The Abel Super 8, along with the Tibor Everglades, made up the "classic" portion of our 8-weight challenge. These reels have not only stood the test of time, but have countless world records to their credit.  How do they stack up against more modern competition?  Let's find out.


8-Weight Challenge Full Results


7.45 ounces - about average.


6.56 lbs. The best part about Abel's drag is its simplicity.  The entire reel is made up of less than 20 parts - all of which are easily replaceable by the user.  This is in stark contrast to many modern drags which must be returned to the factory.  Unfortunately, while the drag was fairly smooth, it did exhibit some significant start-up inertia.  This might be reduced through additional lubrication of the cork.




You can't make reels as long as Abel has if you don't sound great. It did not disappoint.


The Abel Super Series had some trouble in this department.  While the spool is nice and narrow, it's also one of the smallest in the test. It also lacks a quick change spool as well (Abel makes a QC version of compensate for this). Retrieval rate was about average, but better than expected for a classic reel.


This is where Abel truly shines. Want a reel hand painted by Derek Deyoung?  No problem.  Solid? Ported? or with a yellow reel seat?  No problem.  There are so many options to choose from that Abel had to make a "reel builder" on their website.  But how do they look?  Beautiful. Abel finishes a great reel with a classic wooden handle (or virtually anything else you might like).


Lifetime to the original owner + $20 fee + return shipping.


Price: $700


If you're buying an Abel, you probably already know you you want one.  Just get it. Your kids will enjoy it when it's handed down.


Like our reviews?  Get it here.


  • Exquisitely crafted, tons of customizable options
  • Easy to fix at home, supremely simple drag mechanism
  • Made in the USA


  • More start-up inertia than we'd like to see