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Reel Review

 

Solid, Smooth, Refined, Quantum's New Smoke S3 Spinning Reel (continued)

 

Power: The internal gears are made of a hardened aluminum alloy that responds well to the leverage you gain from the 45 millimeter handle. There's really only so much power you need or can discern while using 10lb test line, but the Smoke S3 Spinning reel performed fine with test baits like medium diving cranks and some buzzbaits.


A look at the reel's elegant, machined handle and EVA knob.

Drag: The Smoke S3 Spinning reel's drag stack looks like it came out of a baitcaster more than a spinning reel. It's a mix of carbon matrix and aluminum washers with one felt like washer (the more traditional material in a spinning reel's drag) that feels like it's left in there for nostalgia's sake. Regardless of the intent, this drag composition recipe works well for very smooth and consistent performance.


The reel's drag stack is reminiscent of a baitcasting reel.

Design & Ergonomics: Quantum's Smoke S3 Spinning reel is available in three sizes. The 25 model tipped our scales at 8.1 ounces which sounds like a lot, but in spinning reel weight, its actually pretty good. Matched on our Invoker IVK610MLXS, it was a very comfortable combo to fish. I particularly like the handle length on this reel and found the EVA knob pretty comfortable. Knit picking a bit on the design, I'd have preferred something a bit more decorative for the fastening drag disk on top of the spool.


The deep spool features a rubber ring at the center to help prevent line slip.

One thing I found interesting about this reel was the rubber ring around its spool provided to help those who like to use braided line on your reels. Thanks to this rubber ring, you don't have to pre-load your reel with backing to prevent line slip and the dreaded phantom drag issue. But this ring also makes it easier to spool nylon monofilament and fluorocarbon line onto the spool simply because the surface is non-slip.


If you enjoy backreeling rather than relying your drag (or both), you can do that with the Smoke S3 Spinning reel via this switch under the rotor
.

Price & Applications: Priced at $159.99 the Smoke S3 Spinning Reel's competition is the likes of Abu Garcia's Revo SX, Daiwa's Tatula LT, and Shimano's Ultegra spinning reels. Stiff competition to be certain, but the Smoke S3 Spinning reel held up well in our tests. It is available in a number of different sizes (15, 25, 30, 40) and can be used in a wide range of applications.


My only real criticism of this reel is the ho-hum nature of this dial at the top of the spool. Given the reel's price point, I expect a little more effort here.

Ratings:

Quantum Smoke S3 25 Spinning Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This reel is put together very well 9
Performance Solid performer 8.5
Price A very hotly contested price point but the Smoke S3 Spinning reel holds its own 7.5
Features Uni-body construction, hardened aluminum gears, multi-disc drag, Quantum PT bearings 8
Design (Ergonomics) Comfortable length handle, nice and light 7.5
Application Four different sizes available to support a wide range of applications 8

Total Score

8.08
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Available in 4 different sizes - A more decorative reel cap would be nice
+ Unibody construction  
+ Titanium bail wire  
+ Bearing supported line roller  


The Smoke S3 Spinning reel is a really solid, smooth, and refined reel.

Conclusion: With each passing year, the ability to discern between the different tiers of spinning reels becomes increasingly difficult. Quantum has just made that task even harder with their new Smoke S3 Spinning reel.

 

Featuring a uni-body construction, this seemingly benign design feature translates into a really solid, smooth, and refined reel at perhaps the most competitive price point for spinning reels.

 

Reels at this price point literally walk the line between budget and high end. The lines are blurring and it's exciting to see Quantum making these strides.

 

Looking for a Quantum Smoke S3 25 Spinning Reel?

Try TackleWarehouse


 

 

   

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