‚ÄúMetal where it matters‚ÄĚ was the mantra of the folks at Quantum who designed the EXO PTi spinning reel. ¬†In the¬†process¬†of developing this reel, Quantum created what is called an exoskeletal hybrid construction, ¬†which “combines a special, ultra-rigid aluminum alloy in load-bearing areas with a lightweight composite¬†that reduces weight in non-critical locations by 50%. ” ¬†Consequently, it is incredibly light and strong. According to Quantum’s engineers, the frame of this reel is ¬†38 percent stronger than a magnesium frame and six¬†times stronger than a graphite composite frame.
In order to make the reel lighter, the anti-reverse system’s on-and-of switch was removed and replaced with ¬†a continuous anti-reserve system, which is similar to the continuous anti-reverse feature on baitcasting reels. Thus anglers can’t employ the back-reeling tactic when they are in the midst of a donnybrook with a hefty fish. Instead, they are at mercy of the reel’s drag system.
This is the spinning reel that Kevin Van Dam of¬†Kalamazoo, Michigan, employs when he wields a drop-shot rig or shaky-head jig. He began field testing them in the summer of 2011. And ¬†except at waterways like¬†Okeechobee Lake, Florida, Van Dam estimates he uses this reel and those two finesse combos more than 25 percent of the time that he is afloat in¬†pursuit on largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass.
When he is fishing around docks, Van Dam uses this reel on a six-foot, nine-inch EXO PT rod. Around open-water lairs, he uses it on a seven-foot EXO PT rod.
Traditionally, Van Dam employed a tight drag and back-reeled ¬†his spinning reels when he battle a bass to the boat. And he readily admitted that it took quite a few test outings before he gained total confidence in the EXO’s drag system. He gradually discovered that the drag had to be set differently on the six-foot, nine-inch rod than it did on the seven-foot rod. The angle that he holds the rod while battling a bass also has a bearing on the reel’s drag system. The kind and size of line is another factor that affects it. Therefore, before each outing, Van Dam quickly runs through a drag-check routine in which holds the rods a various and angles and elevations. There are also times during a donnybrook with an extremely¬†feisty¬†and hefty bass that he will adjust the drag by adjusting the dial on the face of line spool a touch or two.
Back in the 1950s, when the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur began replacing our Langley, ¬†Pflueger and Shakespeare baitcasting reels, we were initially¬†discombobulation by having to rely on the Ambassaduer’s¬†drag system, and we ¬†had to make the same adjustment that Van Dam and other anglers are making nowadays with the EXO’s continuous anti-reverse system. But most of us old-timers quickly made that transition.
The suggested retail price for the EXO PTi is¬†$199.99. Currently, there are two sizes avialable: EX25PTi and EX30PTi. ¬†Some bigger size EXOs are in the offing.
Since March, Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas, who is a multispecies guide from Topeka, Kansas, has worked with Quantum’s Smoke spinning reel. It¬† has a¬†continuous anti-reverse system and ¬†exoskeletal frame¬†similar to the EXO. Like Van Dam, Holscher and some of his clients initially ¬†had a problem with the¬†continuous anti-reverse system — especially when they tangled with lunker-size wipers and rainbow trout. ¬†Despite that initiation phase with the continuous ant-reverse, Holscher and his clients were immediately delighted with lightness and sturdiness of the Smoke spinning reel. As the months have unfolded, ¬†he and all of his regular clients have learned how to work with the continuous anti-reverse system. But like Van Dam, they¬†occasionally have to adjust the¬†drag while battling a humongous rainbow trout or wiper.
The Smoke retails for$159.99. ¬†¬†It is avialable in two sizes: SL25PTI and SL30PTI.