The Bottom Line
Abu Garcia has completely changed designs with their new 600 series. The small reels are strong, yet light and easy to use. Easy to clean and lube, they are ideal for light tackle saltwater angling.
- Five ball-bearing construction
- Light weight one piece frame
- High speed 5.1 to 1 reel ratio
- Documentation is lacking
- Spool Changing
- The one piece aluminum construction makes for easy tear down and cleaning.
- Stamina drag system is beefy and will stand up to long runs without burning.
- Like most all reels these days, the instant anti-reverse allows for great hook sets.
- Easy three screw access to all main gears for cleaning and lubricating.
Guide Review - Abu Garcia Cardinal C3
I fished the C3 over a 2 week period of time. With 6 pound test line, I was able to cast relatively long distances with ease. the 5 ball-bearing design made line retrieval very smooth. This reel is a new design by Abu, so I removed the bottom cover to have a look. The simple design had fewer moving parts than most reels, something that means to me - fewer breakdowns. The "Stamina" drag system performs very well. I caught several fish in the seven to eight pound range that put a real workout on that drag. The only thing I found needing improvement was the documentation. There is a parts sheet and only minimal instructions. I could not find how the quick release spool worked. Overall I recommend this reel. It does just fine for me.