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Reel Review

Ardent's Tour Reel Series Offers an "Edge" for Anglers (continued)


Retrieve: The Ardent Edge Tour feels extremely solid in hand and when there is a large crankbait or a fish on the line the reel feels very powerful. The cast aluminum frame and handle-side sideplate do a great job isolating the aluminum drive gear providing smooth and consistent winding power but there is a little play between the handle shaft and gearing. Over the course of the season our test reel remained friction free without any maintenance and this is easily the smoothest Ardent reel we have fished to date. We also compared the retrieve side by side with the much more affordable Edge Tournament model and the difference was night and day. While both reels felt powerful the Tour offers a much more fluid feel. The Tour model is available in two retrieve speeds, 7.2:1 (like our test reel) and a 6.5:1 ratio which is good choice for most applications.


There is a little play in the handle shaft connection with the gearing


Drag: The Edge Tour makes use of a dual drag system that makes use of sandwiched carbon washers. Ardent calls this their “Smoothie Double Drag System,” which jives with our experience with the system. In the lab the drag delivered 16lbs. of pressure and in the field we found the system to be consistently smooth. The only thing I didn’t like was that the drag adjustment did not have a built in clicker.


Ardent packs innovation into the Edge Tour including a line test marker dial


The lack of the audible drag star clicker on this reel is odd, especially considering Ardent’s more aggressively priced Edge reels do have this feature. In the lab we discovered why this was the case. The clicking drag system is built into the outer screw cap that surrounds the handle lock nut. In the case of the Tour model this implementation has been replaced by the line test indicator, and while we think this bonus feature is certainly a plus it should be an addition, not a replacement, for an audible micro-clicker.   


The reel also makes use of not only a carbon fiber handle but carbon drag star


Where the drag system gets bonus points is in the innovative patent-pending “Drag Tracking Technology” system, which allows the levelwind eyelet to track parallel with the line location on the spool as line is being peeled from the spool pulled in drag mode. Some reels have a tracking levelwind on the outcast, but the Edge implements this tracking on the drag.


The drag star is extremely rigid yet very thin and lightweight


The goal of this design is to reduce the chance of line breaks by eliminating the sharp angles caused by the levelwind eyelet being out of sync with the line location on the spool. In theory this allows anglers to use lighter lines with confidence and while these sharp angles are less of an issue on a low profile baitcaster than say a large format traditional casting reel that features a much wider spool we like the fact that Ardent is differentiating the reel through design.  


To access the cast control simply press up on the lock


Ergonomics: When it comes to overall weight the Edge Tour weighs exactly what the original X1000 did, at 8.7oz., this makes it among the heavier reels in the competitive spectrum. In hand the Edge Tour feels very solid and though it isn’t all that light this reel palms quite well with a low profile design that both looks and feels relatively compact. The fact that the company was able to deliver an aluminum based reel at the same exact weight as their previous magnesium model says a lot about how far they have come.


The non-handle sideplate remains attached for safety and quick adjustments


Next Section: Durability and a Great Warranty










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