hanksboat

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S series opinions

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I'm trying to gear up for reservoir striper fishing.  Got a nice book by John Sawyer on SC reservoir striper fishing and it was recommended to get some Abu 6500's and use 30 lb mono for downline, livebait, or trolling with a 7ft striper ugly stik.  I purchased a bunch of the 6500 "S" series reels new for $44 ea, which is perfect for me money-wise, but I am wondering if I am going to be disappointed in the 6 reels I got.  They have 11lbs and 5.1:1 ratios.  Are they just crap and i should sell them? I can't afford 6 C3 6500's with the 15lbs drag- even used they're going for $80-$100ea.  Should I just get a bunch of $20 jigmasters or misc Penn dock bait chunkers or stick with the Chinese Garcia "S" reels?

Edited by hanksboat

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You aren’t going to need 11 or 15 pounds of drag to catch bass from a boat - and you’ll get years of use out of the $44 Abu reels you purchased :) It was the youtube generation that needed something ‘techy’ to make themselves feel knowledgeable that started the whole ‘how many pounds of drag does your shiny gold reel put out?’ thing. Yes, drag is important - no, you won’t use 5 or 6# of drag normally....and there’s nothing in the reservoir that you won’t be able to stop immediately with 10# of drag.

 

Somehow we all managed to catch millions of big fish before the first manufacturer started publishing the max drag on their reels :) 

 

And I’m a big fan of 5.1:1 gear ratios for bait fishing or trolling....stronger and will generally last longer. Don’t need high speed gears for that kinda stuff :)

 

TimS

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Thanks Tim, exactly the confidence booster I was looking for!  I'm ready to get out and start fishing instead of spending money on equipment. I bought an old jigmaster for $25 to have as another trolling rod or to use dabbling in some saltwater fishing and I must say, that thing is pretty cool. It doesn't have level wind but does have a nice clicker. Do you think they're practical reels for a variety of bait/trolling or too clunky?

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1 min ago, hanksboat said:

Thanks Tim, exactly the confidence booster I was looking for!  I'm ready to get out and start fishing instead of spending money on equipment. I bought an old jigmaster for $25 to have as another trolling rod or to use dabbling in some saltwater fishing and I must say, that thing is pretty cool. It doesn't have level wind but does have a nice clicker. Do you think they're practical reels for a variety of bait/trolling or too clunky?

Jig masters are workhorse reels...we used to use them for everything from blue fishing to school tuna. Unnecessarily heavy these days with the advent of braided lines - but still a tank of a reel. If you have six Abu 6500 reels you won’t use the jig master too much :) 

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Here in WI with the freshwater pike and Muskie community, the S series isn’t getting much love.

 

I agree with you on the cost factor, and I never encourage people to cross their price point.  Usually, you can find bargains online, such as here on the BST, for 6500 and 5500 Sweden models. I wish I had a good one to sell you. For a garden variety C3, used, it should go for $50 for a 70-90’s model with moderate use.

Jerry Foran may have some left on his online store. If the price was comparable. The old c3 reels are hard to beat for a broad range of applications.


 

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Just curious, how big are those reservoir bass? I watch a guy on You tube fish the Tennessee River and he gets some lunker sized bass and he ain't even targeting them. He complains about the "dag blasted striped ones" I get a kick outa that. :howdy:

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I think most are in the 5-10lb range but on occasion could get a 25-30 pounder, I believe.  Some of those 6500 "S" reels actually were canceled but I found a deal on some new 7000C's.  The bright red ones...  They're pretty dang strong reels, maybe a bit overkill.  My arsenal should be Two 6500 "S" on 7ft MH Ugly Striper Stiks, and 4-7000C on the Striper Stik and some 7ft 2 piece medium Tiger Stiks I have. I have a Battle II 3000, a Jigmaster, and Penn 114H extra misc setups. Sound good?  

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You’ll be fine. It’s not like a fish can wrap you around anything in the open water of a reservoir. What you have described sounds like the standard arsenal for Lake Murray back in the 80’s. Ambassadeurs were used because they could cast well if the fish showed up on the surface. 

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