Saturday, February 28, 2015

Product Review: Ardent Apex Grand

Ardent Apex Grand 

Over the last couple of weeks I have been using an awesome reel from Ardent.  This is the real deal when it comes to casting and smooth action.  Here are my initial thoughts on the reel, how I rigged it up, and what I think of it after use. 

Product Specs:
Ardent Apex Grand
  •   7.3:1 Gear Ratio
  •    Helical Aircraft Aluminum Gear
  •    Dual Breaking System
  •    12+1 High-Precision Ball Bearings
  •     5.9 Ounces
  •     Strike SystemÔ Drag System
  •     Power Carbon Fiber Handle

Easy Adjust Dual Breaking System

Initial Thoughts:
When I opened the box and held the Ardent Apex Grand my first thought was that it was LIGHT.  Weighing in at 5.9oz. it is the lightest low profile bait caster that I have used.  The next thing that stood out was the large carbon fiber handle.  This handle has huge cranking abilities. 

Large Spool holds plenty of floro

Rigging the Ardent:
Since it is the winter time, I knew I would need a good crankbait/jerkbait reel.  I spooled the reel with 12lbs fluorocarbon and put it on my St. Croix 7' Medium/ Heavy crankbait rod.  The fast 7.3:1 gear ratio is perfect for jerkbait fishing and as long as I cranked slowly it was good for my crankbaits. I was pumped to get this reel out on the water. 

Photo By: Rob Choi 

Using the Ardent:
My first trip with this reel was to a small local reservoir for bass and pickerel.  I had my Ardent rigged with a Spro Little John crankbait in a Spring Craw color.  I took a few practice cast at the ramp to adjust the breaking system.  The brake system is super easy to adjust, and after only a few casts it was ready to go.  The fishing was slow that day, and I fired off a ton of cast with this reel.  I never heard a single noise, and never got tired from holding it.  I caught a few fish with it, including a chunky bass.  The drag was super smooth when I was fighting the fish.  On my next few trips I was primarily fishing jerk baits.  The quick gear ratio was perfect for picking up the slack line after each jerk.  I caught a few pickerel and small bass on the jerkbaits, and once again never had an issue.

What I Like: 
After using this reel several times and catching some good fish I can tell you that this reel really impressed me.  The thing that stood out the most was how smooth it is.  It is definately the smoothest reel in my arsenal.  I can cast crankbaits and jerkbaits a mile with this and even under sub-freezing conditions, there were no issues.  The smooth drag also impressed me.  Many crankbaits have very light-wire hooks that pull easily, so having a smooth drag is very important.  Unfortunately, due to our winter weather I was unable to test the Ardent Apex Grand in the salt.  All indications are that it will make a great redfish and speckled trout reel for topwater and jig fishing.  I do not know how well it will hold up in the salt but I plan on putting it to the test.   


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