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Reel Review

Burn Baby Burn! The Ultra high speed Tour Edition PT from Quantum (continued)

Retrieve: Once your lure has been cast out as far as you can fling it its now time to enjoy what the Burner is all about….speed, lots of it. At a 7.0:1 ratio this reel is blazing fast, and the minute I started tugging on my Pointer 100 and Vision 110 jerkbaits I was astounded. The reel is so fast it brings baits back to you at such a rapid rate that you may have to adjust your rod jerks in between retrieves, or force yourself to slow down your crank. So why would you need a reel this fast? I think when most of us think “speed” we think about fishing jerkbaits or speed traps. But Pro’s view “speed” somewhat differently. Take these examples:


Another look below

Dean Rojas says the Burner’s speed is critical for his favorite “frog” bait. “When a fish hits my frog, he’s turned and headed down to cover in a flash,” Rojas explained, “and I’ve got to retrieve line and turn his head, fast.” “With this new Tour Edition PT, I’m in total control of my bait, line, and the fish, just as soon as I start to turn the handle. It makes an awesome difference for me in this fishing technique.”


This reel is braid capable for frog fisherman, and makes use of a titanium nitride guide and ceramic zirconic level wind system

To Tommy Biffle, the Tour Edition Burners model is all about fishing time. “Flipping and pitching are about covering every piece of structure you can in a day’s fishing,” Biffle began. “The more targets I hit, the more fish I catch. It’s that simple. With the 7:1 gear ratio, I can react quicker to a strike and get the fish turned. If I don’t get bit, I can have the bait back and on its way again in a split second. For me, this reel means I can make more bait presentations in a day’s fishing.”

The opening allows generous spool feathering

The ability to run baits fast can also be good for burning buzzbaits and topwater lures bringing them to plane quicker. In terms of smoothness the Quantum is smoother than the previous Energy, but still less smooth than some competitors. But before you pass judgment lets take a closer look. True the Quantum Burner may not be as smooth in terms of pure “silkiness” but that’s not exactly what the reel was built for. Unlike other reels that emphasize smoothness above all or on the other end of the spectrum raw unadulterated power, the Burner manages to achieve a very good balance of both. The gears on the Burner are oversized, but the gearing is still precise and hardened.  The bearings are supertuned polymer-stainless and deliver a balance of both refinement and robustness.


Notice the spots on the reels exterior? The reel's finish is easy to clean with a damp cloth after each use, but will highlight both water and oil from your hands


So how does the Burner really feel? Somewhat like a quality all aluminum round reel with machined gears. While not ultra smooth it does feel exceptionally well tuned. One area that Quantum has really improved upon is the handle response. The previous generation reels had excellent anti-reverse mechanisms but there was some sloppy play in their handle design. This is no longer the case now as the Burner has zero play thanks to a combination of the dual PT bearing continuous anti-reverse and rigid screw on handle design.


Porting inside the forged handle for some weight reduction


Drag: The drag on the Burner is excellent. We were once skeptical of the ceramic drag, but over time have found the system to deliver consistent performance, and actually outperform most dry drag systems when heated due to friction. In our tests the drag allowed both largemouth and stripers to strip out line controllably, never did the ceramic drag shudder or lock under force. The Burner is able to dole out 8.9lbs of drag counter pressure confidently. We retested the drag after weeks of use and found the results to be the same. While we will revisit the overall durability of the drags after a more extended period we believe that these drags should hold up as good if not better than most fiber and steel sandwich systems due to the ability to negate the ill effects of prolonged friction on fiber washers which can lose gripping strength as resistance generating surface ridges compress over time.


A striper cant resist a darting Vision during our field test


Infinite ACS is adjusted via an ergonomic knob on the sideplate. The knob can be turned up and down quickly, and our tests confirmed that not only does the system work, but it is possible to make extremely precise adjustments to the cast control system, much more so than traditional weighted cast control systems. Once I had the reel dialed in at around 30% I began casting. Line peels off the spool smoothly as the reel surprised me by making an enchanting whirring noise during each cast. The casting “whine” is beautiful, and to some extent like a slightly lower pitched Calcutta TE DC cast. The noise emits from with Quantum’s unique ACS system as the weights come into contact with the friction shield.


Close up of the enlarged grip

Ergonomics: Hold the Burner in your hand and one thing you won’t be saying is “this is a light reel.” The Burner is a powerhouse, and is built more like a machined round reel than a customary low profile baitcaster. The entire frame is CNC Machined aluminum and the frame feels slick and metallic rather than coated like most baitcasters. The cold forged handle on this reel features a screwless design and looks and feels sleek, porting has been done on the inside of the handle to reduce some additional weight. This was a welcome addition from the original beta reel we started testing with, which felt even heavier.

A small switch under the reel unlocks the sideplate


Also the handle grips are now large paddles rather than slender knobs like on the original PT reels. These new paddles feel much more comfortable, which is important when cranking down on the reel rapidly for extended periods of time, as you will no doubt find yourself doing with this particular reel and the applications you can fish with it. Quantum has done a good job with the reels overall ergonomics and I would say they beat their old model in all areas save for palming, in which the previous Energy PT reels seemed to more easily disappear into the cradle of your hand.


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