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Reel Review

An In-Depth Look at a Reel Made Entirely in the USA: The Ardent XS1000 (continued)

Design: After analyzing both the exterior and interior of the Ardent XS1000 baitcast reel and after months of field tests, there are some design changes that could possibly improve future builds. Iíll let the Ardent team work on the appearance part but here are some possibilities. First the non-handle side plate: The way it is held in place is not very secure. While it does not come loose while fishing per se, it can separate from the frame leaving a small crack while palming the reel and opening up the potential for a pinch of your skin.


With your fingers you can pry open the sidecover


Next the centrifugal brakes: I already mentioned the issue here in the section discussing casting but there needs to be a way to gain access to the brakes or spool while out on the water without having to disassemble the reel. Also, access to the brakes themselves needs to be adjusted so that you do not need to use a tool to pop them in and out for those on the fly adjustments.


There's no way to access the brakes with your finger since it's behind this "cage"


In terms of weight, a magnesium reel should be extremely lightweight. So how come the Ardent XS1000 is heavier than others? The Shimano Core comes in at 6.1 ounces and Daiwa Fuego 7.6 ounces. The Ardent XS1000 weighs in at 7.9 ounces even though Ardent specifies that it weighs 8.7 ounces. The XS1000 at 7.9 ounces isnít too far off from the Fuego at 7.6, but still not as lightweight as the Core or say the Daiwa Steez.


Much of the added weight comes from the 10 stainless steel bearings


So why this weight difference you might wonder. I might not have dug out all the weight additions but the most obvious answer might be the number of bearings on each reel. While the Core uses 4+1 and the Fuego has 6+1, the Ardent XS1000 uses 10+1 bearings, thatís 6 more bearings than the Shimano Core. We wonít put the Daiwa Steez into this mix as the price really puts the Steez out in a different market segment but it would be splendid if Ardent was able to get this reel down to the 5 or 6 ounce mark while holding the same bearing count.


A look at the gear


I did measure a few things. The frame plus the non-handle sideplate (that housed some other components that I didnít remove) weighed in at only 2.8 ounces. The heavier end, of course, was the handle side, which included the gears, drag, handle, handle knobs, bearings. This weighed 4.3 ounces. The remaining items, the spool and three screws added up to 0.8 ounces. All together, these components sum up to give 7.9 ounces. Remove a few bearings and I bet you the reel can come to be below 7 ounces, but would you want that trade off?


The frame plus sidecover only weighs 2.8 ounces


Continuing with the design there are some things that I like about the reel. The drag is smooth and consistent throughout the range. This is definitely a keeper. The ten ABEC 5 bearings, those are wonderful as well, producing a retrieve that is fast and free flowing. It appears that Ardent has some work to do but they are going the right direction and we will wait to see what they can develop in the years to come.


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