Wednesday, October 7, 2009


In my last post, I extolled the virtues of the Shimano Curado 200 E7. Now here's a product idea for Shimano.
You can go here to see why I posted about the fact that I WANTED: GARCIA ABU-MATIC 290 REELS. I've gotten several emails from other Abumatic 290 enthusiasts since making that post. It's a great reel. In fact, it was a great line of reels, which included not only the heavy duty (suitable for salt-water fishing and heavy largemouth big lake bass fishing) but also the lighter duty Red Abumatic 170, are clearly the best spincasting reels ever made. The Daiwa spincasting reels, particularly the more heavy duty models sold in the 80's, are second runner ups, but clearly as I say, the ABUMATIC is a great reel unsurpassed by any other.
I've been fortunate to acquire some nice used ABUMATIC 290's over the years, and back in 1997 or so Garcia reintroduced the model 170 for a brief time. Academy had them at their release for just under $50, and I bought three, because I know a good thing when I see it.
El Fisho Jr. now has a matching set of his own ABUMATIC 290 and 170. He loves them and they are the benchmark with which he compares other reels. He's just getting into flycasting, and soon he'll begin some baitcasting, but like his old man, backlashes are a problem. That's why he and I love the ABUMATIC reels. You get more fishing time and it's a quality reel that can fight a sizeable fish. With no backlash.
SO HERE'S THE GARCIA REEL CHALLENGE: Garcia, you made these reels, as pictured above, many years ago. You still make reels that you call Abumatics, but clearly, they are not as well made and don't hold a candle to the 70's reels made under the same name. Regain part of your legacy, Garcia. Redesign the ABUMATICS and make them with the same composite materials that Shimano is making the Curado reels from. Put high end components in this reel. Sell them for a premium because if well made, many will buy them. The stuff you are making now and calling ABUMATICS are but a ghost of the former reels you made.
I know. I've owned several of the models you've marketed in this decade as the ABUMATIC family of reels. I bought them at several fishing shows in Houston. They sucked, in a word. After one or two fishing trips with them, the quickly became ebay fodder. I even bought one of the real heavy duty models you made back in 2001, it had just come out, and some seller at the George Brown Convention Center fishing show had them for sale. It was like $60 dollars and a total waste of money. It was on ebay after the first trip.
AND HERE'S THE SHIMANO REEL CHALLENGE: Shimano, you're clearly the cutting edge reel company on the market today. I promise you that there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people like me who would buy a high end spincasting reel. Buy the design from Garcia, if the copyright on the 70's era reels has not already expired. Redesign it, like you did with the Curado.
Make the housing and reel face out of that dandy lightweight composite material that weighs almost nothing. Give it a set of innards comparable to those used in the Curado. Put those same nice handles on it and that same kickass star drag from the Curado. Surely this would take some engineering to do, but if you modify your Curado design to manifest in a great spincasting reel, you'll sell a bunch of them.
I fish with all kinds of fishing tackle. My fishing mantra, if I have one, is to use whatever is catching fish. It's hard to argue that spincasting is not easier and takes less effort than other fishing methods, even spinning. And I do spin fish quite often. But when I'm night fishing, or fishing in a canoe or small boat or even on the bank of a small river or a creek, I want simplicity. I want to concentrate on where I'm casting moreso than how I'm casting. A great spincasting reel simplifies this process down to the lowest common denominator.
I like baitcasting, and in many circumstances, it's my go to. Likewise, I've been entranced by fly fishing for decades, and often it's the first rod I pull out if the fish are near or on the surface. When I'm ultralight fishing or even large lake bass fishing, spinning reels are hard to beat. But for fishing fun, I think the venerable spincasting reel fills the void of the faults of all of the above types of reels.
And right now, Shimano and Garcia, America needs a new state of the art and cutting edge spincasting reel. Is that too much to ask? I know that companies surf the web and have google searches to pick up posts like this. Orvis and The California Pier Fishing guide are but two of the businesses that have responded to posts about their businesses on this humble blog. I know you're out there, and I'm just sayin'...

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