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Abu Garcia Reels

Old 02-12-2013, 07:11 AM
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Default Abu Garcia Reels

You always hear about Penn, Shimano, and a few others, but I never hear much about Abu Garcia reels. What's the general opion of their reels for inshore and nearshore fishing? Are Abu's just for freshwater or do they hold up in the salt as well?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:25 AM
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I have used the 5000C-6500C for reds and trout for years.
good drag, strong reels, maby a little heavier than some but never had one quit working.
I always hose my reels off before putting them to bed.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:28 AM
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The conventionals (ambassadeurs) are awesome. some of the best casting reels out there due to floating spool. Not as much drag as newer designs.

The spinning reels aren't near as good.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:17 AM
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My first quality reels were by Ambassadeur.. but that was in the mid sixties. I used their reels up into the mid seventies until much, much better plug reels were available. After that I still worked on them for other folks but by the early eighties I strongly recommended that all my customers replace them with Shimano, Daiwa (anything but ambassadeur...). Aside from the fact that they stayed with old out-moded designs... their parts system was a nightmare for anyone that serviced or repaired reels. I once spent good money for a complete set of schematics for everything they made (through their Jersey headquarters, where their imports first came in). After several months.... I finally got my set of schematics - it consisted of about two or three inches of loose xeroxed pages with no parts descriptions and copying that was so bad some of it just wasn't readable (and I'm only talking parts numbers....). I not only quit repairing them I told my anglers to toss them in the nearest round file.... That was more than 20 years ago. In recent years they've made a comeback with new designs but I couldn't tell you what they're worth. Once was enough for me (and no -you don't want me sitting on any juries either....).
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:08 AM
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It depends upon what you are going to do with them. For light saltwater bottom fishing use - i.e. Fluke, Porgy, Sea Bass & Winter Flounder, because of their lightweight, star drag and levelwind, they are just perfect. We have 10 C3-5500's that we use for Fluke, Porgy & Sea Bass (not much Winter Floundering in Long Island the past 10 years), and they have collectively caught thousands of fish up to 10 lbs without missing a beat.
At 8.9 ounces, you don't mind fishing all day, and with 6 lbs of max drag (at full spool capacity), they are perfect for those fish - we use either 12 lb mono or 20 lb braid, so 3-4 lbs of drag is all you would ever want.
There are lots of newer small reels with more drag and line capacity, but none of those new reels is under 10 ounces (Shimano Calcutta is 10.1 ounces), and most are 11-13 ounces (Penn 965, Daiwa Luna), and none of those are under $150 - the C3-5500 is $95.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 AM
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My 6500 C3 reels with 30# powerpro have caught countless 20-30 pound stripers, 5-10 pound blues and toug out of wrecks over the past 15 years or so. Clean & lube them and change drags when necessary, not sure if they will ever wear out. I have even used the C3s for bailing mahi off the lobster balls in the canyons. Do thumb the spools to help in the drag department.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:31 PM
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I have caught lots of bull reds with 6500CL with 20lb mono. no problem.
fought at sting ray in the gulf that was 4ft across with same reel no problem with drag,
fought it to a stand still but could not pull him off bottom in 4ft water gouged him with a pole and fought another 45min. I finally got it up beside boat and broke it of.
I have a 7000c and a 10,000 CL new in the box i am going to try off shore in the gulf.
I know they are probably to big for little fish and too little for big fish but i am going to try them. Their is a place in Dallas,TX that can work on any Amb. or most any other reel they are warranty shop for Amb.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:40 PM
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Old Mitchell Garcia spinning reels were as good as any. Still using my 306 from the late 60's. Plenty old ones out there for sale. Prefer an old Penn or Garcia to the Chinese stuff being sold under any name....
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:59 PM
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Revo inshore housing rots like yamaha 225's, yes I know from experience, also all the revo class has a kick lever that wears down quickly, you have to order the new improved lever with the stainless insert, and yes they make you pay for it!
Spool tensioner threads go quickly if used in saltwater, hence the housing is shit!
only cost me 450$ to know this
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:29 PM
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I have a few old Abu 5500s and 6500s that have caught countless fish from bass to kingfish and even a nice tarpon and a sail or two. My go to inshore reel is an old Abu 5500 with 20lb braid. Great reels.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:10 PM
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You can still buy a 5500 or 6500 for under $100.00 and try one or you can pay 3-400 just to say you have an expensive reel. You will like the Garcia.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rexp View Post
You can still buy a 5500 or 6500 for under $100.00 and try one or you can pay 3-400 just to say you have an expensive reel. You will like the Garcia.
Thanks, I might pick up a 6500 C4 or 2 this season
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:59 PM
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Fishing for blues, stripers and fluke, if there will be casting involved, the only reels I use are Ambassaduers. 5500, 6500 and 7000. You can use them from the jetty or beach too, as long as you are not in much surf (suspended sand will do a job on these very quickly). The 7000 is an excellent reel for casting heavier plugs and jigs.

For bucktails, in particular, these are excellent reels, IMO.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by frugal boater View Post
Old Mitchell Garcia spinning reels were as good as any. Still using my 306 from the late 60's. Plenty old ones out there for sale. Prefer an old Penn or Garcia to the Chinese stuff being sold under any name....
I also have an old 306, but have not used it for many years, used a Penn 704z instead. I don't use spinning reels any more, but if I did, I would just spool up that 704Z again.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by beber View Post
Thanks, I might pick up a 6500 C4 or 2 this season

Beber, before you buy anything borrow mine or wait for the upcoming local fishing tackle flea market .........

Have 2 Penn 560 live liners, some other trolling rods & reels I'm not using after selling my Cat......

Let's talk Tues night at the CFA meeting, PM me if you want me to bring them ....... Billy aka ICM
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ice Cream Man View Post
Beber, before you buy anything borrow mine or wait for the upcoming local fishing tackle flea market .........

Have 2 Penn 560 live liners, some other trolling rods & reels I'm not using after selling my Cat......

Let's talk Tues night at the CFA meeting, PM me if you want me to bring them ....... Billy aka ICM
Billy sounds good, I'll talk to you Tuesday and I just sent you PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:30 AM
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Bought my first 5500's used in 1979. I still have and use both of them. Those two reels are true treasures to me. On our boat today, we fish mainly Penn 114 and a couple of nice Penn Int 30W's, and everyone is welcomed to use. Stashed out of the way, my personal rods....
Ambassador 7000's and a new 10000.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:41 AM
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I've been using them for years, great reels!

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Coolican1 View Post
Stashed out of the way, my personal rods....
Ambassador 7000's and a new 10000.
I have a 7000 on a pretty stiff Tsunami trigger handle rod I use for fluke, bluefish and stripers. It does well with bucktails and crippled herring jigs in the 2-4 oz range.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:18 PM
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Bass Pro Shops used to sell a "Royal Ambassador" that was high speed; I used a coup,e of them for years, from the Everglades (20 pound snook, plus countless other fish) to the northern Gulf. Spooled with braid, they really do work well. I have moved to a Calcutta 400 for my inshore bait caster, but those Abu reels are really great.
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