just “Smoke” and Mirrors, possibly the best Quantum Baitcaster yet?
Total Score: 8.80 - EDITOR'S CHOICE!
Introduction: Quantum continues to introduce new baitcasters that
redefine the company when it comes to refinement. Last ICAST the company
garnered a great deal of press for their new Smoke reels which are designed to
be lightweight aluminum based baitcasters with all the bells and whistles, yet
retail for a very reasonable price. It all sounded too good to be true, and we
took a close look at this new series of reels to see if there really is more
than just smoke and mirrors here.
Smoke 100 Reel
Capacity (lbs / yds)
Measured Max. Drag
14.2 lbs measured
max drag (15lbs. published spec)
Is this the Quantum reel you have
been waiting for? The Smoke is designed to be an ultralight aluminum reel
years Quantum has introduced a number of quality reels and continues to separate
themselves from the pack when it comes to not just design but raw technologies.
They came out with their own lubrication, affectionately dubbed “Hot Sauce,” and
who can forget the big push to make use of ceramics. These and other design
elements have proven that Quantum is above all not afraid to dance to their own
beat when it comes to reel design. Something which I view as a very positive
thing considering that over the last ten years it seems the lines that make most
reel manufacturers distinct from one another has actually become blurred when it
comes to features and designs that used to set them markedly apart.
KVD introduces the Smoke reels to
us at ICAST 2010
Quantum pulled out all the stops with a display introducing their new Smoke
reels, the demo showed a number of their prototype reels on top of a platform
that was literally smoking with the surrounding water vapor. At first glance the
Smoke reels looked very clean in design and the reels featured a stealthy look
and feel with a matte finish and some serious porting throughout.
This reel also
felt lightweight in hand yet very solid, an oxymoron perhaps, but rather than
use magnesium or carbon based materials Quantum decided to go a different route
and see just how light they could get an aluminum based reel to be. They
introduced two different versions the 100 and 150 class reels with the major
difference being the gear ratios and the line capacity. The 150 class reels
features higher capacities of 165 yds. of 12lb. versus the 135 yds. of 12lb.
line on the standard SL100SPT.
The Smoke reels on display at
the show we procured both versions of the Smoke reels and inspected the
baitcasters in the lab. We found the construction on the reels to be extremely
refined, and the tolerances both inside and outside the reel were on par with
reels costing over a hundred dollars more. This is one of the benefits of using
a rigid material like aluminum, and the frame successfully holds the gearing
securely in place even under pressure. The materials used within the reel are
also very high quality, from the frame itself to the handle and drag star, which
both are aggressively styled yet make use of minimal amounts of material in an
effort to cut down on the overall weight of the reel.
In the lab our inspection of this
new reel begin, notice the cosmetic differences between the 100 and 150 class
The Smoke 100
and 150 reels feature the same basic profile but there are subtle differences in
the designs starting with a larger spool on the 150 models which is designed to
give anglers more capacity for applications requiring longer casts or harder
The handle and drag star feature
porting for weight reduction
The front face
of both these reels also differ from one another and the 100 class reels feature
a more traditional design with porting above and below the levelwind which help
give the reel an aggressive look but also effectively reduce some weight. The
150 removes the ported design of the top bar and adds a second metal crossbar
right above the levelwind. Below the levelwind instead of two separate ports
there is a single opening that runs across the entire span of the center frame.