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Reel Review

Does the Quantum's EXO Concept Translate to Spinning? (continued)

Retrieve: Quantum engineers their own bearings and proudly states this fact in their marketing materials. I always discount the advantages to claims like this as marketing hype, but I noticed with the EXO PTi casting reel and now with the spinning, that their bearings, wherever they originate do in fact perform very well.

Retrieve, even in the rain, was sure and smooth thanks to Quantum's custom fabricated bearings.

While the EXO PTi 30 may not be the smoothest spinning reel I've fished, it's not intended to compete with the likes of the Shimano Stella and Daiwa Steez or even Certate. On it's own, and probably thanks in part to Quantum's custom bearings, this reel is very respectable.

The drag on this reel is rated to 16 pounds, but more important on a spinning reel than max power is smoothness.

It is rated at thirty one inches of line retrieve per turn of the handle, but remember, this is highly dependent upon the amount of line you have on your reel. We tested ours at twenty nine and a half inches of retrieve with roughly an eighth of an inch of the spool's lip exposed.

Thanks to a double bearing supported spool, the EXO PTi 30's drag was very consistent during startup and sustained drag pulls.

Drag: The EXO PTi 30 is rated with a max drag of 16 pounds. Considering I had only eight pound test line on this reel, I didn't even bother testing its maximum drag. Frankly this capacity has never concerned me with a spinning reel since they are very easy to lock down if the need should ever arise.

To get at the drag stack, you're going to need some tools.

The factor that is more important to me here is how smooth the reel's drag performs and I was not disappointed. I experienced no stuttering or other vibrations in the reel as drag was being pulled out and the drag started up easily with no perceivable difference between start up and sustained pressure.

Everything pops off with a little work.

Line Management: Back on the subject of line management. One very important way to ensure the line on your spinning reel starts off in the best possible, untwisted state is to fill it from a factory supplied bulk spool of line. Bulk spools are made with a much wider diameter than a standard filler spool which means the line is not as confined during storage and is less apt to suffer from memory problems (coiling).

We found the drag stack was rather significant and packed dry.

Since bulk spools can cost a lot of money, naturally, the easiest way to gain access to one is at your local tackle shop, or specifically one that offers spooling services. These guys spool reels all the time and with spinning reels there are a couple of factors that any trained tackle shop employee can do without even thinking. These include: 1) spooling the line onto your spinning reel in the proper direction because I've never done this backwards; 2) spooling the line onto your reel with proper tension which is especially important with braid but can affect performance with all line types; 3) pre-spool your reel with backing if you need it and easily connecting to your mainline with a proper connection knot.

Quantum follows suit with all high end spinning reels and supplies the line guide with a support bearing for better line management.

Getting the line onto your spinning reel spool with minimum twist is already half the battle and if done properly, should put you well ahead of the game out on the water. Such was the case with the Quantum EXO PTi 30. I used this reel on a couple of trips switching back and forth between it and other setups and did not experience any line management issues.


Quantum EXO PTi 30 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Well built out of the box 8.5
Performance Solid is about the best way to describe this reel 8
Price Depends on your perspective, but for me, $200 is mid market and a good price for this reel 7.5
Features Lighter than comparably priced carbon framed reels - that's a pretty cool feature 8
Design (Ergonomics) Built under the same concept as the EXO casting, but not as evolutionary when packaged in a spinning reel 7
Application Because it's aluminum AND has the deep spool, this reel is meant for so much more than just bass 8

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:


+ Aluminum Frame - No shallow spool option
+ Extensive Drag stack with two bearing support  
+ Bearing supported line guide  


Conclusion: Quantum's EXO PTi 30 is a solid product. While its price point might be considered high for some, realistically it's a mid-market reel with its direct competition being Shimano's Stradic CI4 and Daiwa's Ballistic spinning reels. The interesting thing here is it's lighter than comparably sized Daiwa and only slightly heavier than the comparably sized Shimano (Ballistic 3000 = 8.6oz, Stradic CI4 3000 = 7.2oz, EXO PTi 30 = 7.4oz) yet, the EXO is the only one made from aluminum. Both the Stradic CI4 and Ballistic are made from carbon alloys.

The Quantum EXO PTi is lighter than the Daiwa Ballistic and only 0.2 ounces heavier than the Stradic CI4, yet unlike the competition, it's still made of aluminum and delivers a more solid, connected feel to your line.

Carbon may be the newer, trendier material in fishing reels, but if you like that solid, connected feel under your fingers, you're not going to get that from a carbon frame. Quantum continues to impress with their EXO concept pushing aluminum framed reels to their weight limitations yet upholding their performance characteristics. If you're looking for a solid, lightweight, aluminum framed spinning reel, it's time to consider the EXO concept reels from Quantum.

Looking for the Quantum EXO Spinning Reel? Try Hi's Tackle Box









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