Review of 6’6″ 1-Piece Zebco Rhino Rod

Until a few years ago the consensus among rod builders and rod handlers was that ferrules, the connections where the sections of a rod slide together, produced a dead spot in the transference of energy during the cast.

Then lighter and more durable materials, along with improved tapers, virtually eliminated this problem. This is especially true in fly-fishing, where the cast is elevated to an art form.

The better materials and more powerful tapers, along with the ease of transporting a telescoping or multi-sectioned rod, made these the rods of choice for most fishers across the board.

Still, anglers who sought larger game, and those who relied less on the cast itself in fishing, often preferred the single-piece rod for its toughness. For this reason you can find a one-piece rod when that is your choice.

Zebco offers a Quantum RNGC561MB.PB2 Rhino one-piece rod in 5’6”, 6’, and 6’6”.

I recently paired this six and a half foot rod with the iconic Zebco 33 spincast reel. The Zebco 33 features all-metal gears, a 4.1:1 gear ratio, thumb-dial adjustment drag, “Quickset anti-reverse”, and a bite alert. I had high hopes the bite alert would let me know a big catfish had taken my bait. The Zebco 33 comes pre-spooled with 120 yards of 10 pound line.

While stringing my rod for the first time, I noticed some slight imperfections or perhaps damage to the blank between the second and third guides from the top. (See picture.) If this were a high dollar rod, I would not tolerate any defects. A blemish on a $30 rod didn’t upset me. The copy on the product page says: Zebco Rhino rods are warranted for a period of ten (10) years from date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials.

Red wraps with silver accents compliment the dark gray matte finish of the blank.

The baffling description calls the rod a glow tip. It does not glow.

The down-locking ring on the reel seat held my reel securely.

The EVA handle has no butt cap, just more EVA foam. I expect this will become dirty and ragged as I rest my rod on the butt.

I was pleased with the casting performance of the rod and reel. My dough ball bait sailed far out to the deep water. Unfortunately, this fishing trip only yielded a couple bumps to my bait, and they weren’t strong enough for me to set the hook. I wasn’t able to test the strength of the rod by reeling in a heavy cat this time, but I’m sure my Zebco Rhino will see plenty of action in the future.

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