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Best Entry Baitcast Abu Garcia Fishing Reels
The Abu Garica Ambassdeur 6600 Record
Welcome to my Hub Page on Abu Gracia reels and how to choose your first baitcast reel. Like all beginners in fishing it is hard to know what type of gear to buy and more so when it comes to more sophisticated reel systems such as baitcast reels also know as Round Reels, Over Head Reels, Low Profile Reels and especially the higher price point products such as with a premium brand like Abu Garica.
However choosing the right one and using them does not have to be a complex task especially with a few simple tips from this hub page. I believe and with my own personal experience the myth of Baitcaster's being harder or more difficult to use is the mainly reason people put off buying or using them and so whether your interested in getting one for yourself or as a gift for a friends this hub aims to demystify the baitcast reel.
I decided to write this hub because recently i received a Abu Ambassador 6500 S as a gift from a friend who did not know which to get me so i decided to upgrade the reel to the Abu Ambassador 6500 Pro Rocket which is more suited to my fishing style.
So here in this hub i will do an overview of three Abu fishing reels which i think are good chooses for any beginner as an introduction to the brand.
- Abu Garcia Ambassour Record
- Abu Garcia Ambassour S Series
- Abu Garcia Promax low profile
1- The Abu Garcia Ambassador Record
Iam a big fan of the Abu Garcia brand and the Ambassadors series of baircast reels, It was the first round reel i got and you can read more about my experience and the history of the Abu Garcia brand in my hub page "Best Baitcast Fishing Round Reel The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur".
One of the best round reels around is the Abu Garcia Ambassador Record, it is the brands flagship model and the one that started and made the brand what it is today. This model of the Ambassador series has all the bells & whistles. However its premium price range can put it out of the range of a beginner or even most fisherman however if you are series about your sport then i can not recommend a better reel. The Ambassador series also comes in other models, with sizes based on a numbered series 5000, 6000 & 7000 models. In my Abu Garcia hub i praise the 6500 series for being a good size all rounder and will add that the C3 & C4 models offers a less expensive alternative to the Ambassador Record for an serious beginners or enthusiast. Details of the Abu Garica Ambassador Record can be viewed in the video below and for customer reviews visit: Abu Record Reviews
While i would consider Ambassador Record, C3 & C4 great entry model round reels, they are still in fact premium purchases and so the next model to consider is the Ambassador S series for the budget conscious and is a bare basic stripped down version of the Record.
Abu Garcia Record Series Overview
2 - Abu Garcia Ambassador S Series
The Abu Garcia Ambassador S Series is a very basic stripped down version of its round reel range. It offers a great entry to the brand and baitcast reels for any beginner, especially on price. However with any basic model there are compromises and the first i noticed with this model was the smoothness of the retrieval. In the Ambassador S Series you only have a 2 ball bearing system and its noticeable especially if you are use to the 3 ball bearing systems or above. Its notice but for its price not too bad and does the job well. The next would have to be the weight as it feels much lighter due to its use of more plastic components.
One feature which has been criticized by reviewers has been the use of a plastic synchronized level wind compared with its traditional metal system. I find these comments unfair as other great reels like the Shimano baitcast also have plastic level winds. Of course other technologies are reduce too such as the S series only having a 4 pin braking system verses 6 pins in most versions. Another nice feature of the Abu Garica brand is they are made in Sweden and has a metal plaque of the Swede Royal Crest but in the Ambassador S series there is only a printed emblem and finally the model is made in China not Sweden.
In today's globalized world its to be expected and i do not like to stereotype products made in China are bad quality. Certainly there can be issues with batch quality and they can be less refined then their swede counter parts however for the price point the Ambassador S Series is a good basic round reel for beginners, while there are mix customer reviews and reports of defects in most cases the life time warranty offers by Abu Garcia will competences if you are unfortunate to receive a defected item. While i have pointed out a few issues myself being a fan i am being super critical and pedantic but overall the Ambassador S Series is a nice little reel and will do a good job, however if you do get hooked then it only be a short time before you decide to upgrade. Great for beginners and as a training wheel.
Abu Garcia Ambassador S Overview
3 - Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Reel
Finally, the last reel i'll like to recommend as a entry baitcast reel is the Abu Garcia Pro Max, Low Profile Reel. While it is not your standard round reel per sa and in ways an upgrade with its low profile and compact design. I am have including this design of the baitcast because they are designed for different fishing methods vs the traditional round profile design. First these reels are designed more for lure fishing, light weight target fish and repeated casting. And i would hesitate to say freshwater fishing such as Bass while the round reels more saltwater inshore or pier situations with bait.
Since i tend to fish in the latter method i have less experiences with these types of reels however for a all rounder reel i have found they tend to have less line capacity. But if you do mostly fish with lures the light weight and compact design is perfect and the Pro Max makes a good Baitcast entry reel. Below is an overview of the Pro Max and for other customer reviews: Abu Garcia Pro Max Product Review
In wrapping up this section on low profile reels and a good lead into my tips on using baitcast reels one of the most frustrating issues about Low Profiles is due to its compactness when you are just starting to learn how to use baitcast reels, i have found them harder to untangle once you backlash your line or "bird nested", that because access to the spool is so narrow. Now i am going to offer a few basic set up tips to help prevent your line from "Bird Nesting".
Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Reel Review
Final Thoughts on an Entry Abu Garcia Baitcast Reels
So there you have it my three recommendations for beginner and entry baitcast fishing reels from the Abu Garcia range. With the Abu Ambassador Record begin a good benchmark and starting point if you can afford it to the budget Ambassador S and finally the low profile Pro Max designed specifically for lure fishing. Any of the reels here are great choices based on price and fishing style.
My Tips to Prevent Backlashes and Rule of Thumb
Here are my simple rules for beginners when first learning how to cast with baitcaster reels. First i have divided my tips in terms of preparation and when in use. Also i will focus on mono filament fishing lines vs braided since they are most commonly used and the same tips not related to the lines itself will apply to braided lines regarding backlashing issues resulting in the reel not begin set up correctly in the first place.
When setting up new fishing reels be they baitcasts or spinners when adding fishing line to the spool in this case mono filament line it is essential to keep a constant tensions as its being added and i always run the line through the eyes of the rod as if during normal fishing situations. Details of doing this can be found in all reel manuals but often over looked. This is import because mono filament line is essentially plastic and has a bit of memory to it much like a spring, they are wind in direction and does not like to be wind in the opposite. So when adding line to the spool from a new a roll of line the mono lines retains so of the twists from its packaging but i've experienced once the line has been on the reel for a while its foams in the right or new direction and therefore less likely to birdnest on casting.
So remember to keep good tension on the line when spooling and the next tip is do not be greedy filling up the line to the lip of the spool. My rule of thumb is to fill line to about 3 mm from edge which prevents line from slipping over the edge and tangling during a casting. This is a common rookie mistake too when buying new rod & reel combinations where lines are fully spooled from the manufacturers and user fail to remove at least a few feet of line from the spool. This tip applies to spinners reels which i have seen the most issues but also baitcast reels and can be more frustrating with baitcast reels since they are more harder to untangle.
Another trick i have discovered too is to let new mono filament line rest in the new spool for a while or few weeks then the new line in the reel is much easier to cast with less twists on the second fishing trip. If the above are do right then you should experience less line tangles.
My final tips are to do with setting up your baitcast reel itself and when casting. below is a good video that details some of the tips i will describe here.
The first tip is to set the release speed correctly, as a rule of thumb once you have your leader, weights or all your rigs attached, is to set the release of your line to drop or release at a constant speed when in free spool mode, and let the sinker/lure drop at a slow controlled drop. I believe a few inches per second is the rule of thumb but this is more of an art then anything else. With time you will have a good sense of the right speed for you. Also you thumb can be placed on the spool while casting to stop the spool from spinning before it hits the water which will prevent backlashes or reduce them as you refine your settings. However from my experience if set up correctly in the first place there is no need to put your thumb on the spool. The video below does a great job on describing this set up too.
Casting technique is also where most people fall short, especially if they whip or throw their casts then they are more likely to birdnest their lines. With a baitcast reel once set up right a graceful fluid motion or ark is more then enough to get good distance with a release at between 9 to 11 o'clock. In summary
Tips for prevention & during set up
- Keep line tension tight when adding new line to a spool and run the line through all eyelets
- Do not over spool the line and have a 3mm gap from the lip of the spool
- Let mono filament line rest in its new spool
Tips when casting:
- Adjust the line release so your rig or lure drops at a controlled speed
- Do not whip cast and let your reel do the work
- Keep a thumb on the spool for minor adjustment during first casts
So there my simple tips for beginner on how to use baitcast reels of course many other factors will effect your results such as rod types and length. My hub on choosing a good beginner fishing rod "How To Choose The Best All Rounder Fishing Rod "may help you in rod choices.
These tips may seem simple but in fact can be hard in practice and why fishing or casting is more of an art and trail and error then anything. But if you follow my tips your learning curve will be easier and there is no reason you should be afraid to start using baitcast reels.