This topic has always fascinated me as it is always
been human nature for some to try to strive for improvement over the last
known mark, be it in
production or performance ...even when the the present results are good.
Companies can do this and individuals also...and for vastly differing reasons!
This is not the modern business model where one keeps lifting
performance targets to attain the level where the key resources fail and then
come back a notch! Rather it is one of doing it for pride sake, making a better
pin so to speak.
There are a number of organizations/individuals outside the PF organization that create super tuned reels. Individuals and small companies have the luxury of sseing a market niche, hand creating some components, assembling and charging significantly for the very small number of people willing and able to pay for a high priced product.
Pure Fishing ABU-Garcia too, each year do special issue production runs for collectors. They also offer Factory -tuned reels with go -fast parts on board for the enthusiast. They also do very limited runs, such as 67 only Morrum Ambassadeur, wooden box issue of Left and Right hand reels.
Watch out for the frauds who try to pass off on E-Bay, reels
that seem to be unique or one-off and attempt to sell the same for a handsome
profit as an original ABU creation ! Gold 5500 Ambassadeurs have been target of
this technique in recent years.
Ask for advice from
knowledgeable friends before bidding or investing, especially if
unsure of the seller! I have been tricked too!
This is different if the
modification is acknowledged and the seller is
testing the water for a buyer for his creative endeavours.
See a magnificent but FAKE Ambassadeur 5000 C Deluxe here. Spot the differences!
Links below or on this page look at non-Pure Fishing but still legitimate modified ABU reels.
Simon Shimomura (botton of page) is annointed to use, modify and creat beautiful , asthetically pleasing Ambassadeur reels for the PF organization, which by and large caters to mass market. I am proud owner of one of the most exquisitly manufactured Ambassadeurs viz 6500 C in gunmetal and gold livery.
Dave Brown made my first magged modified casting reel.
Jerry from Hookless Custom Ambassadeur reels USA made my next set of modified reels.
I have recently discovered other not approved of, but never the less, options more for high-end fishing enthusiasts, rather than merely Collectors. These are just too good to sit on a shelf. Both my 2500/6500 UT Custom Reels made my Ulf Tingstrom have been previously featured.
A new company (to me at least) is PMR which stands for Pimp My Reel, is selling made to order Ambassadeurs which glisten with go-fast options, finishes that are unique, eg Tuff Stuff coatings etc. I am ordering one of these myself. Do I really need another reel my wife asks? In this case as an actual reel to fish, if feel I have to put it through it paces and will review here at a later date. Enjoy Jamie's PMR Utube channel and be stunned!
Akios reels by Steve Bradbury must be added soon when contact is made.
Kalama reels makes some very beautiful uniquely coloured Ambassadeurs.
This Customization process, I see has been been both organizational and personal in nature. Hey, even I have humbly
modified/ built a 24kt Gold Ambassadeur of my own , for purely aesthetic reasons!
My personal indulgence of a
24 kt gilded 4 screw
I am already working on my
24kt Gold Collection of Classic
My own original set of 6600C , 5600C, 4600C Ambassadeurs can be seen here with my 'spare' set of Custom refinished Champagne
Joel from USA loves
the 4500 size reel and has created a number
of his own personal Ambassadeurs for his own pleasure.
Custom Ambassadeur Reel Building USA
also creates awesome modfied Ambassadeur reels, likewise Jay Parker from
Australia and I'm sure no doubt thousands of other who tinker.
made me a set of three Camo Ambassadeurs. The two factory originals are 6500 C
and 5500 C whilst the 4500 C is "created" from with standard camo reel end
plates mounted on a 4500 C size frame. neat and not for all but the ways a fan
can personalize are endless and really limited only by ones imagination. Nice
one, or should I say 3, Jerry!
It is the only one-off
reel I have parted with ever, to a friend in Germany who has been
lusting after it since he visited me 2 years ago. In exchange he
brokered a deal on a mint teak-boxed Black and gold 1600 size
Morrum MM Ambasssadeur. (to appear here soon)
On an organizational level, ABU has been involved in this
process since the beginning, it really was part of their Research and
Development program. Contented staff were happy to test the products on the
beautiful Morrum River. Things tested here ranged from rods, reels and lures.
Some lucky collectors have been able to collect such prototypes which never
reached the mass production stage. Hey I'd like to be a chocolate tester at Cadbury's too!
We saw national pride in International Casting competition, sated by the in-house specialized production of the combo casting rod and reel , tea combination of technology and human skills which would
eclipse all other nations. This was made in limited numbers and given or sold (I
do not know which) to deserving and upcoming Swedish Tournament Casters. More
recently they have released some special events reels.
Dave Brown's Tourny Reels
Dave Brown of the UK 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. More details on Dave's special skills are linked
special piece on the history of
UK ABU CT type beach casting reels
Tournament Casting efforts, where today casts of more than
200m are commonplace, sees most work in this area taken over by the mag reels
from the 80's. Specialized changes, (above) see these reel re-built to be strong enough
to withstand the huge pressures placed upon them when asked to cast 8oz leads
with heavy shock leaders in beach casting, whether it be to get the bait
out over the surf breakers, or to win a competition of distance alone.
Moving on in time, we see other nations come into this
market. Notably Japan, not only were special reels made for this most affluent
of markets peaking in the 90's , but we saw the development of other Tuning
Companies which took an otherwise superb product like the Morrum series of
reels and fine tuned it to even great refinement.
I hope more detail will come to light here and maybe some Japanese fans will supply images and details.
Pure fishing have just released the
commemorating the bravery of Police and Fireman who gave their lives helping
I know of
operation which is officially sanctioned and licenced by Pure Fishing to
produce/reproduce their superb range of faithfully authentic and re-engineered Classic Ambassadeurs
, spare parts for these classic as well as the fabulous books of course.
I also know of other lesser operations where it is almost certain that the new product created is understandably NOT warranted by Pure
Fishing. The good ones back there work!
Be careful of your purchases, even
if the reel is very expensive and seeming new and better than ABU made them! I
have heard horror stories of incorrect fitting /removal of bearings, almost
correct alignments, but generally not the real deal, most certainly without the
10 year warranty that ABU once placed upon its reels.
I have recently
had created my own personal custom
ABU plastic plugs
of all types except the Rakan , viz Killer
,Hilo, Snoky, Cello , Kynoch. These beautiful hand sprayed creations are to be
seen here and were created by my friend Darcy Menchin who himself is one of
Australia's premier wooden lure designer and creators. His creations are varied
and works of art which both catch fish and deserve to be preserved in
collections. His works fetch from $15 to $100 per items depending on
size/colour and time to carve/finish.
Details of his small personal
workshop/business are linked here.
(A spare Rakan is still missing
, very much needed, and I would
love to find one to paint up for my custom display).
Anyone who wishes to add more detail here please feel free to
place your helpful
news which will be acknowledged here.