Customized ABU Reels
Reels are modified for many reasons;
A. the first and most concerning would be for deception and unfortunately some of us have been duped on auctions sites by unscrupulous persons whose only love for ABU, is the big money they bring when rarer models are sold. So buyer beware, check out the internals, as well as screws, handles, handle nuts, level-wind mechanisms etc
This link is an interesting insight into how complex the issue is. I do recommend Simon Shimomura's books to shed more light on concerns before buying a reel which may be suspect.
B. the second is to tweak up specifications , bushes to bearings, lighter spools, ceramic parts, IAR in earlier reels, etc by legitimate and honest qualified ABU enthusiasts, some of who have built a legitimate business, meeting the needs/fantasies of demanding and discerning buyers. Good examples of these people are tournament casters. See Dave Brown's work from the UK below.
Jay Parker ex of Pure Fishing AUSTRALIA, assembles , uses twin clutches
Ulf Tingstrom SWEDEN creates his own up graded parts
Two very special users custom made by Ulf Tingstrom with specially created parts.
C. the third group are usually those who wish to create beautiful works of art like Pure Fishing's officially sanctioned Simon Shimomura who produce very limited numbers of stunning re-releases and upgraded reels.
D. the last group are usually owner/enthusiasts like myself who tinker for aesthetic reasons and/or functional reasons.
Model Name Big A, 4 Screw Ambassadeur 5000
Modifier self: Wayne Real
Reason Why not? To me all ABU are 'Gold'
Features Original except for 24 kt Guilding
Catalog Unofficial, personal indulgence
I am already working on my 24kt Gold Collection of Classic ABU lures
Tournament Casting Reels
Most tournament casting reels are custom made rather than being bought stock standard. It is a specialized area, dealt with by enthusiasts themselves or specialists like the UK's famous Dave Brown, who is paramount among these talented engineers. I hope to talk more with Pete Coogan, in future on his significant role in the continuing development of ABU reels.
Whilst I do not participate in tournament casting, I felt I needed to acquire one of these reels.
Dave's Tournament modified ABU reels can be bought by looking at his offerings on Ebay using his alias w1144
Dave and I have been corresponding over some months and below is some of his informative contributions.
As promised a small piece about tournament reels,
i have been converting ABU Ambassadeur reels since the mid 1980,s my first attempts were simply removing the levelwind mech and associated gears and adding a "CT" bar to increase the speed the spool can run at and also allow a great amount of grip on the spool that a top cross bar cannot give. This was based on a very rare version of the ABU 6500c that ABU built in limited numbers and called the 6500 CT ,being unavailable it was simply copied using parts made by myself ,around the same time the Ultramag range of reels were being used more and more for casting however in standard form were pretty useless ,but with a few modifications were fantastic casting reels and are still popular over 20 years later .
Around 1990 ABu re introduced the rare Black 6500 Ct ready to use tournament reel this time using its Ultracast spool and using a pair of fibre brake blocks for braking soon after they brought out an almost identical model the 6500 CT Rocket this lead to a variety of similar models the 6500 Ct Sports Rocket in both original and MK11 versions then the 6500 C3 CT Elite then the 6500 C3 CT Mag Elite .All of these models could be cast without modification but it didn,t take long before small adjustments and improvements were being made ,usually the sideplate were drilled and either a single rare earth magnet and adjuster was added or a centre mag conversion fitted were a platic mag ring was fitted that operated by a knob that ran through the center of the sideplate .
The majority of the reels i currently convert
are the 1980,s type XLT or Ultramag type reels ,they are completely
stripped down then all the levelwind mechanism and plastic cage
supports removed i then fit my own special polished one piece
aluminium bar this hold the cage rigid and allows a perfect grip of
the spool. The sideplates are then machined to accept either a
single rare earth magnetic brake or a captive adjuster that operates
a nylon mag ring holding several smaller magnets .All of these
modifications are for one reason and that is to give a caster the
ultimate personal adjustment required to enable him to cast as far
as possible and yet still have full control over spool speed .The
factory magged reels don't have this adjustment and so can hold a
casters distance back its also nice to know that the magnets can
adjust the spin time of a reel anywhere from 5 seconds to 3 minutes
all achieved by one magnet .
Hopefully we will see more of Dave's modifications and perhaps you will be able to contact him directly via e-mail here in future with a view to ordering a special reel.
Dave has kindly offered this information on Tournament Casting in general.
I have some more similarly "touched" friends, whom I am sure will soon want to contribute their personalized ABU reels.
Please be patient and enjoy as they appear and do contribute!
If you have any others not listed above, that are unneeded or doubles in your collection and are available for a reasonable fee, I would be very pleased to hear from you.