How do you like the St Croix? What kind of rod is it?I promise this is not a dig on any of the retail stores out there. When it comes to the more expensive / better quality rods I would actually just order from the actual manufacturer. I had a particular experience ( I wont be mentioning the store and it wasn't really their fault) when I bought my St. Croix rod. The first trip out the tip exploded when I had warranty work done on it I found out the rod was over a year old.
Where I am going with this , I think some of the more expensive rods sell a bit slower so could be on the shelves for much longer. With lots of people handling them , how many times have you witnessed someone or accidentally yourself banged the rod into the other rods sitting right next to it on the shelf. or watched someone when shaking the rod hit the ground etc.. Again this is no dig on any of the retailers.
Just my 2 Cents