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Reel Review


Fish an ultralight reel with big guns, the newly redesigned Quantum Xtralite (continued)

Drag: With ultralight reels we donít expect out of scale deadly drag pressure. Trout hit hard and run fast, and ultralight anglers use very thin lines, so a smooth, easy starting drag is more important than overall stopping pressure. The Quantum Xtralite uses a stack of metal, felt, metal, felt washers that produced the smoothness we were looking for in both the lab and on the field. The drag pressure in the lab when fully tightened down produced a hefty 4.96 pounds. Thatís plenty drag pressure for applications that require two to six pound test lines.


A combination of metal and felt washers are used to achieve a consistent and smooth running drag


Ergonomics: Sporting 6 bearings, the Xtralite XPS05 is one of the lightest ultralight reels weíve reviewed to date: Bass Pro Microlite Supreme weighs in at 9.1 ounces, TICA Cetus SB500 at 6.3 ounces, and our test subject came in at only 6.1 ounces. The XPS sits well balanced with our TICA rod and is great to cast all day. As one might expect, the wooden knob can be cold to grip during those freezing cold high country mornings. In fact, during our field tests at up to 9000 feet in elevation, it actually snowed night before we arrived. Fortunately, in all other, warmer conditions the wooden handle knob was very comfortable to hold onto all day.


This attractive reel is small and lightweight, great for all day usage


Durability: After a long weekend of trout fishing in the Eastern Sierras we concluded that this little reel holds up pretty darn well in all types of conditions. The bail, although difficult to turn over at first, never failed out in the field. All other components including the attractive hardened maple wood knob held up without any wear-and-tear or problems. Between fishing holes we did toss our rod and reel into sand and dirt covered surface of the truck bed, and though it did scratch the finish of our reel no chipping or flaking occurred. If properly taken care of, the finish this reel should endure many a fishing trip.


The reel broken down to its components for inspection


Application: Ultralight anglers will surely like the Xtralite due to its size, light weight, and high level of performance. Use this Quantum ultralight reel in streams, rivers, and lakes, and since it comes with two spools you can always spool them with different pound test lines. This tiny reel is great for anglers targeting trout of all sizes, crappie, sunfish, and even as a drop shot reel for bass or other finesse fishing techniques.


A great reel for backcountry trout fishing



Quantum Xtralite (XPS05) Ratings (?/10)


Though built out of a graphite body, itís built solid with accurate and balanced components. The wood handle knob is hardened and nicely finished for durability


Great overall performance in all categories. The bail return does take a break in period


A good price considering the features and performance


A lot of features packed into a tiny package

Design (Ergonomics)

This reel is lighter than many others that sport the same features. Though the knob is cold to hold onto on freezing days, itís great for all other times


An awesome ultralight reel for trout, crappie, sunfish, etc. Excellent for those who backpack and fish pristine streams for trout


Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Lightweight L Knob can be cold under freezing temperatures
J Casts great L Bail trip requires break-in period
J Fluid retrieves  

Completely redesigned, the Quantum Xtralite XPS series is something for which ultra light anglers to look forward. This reel is now even more attractive than before and has even greater performance than ever. The Xtralite XPS05 is a great casting reel with a smooth retrieve and is a pleasure to fish all day when pursuing trout and other species of fish that require an ultralight application. This reel will be available around November 2005 and is a piece of equipment all ultralight anglers should consider for their next trout opener.











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