coastalfreak

Shimano Calcutta vs Abu Ambassadeur

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Hi all. I was wondering how the Swedish-made Abus like the modern C3 and the C4 as well as older Abus stack up to the Shimano Calcutta in performance, durability, and value. Obviously they are at two different price points, but the reels are no doubt legendary in their own rite. Would it be preferable to save up for a Calcutta? Or would you say that the Abu is the better value for the price? 
 

Thanks!

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I love them both.  Mechanically, I would give the edge to Calcutta. Its a tank and one reel that I rely on. That said, I love my abus because they are easy to fix and maintain. Taking apart a Calcutta is a chore by comparison. For surf fishing, the only reason I prefer the ABU is because I can disassemble and relube the reel in about 15 minutes. Salt and sand will always be a problem with either.  If you are strictly talking fishing off a pier or boat or in freshwater, I would say get the Calcutta. 

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Have owned both. The Calcutta has a better drag and is smoother but the Abu's are better at casting, particularity lighter lures. The Daiwa Luna has them both beat.

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1 hour ago, XBMX said:

Have owned both. The Calcutta has a better drag and is smoother but the Abu's are better at casting, particularity lighter lures. The Daiwa Luna has them both beat.

Interesting. What do you like about the Luna over them?

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Comes with a power handle, carbontex don’t have to be added has changeable cast control and is a much better caster. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I enjoy my ambassadors. They catch fish and loaded with 10 or 12lb mono was so easy to start getting good with a baitcaster. But I still want a Calcutta. Ambassador drags are complete dog **** lol

Edited by Badtothebugs

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That’s what carbon on fiber drag washers are for.  All of my Abus are upgraded with greased Carbontex washers from Smooth Drag.  Heck, all  my old Shimanos with the felt drag washers are upgraded  too!

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23 mins ago, Badtothebugs said:

I enjoy my ambassadors. They catch fish and loaded with 10 or 12lb mono was so easy to start getting good with a baitcaster. But I still want a Calcutta. Ambassador drags are complete dog **** lol

Gotta agree there. I have a C4 and the drag is pretty crappy. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

53 mins ago, Water Dog said:

That’s what carbon on fiber drag washers are for.  All of my Abus are upgraded with greased Carbontex washers from Smooth Drag.  Heck, all  my old Shimanos with the felt drag washers are upgraded  too!

Well I'll look into that thanks for the info.

 

Coastalfreak...

Check out the old shimano bantam 1000 reels. They are extremely simple cast well and ive been snapper fishing bridges and jettys with mine. 12lb ande backcountry blue

Edited by Badtothebugs

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59 mins ago, Badtothebugs said:

Well I'll look into that thanks for the info.

 

Coastalfreak...

Check out the old shimano bantam 1000 reels. They are extremely simple cast well and ive been snapper fishing bridges and jettys with mine. 12lb ande backcountry blue

I definitely will. Thanks for the tip. 

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I got them all,the Abu's can be hot rodded ...can have more line capacity .

The Calcutta good the way they are,they are better machined and tighter.

 The Daiwa Billet Millionaires are better than either.

  You will be ok with the Abu...and a much lower price.=smooth drags,get a used one and save even more....

Casting,my Abu's can cast farther..

Best I like is my Shimano Curado 300DSV..great reel...I "think" I like low profile reels better.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I plugged for years with a Shimano 400 Conquest and an Abu 6500 mag Elite

The Shimano has more casting control, better in difficult wind situations

The Abu throws much farther, bombs them out there

 

Both have been retired for a Daiwa Lexa 400 HD

Edited by Sudsy

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It’s bad they stopped making these...  They’re the Ambassadeur Classic Inshore series that were beefed up specifically for saltwater use.  They added a reinforced cage, longer throw paddle handle and stainless steel main gear and pinion.  I was fortunate enough to grab a couple of lefties before they disappeared. :D

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Calcutta 50 and 100 are some of my favorites.  But, the weak link in the Calcutta is the thumb bar and clutch release.  The soft plastic thumb bar will get more and more difficult to depress and will soon become deformed and worn out.  Then, when you try to replace the thumb bar you find that it only comes with the complete frame.  No matter, because Shimano only supplies parts for a few years after release anyway.  Original Calcuttas are getting difficult to find in working condition.

 

Calcutta is more refined, but who wants to deal with all those tiny plastic parts when it needs service.

-steve

Edited by oc1

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A lot of great points have already been made that I agree with. I use my Abu's in the surf where I'll need to be able to take a reel apart at times for maintenance from salt/sand/dunking. Very easy to work on, easy to upgrade parts if needed. I use a variety of bigger (300+ size) low profiles when fishing jetties and boats, they're all pretty similar. But cast really well, especially with lighter baits. Plus they're just easier to fish with all day/night based on weight and their shape. 

 

I'd recommend you buy a cheap used Abu, upgrade the spool bearings (easy) and drag (easy) as a good starting point. You could do that for under $100 easily and it'll last many many years no doubt. 

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