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Tool Review

Ardent's SmartCull is exactly what the name implies... Smartly Designed (continued)


Durability: We tested the SmartCull for durability by whipping the balls downward on the boat deck and when that didn't do anything to the balls we moved on to the boat dock and finally the concrete. We were able to do some cosmetic damage to the colored plastic and corners of the dials but the culling balls held together and continued to rotate and lock perfectly. 


The attachment on the ball end


We pulled on the clip and cable using the Ardent SmartCull like a piece of rope in a tug-of-war and the cables and crimps held in place securely. We were satisfied that through normal use these balls are very unlikely to fail. The wires are coated for extra corrosion resistance and the balls are approved for use with common livewell additives. 


Testing the SmartCull with Stripers


Price & Applications: Culling fish has never been easier and while designed for tournament situations we find the Ardent SmartCull is great for weekend warriors as well. If anglers are practicing for a tournament or simply want to engage in some friendly competition the Ardent SmartCull makes it easier for both fish and fishermen.


It only takes seconds to dial in the correct weight, and seconds are precious in tournament situations


The SmartCull retails for $39.99 which comes out to just over 6.50 per ball. This is a great price for a system that is well designed, easy to use, and is built to last. Unlike other culling systems the SmartCull does not have parts like markers or cards that can be lost or need replacing.


Releasing fish is also made easier with the SmartCull which helps identify and extract fish from livewells


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)

Ardent SmartCull Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Built to last the SmartCull balls feel solid and well built from the clip to the ball itself 9
Performance Simple and yet ingenious the SmartCull is both faster and easier to use than existing culling systems. We noticed some irritation on the lips of stripers but bass didn't seem affected by being clipped in at all 8.5
Price The Ardent SmartCull is reasonably priced and requires no maintenance with no parts to lose like other systems 9
Features The SmartCull is feature rich with a  well designed marking system with two locking dials, impact resistant bodies, and corrosion resistant wires 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) This is system is well designed and easy to use, the locking mechanism makes sure the weight you dial in stays accurate. 9
Application The SmartCull can be used for both freshwater and brackish water conditions. The buoyant ball design makes it easier to handle fish in the livewell as well. 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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Simply the best culling system we have used to date L Even though well designed the clip did cause some irritation to some fish
J Uses both color and weight to identify fish  
J Great for tournament anglers  
J Weighing fish only once reduces stress on fish  
J Reasonable price  


Like all Ardent products the SmartCull system is proudly made in the USA


Conclusion: Ardent may be best known for their "Made in the USA" reels but with quality products like the SmartCull the company is going to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to expertly designed accessories as well. The SmartCull is simply the best culling system we have come across yet, and is both easier and faster to use than traditional systems that require multi-piece implementations. Designed to give tournament anglers an extra edge this novel new product proved to be good for any angler looking to quickly identify and handle fish in the livewell. Reasonably priced and well designed the Ardent SmartCull system is a worthy recipient of our Editors Choice Award, and a product we carry with us on all our bass boats at all times.    


The Ardent SmartCull is available now at Monster Tackle










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