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Reel Review


Making a Case for the Rotation : Quantum's Smoke S3 Inshore Spinning Reel


Date: 4/25/18
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Quantum
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.42 - GREAT

One of the Quantum reels that really caught our attention at ICAST 2017 was a black spinning reel with blue highlights. It is one of the newly re-engineered Series Three reels, but not built solely for freshwater. In fact, this reel is actually intended for inshore use, but of course, just because it's built for inshore does not mean we can't use it in freshwater applications. Introducing our look at Quantum's Smoke S3 Inshore Spinning reel.


Quantum Smoke S3 30 Inshore Spinning Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 8/150
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 18.4 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
21.5 - 35.5
Weight 8.3 oz
Handle Length 45 mm
Bearings 11+1
Line Guide Bearings One
Origin Made in China
MSRP $179.99

Introducing Quantum's Smoke S3 Inshore spinning reel.

Impressions: Quantum's new Smoke S3 Inshore spinning reel features the same, new uni-body construction as the previously reviewed, standard Smoke S3 spinning reel. The inshore version comes with anti-corrosive bearings, and the anti-reverse switch has been eliminated taking a way of possible of water intrusion and reducing the number of parts that need to be maintained.


The Smoke S3 Inshore has gone through the same re-engineering as the other reels in the Smoke lineup.


In hand, it feels nearly identical to the standard version with the only real, visual difference being the colored accents. The Smoke S3 Inshore features electric blue highlights instead of red.

It comes equipped with 12 total bearings.

Real World Tests: The Smoke S3 30 Inshore comes with a standard, deep spool with a rubber gasket around the inside to mitigate against line slip for those who prefer to fill their spinning reels without backing. I fall under this camp. That connection knot between backing and main line or even mainline to leader always ends up annoying me, so where possible, I just fill the spool straight up. For the S3 Inshore, I chose Phenix's new Hydra 8X Braid in 20lb test and paired it up with my Evergreen Brett Hite RCSS-71MH spinning rod.

The traditional deep spool features a rubber ring to help grab braid and eliminate the need for backing.

Casting: The Smoke S3 Inshore's bail is made of titanium and snaps back with a very reassuring action as you prepare for a cast. The spool has a metallic lip of unspecified metal and has an aggressive taper that results in smooth and consistent flow as your line flies off during a cast. Our previously reviewed standard Smoke S3 handled nylon monofilament very well. I chose to spool the Inshore with braid to get a sense as to how Quantum's design handles different line types. I was not disappointed.

I spooled right up with some Phenix Hydra 8x Braid.

Retrieve: Snap the bail over to begin your retrieve and the Smoke S3 Inshore responds with a very smooth retrieve and minimal to no wobble.

Quantum spent extra effort balancing the rotor and shaving weight on both the rotor and spool to minimize wobble. In real world applications, the results are there. The S3 Inshore feels very smooth.

If you take the reel out of the box and simply spin the handle as fast as you can with no resistance from the line, you will feel some wobble of course, but that's not a real world scenario.

The Inshore 30 comes with a 6.0:1 retrieve ratio.

Power: Quantum has also upped their game in the gear design of their new reels.

The Smoke S3 Inshore features machined aluminum gearing (versus cast aluminum) for just that added bit of rigidity. This detail together with the reel's unibody construction result in an efficient transfer of power as you crank the handle of the reel.

The uni-body construction hugs the gears securely.

Next Section: Retrieve down deep and drag performance









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