Technology That Elevates Performance
November 10, 2022
Agglomerated Cork is a new primary handle material that St. Croix Rod began testing over two years ago. “It’s basically made from recycled cork material that is ground into a particulate and then adhered together,” says St. Croix Engineering Supervisor, Gavin Falk. “The result is a great-looking material that finishes well and is easier to work with than regular cork,” Falk continues. “From a manufacturing standpoint, it’s a homogenous material, so it can be easily sanded and drilled, and there’s no need to add any filler material in order to make it look pretty.”
Falk says St. Croix’s Agglomerated Cork has several advantages for anglers. “It’s a very resilient and durable material and is denser than regular cork with no appreciable difference in weight,” Falk says. “So, anglers will notice that an Agglomerated Cork handle holds up very well to bumps, dings and scrapes, and remains looking great with little or no maintenance. The texture is also a bit grippier than regular, sanded cork, and because It’s also denser, anglers may notice improved energy transmission or a better overall feel.”
Saltwater environments are especially hard on cork,” Falk adds. “The salt and sun can shrink and degrade standard cork material, which can cause it to crack on its surface over time. The saltwater rods we tested our Agglomerated Cork material on have seen over two years of hard use now, and all of the handles still look the same as when they were new. They show virtually no wear.”
Agglomerated Cork was first used on production St. Croix rods in 2022 as the primary handle material on all-new Sole and X-Trek Fishing Systems, as well new Skandic Ice rods. “Most of the Skandic Ice rods were designed without a reel seat to allow anglers to tape their reels anywhere on the handle for optimum balance and feel,” Falk says. “Agglomerated Cork is an ideal material for this application, not only for its overall durability, but also because it holds up incredibly well to this taping and untaping. Unlike regular, sanded cork handles, reel tape comes off cleanly without removing or damaging the cork.”
Overall, any fishing rod handle must be comfortable and provide the angler with a positive grip. The best handles that elevate the angling experience are also durable, lightweight, and remain looking good and feeling good over the full life of the rod. St. Croix Agglomerated Cork checks every box.