St Croix Imperial Fly Rod Review – Made in USA

The imperial name has been with St. Croix since the late 1950s. For over 50 years, the series has been over-performing on the water.

In this St Croix Imperial Fly Rod Review, we are going to share who should buy this rod, where you can use it and what are its key features and their benefits?

St Croix Imperial is a fast action medium-priced rod. You can get excellent performance out of this rod on various distances. This fly rod provides a better casting than Orvis Clearwater on different casting ranges.

The guided setup of the St Croix Imperial fly rod is very smooth and gentle, which helps to provide a consistent flow of the line. With high power and beautiful built St Croix Imperial can be useful on different waters for both a beginner and an experienced angler.

St Croix Imperial Fly Rod Review

St Croix Imperial Review

With St Croix Imperial, you would never have to worry about getting your rod rusted or corroded as St Croix Imperial comes with a Cordura rod case.

When I rolled my line out of the water, I got a very excellent recovery speed. This recovery speed was faster than St Croix Elite. Faster recovery speed helps to lure the fish without much effort quickly.

I was relieved to find that St Croix Imperial has a cook keeper as many fly rods don’t have a hook keeper. Hook keeper affects the line’s performance positively, so having a hook keeper on your rod can provide you with an edge on the water.

Imperial USA Fly comes in 28 models from a two-piece to four-piece from 2 wt to 10 wt with four switch models. But what’s most impressive about this Rod is the blend of carbon fibers, primarily St. Croix SCII, but with a pattern lay of SCIV this thing is castable. It fights fish beautifully and Tippett friendly.

It’s an amazing rod to fish with upgraded componentry from unlocking real seat to black PBT coated snakes for increased smoothness. Imperial USA is handcrafted for you right here in America in Park Falls, Wisconsin.

st croix imperial fly rods comparison chart
  • Hook Keeper
  • Premium grade cork handle
  • SCII premium graphite blend
  • Great recovery speed
  • Tight line
  • No alignment dots for assembling the rod
  • Handle of the rod is not suitable for people with small hands
  • Heavy guides

Key Features & their Performance

Here, in this section, we will explore the features and performance of the St Croix Imperial fly rod which will definitely give you the insights on whether this rod is the right choice for what you demand or not.

Weight, Line and Length

Imperial Fly Rods

I can tell you that when I lifted the St Croix Imperial fly rod, I found it lighter than St Croix Elite. The weight models of St Croix ranges from 2.2wt to 4.4wt. Variation in the weight of the rod also affects the performance of the rod on the water.

If you want to fish in small streams or catch trout, you should opt for St Croix Imperial 2.2wt to 3.5wt. But in case you want to fish on a larger surface, you should opt for St Croix Imperial ranging from 3.5wt to 4.5wt.

When I cast with this rod line, the rod appeared robust and provided me with variation in loops. Length of St Croix Imperial is 9ft, which is standard and varies up to 6ft.

Rod Action

St-Croix-Imperial-fly rods

While using St Croix Imperial, I was able to move the rod in different directions without putting any strain on my shoulders. St Croix Imperial has much power in its butt section, which helps cast a farther line much more comfortable.

I found the tip of the rod a lot softer than other rods, which is a plus point as a softer tip provides a better action while throwing and rolling the line. You can cast easily with this rod from 25ft to 60ft.

In this cast range, you will get a consistent performance on different waters. Beginners could easily handle this rod and can cast easily without much effort.

Build Quality

snake guides

Once you hold the St Croix Imperial fly rod, you will notice the rod’s cork handle, which is a western-style grip with a smooth swell in the middle. The handle helps to provide a firm and long-lasting grip.

When you move a little bit up, you will see a black anodized double uplocking skeleton seat. This helps to quickly throw and roll back the line without much effort and any interruptions.

Moving further up, you will see a stripping guide with chromium snake guides. Stripping guides help manage powerful blanks provided in the rod, whereas the chromium snake guide helps to maintain coordination between the rod and the line.

Versatility and Casting Ability

imperial fly rods

I used this fly rod on different streams, waters, and rivers, and I can tell you that I experienced zero difficulties. St Croix Imperial fly rod is very versatile, whether you want to catch trout or big fish this rod will get the job done.

The floating line of the rod is adaptable enough to fish on any water without breaking. St Croix Imperial fly rod can easily absorb shocks without losing focus from the target.

This helps to maintain the position on saltwater effectively. In the range of 25 ft to 60 ft, you can effectively cast a vast range of loops, which helps you tackle the fish quickly.


St Croix Imperial fly rod comes with a 15-year transferable warranty. But if you are still not satisfied yet, you would be after knowing that St Croix provides lifetime repair warranty on your rod. So, you should not worry about the repairs of your rod if you broke it by mistake or some other incident.

But you should know that if your rod is stolen, hurt due to a fire, or damaged intentionally, there is no responsibility of St Croix. Also, it is mandatory to buy the rod from an authorized dealer, in case you buy this rod second hand you won’t get any warranty.


After using this rod, I can say this with confidence and surety that if you are a beginner, you won’t have difficulty fishing with this rod. This rod is light with which you can fish for long hours without putting much strain on your shoulders.

You can easily see caste on any lake, water, river, and ocean without losing stability and grip with this rod. St Croix Imperial fly rod is very durable and would serve you very well without any difficulty.

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