Let’s Look Back: Good Casting’s Still the Key – Part 2

There's a casting weight inside this plastic skirt. Once I learned how to putt this weight right where I wanted it to go, demonstrating that skill took me to a lot of different sports around the world. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

There’s a casting weight inside this plastic skirt. Once I learned how to put this weight right where I wanted it to go, demonstrating that skill took me to a lot of different sports shows around the world. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I was really excited to have a chance to go to the big outdoor show in Los Angeles.  If you read my previous column this was back in 1952.  I had been asked to demonstrate the new Ambassadeur 5000 casting reels that were just being brought into the country.

Now I thought I was pretty good with a bait casting outfit when I headed for Los Angeles.  I found out in a hurry I wasn’t nearly as good as I thought.

My current columns on casting are designed with one purpose – to help you become a better caster.

You know, it’s a funny thing.  In this country we accept practice as a part of almost every kind of participant recreation.  If you’ll ponder that statement for a moment you’ll realize it’s true.  We practice so hard for football, baseball or basketball.  We practice bowling before league play starts.

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Fenwick – The LUNKERSTIK

The first Fenwick LUNKERSTIK ad from 1972.

The first Fenwick LUNKERSTIK ad from 1972.

We’ve talked about Fenwick here a number of times but most of those discussions have either been about their development of the graphite rod or Flippin’ Stik – both concepts worthy of talking about. What we’ve failed to mention, though, is arguably the most popular rod of the timeframe from 1972 through easily 1976 – the Fenwick LUNKERSTIK.

Debuted in 1972, I would hate to try and guess the number of LUNKERSTIKS that were produced and sold. At a cost of $40, they were an expensive choice but the best money could buy. Today, though, if you frequent the online auctions, you’ll find they range anywhere from $200 to over $600 depending on year made and model. I wish I would have kept mine. [Read more…]

It’s All a Buzz

Lebercko's Buzz Gears circa 1975.

Lebercko’s Buzz Gears circa 1975.

One of the first pieces we posted here on the Bass Fishing Archives back in March of 2012 was an article on Lew Childres’ Speed Spool Gear Kit. The kit was made to increase the speed of the 5000-series ABU reels from a paltry 3.75:1 to a 4.8:1 gear ratio – considered fast at the time. Lew’s debuted the kit in the early ‘70s.

There was another company out there, though, that was also in the business of speeding up your older ABUs. The company was Lebrecko Inc and their product was Buzz Gears. [Read more…]

ABU Garcia 1973 – The Casting Reels

ABU Garcia Fishing Annual 1973. ABU Garcia 5000-series reels.

Garcia Fishing Annual 1973. ABU Garcia 5000-series reels.

Last week I posted a set of ads from the 1973 Garcia Fishing Annual regarding the Mitchell series reels. I did this mainly to stay true to a promise I’d made back when I posted a story about the Zebco Cardinal series reels, in which I received a plethora of emails from the Mitchell camp. Well, there’s no doubt there were the Cardinal supporters, the Mitchell supporters and even the Shakespeare supporters because I’ve been deluged with email since last week with comments.  You’d think old rivalries would end with time? Maybe I should consult the Hatfields and McCoys.

Well today I decided to post something from that same 1973 Garcia catalog that shouldn’t spark such a feisty dialog – the ABU Garcia 5000-series reels offered that year. Really, back then there wasn’t much else in casting reels that could compete – especially if you consider the number of these reels that are not only still around, but still functioning. [Read more…]

Way Before the Revo

ABU 2600 and 2650 circa mid-1960s. Both are freespool reels with centrifugal cast control.

ABU 2600 and 2650 circa mid-1960s. Both are freespool reels with centrifugal cast control. Note the button on the handle acts as the freespool button.

A B Urfabriken, or ABU as it’s more commonly known has been making fishing reels since the World War II era. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s, though, that United States anglers got see a new style and quality casting reel. That’s when The Garcia Corporation decided to market the ABU reels in the U.S.

The first reel to my knowledge that came over was the ABU 5000. The ABU 5000, marketed as the Record Ambassadeur 5000, introduced a number of new design concepts in casting reel design. One of these was the centrifugal brake system that nearly all reels today incorporate. The 5000 came in a number of models and versions over the years and include the 5000C (Bearing model) and the 5000D (direct drive model). [Read more…]