Tuned for salt!
The Quantum brand covers baitcasters, troll reels and spin reels, with the saltwater-orientated Cabos being the premium spin reel models. The Cabo PTs (PTs stands for “performance tuned”) are available in seven different sizes, 20 through to 80, with the mid ranked 50 boasting nine bearings and a retrieve ratio of 5.2:1. It holds 225 yards of 12lb mono (we fitted about 200m of 50lb braid) and is claimed to pull about 12 kilos of drag. At 450 grams, the reel is heavy for its size (the similar sized Shimano Stella 5000SW weighs 400 grams) and features a one-piece forged aluminium handle, a spiffy ceramic drag set-up, a one-piece aluminium body and sideplates, a titanium bail with magnetic trip and comprehensive corrosion protection. The reel was used primarily for jigging, livebaiting and trolling and was mated to a custom 15kg Live Fibre jig rod built by Central Coast rod builder Jan Mikula. Medium sized kingies and a lone small bar cod hauled out of 80 fathoms were the main fish the reel caught.
Since then I loaned the outfit to Nowra fisho Wes Murphy, who put it through its paces on several nice kings jigging the Banks reef system on the NSW South Coast. Wes reports the reel seems pretty solid, and I’d back that up, although I reckon the drag was a bit lumpy during the initial testing. Fisho writer Sami Omari reports that a Cabo used on a recent Coral Sea GT popping trip caught a heap of sizable trevally with no probs so maybe a bit of extra tuning will see our test reel reach its full potential. The reel is attractive with a metallic silver body, blue metallic highlights and a stainless steel coloured spool. An oversized grip on the handle makes cranking easy. Performance wise, the reel seems solid enough, although there’s a bit of internal gearing noise and I noted a couple millemetres of play in the anti-reverse system. All that said, the Cabo 50 will retail for less than 300 bucks and, in our view, represents reasonable value for money.
By Jim Harnwell