Abel Reels- 5 Weight Rod Named World's Best
According to Gary Sandstrom, owner of the Morning Hatch Fly Shop in Tacoma, Washington, selling it is simple. An angler enters the shop, gives this 5-weight rod a wiggle and just knows that it's right. Although it's an Abel—one of the high-end name in fly-fishing—as well as multi-piece rod, Sandstrom point out that even with the added custom reel seat, the rod sells for less than many other high-quality, mass-produced rods. This model retail price ($490) and replacement cost ($40 for a tip, $50 for midsection and $100 for the butt section) increase the attraction.
Sandstrom identifies the rod's "sweet spot"—its most comfortable casting distance—at about 40 to 50 feet. If required, however, this medium-fast rod can launch at whole line. In addition, this four-piece travel rod, with overlapping sleeve ferrules, comes with quite a long list of thoughtful features that really turn it into something special. Fine and subtle thread lines, embedded in the wraps, aid alignment of the section during assembly. To increase strength and prevent water damage to windings and guides, epoxy completely encloses the tunnel made by the guide feet. Dressed in formal black and gray, the rod blank is coasted with a tough, clear matte finish that protects the blank from nicks and eliminates rod-flash during casting. Abel machines the winding checks and finishing rings from durable Delrin. The slightly oversize guides from Fuji (Japan) and Hopkins & Holloway (England) turn out to be a wonderful convenience when an angler is shaking out line or using larger saltwater knots. The reel seats are anodized "Black Coral" or are available in various "Camo Coral" colors to match Abel's custom reels. The butt cap (much like a miniature fighting butt) and the top ring of the handle are made from a non-slip, cork-rubber composite material that eliminates wear and tear at critical places. A longer butt cap also keeps the reel away from dirt and debris. The reel lock nut is knurled and milled with deep cross-grooves for easy reel removal. The cross-grooves allow enormous torque. As Abel claims, "You'll never again have difficult removing your reel … even after a week in the salt.…" The handle design—a reverse half-wells—offers different dimensions in a single handle to accommodate various hand sizes. A woman, for example, might simply lower her hand an inch to the narrow section for a more comfortable grip. Though considered a freshwater rod—in fact, Abel calls it that—this rod can handle the salt as well. And it comes in a convenient square, lockable carrying case. In brief, the 4.2-ounce Abel 5-weight is innovative, versatile and functional. It is Abel quality at a modest price. — Darrel Martin www.abelreels.com
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