Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Okuma Avenger ABF65 Bait Feeder Reel. Until last fall I had never even heard of Okuma Reels. A friend named Jeff was at our fall event and had two he bartered with on the barter blanket. Another friend and I both acquired one of them.
These reels are amazing and for the price they are flatly fing amazing! I have used 200 dollar reels that were no smoother than these are. As many of you know I am a huge fan of Mitchell Reels and I highly recommend the Mitchell 300 for lighter set ups. Frankly this reel has me pondering trying a lighter version and comparing it head to head with my beloved Mitchells.
The ABF65 is a substantial reel, designed for larger fish like small to medium sharks in the surf or really big catfish. I have this one teamed up with an Ugly Stick Big Water Series 11100 9 foot rod, and have several trips to the shore planned with it this year. Also if I do make good on my threat to buy a boat, I’ll be using this one to target trophy cats.
The feature I really and I mean really love on this reel is called the “bait feeder drag”. What this allows you to do is use a second drag setting for the reel when your bait is out. You can set this very light, your line all stays nice on the reel but when a fish takes the bait the line feeds out as it begins its run. Simply turning the reel a half turn engages your standard drag and the fight is on.
Many bait casting reels have settings similar to this, but this is the first spin caster anyway I have seen that does this. There may be others but I am not aware of them. Check out the video below to see exactly how it works.
The Avenger ABF series comes in quite a few sizes, they are outlined in this table.
As mentioned above I am seriously considering ordering a lighter version of this reel and it may very well unseat Mitchell reels as my go to and my family has been using Mitchell reels for long before I was born. I am going to check with some local stores to see if anyone stocks these. I would kind of like to hold one rather than ordering it blind so to say. I like to get a feel for my reels and how they will balance with a rod.
My gut is the ABF30 will be damn close to the Mitchell 300 in size and balance, if I can’t find a local store that stocks them I will just order one and I am sure it will pair nicely with one of my rods. When I get my hands on a smaller reel I will report back and give its’ own spot as Item of the Day.
That said if you want a reel for bigger fish, this one is amazing. It also comes with a second spool so that you can have a second one all ready to go. So if big fish are in your future check out the ABF65 and you could do a lot worse than pairing it up with a Ugly Stick Big Water Series 1100 9 foot rod.
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P.S. – If any of you own a ABF series reel specifically smaller sizes I would love your thoughts on it, what you have it paired with and would love to see it in a picture with something for scale.