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mumichog

Big Ice Fishing Sale at KTP, and a Disappointing Note on the New Abu Orra SX Spinning Reels

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For the hardcore Ice dudes - Kittery Trading Post had their wooden tip-ups at 30% off starting today, ice shelters 20%, ice lures, ice line, augers, etc. all slashed also.  The Heritage Lakers were only $16 or so on sale, that's a  mighty nice price for those fine, Maine made traps.  They had a lot of ice gear left so it wasn't a baloney sale where someone advertises great prices and all you find is junk.  Anyway, I was thinking open water...



 



And wanted to check out the brand new Abu Garcia Orra SX spinning reel.  Eh, nothing special.  Especially when it was held up against the Shimano Symetre they sell for the same $99 price.  The Orra was heavy, not particularly smooth and made a light whooshing sound while cranked.  It didn't look or feel very tough.  I'm as tired as anyone of Shimano delivering more bang for the buck than everyone else up (except Daiwa at certain $ values) and down the price spectrum, but what can you do?  As I said to my friend - don't the executives at Abu bother to crank and hold the competition before launching their NEW reels?  There's nothing special about the Orra SX, so why should anyone hand over $100 for one.  What a bummer, I'm afraid the spinning reel market is headed for much higher prices to get a good reel...


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What's wrong with Shimano giving more bang for the buck. In my opinion they make the best reels out there. Fishing the Stella SW's is sheer pleasure.

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Oh, make no mistake - I'm a big Shimano fan.  Every one of my regular use reels are Shimano, including 2 of the new Stradic FJ's which are dynamite lightweight reels.  Wouldn't trade mine for anything short of a Stella.



 



I wasn't so much picking on Shimano as shaking my head in continued amazement that they are so consistently ahead of the pack both in design and value.  Daiwa (really like their Coastal Series) comes closest in more premium reels, but their inexpensive spinning reels - under $70-$80 - are not as good or reliable as the similarly priced Shimano stuff.  It would be nice to see someone come up with an exceptional line of reels to compete with Shimano and generate some pricing pressure on the steadily climbing prices of Shimano reels over $130.  Daiwa just hasn't gotten there for some reason.  Maybe because Shimano is a marketing giant on top of being the leading producer.



 



Here and there you see some good reels, like the Quantum Cabos but they don't reflect that line as a whole which is largely disappointing.  Okumas are weaklings, and the new Penns, like the Battle and Sargus, while appearing to offer decent quality remain unproven over time.  The Penn Slammer series is good, but a little heavy like the Bocas, and don't feel like a contemporary, leading edge spinning reel as much as a redesigned, fined tuned version of the SS series.



 



And that's it.  Tica?  Some guys rave but not many.  Pfluegers are iffy, like most Abu spinning reels, not surprising since they are owned by the same company - Pure Fishing, as is Penn which makes me wonder about how good their new reels will turn out to be in the long run.  Shakespeare?  Mitchell?  More Pure Fishing brands that no one takes seriously for reels.  See a trend here?


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Diawa Emblem pro is a very nice reel for a little more than price point you mentioned, it can be found for 139- and is169 retail- great reel. Casts a mile and has 35 lbs of drag.

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I fish a couple of different spinners from Abu, their Black Cardinal series from a few years back as well as their newer Soron reels. I also fish Diawa, and have a few Shimanos as well.

I've not had any problems with my Abu spinners at all. I did have the bail arm on my 806 come apart after 5 years of heavy use, but it's an $8 part that I can replace. I tend to fish these reels a lot, and I have hauled in a lot of fish with them.

If they get dunked, I take them apart and re-lube. I've even gone so far as to not use any grease in my 804, as an experiment, using instead some high end sythetic spray lubricant (wow, what a difference).

Anyhow, they are very good reels and I would recommend them highly.

The specs for the the Orra do not seem too bad at all.

 

9 corrosion resistant bearings

Carbon matrix drag, which by the way is a very good material, and works well.

Brass gears

Stainless steel main shaft

 

I too tend to shy away from reels that I try out at the store, and they don't feel good, or make some noise. I will usually ask to have another one out of the box and try that one out, just to make sure the floor

model isn't a dud for whatever reason.

 

Maybe this reel isn't as good as the others that I have, only way to really find out is to use one on some fish.

 

 

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I liked the blue Abu Soron, seemed like a solid reel - not sure why they dumped it, seemed like it was popular.  As were those older Cardinals, I've seen many positive comments on that series.



 



If the Orra is a replacement for the Soron, the first impression is lacking.  Pure Fishing (Abu Garcia, Penn, Pflueger, Berkley, Mitchell, Shakespeare, and more) seems to be homogenizing their reels across brands, not to any great distinction that I can see yet.


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Yeah, that's going to be a bummer if their quality is going down, no need for that in this day & age, especially with so many other good reels out there competing against them.

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I liked the blue Abu Soron, seemed like a solid reel - not sure why they dumped it, seemed like it was popular.  As were those older Cardinals, I've seen many positive comments on that series.

 

If the Orra is a replacement for the Soron, the first impression is lacking.  Pure Fishing (Abu Garcia, Penn, Pflueger, Berkley, Mitchell, Shakespeare, and more) seems to be homogenizing their reels across brands, not to any great distinction that I can see yet.

 

Maybe because ABU, bought garcia, creating abu garcia, which was later bought by the Jarden group, which also owns brands like Coleman, ex offiicio, Marmot, Volkl and K2 Skis.

Included in the K2 deal was K2 previous acquisitions of Penn, Shakespere, Berkley and ugly stick.

 

So yeah in essence you will see a homogenization of all the brands at all price points etc. Sharing resources, factory space, raw materials, R & D, marketing, patents and intellectual knowledge.

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