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Rod & Reel Combo Review


The Rhino Tackle Tote serves up instant fishing excitement wherever you go
 

Date: 5/9/05
Tackle type: Storage + Rod & Reel
Manufacturer: Rhino
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 8.41 + BEST VALUE AWARD

Introduction: Whether you frequently travel or enjoy shore fishing... then you have to check out this handy new combo from Rhino. The Tackle Tote Storage system plus rod and reel combo is an astounding value for an entire package. It's compact, well organized, feature rich, and comes with a shocking price tag under $50! Come join us as we put the Rhino "TT" system to work.

 

Rhino Tackle Tote Storage System (RSP30TT) Specifications

Type Storage
Pockets 10 available
Tackle Boxes 2 (7" X 4.24" X 1")
Plastic Worm Bags 10 (zipping)
Colors Red & Black
Features Worm wallet, Heavy-duty utility handle, 3-D utility rings, Mesh pockets, Ergonomic/Padded shoulder strap, Spinning rod & reel

RSP30 Spinning Reel Specifications

Line Capacity 4/230, 6/175, 8/160
Gear Ratio 5.5:1
Bearings 3
Line (pre-spooled) 8 lb test mono
Additional Features Continuous Anti-Reverse, Forged Aluminum spool, Rhino front adjustment drag, Soft-touch crank knob

Indestructible Pack Rod (RNS604M-GWG4) Specifications

Length 6'
Line Weight 8-20 lb
Lure Weight 1/4-3/4 oz
Pieces 4
Action Moderate
Power Medium
Warranty 1 year limited warranty
Price $49.99

 

Introducing the Rhino Tackle Tote package for under $50 (Lures and terminal tackle not included)

 
Impressions: This is our very first review of a Rhino fishing product, so we were not exactly sure just what to expect. The Tackle Tote storage system is attractive in appearance, and proudly displays Rhino's aggressive colors and a heap of pockets throughout the bag's construction which are designed to hold just about anything. The bag also featured D-rings for attaching accessories, a worm wallet with 10 zipper bags, and plenty of straps. The compact storage bag runs 24 inches in length by 8 inches in width. You can carry the Rhino system either by hand via a heavy-duty rigid handle or toss it over your shoulder for extended distances. The shoulder strap and backing are well padded for greater comfort and Rhino adds a snap lock buckle for convenience.

 

Unzipping the main compartment we first noticed the 4 piece spinning rod neatly secured on two ends. The reel and 2 tackle boxes are held in their own secured sections with access from both inside and outside of the Tackle Tote.

 

The TT storage bag holds the 4 piece rod, spinning reel, 2 boxes, worm wallet, and much more

 

The combination comes with Rhino's RSP30 spinning reel that's pre-spooled with 8 pound test monofilament fishing line. This budget reel comes with features such as Continuous Anti-Reverse, a forged aluminum spool, and a large ergonomic crank knob.

 

From our initial inspection of the rod, it first appeared to be like any other spinning rod. But as we put the rod pieces together, we noticed something atypical. The ferrule connecting system is designed so the two pieces won't join as one at the thread wrap. (more on this in our actual tests)

     
Field Tests: The Tackle Tote combo can be applied to many situations. Leaving it in the car for those after work runs, shore fishing, trekking those hidden trails to hit honey holes, use on the boat, and much more. We put the Rhino system up against species from stocked trout to largemouth bass in local city lakes, as well as stress tested the entire outfit by tossing jerkbaits for stripers.

 

The combination comes with a Rhino branded spinning reel

 

The Reel: Before we even begin, let's keep in mind how much this entire combination costs. Yes, the RSP30 is a budget reel that houses 3 bearings. The retrieves are decent but a little noisy and it's not free flowing and frictionless like you might be used to in higher priced reels. The Continuous Anti-Reserve on the reel is excellent, showing no signs of back-play. The drag washer on the Rhino spinning reel is adequate for most species one might fish for with 8lb test line, and smooth enough to release line when fish run. The reel also features a clicking drag knob that we welcome when making on the fly adjustments. Casting with this reel is not a problem, and even though we recommend you to manually flip the bail back, a crank of the handle returned the bail back into position every time. The overall construction of the reel, like any other budget reel, is constructed out of plastic, but we found it reasonably durable and felt solid in our hands.

 

Though not the most attractive, the dowel-like system provides a sure grip of the sections

  

The Rod: The four piece Rhino spinning rod is compact and easy to put together via the ferrule system. Even though the joining design isn't the most attractive, it provides a very secure solution. The dowel-like connection accommodate for the stretching that occurs in any multi-piece rod. We made many casts and never once did any of the sections fly off like we've experienced in the past with other multi-sectional rods.

 

Being medium in power and moderate in action the rod has a very soft whippy feel. When casting lures we were able to fling big and small lures a good distance, even undersized Kastmasters as we targeted stocked trout in urban lakes. When battling a fish, the Rhino "Indestructible" rod arcs nicely, putting the proper pressure on the fish to tire it out, and when the fish decides to run the rod does all the work in taking the stress off your wrist, all thanks to the combination of the E-glass outer shell and responsive graphite core.

 

The bag sports a worm wallet that holds 10 zipper plastic bags to hold your plastic worms, grubs, etc. The bag also comes with a large mesh pocket to hold water bottles and can be further secures with a compression strap

 

The Design & Layout: Honestly the Tackle Tote storage bag is my favorite element among the entire system. The tackle bag is filled with many practical pockets and features that make it a great bag to use while on the go. Many shore anglers carry standard school backpacks where you have maybe two or three main compartments which can make organizing and finding small items difficult. The Rhino Tackle Tote storage system solves this problem. Starting from the bag's exterior, the lower section houses a wallet with 10 fairly thick zipper bags that will hold your favorite plastics. We were able to hold more than enough bags of plastic worms, grubs, lizards, and Senkos for days of fishing. Aside from organizing plastics we found it very useful to hold lures like spinnerbaits as well. In addition the flap on the wallet has a mesh compartment where you can store additional accessories such as extra worm hooks.

 

Moving on up there are two mesh pockets, one small and one large. The small pocket is very useful for holding bottled scent, sunscreen, or any small accessories. The larger mesh pocket is actually a water bottle holder, and can hold a range of different size bottles. This mesh bag also features a compression strap to keep those smaller bottles in place. Furthermore the front side has two D-rings where we were able to attach items such as tools, additional water bottles for those long hikes, a fishing license, or even a small net. Smartly designed, a compression web is placed under one of the D-rings to hold larger and heavier items that are clipped onto the D-ring and prevent it from swinging as you move around.

 

When not carrying the Tackle Tote on your shoulder, you can use the firm handle to transport the bag

 

Along the shoulder strap you will find even more storage space. These pockets are designed for tools that you mostly use when you're out fishing. Near chest level there's a pocket where you can slip in a set of needle nose pliers and we found it was easy to draw them when it was time to remove a hook from the fish. The pliers held in place tightly and when bending down to land a fish the pliers will not accidentally slip out.

 

What one electronic device do many people carry with them today? That item is probably mobile phones/cellular phones. Near the waist you'll find a little pocket that secures closed courtesy of a Velcro flap. If not using it for your cell phone, anglers can also fit a two-way radio in this pocket.

 

The bag comes with many practical pockets and compartments. The pocket near the waist can hold 2-way radios to cellular phones. Also handy clips and D-rings are on the bag for easy attachment of additional accessories

 

Ergonomics: When you put on the Tackle Tote you know Rhino had comfort in mind when the bag was designed. The pack is very form fitting and comfortable to toss over your shoulders. Both the shoulder strap and back of the bag are well padded and porous to keep sweat from building up when worn all day. We liked how the entire loaded bag felt as we hiked through trails. The bag doesn't swing around since you are able to adjust the shoulder strap to fit firmly and comfortably against your body. Some backpacks have thin shoulder straps that give you  sore shoulders after a full day of wear, but with the TT system it never comes to that point because the strap has a wide section where it lays on your shoulders, efficiently distributing the weight evenly. We also welcome the lower part of the strap where it's also well padded that rests on part of your lower ribs and hip bone (of course depending on your height).

 

For those days where you carry the Tackle Tote onto your buddy's boat or to your vehicle, the bag comes with a ruggedly built handle. This heavy-duty rigid handle is firm, thick, and very comfortable to grasp when transporting the bag short distances.

 

The TT bag is very ergonomic. We like the wide shoulder strap, and both the strap and backing of the bag are well padded

 

Durability: The durability of the storage bag is excellent. Very well constructed with heavy duty components, exact single and double stitching, and the bag's main body's material is top notch. We put the Tackle Tote through tight hiking trails where branches would scratch against the bag, tossed it around the truck bed, and more. The TT system held up nicely without damage on the bag or the interior contents.

 

The durability of the rod is great thanks to the E-glass and graphite core construction. The bag is also made of very hardly material

 

The plastic worm wallet will be a section you'll probably use much. Throughout our test period we must have opened and closed these plastic zip bags over 100 times. No problems here with its durability. The plastic bags are thick and unless you aggressively rip it open, they won't easily tear. The zip bags are held in place via two binder-like rings. Will these plastic bags break off from these rings? Unlikely, we even tried hard to just for our tests. Not only are there metal supporting rings, a thin strip of nylon strap runs across giving it an additionally sound construction, preventing those plastics bags from tearing out when you dig through for your favorite plastics.

 

There's only one thing that we found might become an issue in the long run. The small mesh bag only has an elastic rim to hold your belongings from falling out. But in the future this elastic piece might lose its stretch characteristics. After 3 months of use, we haven't noticed any degradation yet, but with prolonged use it'll get there.

 

The tackle boxes can be accessed either inside or outside of the bag

 

The "Indestructible" rod held up nicely during our field tests. The E-glass skin and graphite core design displayed great durability. The ferrule system provides a nice and secure way to hold the rod pieces together and we saw no hairline cracks in the rod even when stressed.

 

Price: The bottom line... the price on the entire Rhino Tackle Tote system is unbelievable! At under $50 dollars, you get an attractive, ergonomic, and durable bag that has many compartments to hold all your fishing necessities, a four piece indestructible pack rod, a Rhino spinning reel, a wallet for plastics, two tackle boxes for lures, terminal tackle, and more. No other combo quite like this is available today, and the Rhino system has others beat in the sheer bang for the buck category.

  
Ratings:

Rhino Tackle Tote (RSP30TT) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The TT bag is well constructed and very durable. The components used are also rugged. The plastic worm zip bags are excellent in quality. The reel is housed in a plastic body but is durable and solid. The rod feature's Rhino's indestructible construction that is armor tough. 8
Performance The reel isn't your top notch reel, but for the price, it's decent. The reel doesn't have the smoothest retrieve coming from 3 bearings, but the drag and anti-reverse system is quite good. The rod holds together nicely with the ferrule system and has a great whipping action to cast big and small lures. The bag, performed excellent when you wear it or care it around via the handle. 8.5
Price Less than $50 for bag, rod, and reel. Absolutely incredible value! 10
Features The bag features many practical compartments that allow you to carry and separate your tackle. It also comes with 2 tackle boxes and 10 plastic zip bags. The reel has basic necessary features, but the rod has more with the dowel-like joint, indestructible core, and woven e-glass skin. 8
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent in ergonomics is what I can say about the bag. It's well padded, form fitting, and pockets that hold most used tools are placed in easy to reach positions. The rod and reel is well balanced. The oversize handle knob on the spinning reel is comforting 8
Application The entire combination can be applied to many species of fish and can be taken on boats or used for shore fishing 8

Total Score

8.41


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Impressive and Practical storage system L Elastic rim will eventually lose tension
J Great for traveling, shore fishing, or carrying in your car L Budget reel
J Great Value!!!  
J Ergonomic bag  
J Armor tough rod construction  


Conclusion: The Rhino Tackle Tote system is our very first review of a Rhino product and we were quite impressed with the total offering's overall value from start to finish. The rod and reel performed up to par considering cost, but boy oh boy, the Tackle Tote storage bag is very well organized and could go for 40 bucks just by itself. It's definitely a very practical bag with many pockets and compartments designed to be highly functional. The entire bag is compact for travel, very comfortable to wear all day, and extremely durable in design. This complete package deserves TackleTour's Best Value Award simply because for under 50 dollars you get the useful storage bag, a worm wallet that can hold plastics and spinnerbaits, two tackle boxes, a spinning rod, a reel pre-spooled with line. For under 50 dollars anglers can afford to be ready to fish anytime and anywhere. Rhino may be well known for building "tough" tackle but the Tackle Tote System proves they are a "tough" act to follow when it comes to the incredible value as well.



 

 

 

 

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