Introduction: Ardent is a rare breed, a reel company that designs
and manufacturers reels right here in America. This ICAST the domestic brand
showcased their new lineup of Edge baitcasters which possesses a new drag
tracking design that was probably the most innovative new baitcasting reel
feature at the show.
The Edge: Ardent's new lineup of Edge reels feature a very
compact and ergonomic profile which felt comfortable when palmed. While all the
Edge reels share the same basic profile they differ in terms of specification.
Ardent's highest end Edge reel is the "Edge Tournament"
At the very top of the line is the Edge Elite which features a carbon fiber
style look on the frame and some real carbon fiber components including the
carbon fiber handle, drag star, and drag washers.
The new Edge reels feature a
Another neat little detail is a line indicator
that is placed in the center of the carbon fiber handle. This dial allows
anglers to mark exactly what pound test line they have spooled on the reel. This
is especially useful for tournament anglers deploying multiple reels for
The most innovative feature is the
Drag Tracking Technology
But the most interesting element on the Edge reels
is not on the outside but on the inside, this is Ardent's new "Drag Tracking
Technology." With conventional reels as line is peeled away the spool is locked
to the main drive gear and both turn together as line is pulled from the spool.
With Ardent's new Drag Tracking Technology the levelwind drive gear is locked to
the main drive gear while the reel is in fish fighting drag mode, this causes
the levelwind to move in concert with the rotation of the spool and keeps the
levelwind eyelet aligned with the line position on the spool.
The levelwind gear is locked to
the main gear
This unique tracking action eliminates any angle
of the line from the spool to the level wind eyelet and as a result line stress
is reduced as is line jump caused by sharp angles. This innovative feature gives
anglers smoother more consistent drag pressure and reduces the line stress that
can cause breakage when fighting lunkers.
In the center of the Edge
Tournament's carbon handle is a cleverly implemented line indicator. Notice the
drag star is also constructed from carbon fiber
The Edge Elite features 12+1 ABEC stainless steel
bearings, a helical aircraft aluminum drive gear, a 6-pin centrifugal cast
control system, and weighs in at only 8.7oz. The new reel is available in both
left and right hand retrieve, 6.5:1 and 7.2:1 retrieve ratios, and will retail
for $329 dollars.
The Edge Inshore reel features a
There are a complete range of Edge reels and the
company is also introducing a saltwater version called the Edge Inshore. This
reel features the same low-profile with a white finish and 8+1 ABEC stainless
steel bearings. Like the other Edge reels the Inshore features a lightweight
aluminum frame and DTT. The Inshore also comes with a high capacity spool to
deal with long casts and hard fighting fish.
...and has the same sleek profile
as the other Edge reels but with a high capacity spool
The Edge Inshore series is available with all the
same retrieve ratios as the Elite reel but adds a powerful 5.1:1 gear ratio for
extra power. The Inshore reel is rated for saltwater and will retail for $229.
There is even a Fishouflage model
In total there are six Edge reels and another one
that caught our attention was the Edge Fishouflage model which makes use of the
fish patterned camouflage. This particular Edge reel makes use of 6+1 bearings
and weighs in at 8.4oz. and retails for only $189.00. With many more camo rods
hitting the market this reel looks like it will have plenty of sticks to pair
with this season.
A look underneath and you can see the enlarged gear box
which holds the helical cut drive gear
All of the Edge reels come backed with a 3 year
warranty and I really like the fact that Ardent is doing what many other reel
manufactures don't, which is releasing both right and left hand retrieve models
right out of the gate.
Tom Brooks shows us the new Ardent
The Edge reels feature a much smaller profile than Ardent's previous reels and the use of cutting edge materials and finishes give
this reel a unique character, but it is the innovative Drag Tracking Technology
that gives the exciting new reels their distinctive performance. Still made
right here in the U.S.A the new Edge line is the most exciting reels to come
from Ardent to date and should be a strong contender in the baitcast market this