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Review of the new Abu 700LX Spinning Reel

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I thought some of you may want to know about these reels. I was originally looking for a reel that would be used 99% of the time freshwater fishing and about 4 times a year for redfish and specks. After looking into many different reels, I chose the new Abu Garcia Cardinal 701LX and 702LX reels. I was going to get the 800 series but thankfully another member alerted me of a great deal so I bought 2 of these reels.

I received these reels several weeks ago but wanted to wait until I had caught some fish on them (especially redfish) to give a good review.  

Right out of the box a couple of things jumped out at me. The first thing was that the reels look great and are built like a TANK!  No cheap plastic to be seen and everything is thick and re-enforced. Abu paid great attention to detail in these reels and it is obvious from first glance. The second thing I noticed was that they weren't the smoothest reels out of the box. They retail for $110(although I got a great deal on mine) and I would have expected a little bit smoother feel. The main thing was that you could feel the gears. It wasn't bad but it just didn't have that smooth as butter feel that many in this price range have.

As already stated, the reels are built like a tank but aren't extremely heavy and they are very compact. The 701 weighs 8.1oz and the 702 weighs in at 9.6oz. For comparison, the popular Symetre weighs 9.5 in both the 1500 and 2500.(comparable sizes) These are pretty light reels!

The 700LXs have 7 HPCR bearings(anti corrosion), over sized bail, and the carbon matrix drag(similar to the monster drag system on the Revo). So basically these reels are loaded with top quality features. They also sport an identical spool as a spare and not some cheap one.

I loaded both of these reels with 8 pound Trilene XL and the spare spools with 30lb Sufix braid for my redfishing trip. I have been bass and trout fishing with these reels for the past three weeks and have managed to catch a couple hundred fish on these reels. Both reels cast like a dream and the drag (only lightly tested) was smooth and worked well. I wanted to test the drag on a monster bull red this weekend but it didn't workout. However, I did land a nice 8 pound red that made a few runs and the drag performed flawlessly.

I don't know if I have just gotten used to it or if these reels just needed some wear but they now feel very smooth. They are the most versatile reel I have ever used with the ability to fish for rainbows on the little red on Thursday and Redfish in Venice on Saturday....not bad for an 8oz reel!!!! However, it wouldn't be possible without the help of braid. I keep light line on one spool then simply change them out with the spare spool of 30 lb Sufix for larger fish such as reds and hybrids. It's an easy system that makes for a very versatile reel.

These reels are the real deal and are my first Abu Garcia products in a long while. I am now looking into the Revo line to see which model I want to try. With the popularity of the Revo, I thought some of you would be interested to know that their spinning reels are just as great. Pick one up and the quality is obvious.....

I hope some of you find this review helpful and feel free to ask questions.


Please excuse any errors. I wrote this from my Iphone!

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Nice review!!  Good honest opinion and thanks for taking the time.

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Thanks, I just haven't seen the same amount of interest in the Abu spinning reels that I have seen in the Revos.(which is evident by the number of responses ;D)  But I wanted folks to know that they are just as good.

Anyway, I am putting my 701 back on the ultra lite for some trout action in the morning. :)


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The Abu Cardinal 700LXs and 800s are bullet proof.  Fantastic reels are reasonable prices.  

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