The Reel of the Decade – Maybe Longer

Zebco/ABU Cardinal 4 circa 1971.

I think we can all come to an agreement with this one. Without a doubt, the Zebco/ABU Cardinal 4 (and 3) was the best spinning reel of its time. They may not have been the number-one selling reel, they cost more than an ordinary spinner at the time, but they were bomb-proof – pun intended.

The reels, manufactured by ABU Sweden and sold by Zebco, became available to the U.S. market in roughly the 1969 time frame and by 1971, Zebco was in an all-out marketing war with Garcia and their French-made Mitchell. By the mid 70s the reel had become the most widely sought-after spinning reel in the country. [Read more…]