Bob Sands

Feb 26, 2011
Van Nuys, Ca USA
#1 Tackle Shop
Good evening all,

I have spent a great deal of time testing out the amazing new U.C. RGP Factory Wrap and GP Blanks at the shop. Not only have I and Captain Eric K. extensively played with each of the new GP products, but also have been fortunate enough to play with some of the yet un-released versions by U.C. employing this amazing new wrapping process. Just as importantly, I have also had many of our customers weigh in on their thoughts about the rods once I showed them how to maximize the potential of these very potent weapons.. For those who are unfamiliar, when I note the RGP version, I am referring to the Factory wrap model.. When I refer to the GP version it denotes the blanks.

Unlocking the secret of these rods is done by using techniques that bend these rods into their individual power sections to be found by bending into and beyond the reel seat. The majority of the lineup will seem to be a faster taper than their previous RUS and US counterparts but not all... If you take a look at the beautiful new woven mat finish of the rods you will see, once again, the stronger external wrap does not go all the way up to the tip of the blank... Rather, the guys at U.C., using their previous developed patterns and layups, have once again figured out how to get a softer upper/tip section of the blank, same as the US version, to feather into the areas of the new material thru the mid, lower and more powerful sections of the rod.. All this while retaining a small diameter and lighter weight rod. Due to the new wrap material running up to about 18 inches plus or minus from the Tip, the upper section might feel just a bit stiffer on many of the rods. No worries, you still have a small length of tip section that only needs to load up slightly when underhand lobbing or overhand casting a sardine...

Please note, in my opinion, I cannot make a general statement that each rod fishes up 1 or 2 line gauges from the previous iteration of the rod. Rather, each rod version will have it's own unique characteristics based on the original layup and manufacturing processes designed for each rod.. To say these rods are faster taper versions of the previous models, though true in most cases, does not actually do these new rods justice.. Just as importantly, I do not believe these rods will replace all the rods that went before under the CE or US designations, rather these rods will resonate with the many anglers who want and demand more power from their rods, especially for the end game of the fight. Again, technique will matter in order to really find the sweet spots of each of these rods.

Just as importantly, at the end game when you really put the wood to the fish, these rods will certainly expose any weak knots or connections as the power curve ramps up quickly...Though many anglers feel their rods are bottoming out, these rods have much more to go..Be aware of the difference. The ramp up of power, as the angler bends the rod into and thru the reel seat, is very, very fast and non linear. Those last few inches of bend into these lower sections ratchets up the power and recoil quickly, significantly, efficiently and effectively..

Not all rods are created equal.. The new material that U.C. has come up with basically replaces the previous versions of the outer skin of the U.S. wraps. Depending on how each previous iteration of the same name rods, ie mega, Monster, Terminator and Predator were laid up originally, the effect of the new material is very different between those iterations. For example, the effect of this new material on the GP 80 Terminator is very different than the effect on the new GP 80 Predator.. The difference between the GP 76 Predator is very different than the 80 Predator and the GP Monster variations are very different than all the other rods entirely...again due to variations in the layup process the manufacturer has employed to obtain what they believe is the ultimate solution.

The factory rods are now built with both Graphite as well as Alps reel seat options... Both are great options and will be angler specific... Most folks will love the Alps aluminum seats but do not be afraid of the Graphite seat.. They are both very durable with the graphite being a slight bit lighter... Both balance extremely well with the appropriate reels of your choice... U.C. decided to use the very expensive Alps Titanium guide sets with thinner diameter aft and fore-grips... These components, though much more expensive than other guide sets, are perfectly matched as they apply to these RGP products. Though the retail price of these RGP rods is higher than either the US or CE version, the unique feel of these factory wrap rods will be well worth the added cost for those who can bend these appropriately.. When most anglers pick these up out of the racks, they will know they have something special...

For Long range and tuna guys you have some amazing choices that can interact with the other rods in your quiver.. The following are, in no particular order my take on the individual factory rods and blanks. Please remember, when I rate the rods for West Coast use, I figure the anglers will be using mono or flouro that break significantly above their rated line tests... If the angler is fishing a tournament line, such as Seaguar premium, that breaks at or below the line rating, this review might be a bit off.

RGP 76 Predator: I love the U.S. version for a light weight, strong 40 to light 60 pound stick, However, the new RGP version is off the chain great.. This version takes the capability of this rod to a much higher level for either stand up or rail usage...WOW.. Of the heavier string use rods, this one feels the lightest in weight yet performs like a heavier weight rod... Of course it is also 6 inches shorter than it's 8 foot brothers.. The rod is rated 50 - 100#. However, for our west coast use I find this version will really find its home in the strong 50 to strong 60 pound...It can also be used for a light 80 pound technical rod once you get the rod bent into the bottom section. I would say that this version is about 1 -1.5 line gauges higher than the US version.. This rod, matched with a medium framed reel will be amazing for those bigger Blue fin and Lupe Style Yellowfin.. It will also be an amazing bomb and heavier jig rod for fishing Wahoo... Fantastic, wide range of use, rod...

RGP 80 Predator: Though also rated 50 - 100#, in my opinion this rod is going to feel more appropriate for the lower range of the rating.. Although, when fully bent it will fish 60# I find the rod, for me, will be awesome for both light and heavy 50# use-age.. These rods will feel a bit more parabolic to some anglers at least until the rods bends towards the bottom of the stick.. This rod needs to be fully bent to get the most out of it. I would say this rod may be about .5 - 1 higher line rating than its RUS brother but still fishes bait easily and brilliantly due to its softest of series upper section..

RGP Terminator: WOWO..This rod is AWESOME for those of us who want to put the wood to the fish. Though rated 30 to 80#, In my opinion, this rod is going to find its home in the higher ranges of the rating... Like the RUS Terminator, the rod does not fish the way it looks or feels prior to bending...Some anglers first pick up the US version and think it is too fast... The angler really needs to pull on them to see the brilliance of both the US and GP styles. When the RUS Terminator first was offered to the public, I rated it as a great 40# stick based on most 40# lines breaking around 48+ pounds. The new RGP Terminator, though rated slightly lower than the Predators, seems to me like it has the most power of the entire GP series..I would say this rod can easily fish 2 -2.5 line ratings about it's RUS brother. yet stays light and mobile... You may be shocked at the power of this rod.. This is definitely a rod where the user's better fish fighting technique will be rewarded in spades once they get the rod to bend into the lower section of the rod.. Though definitely a Tuna stick this rod will be also be great for throwing Bombs and heavier Jigs to Wahoo.

RGP 80, 85 and 90 Mega: Nothing Short of Phenomenal for lighter wt. artificial lures and bait... Across all the Mega lengths the U.C. guys have nailed a rod that really fishes a wide range of line tests.. Rated 20 to 50 #, I see these as rods that can easily fish 20 -40 # with little weakness at any line rating.. All lengths will fish bait or smaller, lighter weight surface iron, jigs, poppers, snipers (Though most anything can throw a sniper) and stick baits BRILLAINTLY... Local fishing or technical, lighter weight long range fishing, these rods will absolutely be fantastic and fun to use... Open face reel or Bait caster will be awesome with these sticks. Again, like all of the GP series, the rods find an extra gear when bending into the lower portion of the rod... Really and amazing performer..

Again, No angler needs to get rid of their previous iterations of rods that they love regardless of the manufacturer... These GP series are going to be rods that anglers want to introduce into their arsenals to fill in previous holes in their quivers... These will also be different than previous rods due to their generally faster taper design and ability to ramp up power beautifully, packaged with smaller diameter grip sections and a wonderful light weight feel. For those who wished their rods had just a bit more oomph near the end of the fight but still want to fish lighter tips, the GP series might just fit those voids... However, for some of the folks who are pulling on them, they are buying multiple rods in the series...

For those who wish to try these AMAZING AND LASTEST U.C. rods and blanks for themselves, we have most all of the versions, with both graphite and Alps reel seats in stock at Bob Sands Tackle.... Be Aware, With the great sale we are offering, these items are going fast.. For those who wish to ask more questions you are welcome to PM me and I will provide my Phone number... I am happy to discuss these rods, our sales pricing or any other fishing questions you might have..

Stay Tuned for Part two..
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