just “Smoke” and Mirrors, possibly the best Quantum Baitcaster yet?
difference is found on the handle sideplate beneath the 150 reel’s drag star
where anglers will find the metal disc drilled around the entire circumference
of the flange whereas the 100 features a solid piece of metal. The Smoke 100
looks more like an Energy PT V1 casting reel while the Smoke 150 looks more like
a Energy PT SS casting reel. Overall the styling cues are slight, yet are enough
to help anglers quickly identify the reels from one another.
A closer look at the inside of the
centrifugal based ACS cast control system
To test the Quantum Smoke reels we went bass fishing on our local waters
including the California Delta and Clear Lake, but to really stress the reels we
decided to add them to our list of baitcasters to bring to the Amazon on our
hunt for trophy peacock bass. Throughout the tests we fished both 100 and 150
class reels and used a variety of lines including mono, fluorocarbon and braid.
Our field tests crossed over the entire spectrum of applications including
finesse fishing, ripbaits and cranks and even massive topwater prop-baits.
The Smoke reel makes use of an
aluminum frame and sideplates yet is only 6.2oz.
The Smoke reels are good casters, especially with the heavier stuff. The reels
make use of the proven ACS cast control system which is an externally adjustable
centrifugal system. I’ve found that this system is good for the complete range
of weights and in free mode really allows anglers to get the distance they want
on larger heavier baits. Just make sure to properly feather that spool as “free”
mode really is just that, and if you are not careful you’re going to waste
valuable fishing time picking out nasty backlashes.
A closer look at the main gearing
field tests we found the Smoke good for casting weightless rigged plastics and
excellent for casting heavier baits including big cranks, ripbaits and swimbaits.
The 105 class reels proved to be superb at handling large Luhr Jenson
Woodchoppers in the Amazon and the ability make changes to the centrifugal
system without dissembling the reel is a major plus.
Sandwiched within the main gear is
the ceramic drag system
During testing I really spent a lot of time fishing applications that could make
use of the 7.0:1 gear ratio including fishing ripbaits and while the reel did a
great job bringing back the bait quickly and imparting the right action on the
lures the fish just were not cooperating. All I seemed to get into on this test
when fishing ripbaits was small 1-2lb. largemouth. Thank goodness we had the
Ready to make use the 7.0:1 ratio
for some ripbait fishing
and fast moving reaction baits are not the only benefit of a high speed retrieve
and I also used the reel for pitching and wound back lures through dead water
quicker so I could recast into the zone. The only issue that I had with the
retrieve was some noticeable play in the handle when rocked back and forth. This
didn’t affect performance while fishing but it is a minor gripe nonetheless.
The Smoke reel proved to be a good
overall caster, and very good for heavier lures