2006 ICAST Reel Coverage
ICAST Coverage Day 1 (Reels) - Paradise for Reel Enthusiasts in Las Vegas (continued)
attended the Zebco lunch this year where the company talked about
"respect" for the brands they have recently acquired. This
"respect" carries over to understanding the history of the brands and
doing them justice. What has in fact happened is that Zebco has introduced
superior engineering into these brands (Van Staal, Fin-Nor) revitalizing them,
and making them better than ever. We were extremely impressed with the influx of
new offerings now resurging from these premium brands. In addition Quantum
focuses on saltwater solutions this year and intends to build upon the successful
launches of last season.
represents the new premium mainstream reel for Quantum
new reels in the Quantum brand have now been released, the Incyte and Array.
These two spinning reels represent the top of the segment Quantums before
entering the Performance Tuned (PT) series, offer a lot of features and
performance at a great value. The Incyte and Array come with a high bearing
count, Continuous Anti-Reverse, and much more. In addition these reels have an
extremely thin graphite body, aluminum side cover butt plate, 3-piece aluminum
Long Stroke spool, and much more. The Incyte will be price at $59.95 while the
Array will go for a great value of $39.95
The Array is
positioned directly below the Incyte and is a great deal for $39.95
really caught our eyes at today’s ICAST are the Quantum saltwater products.
Let’s first start with Quantum big game trolling reel, the Aruba PTs. This
reel is extremely solid in construction. This offshore trolling reel is their
very first and took over three years to develop. Their goal was to not only make
a durable high-performing reel but one that is different than others out
The Aruba is Quantum's first lever
drag reel, and its a good one!
trolling reel uses Quantum’s new Nitrogen-Alloy PT bearings which the team has
searched and tested thoroughly to make sure they have the finest product to go
to market with. Because these new bearings are such high quality, that means
they are also expensive, and that means that you won’t see these premium
bearings in all of Quantum’s saltwater reels. Another key point of interest
with the Aruba PTs are the dual-carbon drag system that provides smooth and
powerful pressure when required. Adjustments are just a short reach away and are
set by a “push and turn” external system. This provides a good security
feature so anglers won’t accidentally change the settings while playing fish.
Retail price for this reel will run for $489.95 to $539.95
One of the
differentiating features of this reel is the amazing easy access for maintenance
remember the PT Saltwater Cabo and Boca spinning reels right? Well, this year
they get a size smaller and two sizes larger. The smallest size, 20, will make a
great light tackle inshore reel for those more delicate presentations. In the
larger size here’s the differences from the previous sizes. Depending on the
size, the Cabo PTs will have 8, 9, or 10 polymer-stainless PT bearings and the
Boca PTs will carry 5 or 7. The 70 and 80 size also have a aluminum rotor which
will provide non-flex when battling large fish. The Cabo PTs 20 size will retail
for $189.95 and size 70 and 80 for $209.95. Boca PTs size 20 will go for $119.95
while the 70 and 80 size retail for $139.95.
and master gearing separated from the 100% machined frame
here’s something really exciting. Take the freshwater Energy PT baitcast reel
and make it a saltwater reel. But to do so Quantum upgraded 20 parts to make it
truly saltwater proof. The Energy PTs inshore baitcast reel is one of the only
two reels that uses high-quality premium Nitrogen-Alloy bearings.
The striking Energy PT inshore
bearings are designed to crank smoother, last longer, and provide even greater
protection against corrosion. Not all bearings in the Energy PTs will use this
new bearings, but all the most crucial positions will including the entire spool
shaft support system. To protect the reel’s body, Quantum applied their
Saltgard 6-layer coating process to give it one tough finish. The Energy PTs
will feature two models which will have gear ratios of 7.0:1 and 6.3:1. These
reels will be released sometime around September in right-hand retrieve models
but plans are to release left-handed baitcasters in the following year. The
Energy PTs reels will retail for $139.95.
handsome reel makes use of new "uber" bearings
Things are about to change now that W.C. Bradley has bought Fin-Nor. Their goal
is to bring back what this brand used to stand for, high-performance and durable
saltwater reels that set records. We were told that they did prototype a
trolling reel but the team decided to withdraw it from ICAST because they want
to make sure it’s ready.
sizes available in the compact and offshore size
this year they introduced two new spinning reels, the AHAB and OFFSHORE. Both of
these reels have super-heavy duty construction. Yes, they are heavy but they
will withstand anything you throw at them. The frame construction is solid,
flex-free, and made durable it’ll take the beating big game hunters put on it.
The gears are extremely large in design, the shaft is supported in three places
and runs from top to bottom, and have ergonomic grips on the handle to make sure
you are always in control of the fish.
beware, Fin-Nor is back with new offshore spinning reels
the AHAB you’ll see something very unique. What Fin-Nor calls the MegaDrag
which we explained in our preview article. Well, to add to that Fin-Nor
continued with the traditional cork material which does provide greater
smoothness when activated. Here’s another innovative thing about the AHAB. You
can remove the spool without changing the drag adjustment by unscrewing the
simple elegant design remains true to the original
you can remove the entire spool and drag system assembly by removing the drag
tension knob in the center. On the same topic, the OFFSHORE has a stack of
washers in the spool which provides super stopping power when needed. It’s
said to have well over 50 pounds on drag when fully buttoned down! Both the AHAB
and OFFSHORE are heavy but the trade-off are reliability, performance, and a big
game reel that anglers can trust to tow in that next record breaking trophy
For the same
smooth consistent feel these reels make use of a cork drag
inside of the spool reveals another drag surface
on the Fin-Nor reels are massive!
Staal: The boys at W.C. Bradley have also done right by Van Staal. The reels
are back in production and better than ever. Not only do they use the very best
materials, but innovation is trickling back into the ultra reliable
new VS is ideal for surf and jigging
Staal has always been known as an excellent surf reel for their sealed design
and corrosion resistance. This year they are introducing the new VS Surf Spin
which boasts a extremely wide spool for exceptional line capacity and casting
distance. The VS300 is capable of holding 475 yards of 80lb braid! These reels
feature 30lbs of lock down drag when battling the biggest cobia or striper, or
wearing down a hard fighting tuna or Marlin.
A huge spool
holds 475 yards of 80lb braid!