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Reel Review

Quantum brings Performance Tuning to a new height with the launch of the stunning Energy PTi

Date: 09/08/03
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Quantum
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.25 + Editor's Choice!

Introduction: Last year Quantum surprised anglers with the introduction of the advanced Catalyst PTi spinning reel. To build on the success of their new award winning design, Quantum breaks all the barriers of conventional spinning reel concepts with the unveiling of their most stunning reel to date, the new 2004 Energy PTi spinning reel.

Quantum Energy PTi 20 Specifications

Line Capacity (lb/yds) 4/180, 6/140, 8/100
Gear Ratio 5.17:1
Weight 9.6 oz.
Bearings 10
Additional Features TiMAG II system, aluminum body with hi-temp titanium deposition coating, screwless aluminum side cover, spare aluminum spool, Ceramic Magnum drag system, Low-friction Continuous Anti-Reverse II, Hot Sauce, TRU-Balance, coated Oversized Twist-Reducer line roller, machined aluminum power handle, soft contoured handle knob
MSRP $129.95

Impressions: The Energy PTi is hard to describe when you first set eyes upon it. JIP and I caught our first glimpse this reel at the 2003 ICAST show last July. But having the opportunity to examine this reel in depth, and field test the Energy was a genuine delight. The features and design of this reel was a result of a collaboration with Quantum's top engineers and their pro staff, which includes B.A.S.S. champion, Kevin VanDam. The best way to describe the first impression we had of the Energy PTi is that it is the souped up, tricked up, and pumped up version of the original Catalyst PTi. The team at Quantum pulled out all the stops to design a reel that is both feature rich and visually striking.


Introducing the stunning new Performance Tuned Quantum Energy PTi


Striking Design: Most noticeable is the attention-grabbing brightly colored finish of the new Energy PTi. This reel is just not another pretty face, but rather it represents the very latest use of innovative materials. While at first glance angler may perceive the Energy's finish to be holographic film, or paint, it is in reality a titanium deposition coating that is bonded to the lightweight aluminum frame via an extreme hi-temperature vacuum process. The result is prominent. Not only are no two reels exactly the same but the finish is breathtaking in outdoor light, with every angle of the reel shining a different color in the spectrum. While the reel looks like it is constructed of liquid metal the titanium finish is actually extremely hard, and much more durable and scratch resistant than the painted finish of traditional reels.


The Energy PTi features a extremely streamlined profile and lightweight construction


The Field Test: The Energy PTi looks like it should be displayed in a avid tackle collector's case, but make no mistake, this is performance tuned fish hauling machine. In our field tests we pitted the Energy PTi against largemouth bass and landlocked striped bass. To be consistent with our original Catalyst PTi tests we used the same St. Croix legend Elite rod and 8lb Triliene XL line.


Complete Testing Rig for Quantum Energy PTi Field Tests

Rod St. Croix Legend Elite (ES66MF)
Reel Quantum Energy PTi 20
Line 8 lb. Trilene XL


Simply the most unique finish on the market, the Energy PTi utilizes a hi-temp titanium deposition coating for increased abrasion and corrosion resistance

It takes a lot of innovation and gumption to design a reel that makes use of unconventional materials. But being "unconventional" is what Quantum Performance Tuning is all about. In addition to the inventive new hi-temp titanium deposition coating the Energy PTi sports cutting edge advancements including their molecular bonding Quantum "Hot Sauce
," customized polymer composite bearing cages, nickel-titanium bail wire, and distinctive ceramic drag washers. These components are definitely not the normal build of materials found on any other reel on the market. Why develop such new technologies? Quantum doesn't believe in "dressing" up reels to attract fisherman, and their commitment to the tournament scene is second to none. Instead the team at Quantum has focused on examining every detail of traditional reel component function, and seek to develop that module's performance. Often times the only way to further improve a component is to upgrade the materials used in it's assembly.


The finish is stunning and looks different from every angle, and seems to change with varying light conditions


Profile: The Energy PTi uses the same ThinLine construction that we first saw on the catalyst PTi. The reel itself is very slender, and features an attractive teardrop shape that is aerodynamic in appearance. The soft lines of this reel make it comfortable to hold as well as smaller and lighter in weight than most competitor offerings. The reel itself was already the perfect candidate for the advanced titanium coating because it features a "screwless" aluminum side cover. Overall the Energy PTi is very clean in design and easy on the eyes.


The Energy PTi is lightweight and easy to cast


Casting: The Energy PTi once again uses the MaxCast™ Longstroke® aluminum spool to maximize casting distances. To aid in casting the spool was designed with a very curved lip so that the actual reduction of angle allows line to flow more freely during the cast. Casting lures was easy. Distance and accuracy were slightly above average. The only thing that Quantum could have done to improve the spool design is to incorporate a hardened titanium lip into their aluminum spool, this would be useful if you are a fan of superlines. During our tests with the spooled Trilene XL the reel performed magnificent, with no line twists to report at all.


The spool is drilled for weight reduction and houses an advanced ceramic drag system


Retrieve: The original Catalyst PTi surprised us with a amazing level of silkiness in retrieve, and the Energy PTi astounded us! This is one super slick performer. Loaded with 10 Performance Tuned bearings the Energy PTi can actually thank the polymer stainless steel construction and the addition of Quantum's Hot Sauce for it's incredible feel. The entire case is perfectly balanced and high quality materials make the Energy PTi among the quietest reels we have ever tested. There is very little audible resonance produced by the reel's gear train. While the reel feel is as delicate as a ballet, the reel is capable of some serious power when you clamp down on the handle. The slight backplay we noticed in the original Catalyst PTi is not here. The original cast aluminum handle has been upgraded to a superior machined aluminum handle. This new power handle has more rigidity, translating to added cranking power.


If you want to make a case for detail in design then the titanium vacuum coating on the enlarged line roller takes the cake. Because the titanium deposition coating has abrasion resistant and anti corrosive properties it is an excellent addition to further enhance line handling.

The drag is able to be finely tuned for consistent fade free performance. The enlarged line roller benefits from the titanium vacuum coating (lower left)


Bail System:  The Energy PTi continues the Quantum tradition, utilizing the popular TiMAG II titanium bail system. This nickel-titanium bail feels soft but will never bend out of shape. In addition the bail return on the Energy PTi is a wonder in itself. A magnetic bail trip eliminates the need for any mechanical hinges or springs for a much smoother and long lasting performance. When cranking the bail trips it easily snaps back into place without the harsh mechanical shock exhibited in various competitor reels.


While some traditional tackle buffs may be hesitant to adopt the TiMAG II system a lifetime warranty will further ensure that this is one component that you never need to be worried about.


A Striper gazes at the Energy PTi after being beaten by the reel's cranking power and superior drag performance


Drag: The field test of the Energy PTi's ceramic drag system put the reel head to head against some 20 inch Stripers. These fish are notorious for snapping up a bucktail or ripbait and running so hard that hooks often become badly mangled. When hard fighting fish run the best thing to do is to make sure that your drag protects your line and lure while maintaining pressure on the fish. When traditional drags become overused they build up excessive heat resulting in sloppy drag performance. To combat this Quantum uses a combination of metallic and ceramic washers that not only dissipate heat more efficiently but also drastically reduce drag wear. As an added value even the spare aluminum spool makes use of the same high quality ceramic drag system.

During our tests we hooked into a sizable fish from shore that proceeded to make pressing dives away from shore. If your fishing on a boat it is often easy to pivot yourself or the boat in the direction of the fish, but on shore you represent a rather fixed axis. It is during these situations that fade free drag performance is crucial. While our fish fought admirably it eventually tired and succumbed to the constant drag pressure the Energy PTi afforded, making me a true believer in Quantum's use of ceramics.


Zander marvels at the cranking power and solid drag performance the Energy PTi exhibited while shore fishing for Stripers


Durability: The overall construction of the Energy PTi is very well thought out and use of the titanium vacuum coating on the frame and line roller further add to the durability and corrosion resistance of this reel. In the last 2 years Quantum has made leaps in terms of quality control and product refinement. Quantum's slogan is "Tools for Fisherman," and that is exactly what this reel is...a reliable tool that anglers can count on when in the field. While Quantum may utilize a lot of exotic materials, the formula that they have put together is engineering tested, pro staff validated, and TackleTour approved. 



Quantum Energy PTi Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Excellent construction and use of innovative materials make the Energy PTi just as durable as it is attractive. Very nice use of titanium coating to create a unique new look and enhanced abrasion and corrosion resistance 9
Performance The reel performed excellent in all tests. Both smooth and powerful the Energy PTi is a real winner 9.5
Price At a MSRP of 129.95 is still well below the price of other premium priced reels on the market. Proving that it is possible to expect premium features at prices that most anglers can afford 10
Features The Energy PTi is chock full of features. From exotic materials to redesigned bail and drag systems the Energy PTi delivers features that actually do improve fish catching performance 9
Design (Ergonomics) A lightweight performer that feels great to cast and retrieve with all day. The titanium finish is cool to the touch and comfortable for long days of fishing. It does fingerprint though, so make sure to wipe of your reel after a long day in the field 9
Application A excellent reel for freshwater applications. The Energy PTi 20 is the perfect size for largemouth bass fishing 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Excellent Build Quality L Wish the spool had a titanium lip
J Stunning finish is unique and  functional  
J 10 bearings and ultra smooth  
J Ceramic drag performance  
J We love Hot Sauce!  
J Price is excellent  

Conclusion:  There is now a good reason to add that new reel to your collection...the new Energy PTi. This reel is a stunning balance of form and function. There is simply no other spinning reel on the market that offers so much in terms of advanced features, components, and exotic materials, all incorporated into a reel with such good looks that it ought to belong in a tackle showcase. If you haven't tried a Quantum reel before then you're in for a real treat, this Performance Tuned wonder is sure to win the hearts of many an angler, just as it has become an instant favorite for many professional anglers on the tournament trail. The Energy PTi is a deserving recipient of the TackleTour Editor's Choice Award, making it the only spinning reel to capture this honor this year, and if you want a reel that offers reliable performance, advanced refinement, and jaw dropping good looks you need not look any further than the Energy PTi.










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