2008 ICAST Show - Las Vegas, NV
Abu Garcia and Berkley nails it with new rods and reels (Part 1)
Walking up to the Pure Fishing booth this year was almost like walking into a
football stadium. That's how huge their combined booths were since their merge
with Shakespeare, Pflueger, All-Star, Penn, and X-Tools. In part 1 of the Pure
Fishing ICAST article we'll focus on Abu Garcia reels that we haven't already
previewed and the all new Berkley rods.
Introducing the Classic Inshore
Ambassadeur 5500/6500 Classic Inshore:
Though we have a good assortment of reels to choose from in the US, we always
complain how we don't get the reels our international friends have in Europe and
Asia. That's to change as Abu Garcia is bringing the Ambassadeur 5500 and 6500
Classic Inshore to the States.
The Classic Inshore comes in two
Built with an anti-distortion spool for heavy duty
fishing, this reel is versatile enough for saltwater and freshwater
applications. This reel was built by Swedish engineers for great durability and
it shows when you pick up the product.
The reel looks and feels solid
Garcia Ambassadeur Classic Inshore
Front view of the Classic Inshore
Other features include Abu Garcia's Carbon Matrix
Drag System, oversized Duragear gears, stainless steel crank shaft, and HPCR
bearings. The reel is available in two sizes and both reels come with a Power
Handle and Paddle Grip Handle. MSRP is $179.99 for the 5500 and $189.99 for the
the 7000iC3 CT MAG. It has a knob for you to adjust your cast WHILE the cast is
7000iC3 CT MAG HS:
The Abu Garcia 7000iC3 CT MAG HS is a series casting reel for those long casts
with bigger lures. This is a high speed size 7 round reel with a gear ratio of
5.3:1 and recovers 28 inches of line with each crank of the handle. The reel
features the MagTrax brake system and a super-smooth Carbon Matrix Drag System.
The reel also uses two HPCR bearings and one Instant Anti-Reverse bearing.
A large power
The 7000iC3 CT MAG weighs in
at only 19.9 ounces and has a line capacity of 270 yards of 20 pound
monofilament line. Additional features are a line out alarm, open top CT frame,
and an oversized cranking handle. The reels will be available later this Fall
and has a MSRP of $199.99.
our future TT Abu Garcia Support member, shows us some of the new exciting
Bring up the topic of
quality, sub $50 fishing rods and most seasoned veterans eyes will gloss over
with disinterest. Add to that discussion, rods designed with a specific purpose
in mind, and most will argue that the topic is not even worth debating. Berkley
looks to change all of that in just a few short months with the introduction of
two, performance driven, value delivered line of fishing rods. Introducing the
Berkley AMP and Lightning Rod Shock series of bass fishing sticks.
great value rod, the Berkley AMP
Let’s start with the Berkley AMPTM rods whose most exciting feature,
aside from their $30 price point, is their unique X-PosedTM reel seat
that features a winding rear split grip, and virtually no hardware in front of
the rear grip save for the hood to accept and secure the front of your reel.
It’s something you need to see and feel in person to relate to, and a very
exciting innovation for this introductory level bass rod.
Here's a new
reel seat we haven't seen before
There are 11 rods (7
spinning, 4 casting) in the AMPTM lineup that feel very light, and
surprisingly crisp for their price range. These sticks may very well redefine
this price point.
We asked the
Pure Fishing staff to mount a Revo on there to see how it looks like
Shock: Taking rods built with a specific purpose in mind a step further are
the new Berkley Lightningrod Shock series of rods built for use with superlines
(i.e. lines with zero stretch). To accommodate the unique requirements of these
zero-stretch lines, these new Shock rods feature a Strike Amplifying Tip (S.A.T.)
– a blend of graphite and fiberglass to produce a slower reacting tip resulting
in fewer lost fish.
introduction, the Lightiningrod Shock
The handle of
In addition, the Aluminum
Oxide guides are diamond polished to reduce friction and increase durability,
and the frame on the tip top guide is rounded out towards the tip to reduce the
occurrence of wind assisted loop knots at the tip of the rod – issues often
associated with fishing superlines. Each of the 10 rods (6 spinning, 4 casting)
rods in this lineup also feature a suspending reel seat that lifts the reel off
of the blank and keeps it from dampening the rod ensuring maximum sensitivity.
Berkley’s Lightning Rod Shock series of rods will retail from $49.99 to $54.99.
A new stunning
inshore series, Cobalt Fire
Berkley Cobalt Fire:
Jim Coble of Pure Fishing introduced us to the new Fenwick Elite Tech series of
rods, a line up of sticks that promised to bring the almost forgotten brand back
into the foreground of discussions surrounding quality bass sticks. This year at
ICAST, we witnessed the results of Jim’s pet project over the past couple of
years, Berkley’s new, Cobalt Fire series of rods designed specifically with
Florida’s inshore anglers in mind.
It has guide
rings that are flight with the frame so the guides will not pop out easily
Jim spent a lot of time in
Florida studying the characteristics of all the more popular rods used for their
inshore fishing and what made them popular. He then went to the drawing board
for Berkley to design a series of inshore rods built with all these benefits in
These rods feature light
tips for use with Berkley’s Saltwater Gulp baits, with strong backbones to
battle the likes of big snook and redfish. The TiBlue guides from Pac Bay are
used provide a guide that will stand up to abuse with superlines and feature
flanged Zirconia rings to mitigate against ring popouts. There are 10 spinning,
7 casting, 2 two-piece surf spinning, 2 two-piece surf casting, and five jigging
sticks in this lineup with MSRP ranging from $79.99 to $119.99.
A view of the
handle of the Cobalt Fire
Jim is the
innovator behind the Cobalt Fire series
consumers find their way through a weakened global economy, value is going to be
a key factor when choosing which products to purchase for non-essential
activities. For many, a two to three hundred dollar fishing rod is simply out of
the question. Thanks to these new offerings by Abu Garcia and Berkley, those
struggling to make ends meet yet still wanting to take the time to relax and
enjoy a day out on the water with family or friends won’t have to feel like that
struggle has extended into their leisure time. By redefining what one should
expect from an affordable fishing rod, Berkley is making it fun and easy for
everyone to enjoy their time out on the water.