The reimagined Eyecon series expands to an unprecedented 18 distinct rods (not including separate trolling models) for 2022, with the introduction of the all-new 7’1” medium power, moderate-fast action Jig-N-Rap and 7’1” medium power, fast action Rip-N-Rap models.
Until now, anglers have been required to compromise with respect to handle design, length, power, or action when choosing rods for fishing Jigging Rap® and Rippin’ Rap® style lures. Northern Minnesota fishing guide and St. Croix and Rapala pro, Tony Roach, explains.
“Every walleye angler knows the effectiveness of a Jigging Rap. They also know how uncomfortable it can be to fish one all day long with the wrong rod. The first thing anglers will notice is how light and balanced it is,” Roach says of the new Eyecon 7’1” medium power, moderate-fast action Jig-N-Rap rod. “The second, is how it fits well in your hand. The ergonomics on this rod and the entire reimagined Eyecon series help anglers fish longer without getting sloppy. They’re that comfortable.”
Roach most often fishes Jigging Raps with six-to-ten-pound braid and a ten-pound fluorocarbon leader. “The stiffer leader can help you from foul hooking the lure and it is also very abrasion resistant,” he says. “Like a lot of walleye anglers, I like using braid because I can feel everything, even on a slack line. The problem with braid though is you tend to lose fish if you don’t have the right rod, especially with Jigging Raps when the fish gets one of those single hooks.” Roach says walleyes often pin Jigging Raps to the bottom, making hook-ups a challenge at times. “The heavy nature of the lure also makes it vulnerable to head shakes as you are reeling in a fish. This rod solves that problem, the MMF – medium power, moderate-fast action – functions very similar to a crankbait rod, it ensures proper hook setting power while absorbing those big head shakes on braid. The 7’1” length also casts far and picks up line in a hurry. My hook-up-to-landing percentage sky-rocketed with the new Eyecon Jig-N-Rap rod, and I feel little or no fatigue after day of fishing it.”
Rippin’ Rap-style baits are also a growing staple among walleye anglers. “It’s a lipless crankbait that collided with a jig; that’s how I describe it. It’s a technique that’s effective all season, but really shines in cold water,” says Roach, who recognizes some similarities in the ways Jigging Raps and Rippin Raps are commonly fished. “But there are some subtle differences which set the techniques apart,” he says. “For example, I tend to fish Jigging Raps on a slack line, ripping the rod tip 90 degrees straight up and then dropping my rod tip forward allowing the bait to free fall and glide. That isn’t always the case with Rippin’ Raps. Especially when the water is colder, I’ll rip the bait up and then walk it back to the bottom. The new 7’1” medium power, fast action Rip-N-Rap rod is designed and built to allow the angler to work these baits like a puppeteer… casting them out and then working them back to the boat on tighter, more controlled falls. The faster tip works with the medium power to ensure positive hook setting, especially after longer casts, as well as the perfect balance to keep fish hooked up. And, again, St. Croix nailed the ergonomics. Due to the aggressive nature of this presentation, a slightly longer handle length makes it easier to position the handle inside the forearm. That takes a lot of the stress of an angler’s wrist, which is working overtime in this presentation.”
New St. Croix Eyecon Series Features
- Premium-quality SCII carbon with FRS for unparalleled strength and durability
- Hybrid guide platform featuring SeaGuide® Aluminum Oxide guides with black frames, Atlas Performance stainless (SS304) guides and a black PVD coated tip top
- Sea Guide® IPSA reel seat with thread-covering nut and black hood on spinning models
- SeaGuide® TCS reel seat with black hood on casting model
- Premium-grade cork modified split grip on spinning models with tailored foregrips designed for each technique
- Premium-grade full EVA contoured handle and foregrip on casting model
- Kigan hook-keeper
- Emerald Walter Green color
- Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
- 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
- Technique-specific walleye series designed for superior performance utilizing custom handle configurations unique to each model for angler comfort and functionality
- Designed in Park Falls, U.S.A. and handcrafted in Fresnillo, Mexico
- Retail price $140 to $160
“Walleye anglers are going to fall in love with the reimaged Eyecon series, just as they did with the original Eyecons,” Roach surmises. “St. Croix’s drive to make something that’s already widely viewed to be the best even better is really remarkable, and they’ve done just that in these technique-specific high-performance rods while keeping them an incredible value. They’re lighter, more durable, and more finely balanced than previous Eyecons, the new hybrid handles and reel seats make them even more comfortable to fish with for extended periods, and I just love the new hybrid guide trains. It has been an exciting project to work on,” Roach adds. “We have spent countless hours hammering out every detail ensuring we get it right for anglers. That’s what we do at St. Croix, and the reimagined and expanded Eyecon series is the latest proof of that.”
New Eyecon Series rods are being introduced at ICAST 2021 and are expected to be available for purchase at St. Croix dealers worldwide this fall.