Five Seconds and More with Quantum's EXO PT
Impressions: Remember that five seconds each reel has to impress us once we pick it up? Quantum's EXO PT didn't even need that to impress me. The second I saw the reel, I knew I wanted to fish it. Coming from an Architectural background, and maybe even more applicable, an avid hobby-level cyclist, one look at the EXO PT frame, and I knew exactly what Quantum had done. They reduced a fishing reel's frame down to the bare minimum structural components necessary to support the task at hand. In Architectural terms, it's like holding a mini-truss in your hand. In cycling terms, it is the ultimate in gram shaving.
Introducing the Quantum EXO PT.
Think about it. What is the purpose of all that extra metal in the frame and sideplate of your fishing reel? If you take into account the forces a fishing reel can and will endure while under use, provide structural reinforcement to solidify the reel under those conditions, everything else is just unnecessary, dead weight in your hands. Why is it there? Because it's easier to manufacture and machine solid pieces than to cut away unnecessary excess.
Not only does its engineering make sense, its form is executed
One look and I immediately understood the design concept behind the Quantum EXO PT. The only question that remained? How did Quantum do engineering and manufacturing the guts of their new EXO skeleton reel?
In an era where most reels sport shallow spools, the EXO PT features a deep
spool shown here with 90yds of 15lb Seagar Tatsu Fluorocarbon.
Field Tests: For the Quantum EXO PT, it was trial with TackleTour by fire. The reels were not released until late in the fall of 2011 and I managed to acquire one just in time for my return trip to the Amazon. I immediately spooled it up with eighty two yards of fifty five pound (82yds/55lb) Daiwa Samurai Braid, threw it in my bag of reels for the Amazon and didn't look at it again until I had arrived in Brazil.
The only immediate downside? No left hand retrieve models -
Casting: In the Amazon, I paired the Quantum EXO PT up with a Phenix Recon PHX-C715H. Because this reel is right handed, its primary purpose was as one of my jigging reels because I can't work that fast pace of the wood chopper with my left arm. The jigs we use down in the Amazon for Peacock Bass are half ounce jigs, so lure weight was almost ideal to get a good, general feel for the EXO PT's casting ability.
To adjust the reel's brakes, you need to take the sideplate
off and adjust this dial.
My only other previous experience with a Quantum baitcaster was back in 2009 during our 2009 Year of the Crank High Speed Reel Shootout with the Tour Edition PT VI. That reel had an externally adjustable centrifugal brake system that performed fine, but the bulge in the reel's non-handle sideplate to accommodate the adjustment dial eventually grew uncomfortable for me during a full day's worth of use. The EXO PT features a modified system with an internally adjustable dial. That bulge in the sideplate is gone.
Access is provided via this switch on the bottom of the reel. (note some may
find this switch interferes with the way they hold the reel - such was the
case with our friend Pete Robbins when I loaned the reel to him in the
Range of adjustments on the EXO PT's brakes is pretty small. I set it at about two thirds towards maximum brake force and then just kind of left it there. At this setting it cast and pitched the half ounce Peacock Bass jigs just fine.
This reel features an eighty eight millimeter handle in a design made
popular by Daiwa - the swept handle.
Back at TT HQ, I took a more detailed look at the EXO PT's casting performance. I respooled it with fifteen pound test Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon (it held 90 yards of this line), and mounted it on my Megabass F6-68X4 Cover Hacking fishing rod. I pulled out our quarter and three sixteenths ounce test plugs and had at it.
The EXO PT features EVA knobs with holes drilled out providing color
highlights and a bit more gripping surface when wet.
The EXO PT can comfortably cast baits down to one quarter of an ounce good distances. Pitching performance seems limited to baits at about three eighths of an ounce and up. This is pretty typical of non-finesse reels. The sweet spot of this reel is with baits three eighths of an ounce and up as I was really able to wing that heavier casting plug pretty much wherever I wanted to put it. The EXO PT is actually a really fun reel to cast.
Each knob features an attractive endcap detailing.
Next Section: A hollowed out frame