Joined: Feb. 2006
||Posted: Mar. 27 2006,02:06
Here's another vote for the Ambassadeur reels. I have four: a 5000, a couple of 5500's, and a 6000. The newest is 15 years old; the oldest about 25 years. All are used regularly in salt water, rinsed off afterwards (gentle flood with a hose, never pressure washed), then lightly oil the worm gear, pawl, and handle knobs. All have handled hundreds of big fish: kingfish to 40 lbs, cobia to 45 lbs, snapper to 35 lbs, dolphin to 20 lbs, countless trout and reds, even a 7 1/2 foot sailfish on 20# line once(!) I have to replace the drag washer about once every 5-6 years (becomes chattery, probably from a bit of grease melted off the gear teeth from the heat of battle with a fast-running fish like a kingfish or dolphin), but they are cheap and available in tackle shops. Newer drag materials are probably better than my old ones.
I keep them out of sand, and on the very rare occasion one gets dunked, I pull them open and clean them well.
I also have to replace the tiny anti-backlash weights every 5-7 years when they get oil on them and backlashes suddenly become a problem; but several of them came with each reel, so I have never had to buy any...
All of them will outcast my new-ish Shimano Citica; I wish I hadn't wasted the money on it. Its only advantage is that it is smaller and palms easier, but when one of the Amb's is in my hand it feels like home. Each has a history of many trips that boosts my confidence.