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Event Article: 2005 ICAST Reel Coverage

ICAST Coverage Day 1 - Exciting Reels all across the show floor

Zebco/Quantum: After the exciting preview that we published a few weeks ago on the new upcoming 2006 products we bring you more exciting news from ICAST. After speaking to the President of Zebco, Jeff Pontius, and Director of Marketing, John Kushnerick, we have collected more information to share with everyone. First of all the Quantum PT freshwater line of reels have totally been redone not because they werenít selling or had any problems, but Quantum wanted to make them even better. The company's design, test, and production curve is accelerating so quickly that it makes sense to evolve the new reel designs sooner rather than later.

Jeff Pontius, President of Zebco, explains the newly redesigned freshwater spinning reels to JIP


The new reels now have better ergonomics and other features that make them perform better. One such example is the new Infinite ACS cast control system on the new PT baitcasters. The all new cast control system isnít like the previous version where you only had four brake settings, instead the Infinite ACS system allows you to increase from Free to full braking in minute increments.


The new Energy PTi sports a thinner and more aggressive frame


Performance Tuned Spinning: Redesigned for 2006, the Energy PTi, Catalyst PTi, and Kinetic PTi make use of the improved TiMAG III titanium bail with magnetic bail trip mechanism. This system has more powerful magnets for greater performance along with sure reliability. New to these popular spinning reels is the Line Management System (LMS) which contains Quantum's Rocket Roller and Pocket Rotor which controls and eliminates the hassles associated with traditional line rollers and bail designs, ultimately translating into reduced line twists and smoother casts.


John Kushnerick, Marketing Director, shows off the new Tour Edition PT that houses the new Infinite ACS cast control system


Tour Edition PT: Next we witnessed the new Tour Edition PT reels where one of the two reels in this series boasts a super-fast 7.1:1 gear ratio! Why did Quantum decided to design a reel with this super speed retrieve? Quantum brought all their pro-staff team to the tables and asked them whatís something they all want to see in a reel that isnít there right now. Every one of them came up with one answer, speed. Every pro-staff agreed that with a high gear ratio reel they can always slow down the retrieve and the high speed will allow them to power fish easier. Most of these Quantum reels will be available this coming Fall in both right and left hand models.


Captain Craig Cantelmo and Micah Jones of Van Staal show off the new spinning reel that now has a robust titanium bail wire

Van Staal: After Van Staal joined the Zebco family no one knew what was coming... until now. Van Staal is and will be kept separate from Zebco/Quantum. They have their own team that deals with product development all the way through the business side. Now that the manufacturing plant has completely moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma they are now beginning to fabricate limited amounts of reels again, much like they were doing in the past. The quality of these reels have been heavily tested in both the lab and in the field with excellent results. In fact we saw tests that indicate the reliability and quality is actually better than before.

Now with a new team on hand Van Staal is back on the drawing board to design and introduce new high end products to the market. This year at ICAST we learned of a new spinning reel that comes with a manual trip Titanium bail wire. This Titanium bail wire will match perfectly with the durability and performance enthusiast have come to expect of the Van Staal brand name. Another component that changed dramatically in this new model is the clutch. The old Van Staal reels were placed near the handle, which was great but made it very difficult for any angler to maintain the reel. They have now moved it right below the rotor and are able to increase the size for enhanced power and control. 

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