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Rounding out the classic reels in our shootout is the Abel Super 7/8. These reels haven’t changed much over the years, and that’s either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Generally, we fall on the side of innovation, but let’s see if the tweaks that have been made to the Super series are enough to keep it competitive.
6.8 ounces. Actually quite light!
We’ve seen this time and time again from the Super series. Cork drags that aren’t soaked in lubricatant are just WAY too sticky. I don’t care how many world records this reel has to its name, this is a really big issue and it’s why you pay the big bucks for the SDS. The Abel maxes out at 6.5lbs of drag, but this quickly drops off and you can only really use about 2.5lbs. At the halfway mark, it’s got a mere .5lb and you’ll only see .06lbs on the bottom end.
One thing that’s worth noting is that the Super series doesn’t have any stop on the bottom end (the spool is removed by continuing to unscrew the drag), so we estimate that it has about 3 turns.
The incoming retrieve on the Super is fantastic. It’s as nice as anything else out there. The outgoing, though, is more muted than we’d like.
Like the Islander and the SDS, the Super is another reel that is just too small in a 7/8 size. I get that it’s trying to stay true to the classic sizes, but it just doesn’t hold enough line, or pick it up fast enough. On the plus side, it is quite narrow.
Like its big brother the SDS, the Super 7/8 is a fantastic looking reel. Hand painted, it’s a functional piece of art. It’s also got a great handle. Unlike the SDS, the Super has a classic (read: small and hard to grasp) drag knob. Not our favorite.
Due to its lighter weight, the Super better in the drop test than the SDS. Overall, Abel’s got a solid finish, but it’s not going to beat out a super tough type 3 anodize.
Lifetime to the original owner + $20.
Price: $795 – but more for the fish graphic
If you had asked me where the Abel would end up in the shootout before starting, I could have more or less predicted where it would end up. There’s no room for startup inertia in this shootout. However, they have made this reel better over the years, and, while not as improved as I was hoping, its light weight shows that the road isn’t completely over for the Abel Super 7/8.
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