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spinng reel question

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i am looking at the abu cardinal 3 ($65) and the abu cardinal 800 ($120)....is it worth the extra money to go with the 800?  i havent used either reel before, some input on either will be most appreciated

thanks

Cliff

P.S. i know i can get a shimano symetere or blah blah blah for less and all that, i like abu so i dont need to know about anything other than these two reels  ;D

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If your buying a reel, and think you will be upgrading again in a few years, get the 3. If you are "investing" in a long term reel you plan on keeping/usiing for many years to come, then the 800 series would be the better choice. The better drag system and higher quality bearings will show their value in the long run.

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I don't know what the "3" is.  You mean 300?

I have an 804 and an 802, as well as a 500 ALB.

The 500 is a nice reel for its price.  It's smooth, rugged and has a nice drag.  But it doesn't compare to the 800s.  The 800s are, IMO, the best spinning reels out there for a price under that of the Shimano Stella.  These reels are built like tough Swiss watches.  They look precise, and feel precise.  The handles have no back play.  The rotors are balanced with no detectable wobble at all.   You can't feel the gears when you reel.  The bail closes with no reverberation through the reel - it just snaps shut.   Removing the spool reveals the dark Everslick coating ont he shaft and two stacked bearings.  

My 502 ALB is a nice reel and it gets the job done.  But the 802 and 804 is simply a huge step up.  You really need to handle them to see what I'm talking about.    If I could only have one, I'd save my money and buy an 800 series.  Sweet, sweet reels.  

Have you seen the new 600s and 700s?  They might be good compromises.   The 700 is a damned fine reel.

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Have you fished an 800? I will tell you that I've fished the 800s and Stradics and the 800s have it all over the Stradics. I even considered the Sustains and I don't think they compare.

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thanks micropterus...i dont plan on purchasing anytime soon, just getting some info in my brain...maybe by the time i do buy there will be another abu that peaks my interest

D Cliff

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You've never fished the 800 series, I have. I've also fished the Stradic. I've also compared the 800 series side by side to the Sustain. In terms of refinement, those qualities I listed in my first response, I feel the 800 beats out the Stradic, and edges out the Sustain.

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Last two Cardinals I owned (3 and 800) just this past spring were not quality made reels. Both had bail and crank/handle/gear problems. I personally will never own either again. I had a three and upgraded to the 800 only to be disapointed again. I will admit to being tough on spinning reels but neither were worth the money.

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When I read someone say "were not quality made reels," I think it smacks of BS. I've disassembled both the 500 and 800s and can say, unequivocably, that they are quality reels. The 800s frame, sideplate, rotor and spool are aluminum. The tolerances on the 800 was very close. Like I said, no back play, no wobble, no vibration from the gears.

If I'm not mistaken, the rotor and side plate on the Stradic are plastic.

Me thinks the Shimano crowd has a thing about Abu Garcia. In the last few years they've turned out reels that as good as or better than the Shimano crown jewels, at much better prices.

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I assume the Cardinal 3 you refer to is the green reel with the "fulcrum" drag (ie. rear drag).  I definitely would choose the 800 over the 3.  The drags of the 800's are extremely smooth for start up and running.  The 3 is good for a rear drag, but I've never seen a rear drag that can compete with a front drag (except maybe for light fighters like a walleye)...

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Oh, the C3.  I forgot about that reel.  I thought you had a 300 and left off the 00.  

I would definately go with the 800 over the C3 for bass fishing.  

I will say the C3 is a darned nice reel.  I thought it was going to be cheap feeling but it seems to be made very nicely and the drag adjustment knob feels really heavy duty and has a nice micro click adjustment.  I'd like to have that reel for bluegill fishing.

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Guest muddy
Last two Cardinals I owned (3 and 800) just this past spring were not quality made reels. Both had bail and crank/handle/gear problems. I personally will never own either again. I had a three and upgraded to the 800 only to be disapointed again. I will admit to being tough on spinning reels but neither were worth the money.

Hey Randall This smacks of BS Hey Micro Randall is one of the most experienced and truthful guys on the boardWhat smaks of BS is one not using a reel and puttin it through at least a season of use, EXPERIENCE is very valuable. This is why I never talk about any other reels but Pfluegers and BPS, they are all I use ( Oh and  Cabelas brand ) I have had more guys trash these reels on all sorts of levels WHO NEVER USED TEM. So I just go on my merry way and have a ball fishing these very dependable, and affordable reels.

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I have never even fished a Shimano reel. :o I used Quantum Reels before but my spinning reels were only lasting a year so someone talked me into trying the Cardinals and I had fished the older Cardinals with good results years ago. My first Cardinal lasted two weeks and the bail broke. I fixed that and the handle part where you hold the crank came off. So , I trashed it and went with the 800 and the handle came off of it and the gears stripped within a month. On the 800 I was using braid at times and catching seven and eight pound fish almost every day but I expect a reel to hold up much better when I pay over $100 for it. I had a guy let me try his US Reel Supercaster on the day the handle came off the 800 and I liked it and bought one. I have been fishing it since June and have not had one problem with it other than it has a small spot between the bail spring and line roller which will catch your line once or twice a day which I fixed with one drop of glue and it performs better than both reels for $80. I may now be a fan of US Reel but I wouldn't have posted what I did about the Cardinals unless I had bought two of them and spent around $200 only to throw them in the garbage.

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Sorry Randall and Muddy, but Randall's experience is so far and way different from the plethora of other reviews on Cardinals that it find if extremely difficult to believe (why would anyone throw away a reel that could as easliy have been returned for a refund or repaired under warranty?). I would have been screaming at the company had those things happened to me.  I've been fishing these reels for some time now (802, 804, 502 ALB) that I have come to a very different conclusion - one way more consistent with other people that have fished these reels. Take a look at the Tackle Tour foums if you want to see a number of reviews on Cardinal reels and you won't find any like Randall's. I've also stripped them down and found them to be extremely well made. That's why when I here someone say Cardinals are "not quality reels," I believe they are so OBVIOUSLY wrong, that they look ridiculous when they say it. It's one thing to prefer one reel over another, but to say that, again, smacks of BS.

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well look at the mess i started, moderators, i got the info i needed, feel free to delete this thread if you want

thanks

Cliff

P.S. ABU GARCIA FOR LIFE!!!  ;D

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Guest avid
well look at the mess i started, moderators, i got the info i needed, feel free to delete this thread if you want

thanks

Cliff

P.S. ABU GARCIA FOR LIFE!!!  ;D

Yo Red.

It ain't you dude!!!

You keep asking questions.  That's why we are here.

Just tune out the static  

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thanks avid...how ya doin anyway?  its all good, micropterus and i PMed a bit and i got all the info i needed

thanks

Cliff

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Sorry Randall and Muddy, but Randall's experience is so far and way different from the plethora of other reviews on Cardinals that it find if extremely difficult to believe (why would anyone throw away a reel that could as easliy have been returned for a refund or repaired under warranty?). I would have been screaming at the company had those things happened to me. I've been fishing these reels for some time now (802, 804, 502 ALB) that I have come to a very different conclusion - one way more consistent with other people that have fished these reels. Take a look at the Tackle Tour foums if you want to see a number of reviews on Cardinal reels and you won't find any like Randall's. I've also stripped them down and found them to be extremely well made. That's why when I here someone say Cardinals are "not quality reels," I believe they are so OBVIOUSLY wrong, that they look ridiculous when they say it. It's one thing to prefer one reel over another, but to say that, again, smacks of BS.

Randall is a good friend of mine. We fish the same waters. What he is saying is that those reels didn't hold up to his fishing. I can tell you that Randall is a professional guide, specializing in trophy bass. He is on the water over 300 days a year and he is hard on his equipment. If you could see all his rods and reels you would agree with me. The fact is that he doesn't have the time to mess with calling the company and trying to get a reel fixed so it can break again. He needs a reel that will hold up to the abuse he dishes out.

So find one of those people that you are talking about that fishes as often and who catches the caliber of fish that he does and then we will listen.

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Gene, I'm not making a commentary on the man's character.  But I have a hard time believing that the reel is as he suggests.  The reel is built for fresh water and inshore fishing.  The thing is built like a tank.  I haven't read anywhere, on any forum, that the reel can't stand up to hard fishing - just the opposite.   If he is using the reel in such an abusive manner that it simple breaks, or strips gears, or the bail break, then I doubt there is a reel made that can handle it.   Show me a reel that is so substantially better made that it can handle that kind of abuse.  

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Guest muddy

There was another thread i started adressing how you were tagging Mr. Randall and the Mods deleted it. I do no t question that because they know how to keep peace, you were very insistant if I can quote you correctly" If it smel Like BS , and looks like BS, I don't have to step in it to know its BS" You used that phrase about the man BSing frequently and rather disrepectfully

Then you claimed to have takenb the reels apart and said they were made of high quality materials, and when i contiually asked what mad you an expert in this field and how can you judge these materilas, your tact was not to answer,. but continue to call the remarks made BS,this is a direct attack on the integrity of a man who has shown himself to be both an expert fisherman and a man of integrity

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I see you are still at it despite saying several times you were done.

What makes me an expert? That seems to be rather important to you. To answer your question, I am not an "expert," anymore than you are. That is not to say that I don't know what I am talking about. I'm 41 and have been fishing as long as I can remember, and have been stripping and cleaning my reels for most of that time. It's not unheard of to gain a little understanding under such circumstances. I've seen reels break, wear out, or go on and on and on. In that time I've learned to identify what is junk and what isn't.

Of the reels I've owned and/or used, I like very much what I see with the 800 series. The extensive use of aluminum - body, side plate, rotor, bail asembly; an extra thick heavy duty bail; two bearing that keep the spool from oscillating under drag; extensive use of brass internally; carbon fiber drag system, etc. I bought this reel based on the reviews of people who use it - hard. The 804 seems to be a very highly regarded reel for inshore and striper fishing - tougher fish and rougher environments than that reel would see on a bass lake. Do a search on the forums at StripersOnLine.com or TackleTour.com. I'm not alone.

I'm not sure how someone can draw a conclusion about an entire line of reels by saying "not quality made reels" when they have experience with one (which apparently broke), under what has been described hard and abusive use. That measure wouldn't pass in a high school science class.

Like I said, I don't know Randall. No doubt he is a fine fisherman and fine man. But my experience with the reels, and those of many others - who use them much harder than I do - are diametrically opposed to the assertion "not quality made reels."

Maybe "BS" was too harsh. Perhaps I would hve been better off, and more accurate, saying that he had insufficient experience with the reel to draw such a condeming conclusion.

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By "hard on gear", I think they mean that he uses it EVERY day and ALL day, catching BIG fish that test a reels components.  I am very abusive to my gear also and some things just don't hold up.  

Were they a value for the money?  Sure, but that's not my primary pre-requisite.  "Quality made",...TO ME,...is something that lasts Randall the whole season.  Not 3,4 or 5 seasons, just 1, because that means I should be able to get 2 or 3 seasons out of it if he can get 1.   It's all relative.  

I will say this,...if he says a few of them lasted only "weeks", I don't want anything to do with 'em.

Taxing your gear, Randall style

Now, I have a few pieces of gear that I swear by that many would say are junk.  That's not going to stop me from using them.  Again, it's all relative, if these reels are the cat's meow for you, that's all that matters.

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I can tell you that most of Randall's rods and reels look like he just pulled them out of the dumpster, brushed them off and slapped line on them. "Hard on gear" is an understatement.

Micro,

Everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes. We all have different experiences. All Randall did was share his experiences with a couple of reels. You basicly called him a liar by saying his experiance was BS. That offended many of us because of the respect that Randall has earned over the years. From now on please share your oppinions and experiances without attacking someone else for theirs. If you wish to get into a ticking match over this, feel free to PM me.

Muddy,

You don't need a PM from me to know what I am thinking.

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Micro,

Everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes. We all have different experiences. All Randall did was share his experiences with a couple of reels. You basicly called him a liar by saying his experiance was BS. That offended many of us because of the respect that Randall has earned over the years. From now on please share your oppinions and experiances without attacking someone else for theirs. If you wish to get into a ticking match over this, feel free to PM me.

I didn't call Randall a liar, I called his condemnation of an entire line of reels based on a short experience with one BS. Sorry if that offends. Unlike Muddy, this will be my last word on the issue. If you wish to ban me for my opinion, 'tis up to you.

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Of the reels I've owned and/or used, I like very much what I see with the 800 series. The extensive use of aluminum - body, side plate, rotor, bail asembly; an extra thick heavy duty bail; two bearing that keep the spool from oscillating under drag; extensive use of brass internally; carbon fiber drag system, etc. I bought this reel based on the reviews of people who use it - hard. The 804 seems to be a very highly regarded reel for inshore and striper fishing - tougher fish and rougher environments than that reel would see on a bass lake. Do a search on the forums at StripersOnLine.com or TackleTour.com. I'm not alone.

I'm not sure how someone can draw a conclusion about an entire line of reels by saying "not quality made reels" when they have experience with one (which apparently broke), under what has been described hard and abusive use. That measure wouldn't pass in a high school science class.

Like I said, I don't know Randall. No doubt he is a fine fisherman and fine man. But my experience with the reels, and those of many others - who use them much harder than I do - are diametrically opposed to the assertion "not quality made reels."

Maybe "BS" was too harsh. Perhaps I would hve been better off, and more accurate, saying that he had insufficient experience with the reel to draw such a condeming conclusion.

I think the lesson learned here is that if you started out with this statement, none of this would have happened.  I think the key takeaway for all of us this:  Be very careful in how you phrase things.  There's a fine line between calling somebody a liar, and questioning their reasoning.  

It's all in how you phrase things.

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