OSP 2x4 vs. UC 76 Viper

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Roofiem

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Thoughts on these 2 rods? Looking at having one made to match with my Mak 20 for 100#, and would like to hear from those that have fished them both. Currently own a OSP 1x3, and 3X, so I’m naturally leaning towards the OSP 2x4 to match the quiver. I enjoy the feel of the Viper though I haven’t caught anything substantial on one. Thanks in advance.
 
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JoeInMN

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Own both , Viper is more versatile to me. More lift more power. Fishes 100 amazing just like it fishes 130 amazing. Nothing wrong with either just really like the Viper.
 
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2Rotten

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Love my 7'6" Viper/Mak 20 SEa combo landed this 185# BFT 2 weeks ago on Tomahawk in less than 20 minutes. Finished the fight at 40# of drag not even close to bottomed out. I have no experience with the 2x4 can't help you there...

PXL_20210524_074229450.jpg
 
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screamingreel

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I am going thru the same process. Is that the Grafighter series you are referring to?-Thanks-Russ
If interested, the 7.5' Calstar GF 775 XXH is another excellent option for a 100 lbs. rod. You can find a factory model for around $440-ish.

- Jeff Burroughs
 
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JohnTFT

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I own the 2nd 2x4 made. Randy made it in green and gave it to me as a gift when he was at Seeker. I also own the 70 and 76 Viper..

I really dont see the comparison here. The 2x4 for me is more like the 76 Centaur and a great 100lb rod.

The Viper could fish 100 or 130. It has a more defined shut off then the 2x4 and has more lift with a similar tip.

As was pointed out earlier the versatility of the Viper to fish both line classes is unique.

I just cleaned house. Sold the last of my Calstars. Kept a few of the original Randy Penny Super Seekers (6463XXXH, 6470, 2x4) because they have meaning for me!

Cant go wrong with either rod - but the Viper is a better option if you want to fish 2 line classes with one rod.
 
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Russ Scholl

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I own the 2nd 2x4 made. Randy made it in green and gave it to me as a gift when he was at Seeker. I also own the 70 and 76 Viper..

I really dont see the comparison here. The 2x4 for me is more like the 76 Centaur and a great 100lb rod.

The Viper could fish 100 or 130. It has a more defined shut off then the 2x4 and has more lift with a similar tip.

As was pointed out earlier the versatility of the Viper to fish both line classes is unique.

I just cleaned house. Sold the last of my Calstars. Kept a few of the original Randy Penny Super Seekers (6463XXXH, 6470, 2x4) because they have meaning for me!

Cant go wrong with either rod - but the Viper is a better option if you want to fish 2 line classes with one rod.
Thanks John. That settles it for me.
 
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Scold

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Me reading this thread:


I'm squarely in the 2x4 camp in this discussion. Lets take each point made and address them 1 by 1.

Versatility of being able to fish 130 or 100:
Who cares? The OP stated he already owns an OSP3X which will be his 130 pound rod. His mak 20 will be spooled with 100lb line and will be setup to fish 100lb (drag preset and topshot/leader). This won't be his backup 130lb rig as it would not offer any significant amount of time-savings to convert over to 130lb when compared to just rerigging his 130lb setup short of a catastrophic failure of his 130lb rig. I choose the best tool to do a specific job; not one that can do multiple things ok.

2nd generation rail rod:
Again, who cares? Newer does not mean better; it just means it is newer. Trinidad gold vs Trindad A anyone? Modern rod wrapping thread vs old Gudebrod? There are plenty of examples that refute the idea that because something was designed more recently it implies that it is empirically better because of it.

Next point: it fishes 130 just as well as it fishes 100.
No it does not. It doesn't work that way unless you are fishing the same drag for both 100 and 130. If you are doing that then anyone could make the argument that a Calstar 800M fishes 200# just fine as long as you're using 10lbs of drag at strike. There is a big difference between 100 and 130 and one rod will not fish both equally well. It MAY be able to fish both, but by definition it won't be perfect for either.

Lifting power:
As far as lifting power goes, I have not experienced a 2X4 being insufficient for the amount of drag that one should be using with 100lb line. 32-34lbs at strike and you're in the golden-zone of what the 2X4 is designed to do. I don't care how well it fishes when you have your reel set to 40 @ strike as that is not it's intended purpose.

Overall action of the blank:
We are fishing spectra which, on the high end, has 2% stretch (that's being generous as most numbers I have seen place it closer to 1%), and anywhere from 5-25' of flourocarbon on top of it. Flouro has +/- 10% stretch. So...if we are using a 15' leader and the fish is circling under the boat say 100' down, that means we are only getting at most 3' of stretch from our line. We need to have give somewhere otherwise we start pulling hooks. Yes, if the fish is hooked in the hinge on the jaw, you aren't going to pull a hook but we have no idea how well that fish is hooked as we are fighting it. I want my rod to absorb those surges and heavy tail-beats and the rocking of the boat if we are in rough weather. The 2X4 does that better than the Viper.

So, lets go back to the question that the OP posed: Thoughts on these 2 rods? Looking at having one made to match with my Mak 20 for 100#
He did not ask which rod could fish both 100 and 130. He did not ask which one would act as an emergency "I lost my 130lb outfit overboard" rod. He asked which one fishes 100lb better. The answer to that question is the 2X4.


*Disclaimer, i am affiliated with Seeker but, as people who know me can attest to, I do not simply say their product is better because of my relationship with them. I don't get paid by them so I am not here to just espouse their greatness in any and all things fishing related. For instance, if someone came to me to build them one rod for all things NorCal saltwater fishing related, it would be a Calstar GX8. That is, in my opinion, the best single rod to do everything that we do here in NorCal. It's not perfect for anything we do really, but it CAN do everything. Edit: if the OP asked for one rod to fish both 100 and 130, I would recommend the 76viper as its one of the few rods that can do that but that isn’t what the OP asked for.
 
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FishRock
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Jon,

Well reasoned discussion on the topic. Many good points. Thanks for sharing your perspective. :-)

I will have to say that it has been my experience that the 76 Viper does have good flex in the tip section for shock absorption. And many anglers do fish their drag settings at strike similarly from 80-130.
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Scold

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@FishRock
If people are fishing the same drag from 80 - 130, then why do rods such as the 1x3, 2x4, OSP3X, viper, Invictus, and centaur exist? Wouldn’t we only need one of those models? I’ve never met anyone who uses the same rod for 80# that they use for 130#, but if they are using the same drag setting then that is what they should be doing. Rods don’t have line ratings, they have drag ratings. What line one uses is irrelevant; how much pressure their reel is putting out is what is important. With that being the case, there would be no reason for someone who fishes 27lbs at strike for 80 and the same 27lbs at strike for 130 to use anything but a centaur or a 1x3.
 
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JohnTFT

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The major difference between the 2x4, Centaur and Viper is in the layup.

Original 2x4 had 4 flags of glass and one carbon flag in the tip for reinforcement.

Viper and Centaur have 5 flags of glass and 4 flags of carbon.

The lift from the rods for the same drag/line class is measurably different as is the amount of recoil.

Again they are all good rods.

They all do the job. The newer versions just do it more efficiently.
 
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Ksurg

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The major difference between the 2x4, Centaur and Viper is in the layup.

Original 2x4 had 4 flags of glass and one carbon flag in the tip for reinforcement.

Viper and Centaur have 5 flags of glass and 4 flags of carbon.

The lift from the rods for the same drag/line class is measurably different as is the amount of recoil.

Again they are all good rods.

They all do the job the newer versions just do it more efficiently.
I’ve been struggling with choosing blanks too. I remember going from E-glass to Grafighters and Black Steel. Prior to my last trip I fished almost all Grafighters.

My last trip 5-6 years ago I added 3-4 UC rods. At this point my quiver is mostly UCs. It works for me to try to stay within a product line matching the blanks to task and planned drag. So Raptor 60lb, Centaur 80lb, Viper 100lb, Invictus 130lb… I have Terminator, Tilefish, Predator(x2) as well. Still will bring one or two Grafighters and Seeker OSP 4x4 for the kite( the Gladiator is just too stiff for me).

But what I have learned is that rods are like shoes. They have to fit. Sometimes you have to wear them for awhile too. What works for me won’t work for others. That’s why I trust the guy who builds my rods.

However, I completely agree with Scold that rods are meant to be fished at a particular drag. That said Seeker, Calstar, UC are all proven solid choices.
 
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Bob Sands

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As someone above said, rods are like shoes, they feel so much better when they fit.. However, in my world, there is more to fitting the shoe or rod than meets the eye. When folks come into our shop, I show them how to be more efficient in the use of the rod.. I show them how to get more out of the one rod than they originally thought AND I show them that what might have felt like a stiff rod when they came in may actually be too soft for them should they choose to use the tools/techniques I show them..

Like a tool bag, there is usually more than one hammer or screw driver in the belt for a general carpenter. Roofing hammers, Ball Peen, Claw hammers in various weights and sizes apply. The same applies to fish fighting techniques.. Mix and match at your discretion. Like any sport, learn all the techniques so you can know what and why your are choosing to use or mix use them all.

So many of the folks, including myself, have parts or our bodies that have been broken, injured or just plain getting older.. Like any good or great sports coach, My job is to show folks how to use their mechanics to minimize the stresses on their joints, backs, hands, wrists, shoulders, etc. which most often results in them landing the fish faster with less energy expelled.. Getting folks off of the blue pills or minimizing their intake of those Aleve (What blue pill were you thinking of?), gives me great satisfaction and the results speak for themselves. Our customers come back loving life and wanting to go out more to fish the big boys.

I am usually thinking differently than the majority of anglers in that I find one rod can and does fit the 80 - Unlimited status regardless what the manufacturer notes as the high/low limits of the usage. Most folks, who have read my posts know that I believe the United Composites 76 Viper to be that rod.. When asked what rod to get next for big fish I say get another Viper. The huge number of sales of that particular rod, not just with our shop but most all the shops carrying that rod is a testament to what I have written and believe since before they came out....Continuing to this day, especially due to the amazing local Bluefin bite we are experiencing.. Even though we try to maintain a huge inventory, I have a tough time keeping them in stock.

As I also state, I fish 80 pound darn near the same drag rating as 100 or 130 pound test.. Yeah, I know, counter to what many believe but just my opinion. Sometimes, a thinner profile line in the water is better and sometimes, in a Wide open bite, you will probably want to fish the heaviest gear with the biggest hooks.. As long as the connections and line are pristine, You cannot break any of the above line tests by pulling hard with a properly set up rod and reel using West Coast style methods unless you wrap the line around something that does not give...... or the fish chews thru or abrades the line. Longer time on a fish is not your friend so learn to pull harder and more efficiently. As long as your reel is smooth and properly maintained, you can pull much harder than you think.

My drags are set more in line with the hook type and size I use with strike set at around 28 - 30 pounds on a spring scale with a straight smooth pull and no bend in the rod, straight off the reel .. For me, this is just a reference point not a one and only setting. When I get bit then come tight I am about 2/3's of the way into strike until I get up, around and over other anglers and then I want to push the drag lever forward, appropriately for the fly line hook, drop jig or sinker rig then pull as hard as I can, using efficient techniques. We always say, if the line is not going out it should be coming in. Never let the spool stay static. Knowing that it is possible to pull smaller bait hooks when fly lining this will absolutely be a factor in where that drag lever ends up.. But, put a big old Jobu, 7691, big assist hook(s) or similar big hook that we are using on Drop jigs, I want to pull like the dickens. Whatever the dickens means.

On our Gallagher/Excel 10 Day, many of the passengers on the boat try to out quick the landing of our big Tuna or other species.. We have amazing fun being competitive in that regard. Guys have definitely stepped up their gear and advanced their pulling technique when in the big fish zones.. None of our big fish guys are fishing smaller and less powerful gear. We want to land that fish, take a picture and get back in the water as soon as possible.. Most times we measure the landing of some big fish in minutes not hours...Like anyone and everyone, we do lose some fish for a variety of reasons, driving the Skippers crazy, but that is the business we and they have chosen.. Damn the torpedos..

In my usual long winded way, I do not believe there is any comparison between the 76 Viper and the Venerable 2 X 4, which, in my opinion, compares more to the U.C. 76 Centaur than the Viper. Both are great rods but, in my opinion, the Viper has more oomph and a more wide range of usage when fished using efficient angles and body posture.. In our shop, once I show the customers, regardless if they have been fishing 1 week, 1 decade or 1 lifetime, 99.99% of the anglers change their minds on what is too stiff, too light or just right for them. They tend to go more powerful than less. The 76 Viper, in my opinion, is the best combination of slightly softer tip blending into a powerful mid body and very powerful bottom section.

As noted, No one rod is great for everyone but should be great for you. The Psychology of fishing, in my mind, plays a large role in how the angler performs in hooking up.. Thank goodness we anglers have a number of wonderful West Coast Manufacturers, United Composites, Cal Star, Seeker, Okuma, Graphtech, Phenix, etc. so that anglers have a no right or wrong choice in how that rod feels to them.. My job is to show them how to determine for themselves, efficiently, how to choose the best gear for them for whatever line class they are looking for. Note: Age does not need to be a factor that is impossible to overcome..Technique, rather than brute strength, can and often does win the day. Thank Goodness, each of us can choose how we want to fight the fish and spend our hard earned dollars on our big fish gear or any of our chosen line rated rigs..

AS A NOTE: IN MY OPINION, BASED ON HISTORY, THESE FISH WILL GET BIGGER AND BIGGER THROUGHOUT THE SEASON.. PLEASE DO NOT GO OUT UNDER GUNNED, HAVE POOR CONNECTIONS, NON PRISTINE LINE OR UN-PREPARED WITH IMPROPER GEAR OR HOOK SIZES AND STRENGTHS.. IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO PURCHASE, PLEASE MAKE SURE THE BOAT YOU OPT FOR HAS RENTAL GEAR AVAILABLE THAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE TASK. PLEASE LET THE BOAT KNOW, WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATION, THAT YOU WILL NEED TO BE PROVIDED WITH THE APPROPRIATE GEAR. LIKE BEING IN JAIL, IT USUALLY ENDS POORLY GETTING CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN.. UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU LIKE THAT SORT OF THING. SORRY FOR THE VISUAL.. LOL

Best of luck in your decision. As always, you are welcome to PM me if you have more questions.. I will always reply, If I am in town and not fishing. If I am out of Internet reception I will get back to you when I return. As always, it is my pleasure to help anyway I can. Have a great season.

Respectfully,

Jamie
 
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Scold

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I’ve been struggling with choosing blanks too. I remember going from E-glass to Grafighters and Black Steel. Prior to my last trip I fished almost all Grafighters.

My last trip 5-6 years ago I added 3-4 UC rods. At this point my quiver is mostly UCs. It works for me to try to stay within a product line matching the blanks to task and planned drag. So Raptor 60lb, Centaur 80lb, Viper 100lb, Invictus 130lb… I have Terminator, Tilefish, Predator(x2) as well. Still will bring one or two Grafighters and Seeker OSP 4x4 for the kite( the Gladiator is just too stiff for me).

But what I have learned is that rods are like shoes. They have to fit. Sometimes you have to wear them for awhile too. What works for me won’t work for others. That’s why I trust the guy who builds my rods.

However, I completely agree with Scold that rods are meant to be fished at a particular drag. That said Seeker, Calstar, UC are all proven solid choices.
I wouldn’t trust the guy who builds your rods. I’ve seen his work. Pretty sub par.
 
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Ksurg

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I wouldn’t trust the guy who builds your rods. I’ve seen his work. Pretty sub par.
Hmmm. Aren’t you the guy who builds my rods😉.
For the record, Jamie know his stuff. A lot of truth in what he has posted. But to my taste I still rather have a Centaur, Viper and Invictus than 3 Vipers. To those that feel or know different, god bless.
 
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