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Reel Review

Five Seconds and More with Quantum's EXO PT (continued)


Retrieve: The EXO PT comes in three different retrieve ratios : 5.31, 6.6:1, and 7.3:1. We fished the EX100HPT which is the 7.3:1 model and tested this reel out at twenty seven inches of line pick up per turn of the handle at full spool.Even with the reel's combination of a hollowed out frame and lightweight aluminum gear, the actual feel of this reel in hand is solid giving credence to Quantum's engineering.

The EXO PT is available in three different retrieve ratios. We tested the high speed model.

Under load of a hard pulling peacock bass, the EXO PT's frame and drivetrain was equally reassuring. This reel has sufficient power even with the high speed retrieve.

In the lab, we disassembled the entire reel.

Drag: Quantum's EXO PT sports a pretty impressive drag stack of both metal and carbontex-like washers that we tested out to six pounds of maximum pressure. Out in the Amazon, I ran into no issues with the reel even after dipping it in the water to see how the reel performs when wet.

A look at the EXO PT's extensive drag stack.

I should caution that while in the Amazonian rainforest fishing for Peacock Bass, I loaned the EXO PT to Pete Robbins and his wife, Hanna and they did experience some inconsistencies with the reel after it was soaked from the tropical rains. These difficulties were not with the drag, however, they were with the braking system. For whatever reason, the reel was more difficult for them to cast once wet. I was not able to duplicate these difficulties but that does not mean they weren't there.

The EXO PT features a drilled aluminum main gear for the ultimate in light weight performance.

Availability: As mentioned earlier, the Quantum EXO PT made its debut in retail locations late in the Fall of 2011. For now, it is only available in right hand retrieve. During ICAST 2011, when speaking with Quantum Executive Bob Bagby, his first words to me personally when discussing the EXO PT and before I could ask, was that this reel will be available in left hand retrieve "next year". It's nice to know they've been paying attention. It's only my first question to each and every reel manufacturer when talking about new product during ICAST.

Even the drive shaft of this reel is ported to reduce weight!


Quantum EXO PT EX100HPT Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A well made reel 8.5
Performance It cast and retrieved well 8
Price Given the reel's design, very reasonably priced 8
Features The actual mechanics of this reel are standard fare by today's standards 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) It's all about the reel's exo-skeleton design and Quantum's efforts to drill out every possible component in an effort to reduce weight 9.5
Application A good general purpose reel 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Just over six ounces in a general purpose, non Mg casting reel - No left hand retrieve - yet
+ Nice, long, standard handle - Not necessarily a minus, but we'd like to see a shallow spool option for this reel for even better performance with low end lure weights.
+ Fun reel to cast  


Conclusion: The largest impacts in any design or invention are usually the result of concepts that are, at their very core, simple rather than convoluted. For this reel, performance metrics are almost secondary to the influence it will hopefully have in the design and engineering of future reels. The concept? Reduce structural components in a tool where weight is a premium to the bare minimum.


This reel proved itself to us at Clear Lake ...


Whenever choosing the route of minimalism in a structural design, we run the risk of failure. Quantum has stuck their neck out in the design of this reel. Only time will tell if the EXO PT can hold up to extended wear and tear. Will consumers take the chance or will they discard this reel because of poor past experiences with other products from this manufacturer?


... and in the Amazon ...


While the Quantum EXO PT has easily passed our five second test, the official long term outlook and evaluation of this reel are really still up in the air. It has survived a trip to the Amazon and battled Clear Lake bass back at home. Its design is simple, elegant, and significant. At six point one (6.1) ounces, it is light, has a well built drag that performs well, a simple brake system that is fun to cast, is noise and vibration free during retrieve, holds a good amount of line thanks to its deep spool, features an aggressive styling born from its structural design, and so far, seems to be built with quality in mind. Remember those check marks at the beginning of this article?


We applaud Quantum's efforts in the engineering of this reel's "exo-skeleton."


Whatever your personal feelings are about Quantum, if you want to fish a product that can very well be a game changer, you owe it to yourself to at least pick one up and put it through your very own five second test. I did that and more, and personally, I cannot wait for this reel to be available in left hand retrieve. When is the last time you heard me say that about any fishing reel made for the US Domestic Market?



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