The original plan was that Quantum’s brand new Smoke HD baitcasting reel would have its big unveiling at the 2016 ICAST show in July, but the incredible success it’s had on bass fishing’s biggest stages wouldn’t let its introduction to the world wait.
The buzz began at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic when tell-it-like-it-is pro Greg Hackney boldly told media onlookers, “I’ll tell you right now, that reel right there may very well be the finest reel Quantum has ever built – you hear me?” challenged Hackney, as he pointed down at the Smoke HD lying in his front deck before tournament blast-off.
Hackney proved he wasn’t blowin’ Smoke when he used three of the new large spooled reels to win BASSfest on Lake Texoma three weeks later.
“I’ve always preached the benefits of a large spool when it seemed most of the fishing industry kept downsizing their spools,” says Hackney.
“There’s three huge advantages to using a larger, 200 size spool, versus a 100, or even a 150,” explains Hackney. “You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose with a bigger reel, especially with a reel like Smoke HD that’s got a compact frame, so it fits real comfortable in your hand and weighs under 7-ounces.”
“First, you’ll cast more accurately with a larger spool. Second, you can feather a larger spool with your thumb easier, and it’s not gonna burn your skin on a long hard cast, and because of that, you’ll cast harder and further without hesitation,” Hackney explains. “Most importantly, you can retrieve a lure a lot faster with a 200 size Smoke than you can a smaller reel.”
“Not only is the spool on this Smoke HD exceptionally large, but it spins super free, which is the most important thing when you’re skipping a jig or pitching it,” he added.
Ironically, even though Smoke is rich with 7 bearings, and worthy of saltwater with its corrosion resistant SCR finish - an exclusive protection developed by Quantum engineers - it’s something as simple as its oversized handles that Hackney and his teammate Gerald Swindle are quick to highlight.
Swindle who is having a phenomenal season, challenged Hackney for the win at Texoma, and sits second to Hackney in the Toyota Angler of the Year points race, says, “The huge handle is key because there are so many times when you’re pitching that a bass bites and your hands aren’t perfectly positioned – with this reel you make up lost ground quickly by having an oversized handle to get ahold of – not to mention – it’s like winding a winch.”