My latest addiction, tweaking Abu Garcia Ambassadeurs

Discussion in 'Sports & Outdoor Adventure' started by BadassBob, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    Howdy everybody, still in the audio game but it has been more sporadic than anything the last few years. After getting married and rediscovering my love of fishing, audio has sort of taken a back seat.

    My Abu Garcia addiction sort of snuck up on me. 20 years ago, my uncle got me an Abu Garcia 5600AB as a high school graduation gift. I fished it hard for about a decade then life got in the way and it went on to sit on a shelf in the garage.

    Earlier this year, the fishing bug bit me and I grabbed the old trusty Swede out of the garage and was disappointed by the crunchy feeling. I never remembered it being that rough, so to YouTube I went. What I did was open Pandora's Box in my quest to get my reel working again. I discovered that these round Abus are like the small block Chevy of fishing reels; super easy to self service, performance parts galore, and parts interchangeable across models, even reels that are decades old. Abu Garcia even makes parts for many models long out of production, so now I've been accumulating these things and tailoring them to the species of fish I pursue.

    First up, my 5600AB. This reel came from the factory with a rather useless anti-backlash mechanism. I tried to use it when I first got the reel, but it was not an effective band-aid for an untrained thumb, and it has been removed. I made this reel specifically for throwing large spoons, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and bucktails to large pike and musky. From the factory, it had 3 bearings, two stainless steel ABEC3 on the spool and one instant anti-reverse bearing in the side plate. I exchanged the spool bearings for brass bushings, swapped out the felt drag washers for a set of Carbontex washers from Smooth Drag, added an Abu Garcia Power Handle, swapped the brass 5.3:1 gearset for stainless steel 5.3:1 gears, and added an anti-reverse dog to back up the instant anti-reverse bearing found in the side plate. It's a very stout reel that casts a considerable distance with lures weighing over 1/2oz. My inspiration for this reel was the Abu Garcia 5600 Svartzonker, which is an EU-only reel specifically made for large predatory fish. It's a stout beast and can horse in the toothy torpedoes effortlessly.

    [​IMG]

    Next, we have a new production 4600 C3, my bass reel. A great reel out of the box, but I made it a little better. With this reel, I grabbed a double bearing worm gear, double bearing cog wheel, added an Avail CR2 magnetic brake, and hit the drag stack with Cal's drag grease. Now it's silky smooth and the 5.3:1 gears make it great for crankbait duty. I could probably add bearings in other spots, but I love it as it is. It seldom sees baits under 3/8oz anyway so the factory spool bearings are just fine.

    [​IMG]

    Moving on, we have a 4600 C5 Mag-X. This reel is special as it's one of the only classic round Abu C series reels that came with a factory magnetic brake next to the C4 Mag. I picked this one up as a NOS unit on eBay for a great price. With this one, I added Boca ceramic hybrid spool bearings, a double bearing cog wheel, a ceramic line guide pawl, and on order I have an Avail Microcast BFS spool. The BFS spool is lighter and holds less line than the factory spool, ensuring it will start up quick and throw baits as light as 1/16oz with minimal effort. It'll see the vast majority of its duty throwing ultralight baits for brook trout.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, my current project, a 5600CL Rocket. This was a Walmart only reel made by Abu. The eBay seller I purchased it from said it was never used. I fell in love with the Sunset Orange side plates. Thankfully, I got the reel much cheaper than I could buy brand new side plates for, so home it came. Unfortunately, when I cracked it open, it had a lot of saltwater crud inside which was easily removed once I stuck the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner. So now the waiting game begins. On order I have an Avail magnetic brake system, Boca ceramic hybrid spool bearings, double ceramic bearing cog wheel, double bearing worm gear, ceramic pawl, carbon fiber 120mm power handle, and a set of Carbontex/stainless steel drag washers from Smooth Drag. I do a lot of fall/winter/spring steelhead fishing, and this will be used for float fishing and bottom bouncing. The ceramic bearings will ensure it drifts baits with ease for many yards down the river. I could also use it for throwing hardware for salmon and steelhead from the piers that dot the Great Lakes. I should have most of the parts any day now. With my wife working on Christmas day, I might just put on my waders and see if I can entice some Christmas chrome from my local river.

    [​IMG]
     

     

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  2. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Marriage can do that to you. Any excuse to get out of the house.:biggrin:
     
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  3. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

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    I've been wanting to get back into fishing lately,it's just that till recently things had been super busy and no $$$ for gear/tackle/etc.
    Hopefully that's gonna be a different story for 2019.

    Anyhow I've always been more of a spinning gear kinda guy.
    But that does'nt mean I cant appreciate nice casting gear,and those reels look suhweet. :thumbsup:

    Good luck with those !

    Bret P.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  4. Bobcat

    Bobcat Sound Hound

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    I’m a spin guy too but those look SHARP!
     
  5. Ross6860

    Ross6860 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Those look awful new and modern;)

    I'll see if I can dig out my 5000 for a photo shoot. It looks like this, but with a bunch of dings and scratches...

    https://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/gear/2002/06/red-reel

    There's a couple Pflueger Supremes and original Mitchell 300s to go along with the 5000.

    Gear has come a long way in 50 years, especially rods and electronics.
     
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  6. markd51

    markd51 Nyuk Nyuk

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    I love all the Abu's as well as the vintage Mitchell Spinning Reels. Probably have a dozen of the Mitchells from the 308/408, the 300/400 variants all the way up to the 302/402 models.

    I have a slew of 5000's, (5) all bought new and the big 7000C for Pike-Musky. I've kept all mine bone stock, all I've done is keep em clean, and lovingly lube them.
     

     

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  7. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    The fish don't have a chance.
     
  8. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

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    Mitchell 300. Boy, that is a phrase I haven't heard in too long!

    Used to slay Blues and Spanish off Johnnie Mercer's Fishing Pier in Wrightsville Beach, N.C. with one of those and a Hopkins lure.
     
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  9. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    All finished with my 5600CL Rocket. I like to run my ceramic bearings dry, but man are they noisy. This feller now sounds like a sewing machine when you get chuckin'.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    How do you like that 7000? I've been toying with the idea of getting one myself. I want something with a bait clicker so I can fish a chub or sucker in the Detroit River or St. Clair River while I'm throwing hardware with something else :)
     
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  11. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    My 5600AB and 5600CL are about 20 years old, they're getting up there, but not like that 5000 lol. Abu still makes reels with the double spool tensioner like your 5000, now they market them as their Rocket series. They are made in all sizes too, from 4000 to 7000, but boy are they spendy. Abu still makes most of their classic round reels in Sweden, but some are now made in China. The Swedish ones are stamped Made in Sweden on the side plate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
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  12. Sandstrom

    Sandstrom Seldom turns out the way it does in the song Subscriber

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    Thanks for sharing Bob, that looks like some nice gear you are getting in top shape. My buddy who lives in Florida has been bugging me to find some time we can both get together and do some fly fishing. Knowing I like to tinker with tiny things, he sent me a fly tying tool kit for Xmas!

    Have fun, you should be all set to get out there in the Spring...
     
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  13. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    I plan on some winter steelhead action, so I'll be out there soon. My wife got me a new pair of waders for Christmas as my old pair are pretty much all Aquaseal now lol.
     
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  14. Sandstrom

    Sandstrom Seldom turns out the way it does in the song Subscriber

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    Ahh, yes I see you are near the lakes, enjoy and stay warm!
     
  15. Ross6860

    Ross6860 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    IMG_0664.JPG IMG_0665.JPG The Mitchels and Pflueger aren't mounted and are away in a tackle box somewhere, but the 5000 is still in use. It was just disassembled, cleaned and lubed a few weeks ago. Ready for next spring.
     
  16. bluestime

    bluestime AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Fishing reels are one of my hobbies too. I think the Abu Garcia is a great reel but I've been into Shimano Bantams. I fish with them (steelhead, salmon and some trout ) but have also collected at least one of every model. About 34 I think.
    Repairing, cleaning and in general maintaining them is quite rewarding for me. Gives me something to do when the river gets blown out. P1010002 (11).JPG
     

     

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  17. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    That's quite a nice collection. When I first started earlier this year, I was prowling a flea market in northern Michigan and saw an older fiberglass casting rod with a black Bantam on it for $15. I had an itchy trigger finger but was unsure if I should buy it or not. I had no phone reception so I couldn't take a look online so I let it be. I should've bought it lol. From what I could gather, it was an early 80s model. Isn't the Bantam the predecessor to the Curado?
     
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  18. markd51

    markd51 Nyuk Nyuk

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    It's a stout reel, not too large, yet feel it's up to the task for large Northern Pike and Musky.
     
  19. mfrench

    mfrench Addicted Member

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    I'm a fly flicker, but, when I do chuck jigs, I have an old silver Abu 1500 from the mid-70's that is a great lightweight bait caster.
     
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  20. BadassBob

    BadassBob Digitally rendered

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    A 1500C has been on my radar for a bit now, just waiting for one to come up at a price I'm willing to pay. Most of what I've seen on eBay goes well north of $150, even for beat up examples.
     

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