Review of ABU Cardinal 174SWi reel
The name ABU Cardinal conjures up quality Swedish engineering from a bygone age. Sadly, ABU no longer produces reels of that vintage, but for £40 you can get one of these…
Its a nice little reel which comes with a spare spool. Lets take a closer look at the specification…
– Gear Ratio 5.1 : 1
– Line capacity 210 yards 10lb or 190m of 0.28mm
– 4 ball bearings
– Instant anti reverse
– Spare graphite spool
– Weight 10.5 oz/298g
– Stainless steel main shaft
Not a bad set of features, but the thing which attracted me, as a kayak fisherman was that ABU designed this reel for saltwater use – so hopefully it should last a bit longer when used on the kayak.
A quick journey around the reel…
The graphite body is light and should be resistant to the saltwater environment into which it will almost certainly get the occasional dunking !
The front drag seemed to be quite smooth…
…and the roller on the bale arm did a good job of trying to eliminate line twist when I loaded it with mono.
The handle can be switched so that it is either LH or RH wind.
Its always good to have a spare spool, but if I was being picky, then it would have been better if it was aluminium rather than graphite.
Exploded parts diagram showing the stainless steel shaft.
I clamped the reel onto a Rovex Gold Integra 6 foot kayak rod – it felt like it went well with this rod. Its slightly bigger than a standard 4000 sized reel I would say. The reel would be suitable for spinning, float fishing and light bottom fishing.
I like the overall look of the reel and it does feel very smooth – but the real USPs of this reel, are its price, and its claimed resistance to saltwater, which if true will make it a great reel for light kayak fishing. Only time will tell, but it does have a good name to live up to !
The reel costs £40 and is available from Veals tackle…