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Reel Review

Not just “Smoke” and Mirrors, possibly the best Quantum Baitcaster yet? (continued)


One final 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


Real World Test: 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.


Casting: 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


During the 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


Retrieve: 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 Amazon…


Ready to make use the 7.0:1 ratio for some ripbait fishing


But Ripbaits 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

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