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Reel Review

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


The Smoke’s ceramic PT Drag system had held up well and continued to deliver plenty of pressure during the extended battle. Throughout the fight JIP noticed that the drag released line smoothly in consistent increments, never shuddering, which helped keep pressure on the fish and reduced his ability to shake off the treble hooks even after leaping out of the water twice. Only if all our drag field tests could be so exciting.


The Smoke reel has a small footprint and is very comfortable to palm


Ergonomics: The 100 class Smoke reels weigh in at 6.2oz. and the 150 class reels weigh in at just .6oz. heavier. Just how light is this? Compare the Quantum Smoke to the Shimano Core 100MG, which makes use of a magnesium frame for weight reduction, weighs in at 6.1oz., and the competing lightweight offering from Abu Garcia, the Revo premier which was previously touted as the world’s lightest aluminum reel which weighs in at a very respectable 6.7oz.. that is .5oz. more than the 100 model and just .1oz. less than the higher capacity 150 model. 


The reel's frame provides generous access to the spool


Quantum has done a great job making the Smoke very lightweight and yet has not sacrificed any structural integrity whatsoever. In fact I felt like the Smoke was just as solid as reels costing much more from competing manufacturers. Quantum used computer guided precision in machining the frame on the Smoke reels, and it shows. It is also impressive to see what lengths the company went to in which to reduce overall weight yet maintain frame and sideplate rigidity.


The EVA handles are sculpted for comfort and leverage while cranking


I was also impressed by the reel’s handle which is extremely straightforward and features a skeletal design yet looks stunning alongside the ninja star styled drag star. On previous Quantum reels I have complained that the drag star, while very aggressive looking, was just too sharp and didn’t feel comfortable to adjust when pressed against your thumb in higher pressure settings. Quantum has addressed this with the Smoke by rounding off the edges of the tips ever so slightly, this gives the drag star the same aggressive look but makes it much more ergonomic.


The handle may feature a skeletal design but is very rigid


The Quantum Smoke feels great in hand not only because it is light in overall weight but because the reel is ergonomically shaped in such a way that it feels very natural to palm. The matte finish on the Smoke is also comfortable to hold even when wet and I really liked the EVA handle grips which are sculpted to be easy to hold in all conditions. These knobs held up very well over time and even after a week of some seriously intense fishing in the Amazon they showed absolutely no signs of deterioration.


The reel is compact so it sits low on traditional Fuji reel seats


As with previous Quantum reels the Smoke’s ACS braking system is externally adjustable allowing anglers to make very quick and accurate adjustments on the fly. When spool access is necessary Quantum still makes it easy with a sliding locking switch under the levelwind, simply move it to the side and slide off the sideplate to get access to the spool.


The non-handle sideplate has a dial for adjusting the ACS cast control system

Next Section: Blowing Smoke or the real deal?









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