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Reel Review

Casting without even touching the line, using Quantum's Hypercast Ultra

Date: 1/5/04
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Quantum
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.0 + TT Innovation Award

Introduction: Wouldn't it be terrific to be able to cast accurately without even touching the line on a spinning reel? With the 2004 Quantum Hypercast Ultra spinning reel, it's possible no matter what position the bail is located at. This unique reel features an innovative design that makes casting a spinning reel easier and faster then ever before.

Quantum Hypercast Ultra (HPX20) Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 4/210, 6/140, 8/115
Gear Ratio 5.2:1
Weight 12.6 oz
Bearings 4
Additional Features Hypercast Trigger system, Continuous Anti-Reverse, Aluminum Long Stroke spool, Oversized Twist-Reducer line roller, TRU-Balance rotor design, Spare aluminum spool
Price $39.95

Impressions: After taking the new Quantum Hypercast Ultra out of the box, the first noticeable difference on this spinning reel is a lever that protrudes from the arm of this reel. Before reading the specifications of the reel in the catalog, I thought Quantum had brought the lever brake system that's being used all over Asia. But after closer examination I discovered the Hypercast Ultra utilizes this lever as part of Quantum's exciting new Hypercast Trigger System. Aside from the innovative casting system, the HPX20 also features 4 bearings, Continuous Anti-Reverse, aluminum Long Stroke spool, an oversized "Twist Reducer" line roller, a spare aluminum spool, and a TRU-Balance rotor design.  The Quantum Hypercast Ultra comes in 3 sizes of 10, 20, and 30 to meet your freshwater needs.


Quantum's new Hypercast Ultra sports a dexterous casting system


Hypercast Trigger System: Before the arrival of the Hypercast Trigger system, there was the patented Snapshot Trigger that demonstrated similar functions. With the Snapshot Trigger system you are able to cast without ever touching the line, but you lost the luxury of constant anti-reverse because of the self-centering bail that brings the trigger back to your finger's reach every time. The new innovative Hypercast Trigger system fixes this problem and makes using this feature even easier than before. With a short reach with your index finger, simply snap the trigger back in any bail position and the patented Firing Pin will grab hold of the fishing line until you release the Hypercast Trigger lever on the cast.


The Hypercast Trigger system is easy to use. Just press the lever and you're on your way to casting without ever touching the line


Complete Rig for Hypercast Ultra Tests

Rod AiRRUS Co-Matrix (AS661M)
Reel Quantum Hypercast Ultra (HPX20)
Line 8 lb Sufix DNA


Real World Tests: With the HPX20 spooled up and rigged, this is a great size for most freshwater game fish like bass, trout, steelhead, and even landlocked stripers using braided line top shot with mono or fluorocarbon. While targeting these popular species of fish, we tested the Hypercast Ultra's standard reel performance and put the Hypercast Trigger system through the paces.


Casting: Casting is what the Hypercast Ultra was designed for. With the new Hypercast Trigger system, casting is done without ever touching the line and it's easy to use, fast, and best of all, it functions in any bail position. When first testing the HPX20, the reel performed flawlessly, with a snap of the lever the bail flipped open while the Firing Pin grabbed the line each and every time. When released, the line was let loose and the fishing line flowed smoothly with every cast. After about 3 months of continuous use, the bail did become a little sticky when the lever was pulled. But after cleaning and lubricating the bail mechanism, the problem disappeared. During the cast there isn't much time delay between letting go of the lever and when the line is 100% free. But for someone who is fishing with the reel the first time, it will take a few practice casts before you can acquire those far-flung casts.


The patented Firing Pin holds the fishing line before you make the cast


Speaking of distant casts, the Hypercast Ultra incorporates the Long Stroke spool which features a good diameter and height. After getting the right timing to release the lever, casting far isn't a problem with the Quantum HPX20 rigged with 8lb test monofilament.


Retrieve: When cranking in fish, the Hypercast Ultra feels good, but of course it's not nearly as smooth as the PT series reels with many ceramic bearings that I'm so accustomed to testing. The bearings run accurate and fast, but when comparing to the ceramic PT bearings, the tolerances aren't as fine in the Hypercast Ultra. But for a reel that's under $40, it delivers an exceptional retrieve. With 4 bearings, a balanced rotor design, and even line lays, the HPX20 offers a respectable retrieve and will get the job done in most conditions.


The guts of the HPX20. Precise metal gears are housed in a rugged plastic body


When matched with the right rod and balanced with the lure at the end of the line, the Hypercast Ultra is still quite comfortable, even with the larger frame. The reel uses a very nice rubber handle knob, one you would normally find on higher end Quantum spinning reels, and a nice grip that's welcoming to any hand on the retrieve.


Say hello to the constant anti-reverse system! Yes, even with a casting lever system, the Hypercast Ultra can still make use of the anti-reverse.  With this reel there is a small amount of back-play, but still provides a functioning system to lock the rotor from turning back like the self-centering or three position systems, making it easy to deliver a solid hook set.


Drag: For most fishing applications the drag on the HPX20 works well for a reel of this level. Using drag discs of a decent size, it starts nice as fish runs, but if you hook into a large fish that will run for an extended period of time like we did when we battled a big landlocked striper, the drag system didn't hold up like a ceramic drag would have. We always like to take the tackle to the extremes and normally one wouldn't be using this sized reel for large stripers. Overall the drag performance faired well.


1) Hypercast Trigger lever mechanism in the non-casting state 2) Lever pressed, which raises a cylinder 3) Cylinder comes in contact with the part shown inside the rotor which triggers the Firing Pin & bail 4) The drag washers


Profile: The profile of the Quantum Hypercast Ultra in the 20 size isn't what you're used to seeing in today's spinning reels. Because of the Hypercast Trigger system, the HPX20 cannot take on Quantum's ThinLine design. Instead it uses a larger plastic body frame to hold the lever casting mechanism and to balance out the entire design. Even though this spinning reel has a slightly larger body, Quantum still made the Hypercast Ultra as slick and ergonomic as possible with the curved lever and a comfortable flat grip. To have such a luxury to cast without even touching the line, the size of the reel is sacrificed, but for that added weight most anglers would welcome this innovative design.


Quantum Hypercast Ultra (HPX20) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Built solid using decent materials that'll keep the reel running, but uses a rugged plastic housing 8
Performance Hypercast system makes casting easy and fast.  Casting without touching the line is very nice.  The retrieve is good and the drag can take on big fish that doesn't run for a long time 8
Price Reels made today look good and sport many features that anglers definitely enjoy having.  This reel comes with a neat casting mechanism at a decent price 8
Features Aside from the other design features, the greatest part is the Hypercast Trigger system and it works well and is very handy 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Due to the trigger system, the reel weighs more and has a larger frame, but as you can tell it has ergonomic features where your hands come in contact with.  The larger plastic body is something we have to sacrifice for a neat functional design 7.5
Application This freshwater reel works great for many game fish, especially for those who don't want to hassle with the bail position and using your finger to grab the line for every cast 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Innovative casting design! L Larger frame size due to Hypercast Trigger system
J Cast without touching the line L It'll take a few casts to get used to releasing the line with the Firing Pin
J Open the bail in any position  
J Constant Anti-Reverse  

Conclusion: We like to see a company that's constantly changing and improving their fishing products. For 2004 Quantum has released hundreds of new products for us tackle junkies to indulge on. To start off the new year we got to test the new Hypercast Ultra, a spinning reel that sports an innovative casting system that allows you to toss your bait without ever touching the fishing line. The Hypercast Trigger system uses an easy to reach casting lever that opens the bail in any position which is connected to the patented Firing Pin that takes hold of the fishing line. The mechanism is easy to use and allows capable casting.  While the other components aren't of the premium quality you might find in Quantum's high end products, they did hold up well under normal use, and a great value once you figure in the low cost of this reel. If easy, fun, and trouble-free casting is what you're looking for from your spinning outfit, then you must add the Quantum Hypercast Ultra to your arsenal of fishing tackle, it is incredibly rare to see such a blend of innovation and value into a reel under 40 dollars! If this is just the start of what Quantum has in store for anglers this season, it's going to be an exciting year indeed!









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