Sneek peek of some of my Ambassadeur reels.
(experimenting with new ring flash, causing interesting vignetting peepshow here)
I have a collection of Ambassadeurs (150 only) at present, but like my friends, l am trying to collect more obscure models, whilst all the time enjoying learning something new from new aquaintances each day.
My 2010 patch design for ORCA and ABU's 60's design
I receive lots of questions regarding dating of ABU reels.
It is a complex subject and I hope to help here.
Initially packaging (see brown cardboard box below) was of little importance for what were arguably the finest baitcasting reels in the world.
Reading and Learning about Ambassadeur beyond this page
The Official Tight Lines 'Ambassadeur' Story
However, I feel is a very poorly structured story as it make mention of ABU Engineers and not specially the Father of the Ambassadeur Ake Murvall
I strongly suggest that the 4
books listed in my
page (sadly some are now defunct) about Len
Borgstom, Simon Shimomura and Daniel Skupien and more are
absolutely essential to the study and appreciation of these
fine reels. These
books are very definitely the Universe when it
comes to matters ABU. Unlike a Penthouse which we all know are
mainly bought for the literary articles, buy these
(don't loan from a library or photocopy a friends) as coffee
table books at least! I have even found my wife having a sneak
peek and even commenting on the beautiful reels.
Final Word on the development of the Ambassadeur
Reel, sourced from Ake Murvall's personal Diary and
kindly shared by passionate
ABU researcher and fan , Per Erlandsen has now been
replaced (front page) after its initial removal.
THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE Record Ambassadeur 5000
(up until Per's article above)
Swedish friend Mikael
more observations by Espen Olav Sjaastad from Norway
Ron Elsenaar from Sweden
A combination of many factors, including the economic boom after the end of WW2, the high quality and innovative design and construction techniques, along with the growth of the Sportfishing movement, saw the booming sales of the Ambassadeur series around the world but undoubtedly the USA popularity assured its place in history.
Like a Ferrari, to many, the colour of an Ambassadeur should always be red. It was predominantly found sporting this hue, but black, green and even annodized gold was produced for this first model. For many it will always be the ultimate reel. Part 1, 2 For me the 7000 fits this bill. See cut-away view
Where does one start to discuss variations in the Ambassadeur reels? Sidepate colours/engraving/foil label stickers? Handles? Nuts and bolts? Models, capacities of spools? 4screw V 3screw? Bearing Caps, Plain/Agate? Prototypes/Packaging/Cases? Accessories? Gear Ratios? Commemoratives Delux CDL's? Export models? and so on.........
Why an (ABU) Baitcaster ? Australian Outdoors 1967
A few of my many sizes/varieties are here
Tight Lines close up views of parts of the Best Reel (Ambassadeur) in the World:
Wide-spool Record Ambassadeur 6000
Record Ambassadeur 6000 (rarer than the red Record 5000)
Thanks to Jon Steinsnes of Norway
Another friend Duncan Francey has supplied these images of these rare Ambassadeur 6000 instruction sheets.
Record Ambassadeur 5000/6000 Spare Parts Lid and Partially populated box.
Schematic of Parts and numbers
Partially populated box of parts.
The Designer : AkeMurvall
Gote and Len Borgstrom field testing the powerfully strong 5000/6000 size Ambassadeurs in late 1950's.
Sourced by Hans
van der Pauw
from a book called 'Encyclopedie van de Sportvisserij' (Encyclopedia of Sport Fishing) by the famous Dutch angling author Jan Schreiner, published in 1960. It contains a nice picture on big game fishing (see attachment). The caption reads (translated) : "These sailfish and the wahoo hanging in the middle were caught on very light tackle. Note the small multi-reels of the Ambassadeur type and the light rods made of fiberglass. The sailfish on the left fought for over an hour."
the same time, in the summer of 1959 in fact, some well-known
anglers were invited by ABU for a shark fishing trip off
Helgoland. Also with small Ambassadeur 6000 reels, to prove what
these tiny reels (tiny compared to the then usual Penn monsters)
were worth. One of the anglers was the same Jan Schreiner. This
trip appeared in the 1960 ABU catalog of which I have added a
page: the man in the middle on page 17 is Jan Schreiner.
Worthy of note are some USA catalog pages.
Notice the tiny ad in "Field and Stream" by Julian Wessler, the first seller of Ambassadeur in USA.
was not long before the Borgstom family realized the need to
change distribution of Ambassadeur to Garcia!
This is the first known advertizing in USA of the Swedish Ambassadeur casting reel
Kindly supplied by John Fishkat in USA, see other pages here
First marketed just with case, service-tool and spare-parts vial, the Ambassadeur 5000 became a kit including a spare spool as well
The Delux gold plated version was released in a teak case.
Mine first version from 1963 is here.
it is complete with booklet, spare spool, tool spares and oil, authenication certificate, drawsting cloth bag and 24 kt gold Ambassaeur pin
Not my rarest reel but still the prettiest!
More specific 1969 advertizing illustrates the ground-breaking features of smooth chrome anti-corrosive manufacturing, fine tolerances between surfaces, centrifugal braking systems, multi-disk star drag, precision matched gears lapped to perfect smoothness, evolution from bushes to ball bearings etc
By 1975, we see a much greater emphasis on the wider range of Ambassadeur models taking the reel to more demanding use for bigger salt water fish. These reels feature ball bearings, direct drive as well as high speed gearing.
5000, 5000A, 5000B, 6000 and bigger
Direct drive model
The bigger salt water models 7000, 8600 (8500 in Europe), 9000 and 10 000 sizes
Ball bearing models
High retrieve speed models
These smaller reels, some designated Ambassadeur like this model 1750 are delicate little gems to cast. There were numerous models, all annodised red, ranging from 1750, 1750 A, 2000, the narrow spool 2050, the ultra rare 2500 as well as the 2600 and the narrow spool 2650. Push booton release was an innovative feature on the 1750 model. I have a prototype 1750 with internal electronics for casting control. This is featured elsewhere on site.
This ABU 3000, sold in Europe, was designed with special "plastic" sideplates to make it more resistant to salt water. Its cousin the ABU 4000 had red sideplates and was identical in every respect, except its market was USA. The main drawback was the coloured plastic sideplates whilst being salt water resistant, was that they faded badly due to UV light exposure.
most significant new release for many, in 1976 Tight Lines
catalog, was the addition of the the miniscule 2500 C
No better persons to be the Ambassadors for this new reel are authors Espen SJaastad and Karl-Erik Svensson
Permission has been kindly extended to me to note their best practice documenting of this fine series of small Ambassadeurs which started in 1975 and continues to this day.
With the spool size, some would have had reservations for controlling large fish like the powerful Salmon of Europe and Tropical powerful species encountered here in Australia. Not so if the Abulon Extra Top Hook Fishing line was used and most especially today with such an array of ultra fine and strong braids and gel spun lines available to choose from. Capacity is not an issue!
I consider the book to be a work of art and even people who have had 50 years or more experience with ABU, can learn a lot from the authors research. I recommend that all with even a passing interest in ABU Ambassadeurs to seek out, purchase, read, treasure and never loan this book. It is so inexpensive for the joy it will bring you.
Major Ambassadeur models included in my fishing armoury and collection
I have most of the Morrum series from deminuitive 1600 3600 5600 6600 7700
Other little beauties are the tiny Red Record-like 1750, 1750A, 2000, 2050, 2500, 2600, 2650 featured here
Of course there are the later myriad of tear drop shaped reels , and the other modern low profile reels like Revo's below !
The Classic 70's Ambassadeur Range
Who would not love to have some beautiful mint treasures like these kind shared by Gerald Garrett from Texas?
Ambassadeur 10 000 C and 7000 mint (original packaging from early 70's)
world of casting reels or multipliers as we know them in
Australia, changed forever after 1952, with the creation
of the Ambassadeur.
To my mind, based upon fishing experience, any of the classic Ambassadeur family of reels is all one needs to be a totally satisfied fisherman. A perfect reel that maintained and used correctly teach us a lot about ourselves, as I remarked to Len Borgstom.
They make us recognize our own failures (in technique,
maintenance regimes or choice of balanced tackle) and
therefore we grow when we learn to accept our shortcomings
and adapt to change.
My world of fishing has improved and changed considerably because of ABU and it's Ambassadeurs.
Thankyou Len, Gote, Carl and all the past designers and team in Svangsta SWEDEN in general.
Whilst not technically badged as an original Ambassadeur, I will always see the Morrum family of reels as merely an extension of the old bloodlines. Long may they be crafted in Sweden. So important as an evolution of the Ambassadeur for me, I have granted it pride of place on the top right of every page of this site, along with the Admiral soon to appear floating bottom left and the 70's Ambassadeur of Sweden fixed top left. This 7700 CL, is probably the most practical of reels for my style of fishing here in Great Barrier Reef waters where I live. I would love to one day get the 7700 CT cage version of this reel for my collection.
The Morrums were developed for the Japanese market and reached their pinnacle here being further "tuned" and developed into not only magnificent and very unique pieces of fishing technology but also the most beautiful and artistic of reels.
Historically we can see the evolution of the Ambassadeur from the Record casting reels of 1940 on. The most obvious connections came with the introduction of high tech innovations such as centrifugal braking systems, automatic free-spool for re-engaging the spool, thumbscrew access for easy spool changing in the Record 2100 Sport (1945+) and the introduction of bearing caps which were very simply micro-adjusted in the ABU 3000.
I own a reproduction model 5000 SG boxed with Morrum and released in 2002 as the 50th Anniversary of this 5000 SG reel's release. This is probably the only way I'm to own this mint magnificient signpost reel among reels!
ABU utilized the fishing cababilities of champions to promote their reels!
UPDATE from my friend Lonnie mills USA
The second pic (front view) is actually closer to the actual color of the plates. Condition of the reel is a 9.5.
comment by Per Erlandsen
don’t know if I’m mistaken, but I understand that your friend
Lonnie Mills suggests this reel to be one of the
early test reels for determining the color of the Ambassadeur reel. These are my comments:
There is something wrong here. The reel shown in the picture is clearly an ABU stamped reel. If it were to fit
with the original color test reels it should have been stamped Record. The famous test for selecting the color
happened in 1952 when the Record Ambassadeur 5000 was being finalized for production and prior to the
launch of the Mod SG. Ake Murval’s private notebook from the Ambassadeur 5000 project
this about the color test reels (I prefer to call them the
Record Ambassadeur 5000 Type 1 -
model made in several colors,
not for public sale and prior to January 1952):
They are all made in 1951 between May and October (5 reels made in May, one each color – 60 reels made in
November/October, 20 in red, green and black).
They come in five different colors:
20 or 21 red, 20 or 21 green, 20 or 21 black, 1 blue, 1 golden
Brake plate is polished aluminum.
None of the Type 1 reels were stamped MOD SG.
No Roman color coding numbers occur on any of these reels."
Seems there was a first meeting at ABU where 5 reels were shown, these were red, green, black, blue, golden.
There were disagreements about which color to use, Ake preferred the black reel, and it was finally decided to
make 20 reels of the red, green and black variants for further testing to assess customer opinions.
In my opinion Lonnie’s reel seems to be a later reel, made after the name changed from RECORD to ABU in
1958. Why it is green is hard to say, it could be the color is not original, it could be the job of an employee who
just wanted something different (a private job), or it could be a reel made to a special order (it is known that
this happened from time to time). I have never heard of a green reel made to a special order, but I have heard
of several black reels. Regardless of what Lonnie’s reel is, the reel is an odd one and a rarity and it could well be
an original ABU job, made in this color at Svängsta. A 1951 reel from the batch of color test reels, however, it is
agree with you that id this Kind regards from Per Erlandsen.
Rare Champagne Ambassadeur 5500 and box marked G for gold!
'Why have one when two are twice as nice?"
"From The Collection Of Lonnie Mills, USA"
The photographs are just stunning and let's face folks that's the only way most of us are ever going to enjoy many of the these classics....not to mention the prototypes... ..ah a quick flight to Svangsta, Sweden to the Museum to drool?