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ICAST 2013 Coverage

Ardent Addresses the Mainstream with an "APEX" Selection of Reels


Date: 7/28/13
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Ardent
Reviewer: Zander

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


The new 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


All three 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


In 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


The Forge 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


Not being 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.










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