Controlling Gravity - ARK Fishing's New Family of Casting Reels
It's been five short years since our introduction to ARK Fishing back at ICAST 2017 and with each passing year this upstart manufacturer has been very aggressive updating, upgrading, and expanding their product line. In 2020, they surprised us with a full line of conventional lures, and last year, they won our Best of ICAST Value Rod category with the revamped Viper.
Introducing ARK Fishing's Gravity G7 Casting Reel
ICAST 2022 marks the final step for this young, upstart company into the rare group of manufacturers that offer at least three tiers of product. ARK Fishing is rounding out their rod and lure product lines with a full line of casting reels. The popular expectation would be these are just rubber stamped, OEM copies assembled from a buffet line of available components. However, Ark Fishing has actually gone through the effort to design these reels with their own, patented braking system.
Control System for
Gravity Control System:
The slogan for ARK and their new line of reels is, "You can't resist gravity, but you can control it." Assisting with that control is a patented magnetic braking system that on the outside looks like a hybrid between Daiwa's MagForce and Shimano's FTB systems. There is a non-fixed inductor on the reel's spool, and eight magnets within the reel's non-handle sideplate.
Magnets within the non-handle sideplate adjust with a dial into
and away from the spool, but during the cast, the magnet panels move inward and
outward radially to effect control over the spool's rotation
However, the way in which ARK's system works is entirely different. That spring loaded inductor actually remains fixed in one of three positions during the cast. The angler sets that adjustment by pushing the rotor in, towards the center of the spool, rotating the rotor, and letting go. There are notches towards the center of the inductor to hold it in place at three different depths controlling how far the inductor extends into the magnets that sit within the non-handle sideplate.
spool's inductor can be set at three different depths opening a wide range of
brake force adjustment
On the of that sideplate, there's a dial that in turn moves the magnets in unison into or away from the rotor for fine tuning. Lastly, the two panels of magnets are dynamic moving during the cast radially to effect control of the spool. This Gravity Control System is anything but cookie cutter. In total, there are twenty steps of adjustment on the reel's outside dial, and three on the spool itself for a range of sixty (60) brake settings.
The entry level Gravity reel will be the G3
Both the G3 and G5 have line weight indicators in the
Levels of Gravity: ARK will be offering three levels of their new Gravity reels, each with a different set of features. Common to all three platforms will be an aluminum alloy frame, reinforced brass gears, cone shaped line guides and three retrieve ratios (5.4:1, 6.4:1, 7.4:1) in both right and left hand retrieve. The entry level Gravity Reel, the G3, will not have the Gravity Control braking system, but will come with a standard, magnetic braking system found in other entry level casting reels. The reel's spool has a shaft through design and the handle is capped with EVA foam knobs. The G3 will retail for $129.99.
The G5 is the middle tier casting reel
The G7 comes with a carbon fiber handle
The next step up from G3 is the G5. This middle tier reel will have the afore mentioned Gravity Control System, the same through shaft design on the spool, slim, rubber knobs, and a line weight indicator on the non-handle sideplate (also on the G3). The Gravity G5 reel will retail for $179.99.
Weights of all three spools in grams
The G3 (left) comes with EVA foam knobs while the G5 and G7
come with more slim, rubber knobs
Last, but certainly not least is the Gravity G7. This reel features a free-floating spool design to best take advantage of the Gravity Control System. It is equipped with a carbon fiber handle and the same knobs found on the G5. However, the G7 does not have the line weight indicator and its brake adjustment dial is less obvious. Weight differences between all three reels is somewhat negligible. The Gravity G7 will have a retail price of $239.99.
A look at each spools' rotor from left to right, G3, G7. G5 - be
prepared for other spool options and a future, fully tuned BFS reel from ARK too
The business side of their non-handle sideplates left to right,
G3, G7. G5.
Weight differences between each model are negligible
Our Quick Take:
I've been fortunate enough to be able and fish the late model prototypes of these reels since the early part of this year and am anxious to immerse myself with the production models to see what, if any, the differences might be. I was actually impressed with the reel's braking system and found it refreshing ARK Fishing International had gone through the R&D to come up with their very own design. It is the very first thing I investigate when diving into a reel for review, so if the prototype Gravity Control System is the same in these reels, I already know Ark's Gravity Reels are going perform well. As if that's not enough, ARK Fishing plans to offer a shallow spool options for the G7 making it BFS compatible and are in the process of developing a specialty BFS reel to add to the family.