The Cabo’s drag has remained silky smooth after two years of use.

QUANTUM CABO 5000 – TWO YEAR REVIEW

I’ve owned a number of Quantum reels over the years while Quantum may not have the market share of some other brands, their reels have always given me great service on a value-for-money basis. Having had my latest Quantum in the form of a 2018 Cabo 50 exactly two years now, I thought it would be a good time to do a long-term review and see how it has stood up to some serious fishing use over the journey.

FIRST SOME STATS

The CSP50 holds 225 yards of 12 pound mono (which translates into almost 300m of good quality 15 kilo braid). It’s what I would classify as a mid-range reel, suitable for everything from barra and salmon, up to speedy pelagics like mackerel and tuna. Some of its other features include; an aluminum body and side cover, 8 ball bearings, a titanium bail with magnetic trip, continuous anti reverse, a ceramic drag system and a new shaped spool lip for increased casting distance.

DURABILITY

I’ve got to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well this reel has coped with two solid years of fishing. Despite bouncing around in various boats and not being babied at all, apart from a couple of slight marks you’d think it might not have actually had that much use.

Whatever they’ve used to coat the reel, it’s very hard wearing. The only noticeable marks on high wear points, like the bail arms, but even there the marks are only slight. Speaking of bails, the titanium bail wire has proven it can absorb the knocks and keep coming back for more.

I’ve used the Cabo to do a lot of high speed spinning, and if ever any technique was going to find a flaw in any reel, high speed spinning would do it. I’m happy to say that despite hours and hours of flat out cranking, the reel still feels very smooth. The gears feel like they are meshing as tight as ever and there’s just no noticeable slackness or new noises I can detect.

The handle gets an especially big wrap from me. The design is brilliant, and it still feels rock solid. There’s no wear on the handle knob either, which is a common downfall in some other reels I’ve used.

I’ve not put a spanner on this reel so far, and the only maintenance it gets is a quick rinse off after each saltwater trip. Overall, I’d give it a 9 out of 10 for durability.

PERFORMANCE

After two years of offshore fishing, this reel has quickly become a favourite of mine. I’ve used it for everything from bait fishing, to micro jigging and of course plenty of solid sessions of high speed spinning.

In that time, it’s landed quite a few Spanish mackerel, as well as lots of smaller grey, spottie and schoolie macs. It’s also dealt with numerous mack and longtail tuna, queenfish and assorted trevally species. It’s even been used to reef coral trout, snapper and estuary cod off the bottom. Whatever task I’ve assigned it, it’s handled it with ease.

Over the two years, it’s generally been filled with either 20 or 30 pound braid, and that’s been a great fit for it. I don’t know how much drag pressure they claim it has, but I do know I can lock it down to the point where I can’t physically pull line off the spool by hand. By the same token, at more sensible settings, the drag is very smooth and easily copes with fast running pelagics.
Performance wise, it’s easily been a 9.5 out of 10.

SUMMARY

When I first got my Cabo from DINGA, I reviewed it and stated that I expected it to be a great value for money reel for offshore work. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t wrong. I’ve been more than happy with my reel so far, and given its performance, I’d expect to get plenty more years of use out of it. I’d also happily buy another if for some reason I did need to replace it.

If you are looking for a quality spin reel and don’t want to get a second mortgage just to afford it, check out the Cabo CSP50. They are still the same price today as they were two years ago at $189 with free delivery. After using mine for a couple of years, I’d certainly rate them as being one of the best sub $200 spinning reels on the market.

Click here to read my original review on the Cabo reel.


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Dave Magner
magner66@tpg.com.au

Dave is a keen and experienced lure and fly angler who has travelled and fished right across Australia and New Zealand. He particularly enjoys tournament bass fishing, chasing freshwater species from his kayak and bluewater pelagics from his boat.