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Reel Review


An ultralight high performer, the 2003 Quantum Catalyst PTi
 

Date: 10/31/02
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Quantum
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 8.75

Introduction: With the exciting introduction of the Performance Tuned fishing reels just last year, Quantum has been moving in the right direction by bringing Anglers high performing and reliable products with a good balance of value.  For 2003 Quantum releases a new Catalyst PTi spinning reel that exhibits the same award winning characteristics of its larger sibling in a new size that is perfect for panfish and trout.
  

Quantum Catalyst PTi (CT10PTi) Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 2/200;4/125, 6/100
Gear Ratio 5.17:1
Weight 8.2 oz.
Bearings 8
Additional Features TiMAG II system, MaxCast Longstroke aluminum spool, spare aluminum spool, Ceramic Magnum drag system, Low-friction Continuous Anti-Reverse II, Hot Sauce, TRU-Balance, Oversized Twist-Reducer line roller, soft contoured handle knob
MSRP $89.95

  
Impressions: When I mentioned that the Catalyst PTi displayed award winning characteristics, I was not kidding. In May of this year TackleTour awarded the first Catalyst PTi(CT20PTi) our Editor's Choice Award for a superb reel that has an outstanding combination of performance, features, price, and a rugged construction. With the first look at an early prototype of the new CT10PTi that's due on the store shelves for 2003, this new Catalyst PTi entry continues to impress me.

  

Quantum's new Catalyst PTi in the ultralight size is durable and small enough to take to places like this... far in the backcountry

  

The Catalyst PTi in the 10 size comes in a smaller package than it's siblings. This ultralight reel has the same great looks and utilizes advanced designs that make this spinning reel a true performer. The TiMAG II system is like no other and is a revolutionary feature that adds to the Performance Tuned name even further.

    

Complete Rig for Catalyst PTi Tests

Rod St. Croix Premier Traveler (PS60L4)
Reel Quantum Catalyst PTi (CT10PTi)
Line 2 lb. Maxima Perfexion

  
Real World Tests:
Being an ultralight reel, the Catalyst PTi makes a great fishing reel for trout of all sizes, panfish, and other applications where a smaller sized is called for.  Throughout the Summer and early Fall seasons I tested the Quantum CT10PTi throughout many trips backpacking in Yosemite National Park and while hunting for hard hitting trout in the Eastern Sierras.  Each trip presented new applications in which to test this spinning reel inside and out. Here are the finds:

  

Taken apart for a regular maintenance after a hard working season on the field

 
The Bail:
A unique feature that sets the Quantum Catalyst PTi apart from its competition is the titanium bail. This Nickel Titanium bail showed good strength and durability throughout my backpacking trips. The reel was jammed into my backpack without any protection whatsoever, dropped on gravel, pebbles, and granite while delicately unhooking and releasing beautiful trout, but still no weakness nor warping appeared. As with our previous tests of the CT20PTi, the bail always returned to proper shape regardless of abuse.  You won't have to worry about breaking nor bending your bail wire with Quantum's TiMAG II system.

  

Part of the TiMAG II system, the Nickel Titanium bail wire has incredible strength.  After taking much beating on many backpacking trips, the bail wire is still perfect

  

Casting: Casting with the Catalyst PTi was a real pleasure thanks to not just the lightweight of this reel, but also to Quantum's MaxCast Longstroke aluminum spool that has a smooth angular lip. The spool is also wider in diameter which plays a critical role in reducing the number of times the fishing line would have to revolve around, and in turn reduces line memory and enhances the casting ability. Interestingly this reel did not exhibit a single line twist incident, even when casting the thinnest 2lb lines during casting tests. Other reels in similar tests were not as reliable, and our editors found themselves wasting a lot of time either working out twists or cutting line in frustration.

  

The Performance Tuned Catalyst casts nicely thanks to the MaxCast Longstroke spool.  Targeting rainbow trout at the base of the fall from afar is no problem

  

When matched with the right rod and line, the balance and overall feel is silky smooth. Being able to cast small mini jigs and inline spinners becomes nearly effortless with the Catalyst PTi.

  

Retrieving: "This is pretty damn smooth!," exclaimed Vador, one of TackleTour's Editors, as he tested the Catalyst on one of our many trips to Yosemite this year.  I explained the details on why this spinning reel is so smooth.  The Catalyst PTi utilizes 8 polymer-stainless hybrid bearings coated with Quantum's Hot Sauce lubricant.  The reel uses Quantum's TRU-Balance computerized design that assures each Catalyst PTi is made evenly balanced to eliminate any wobble, thus a quiet and silky smooth retrieve.  During the last part of the test I did experience a little flaw on this reel.  The clutch bearing or the roller bearing would sometimes slip backwards even when the ON/OFF switch is engaged to only retrieve one direction.  I was told by Quantum that since I received a very early prototype that the reel I have wasn't fully representative of the final production version.  The production reels that are due out sometime at the end of this year have corrected this problem.  When release we will test the final production reel and update this section with ultimate results.

  

Packed with features that give the Catalyst PTi a well balanced and smooth retrieve

  

Part of the retrieving test is not just to see how smooth the reel is but also consists of how structurally sound the entire frame and other parts such as the bail, the bail return mechanism, the drag, and the line roller are when retrieving and taking in your catch.  As explained above the Nickel Titanium bail is super.  Strong and durable.  After you cast and you start to retrieve, the bail snaps back every time and the titanium bail wire easily puts the fishing line onto the line roller, positioning all elements in the right arrangement to start your retrieval process.  The TiMAG II system consists of a bail wire and a magnetic bail return trigger that functions without any hiccups.  The line roller plays an important roll while retrieving.  The Oversize Twist-Reducer line roller, as the name suggests, reduces dreaded line twists. 

  

The ThinLine aluminum frame design shines and is very strong

  

Warranty: Quantum's products are warranted for one year from the date of purchase against defects in workmanship or materials.

  

Another great benefit to owning a Quantum product is that they provide their users with a "48 Hour Warranty Service" because their objective is to keep everyone fishing.  Two advantages to this service: 1) Quantum will either repair or replace your product in 48 hours and ship it back to you with a free hat, 2) the warranty on the product being sent back to you will again have a 1 year warranty period from the date sent.  Thus your reel will have a full warranty just like it's new.

  

To further add value to Quantum's Catalyst PTi, the TiMAG II system is backed by a Lifetime Warranty.
  

Ratings:

Quantum Catalyst PTi Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Well built with a durable frame while utilizing innovative materials 9
Performance An overall good performer.  This early prototype has a slight flaw that has already been fixed for the production reels (stay tuned for an update) 7.5
Price Good price for a small high performance ultralight reel 9
Features A small reel with a huge package 9
Design (Ergonomics) Good balance, lightweight, and a soft contour handle knobs provides superior comfort 9
Application When an ultralight reel is called for, the CT10PTi is a good choice.  Fishing for trout, crappie, or other small game fish, this reel will do the job 9

Total Score

8.75

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Durable Nickel Titanium bail  L Prototype has slight flaw (an update will be provided after the production reel is tested)
J Solid construction  
J Fine drag  
J Performance Tuned parts  
J Smooth retrieve  

    
Conclusion: Quantum's Performance Tuned name has once again gone beyond the norm. The PT products not only look great, but it also perform like a champ. The Catalyst PTi (CT10PTi) was built from the strong foundation of its siblings in the larger size.  With the utilization of innovative materials such as the nickel titanium bail wire and Quantum's Hot Sauce, the ultralight Catalyst PTi continues to exhibit great performance. Quantum has effectively brought the advanced technology found in their original award winning reels to a form factor that broadens the applications in which you can utilize this family of reels to include smaller game including energetic trout species. The new Catalyst (CT10PTi) will be a great reel to consider based on features and price when it starts hitting stores and e-tailor sites closer to the end of the year.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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