Top critical review
29 people found this helpful
One small and one big of issue with this reel
on June 26, 2014
I own the ABF-50, and a friend of mine also bought the ABF-50.
Both reels work well and look nice, with the following 2 exceptions:
Turning the baitfeeder on is not consistent. Sometimes the baitfeeder doesn't engage. In these cases, sometimes a hard push towards 'on' will fix it, other times I have to turn it off and back on, and still other times you have to turn it off, turn the reel handle a bit, then turn it on. It's fast to do, but still irritating. It always comes OFF baitfeeder without issues, with either a manual switch throw, or reeling.
MAJOR ISSUE: The ABF-50 reel handle joint is too weak for big fish.
The joint which holds the reel handle out is too weak. Both mine and my friends ABF50 had this same exact issue while using it for fishing big (20-25#) channel cats. I loaned mine to a novice fisherman, and my friend is also a novice fisherman. When fighting a big catfish, there is a normal human tendency to push 'inwards' on the reel handle as you turn it under heavy tension. The circular section where the handle and the spindle meet (the part that loosens when you unscrew the thumb screw on the other side) is PLASTIC and quickly gets 'rounded' when the handle is used under big fish pressure. Then the reel handle will easily move in and out no matter how tight the thumb screw is. I was able to jury-rig a 'fix' for both reels by loosening the thumb screw a lot, then inserting the shaft of a gold #6 aberdeen sunfish hook strategically across the inside of the joint and then tighten down the thumbscrew, and wrap electrical tape around that joint where the hook is. BUT this 'fix' is temporary as eventually the wire hook wears a divot into the plastic piece and the handle moves in and out again. I permanently 'fixed' mine by buying a 'spare' handle for the Okuma Coronado 55a, and putting it on the Avenger.
IMHO, a reel of this size is expected to be used on big strong fish, and that reel handle joint should be designed to take a LOT of inward force when reeling, as it is human nature to do that, especially for people not used to catching a lot of very big strong fish. With the new Coronado handle, this reel is working good again, but I still give it one star due to NEEDING that fix (plus the issue of the inconsistent bait feeder switch).