Ardent Addresses the
Mainstream with an "APEX" Selection of Reels
||Las Vegas, NV
||Buyers & Press Only
Introduction: Known for their domestically made reels Ardent has expanded
their offerings year on year and this last season ushered in a new level of
refinement with the introduction of their Edge Series. In a departure from their
other reels the new Apex Series will not be made in the U.S.A. but will be
available at aggressive price points that are designed to meet the needs of
mainstream anglers in search of a quality low profile baitcaster.
Ardent introduced a new line of imported reels at
ICAST called Apex
Ardent APEX reels look much sleeker than the company's previous generation reels
and feature a profile that is both more aggressive and more compact looking.
There will be three models, the Tournament, Pro and Elite. All three will share
the same basic form factor but the Elite will be the flagship model with the
highest level of refinement and most robust feature-set, followed by the Pro.
The Apex reels are distinguishable by the
highlights, the Tournament model for example has gold anodizing
of the new APEX reels will feature and aluminum frame and machined aluminum
spool. The Tournament and Pro models will have a traditional aluminum swept
handle while the Elite will get an upgraded carbon fiber swept handle. In terms
of the cast control system all three reels will have an externally adjustable
magnetic brake system. The Elite model comes with 12+1 bearings and 6.5:1 gear
ratio while the Pro has 10+1 bearing design and a brisk 7.3:1 ratio. The
Tournament has 8+1 bearings and a 6.5:1 gear ratio. Due to the extra components
the Pro and Elite models weigh in at a very respectable 6.4oz. while the
Tournament will be .2oz. lighter.
The highest end Elite model gets a carbon fiber
handle and higher bearing count. This reel looks and feels refined yet will
retail for only $149 dollars
Unfortunately for left handed anglers the Pro and Elite will only be available
in right hand retrieve at time of launch but the Tournament model will get both
version. So how much will the new Apex models retail for? The Elite, Pro and
Tournament models will retail for the aggressive prices of $149.99, $129.99 and
$99.99 dollars respectively. Ardent has confidence in this new series and will
back them up with a 3 year warranty. All Apex models are scheduled to become
available on October 1st.
All three of the Apex reels gets a convenient
externally adjustable magnetic brake system
addition to the new APEX reels the company also gave us a sneak peek at a new
spinning reel they are finalizing the design on called the Forge.
Matching the new Apex series is the upcoming
Forge spinning reel
features a black matte design versus the Fishouflage design on their current
reel. Like the APEX this reel will be manufactured in Asia and will retail for
only $99.99 when it becomes available the first quarter of next year.
Pro Angler Fred Roumbanis show us the
aggressively priced new Ardent Apex Series
made in the U.S.A. will be a disappoint for some Ardent fans, but for others the
move is one that makes sense. If this offering allows Ardent to offer a more
competitive offering to this segment that just bolsters the company as a whole.
A move that will likely pay dividends on future American made Ardent products.
All of the new reels we checked out at the Ardent booth look and feel refined
and are ready for prime-time and we look forward to seeing how the new Apex
reels compare with other mainstream offerings on the water.