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ICAST 2011 Coverage

Ardent's new "Edge"... Drag Tracking Technology


Date: 7/18/11
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Manufacturer: Ardent
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Ardent is a rare breed, a reel company that designs and manufacturers reels right here in America. This ICAST the domestic brand showcased their new lineup of Edge baitcasters which possesses a new drag tracking design that was probably the most innovative new baitcasting reel feature at the show.




The Edge: Ardent's new lineup of Edge reels feature a very compact and ergonomic profile which felt comfortable when palmed. While all the Edge reels share the same basic profile they differ in terms of specification.


Ardent's highest end Edge reel is the "Edge Tournament"


At the very top of the line is the Edge Elite which features a carbon fiber style look on the frame and some real carbon fiber components including the carbon fiber handle, drag star, and drag washers.


The new Edge reels feature a compact profile


Another neat little detail is a line indicator that is placed in the center of the carbon fiber handle. This dial allows anglers to mark exactly what pound test line they have spooled on the reel. This is especially useful for tournament  anglers deploying multiple reels for different applications.



The most innovative feature is the Drag Tracking Technology


But the most interesting element on the Edge reels is not on the outside but on the inside, this is Ardent's new "Drag Tracking Technology." With conventional reels as line is peeled away the spool is locked to the main drive gear and both turn together as line is pulled from the spool. With Ardent's new Drag Tracking Technology the levelwind drive gear is locked to the main drive gear while the reel is in fish fighting drag mode, this causes the levelwind to move in concert with the rotation of the spool and keeps the levelwind eyelet aligned with the line position on the spool.


The levelwind gear is locked to the main gear


This unique tracking action eliminates any angle of the line from the spool to the level wind eyelet and as a result line stress is reduced as is line jump caused by sharp angles. This innovative feature gives anglers smoother more consistent drag pressure and reduces the line stress that can cause breakage when fighting lunkers.


In the center of the Edge Tournament's carbon handle is a cleverly implemented line indicator. Notice the drag star is also constructed from carbon fiber


The Edge Elite features 12+1 ABEC stainless steel bearings, a helical aircraft aluminum drive gear, a 6-pin centrifugal cast control system, and weighs in at only 8.7oz. The new reel is available in both left and right hand retrieve, 6.5:1 and 7.2:1 retrieve ratios, and will retail for $329 dollars.


The Edge Inshore reel features a white finish...


There are a complete range of Edge reels and the company is also introducing a saltwater version called the Edge Inshore. This reel features the same low-profile with a white finish and 8+1 ABEC stainless steel bearings. Like the other Edge reels the Inshore features a lightweight aluminum frame and DTT. The Inshore also comes with a high capacity spool to deal with long casts and hard fighting fish.


...and has the same sleek profile as the other Edge reels but with a high capacity spool


The Edge Inshore series is available with all the same retrieve ratios as the Elite reel but adds a powerful 5.1:1 gear ratio for extra power. The Inshore reel is rated for saltwater and will retail for $229.


There is even a Fishouflage model


In total there are six Edge reels and another one that caught our attention was the Edge Fishouflage model which makes use of the fish patterned camouflage. This particular Edge reel makes use of 6+1 bearings and weighs in at 8.4oz. and retails for only $189.00. With many more camo rods hitting the market this reel looks like it will have plenty of sticks to pair with this season.  


A look underneath and you can see the enlarged gear box which holds the helical cut drive gear


All of the Edge reels come backed with a 3 year warranty and I really like the fact that Ardent is doing what many other reel manufactures don't, which is releasing both right and left hand retrieve models right out of the gate.


Tom Brooks shows us the new Ardent Edge baitcasters


The Edge reels feature a much smaller profile than Ardent's previous reels and the use of cutting edge materials and finishes give this reel a unique character, but it is the innovative Drag Tracking Technology that gives the exciting new reels their distinctive performance. Still made right here in the U.S.A the new Edge line is the most exciting reels to come from Ardent to date and should be a strong contender in the baitcast market this season. 









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