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Reel Review

 

Low Speed Cranking Reel Shootout : And the Winner Is...
 

Date: 2/10/10
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Abu Garcia, Daiwa, Quantum, Shimano
Reviewer: Team TackleTour




 

 

 

 

Introduction: It is time, the moment cranking fans have been waiting for, this is the main event! In all four corners we have reels designed for low speed power cranking, all have their eyes (or gears rather) set on becoming the low speed cranking champion. Only one will emerge as the winner of this all out war set for six rounds...

 


Four worthy low profile baitcasters enter the ring...

 

Let's get ready to rumble: Our fighters consist of four low profile powerhouses starting with the Abu Garcia Winch, a reel born out of the successful pedigree of the admired Revo camp. The Quantum Energy PT is the young gun of the roundup and features a new sleek profile and an aggressive personality chock full of advanced features including external ACS II centrifugal cast control and a ceramic drag system, the redesigned Energy PT may look like a lightweight but it is stronger than ever with a powerful 5.1 gear ratio. The Shimano Curado E5 represents the old guard and though the "Green Machine" has been redesigned a number of times over the years this svelte reel continues to possess a massive fan base. The Daiwa Zillion Crazy Cranker rounds things out and makes use of a familiar frame but packs plenty of muscle in with an ultra low speed gearing, it is also the most expensive contender.

 


...all are designed for cranking and feature low gear ratios for more power

 

To make it easy for the purposes of determining a winner, like in our high speed cranking reel shootout we have thrown the scores out the window and ranked each reel from one to four in six categories (1 being the best and four being the lowest, some reels tie in certain categories), and a total of sixteen subcategories. The reel with the highest average rank at the end is our winner - simple as that. So let's get started.

 


The popular Curado series has been redesigned and part of the update was making the reel both smaller and more powerful as well as "greener"

 

Round 1 - Specifications: We are not big fans of taking sheer bearing count as a major determining factor of performance, sure it matters but the bearing quality and the execution of the reel as a whole often tells the more accurate story. There are many anglers that are obsessed with bearings, and in their mind "more" always equates to "better." With the improvement in both bearing performance and durability these days "more" bearings doesn't necessarily mean "smoother." The Curado E5 has the lowest bearing count with a total of 6 (5BB + 1RB), the Daiwa Crazy Cranker has one more for a total of 7, the Quantum Energy PT has 9 and the Abu Garcia Revo Winch loads up with a total of 11 HCPR (High Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings!

 


The most expensive reel in the roundup is the Zillion Crazy Cranker which features a familiar profile

 

The line capacity on all these reels is over 100 yards (12lb line), enabling all of them to handle long casting deep diving cranks. The Revo Winch has a deeper spool than the other contenders and is able to hold 175 yards of 12lb line. This is 40-50 yards over all of the other reels and makes the Winch a good choice for inshore or big bait applications that require extra line capacity.

 


The Quantum Energy PT has also been redesigned and now features a sleek and more aggressive profile

 

The Curado E5 and Energy PT both draw in 21" of line per single handle crank, while Abu Garcia Winch is able to recover 20.6" of line per crank. The Daiwa Crazy Cranker really does get "crazy" with the retrieve by reeling in a whopping 22" per turn of the handle.

 


Coming out of the popular Revo camp the name "Winch" pretty much sums up this powerhouse of a reel

 

In the first round the Abu Garcia Winch is looking the best out of the gate when you look at the specifications alone. Not only is the Winch packed with bearings it offers more flexibility with a greater line capacity. The Zillion Crazy Cranker is also looking pretty good but because we have pulled out the "price" ratings and made it a separate stand-alone category will the more expensive Crazy Cranker be able to negotiate the price premium it has over all the other competitors? The Quantum Energy PT looks pretty balanced and the Shimano Curado E5 comes in dead last when it comes to specifications. Not only does the Curado not boast an impressive bearing count it also makes use of graphite for both sideplates unlike the other reels. The question is, can the Curado get back up after this first round or is it down for the count?

 


Round one goes to the Abu Garcia Winch which has a huge bearing count and superior line capacity making it good for inshore applications

 

Specifications
 
Curado E5
Zillion CC
Revo Winch
Energy PT
Bearing Count
4
3
1
2
Line Capacity
4
3
1
2
Inches Per Turn
2
1
2
3
Category Rank
3
2
1
2

Next Section: Round 2 - Ergonomics


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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