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Reel Review

Ardent's Tour Reel Series Offers an "Edge" for Anglers


Date: 8/19/12
Tackle type: Reel
Manufacturer: Ardent
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.91 - GOOD

Ardent continued their "made in the USA" tradition with the introduction of their Edge reel series a season ago. In addition to sporting a brand new profile this aluminum based series makes use of the company's patent pending DTT (Drag Tracking Technology) which is designed to improve line management. We take a closer look at the Tour model to see just show “sharp” the new Edge really is. 


Ardent Edge Tour Casting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity (lbs / yds) 12/120, 10/150
Gear Ratio 7.2:1
Measured Weight 8.7 ounces
Measured Max. Drag 14 lbs measured max drag
Number of Bearings 10+1
Features 7075-T6 aluminum triple bearing spool, power carbon fiber handle, carbon fiber drag star, 6 pin centrifugal brake system, instant anti reverse, backed by a 3 year warranty
Origin USA
MSRP $269.99


The Ardent Edge Tour low profile baitcasting reel


Impressions: It has been nearly five years since we tested a reel from Ardent and our last look was at the XS1000. While we liked the fact that this reel was born right here in the USA we couldn't overlook a number of shortcomings that this original reel exhibited primarily from an ergonomics point of view. This original reel was made out of magnesium yet was among the heaviest magnesium reels we have ever tested, with a manufacturer specification of 8.7oz. In many ways this defeated the purpose of using the more corrosion prone material, and this combined with a cumbersome cast control adjustment system made for a reel that was somewhat middling.


The spool provides plenty of access to the spool and features a compact overall design


Since the X1000 Ardent has only released a number of reels including the very application specific F-500 and F-7000 pitch and flip models which while certainly unique are a very niche product. These reels demonstrate the fact that Ardent is willing to walk to the beat of their own drum, an admirable trait in a sea of sameness that often happens in mature categories like “baitcast reels.” This past ICAST the company made a major move with the introduction of the Edge series. On paper this series looked good and offered anglers a range of products to choose from at various price points, and best of all the new reels look both modern and attractive.


The reel sits quite low making for easy palming


The Edge Series is made up of six reels which range in price from $149 to $329. All of these reels share the same basic profile and are separated by component quality, refinement, and finish. When we first checked out the reels at ICAST 2011 we were immediately impressed by the new design and feature-set.


Time to go fishing with the Edge at Clear Lake, CA


Real World Tests: To test the Ardent Edge Tour we employed the reel on numerous trips to the California Delta as well as during the winter season at Clear Lake. We strapped the Edge on a number of different rods ranging from Shimano to Megabass offerings and employed the reel for a wide variety of applications ranging from fishing traditional Texas rigged plastics to lobbing Umbrella rigs.  


The Edge proved to be a very good long distance caster


Casting: The Ardent Edge Tour makes us of an aluminum 7075-T6 spool which will freespool in a major way if there are no brake weights applying resistance. There is a total of six weights located on the edge of the spool directly behind the non-handle sideplate. These are accessible with a quick release alongside the back of the reel adjacent to the clutch bar. By pushing upwards the plate can be pushed out and remains attached to the frame via a pinion while anglers address the centrifugal weights.


Once dialed in precision work like pinpoint casts and pitches was no problem


When it comes to casting distance the Edge Tour is a very capable caster and flinging any weights 1/4oz. or heavier is really a no brainer. On short lob casts or pitches the Edge Tour is quite good as well but I found it a little harder to dial in versus a Shimano or Daiwa offering. The spool tension knob does not have a clicker and the knob on our test reel was extremely tight, making it a little harder to adjust on the fly to accommodate different lure weights. When it came to casting the heavy stuff like loaded up umbrella rigs the Edge Tour delivers in spades and paired with a heavy action rod can catapult the rig with both ease and proper control.    


The Edge Tour feels smooth and powerful


Next Section: Just how smooth is the Edge Tour?









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