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…]

Not so DAM Quick

Figure 1. DAM Quick 700B Casting Reel circa 1975.

Here’s one for you reel aficionados. DAM Quick Corporation of West Germany (Remember Germany was split?) came out with their Champion casting reel series in the early 70s in order to compete with ABU/Garcia’s Ambassadeur series of reels. The reels were made with the standard German craftsmanship – tough to the bone and very dependable.

The Champion reels, models 700, 700B, 800 and 800B, were so much like the Ambassadeur 4000- and 5000-series reels that it was rumored that certain parts could be interchanged between the two. I never tried so I can’t vouch for that. [Read more…]

Spiderman, Spiderman. Who Knew He Was a Fisherman?

Ad from Marvell Comic Book Feb, 1983

I’d like to thank a buddy of mine, Jason Baggett (@jasonbaggett for you Twitterers), for sending me this cool ad from a 1983 Marvell comic book. It seems that fishing was so important to the development of kids, as were comic books, even Spiderman got in the act promoting the sport. [Read more…]

Ads from the Past: Why didn’t round rebound?

The landscape for bass fishing baitcasting reels was quite different in the late 1980s than it is today. Most notably, companies like Ardent, Pinnacle, Okuma, Lews and Pflueger weren’t major players, if they were around at all. If you’ll check out this ad taken from the 1988 Bassmaster Classic Report, you’ll see there was another difference – round reels were in. At the very least they were not yet passé.

[Read more…]

Gearin’ Up

Lew’s Speed Spool Gear Kit. Circa 1974

Today’s bass anglers take a lot for granted. One example is retrieve ratios for the reels we use. Any reel we buy today generally has a number of different retrieve ratios available from a “slow” 5:1 to the “high-speed” 7:1. But what about the days when we were stuck with retrieve ratios that barely reached 4:1? For example, in the day, the ABU 5000 (the old red one folks) was state-of-the-art. It featured two brass bushings (not bearings), a free-spool mechanism (not a knuckle buster), and a hefty 3.75:1 gear ratio!

[Read more…]