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Reel Review


An In-Depth Look at a Reel Made Entirely in the USA: The Ardent XS1000 (continued)

Price: Being a newcomer itís hard to break into the market with a reel that people arenít familiar with, especially when they look at the design aspects and then look at the price, they might be turned off by a price point of $249.99. Itís not the most expensive magnesium reel on the market but nor is it the least since the Shimano Core sells for $349.99 and the Daiwa Fuego retails for $229.95. But then again people are looking at the overall design and price point when making a purchase, and this is where Ardent needs to do some work on even if their product is made in the USA.


Removing the parts to gain access to the gear and drag system


We first noticed Ardent a few years back at ICAST where we saw, first hand, some of their earliest prototypes. Compared to now they have made a huge improvement on their baitcast reels. But of course being fairly new in a hotly contested market and also being the only bass sized baitcasting reel manufactured in the USA. The reel has some good features but there are some things that require further engineering. The reelís durability is respectable and the XS1000 does feature excellent components including the master gearing, drag washer, and bearings. Though the frame is lightweight, the addition of the bearings really increases the overall weight, and thatís something anglers need to understand. If you want smooth and long lasting bearings over bushings, then the reelís weight will increase.


You have to remove the handle sidecover to remove the spool


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 XS1000 Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality There are some pluses and minuses on the design which are outlined in the review. Ardent does use make of some quality components such as the ABEC 5 bearings. Durability wise itís not bad at all and the reel has held up to much abuse over the months of field tests 5
Performance Casts match the other reels for most lures while the drag and retrieve is exceptionally smooth and consistent 7
Price Priced in between its competitors but if you look at it from an anglerís point of view, they are looking at the price, design, and performance, and the reel still needs some work in order to sell the reel at this price point 4
Features The reel features a lightweight magnesium frame and quality ABEC 5 bearings along with other goodies 6.5
Design (Ergonomics) Ergonomics arenít too bad. It palms comfortably. The weight might be of a concern for some but itís a 10+1 bearing Mg reel 6
Application This reel will get the job done as itís designed primarily for the bass fishing market. Itís good for many different types of lures 7

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 Smooth and consistent drag L Increased weight due to bearing count
J ABEC 5 bearings L Can't access brakes with fingers
J Fast and smooth retrieve L Sidecover on non-handle side can open
J Lightweight Magnesium frame  


Cranking with the Ardent XS1000 paired with the new St. Croix Avid all-purpose rod landed this nice bass

Conclusion: There you have it folks, our in-depth review on the Ardent XS1000 baitcast reel. Ardent provides anglers with an additional choice, one that is made here in the USA by a 100% American owned company. The Ardent XS1000 may not be perfect but it does offer quality performance with American design and construction. If that is a priority to you then the XS1000 will certainly be on top of your list. With some design tweaks this Ardent reel can go from an average reel to an excellent one and we hope to see these changes and more at the upcoming ICAST show this July in Las Vegas. For now the Ardent XS1000 is the only U.S. made magnesium based baitcaster on the market, and having more options is a very good thing.











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