St. Croix’s making rods for over 50 years
On the fishing front, Spoonplugging was hot off the presses, penned by one Elwood “Buck” Perry. Virgil Ward had won his second National Championship of Freshwater Fishing title. And Gordon Schluter unveiled the redesigned St. Croix Premier, a refined fishing rod destined for all-time greatness.
Exactly fifty years later, Liverpool’s Fab Four is as popular as ever, while St. Croix’s American made rods remain enduring symbols of quality, class and distinction. At the Park Falls, Wisconsin based rod factory, business is booming, and recent expansion efforts have helped boost production and meet the rising demand for all its rods, including Premier Spinning and Casting, as well as Legend Xtreme series.
In 2013, to meet the mounting demand, the Schluter family added approximately twenty new production staff; full-time employees dedicated exclusively to the day-to-day manufacture of St. Croix Rods. The result has been a 30-percent increase in the production of American made fishing rods, including the Premier. “It can take months to properly train a new St. Croix employee,” added Schluter. “It’s a real commitment in time and expense, but the result is a quality standard that endures from one generation of rods to the next.”
To those who visit and tour the classic, now sixty-year-old Park Falls establishment, the rod crafting process appears to proceed like a well-oiled machine. And it surely does. Yet as with any successful business, growing pains beget tough choices, monetary gambles and ultimately, a pure vision.
Schluter: “We’ve made a long-term investment in the integrity of our brand. That means assuring we supply our ever-growing customer base with premium, American made fishing rods. But it also means maintaining St. Croix’s superior quality and craftsmanship at every stage of the rod building process. Quality can never be sacrificed for quantity. On this, we will not compromise.