graphite blend
  • Great recovery speed
  • Tight line


  • No alignment dots for assembling the rod
  • The handle of the rod is not suitable for people with small hands
  • Heavy guides

Weight, Line, and Length

When I first picked up the St Croix Imperial Fly Rod, it felt lighter than the St Croix Elite. The weight models range from 2.2wt to 4.4wt, and this variation affects performance:

  • 2.2wt to 3.5wt – Ideal for fishing in small streams or catching trout.
  • 3.5wt to 4.5wt – Perfect for fishing on larger surfaces.

The length is standard at 9ft, though it can vary up to 6ft. The rod’s robust nature offers an array of loops when casting.

Rod Action: Power Meets Grace

The power in St Croix Imperial’s butt section enabled me to cast farther with ease. The rod’s tip felt softer than others, which is advantageous as it allows for better action while casting and rolling the line. It effortlessly casts between 25ft to 60ft, making it user-friendly for beginners and seasoned anglers alike.

Build Quality: A Blend of Durability and Ergonomics

Upon holding the St Croix Imperial Fly Rod, the premium-grade cork handle is immediately noticeable. It has a Western-style grip with a subtle swell in the middle, ensuring a sturdy and enduring grip. A little further up, there is a black anodized double uplocking skeleton reel seat, facilitating smooth casting and retrieval.

Further along, you’ll find a stripping guide coupled with chromium snake guides. Stripping guides aid in managing the powerful blanks integrated into the rod, while the chromium snake guides maintain harmony between the rod and line.

Versatility and Casting Ability

I tested the St Croix Imperial Fly Rod across various streams, lakes, and rivers, and it performed flawlessly in all conditions. Whether you are aiming to catch trout or larger fish, this rod is up to the task.

The rod’s floating line is remarkably adaptable, ensuring durability in various water conditions. Its shock absorption capabilities keep the rod focused on the target, making it highly effective in saltwater.

Warranty: Peace of Mind

The St Croix Imperial Fly Rod comes with a 15-year transferable warranty, and what’s even better is St Croix’s lifetime repair warranty. This warranty, however, does not cover theft, fire damage, or intentional harm. It’s crucial to purchase the rod from an authorized dealer to benefit from the warranty.

Conclusion: A-Rod that Fulfills Its Legacy

My time with the St Croix Imperial Fly Rod affirmed that this is a superb investment for both novice and veteran anglers. Its lightweight build ensures that you can fish for extended periods without straining your shoulders.

This rod excels in various environments, allowing you to cast effortlessly in lakes, rivers, and oceans. The St Croix Imperial Fly Rod is not just a rod; it’s an experience that promises durability and performance. The American heritage of St Croix is alive and well in this rod, and it’s waiting for you to write the next chapter in its illustrious history.

Embark on an unforgettable fishing adventure with the St Croix Imperial Fly Rod – an American classic that marries tradition with innovation.