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Quantum Cabo PTSE Review

The Quantum Cabo PTSE was released in 2015 after being completely redesigned.  When Quantum redesigned the Cabo, they kept the name for marketing purposes, but effectively came out with an all new reel specifically designed for saltwater fishing.  In this review of the Quantum Cabo PTSE, we will take a look at the six models the CSP40PTsE, CSP50PTsE, CSP60PTsE, CSP80PTsE, CSP100PTsE, and the CSP120PTsE that replaced the older Quantum Cabo PTSD’d.

Quantum is a brand of a reel that many who are new to fishing have not heard of.   However, it is a brand that deserves some attention as I feel it is of very good quality and they do make a number of reels that are specific to saltwater fishing.  The Quantum Cabo PTSE is a reel designed specifically for heavy-duty saltwater fishing with features such as massive drag, multi-layer corrosion protection and what they call Performance Tuning, which is where the PT comes from in the name.

When you combine gear ratios of 5.3:1 on the smaller 40 and 50 sizes, 4.9:1 on the medium 60 and 80 sizes, and 4.4:1 on the massive 100 and 120 sizes with line capacities that start at 270 yards of 30 lbs braid on the smallest model all the way up to 400 yards of 100 lbs braid on the 120, you have a reel that is designed specifically to target your larger fish.

Regardless of where you like to fish, from a boat or from the beach, the Quantum Cabo PTSE with its watertight drag and hybrid polymer-stainless bearings is sure to get the job done and last a long time even under the brutal conditions we put our saltwater gear through every day.

Features

SCR™ alloy body and side cover – Both the body and the side cover are made of an alloy material that is called SCR.  This material was designed originally for marine engines to withstand the torque, heat, and pressure that wears down most materials in short order. The use of SCR alloy means that your reel will still look and operate properly for years to come if it is well maintained.

Rotors – The smaller models 40 and 50 have a carbon fiber composite rotor while the bigger brothers use the SCR alloy material for their rotors.

8 PT™ bearings – The Quantum Cabo uses 8 PT bearings that are advertised to be made of a hybrid polymer-stainless steel ceramic material to deliver a smooth retrieve as well as excellent saltwater corrosion protection.  When it comes to making sure that your hook up is solid and smooth, the Koyo sealed anti-reverse bearing gets the job done.  Quantum claims to have a ceramic bearing system but it appears that the bearings are not ceramic and only a good quality stainless steel material.  I am not sure if this is a holdover from original marketing material that was never changed.  If you read the full reviews by Alan Hawk and others who have completely disassembled the reel, they will confirm that the bearings and the drag washers contain no ceramic material.

Sealed Magnum™ CSC Drag – The massive watertight drag on these reels is achieved by placing a stack of carbon fiber washers in a stack on the top portion of the spool with stainless steel washers in between.  The size of the reel determines how many washers are present. The smaller reels have 5 and the largest 100 and 120 have 7 carbon washers.  Underneath the spool sits an oversized single carbon washer.  These are combined with the PT bearings to deliver a smooth and strong drag that can only be compared to that of the Shimano Stella which costs 5 times more.

TiMag® titanium bail system.  The titanium bail on the Quantum Cabo is branded as the TiMag for Titanium Magnetic.  What this means to you, outside of marketing speak is that the bail is held closed with a magnet when you are casting.  The advantage of this is that you do not accidentally trip the bail and have your cast abruptly stopped.  As a note, make sure that you do not get sand on the magnets on a regular basis as this has proven to wear the magnets out thus reducing their effectiveness.

LMS™ line management system – The bail features a ball bearing line roller that when coupled with the magnetic trip titanium bail delivers a super smooth line lay back onto the reel and supports those fast and hard runs that bigger fish like tuna and sharks are so well known for.

SaltGuard™ 2.0 – Quantum uses what they call Saltguard 2.0 which is a multi-layer corrosion protection system that when coupled with the quality SCR alloy body means you will get years of use out of your equipment.  I always want people to remember that regardless of how well the equipment is made and regardless of what type of material that it uses, it is very important to make sure you always rinse your equipment after each use.  Personally, I take it a step further and use Salt-Away to get the salt deposits off and put an additional protective layer on my gear.

Super-hard PT™ gears – The drive gear is made in two pieces.  The main gear is supposed to be forged stainless steel while the shaft has the oscillation drive gear machined into it.  Upon closer inspection of the main gear, it looks more like a cast stainless than forged due to the slightly rougher finish.

Handle Knobs – The smaller models have a handle knob that is permanently affixed while the 100 and the 120 have a knob that can be easily removed and replaced with a larger power knob if you prefer that for cranking in the larger species such as tuna, tarpon and sharks.

 Features at a Glance

I continue to find it interesting that some of the lesser known brands that have a smaller marketing budget like Quantum, Okuma and even a few years back Daiwa have put out reels that are in many cases as good as or sometimes even better that the bigger brands like Penn and Shimano.  I feel that the Quantum Cabo is one of these reels that when comparing features and overall design and manufacturing quality stands out on its own.

If you are looking for a good reel for light baits and top water lures then you will probably want to stay with the 40 – 60 models.  If you are looking for a reel to go after the large tarpon, tuna or sharks then you will want to step up the size to the larger 80, 100 or 120.  Overall, these reels are designed to withstand harsh saltwater conditions when fighting larger species.

For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.

ModelMono Cap (yds/lb)Braid Cap (yds/lb)BearingsMax Drag (lbs)Gear ratioLine Retrieve (in)Weight (oz)
CSP40PTSE
230/10270/307+1305.3:13213.4
CSP50PTSE
225/12325/307+1355.3:13413.8
CSP60PTSE
300/14320/507+1454.9:13524.2
CSP80PTSE
300/20380/657+1504.9:13824.9
CSP100PTSE
430/20480/657+1604.4:14032.6
CSP120PTSE530/20400/1007+1654.4:14233

Cabo 100 and Cabo 120 Model Unique Features

One of the improvements made to the larger Cabo 100 and 120 models is that the knob is now no longer permanently affixed.  If the user wants to replace the standard knob which is sufficient for most fighting conditions with a larger fighting knob for large species such as Tarpon and Sharks then it is a simple process.  Additionally, the handle stem has been enlarged as this was a weak spot in the original larger Cabos.  If you take a look at the rear portion of the housing on the Cabo you will notice a small screw that can be removed.  This is a great feature that serves two purposes.  This first is a service port so that you can spray grease inside the gearbox without having to disassemble the reel, and the second is to check for water and drain said water if it is present.

Pros

  • Smooth retrieve
  • Massive drag
  • Quality materials
  • Superior water protection
  • Service port

Cons

  • Advertised ceramic bearings are not present (Not a big deal)
  • Not fully sealed

Alternatives

If you are looking at the smaller Cabo reels then you might want to take a look at the Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel which comes in sizes 2500 – 8000 Read the full Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel review HERE.  I can also recommend the Shimano Saragosa which is an excellent choice.  Read the full Shimano Saragosa review HERE.

For the larger models and a bit more budget friendly take a look a the Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel.  Read the full Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel review HERE.  or Read all about the Penn Slammer III which recently won the best new product at the 2016 iCast for the category of “Best Saltwater Reel”. Read the full Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel review HERE.

Another reel that has received high reviews that I will be reviewing shortly will be the Shimano Saragosa SW Spinning Reel.

In Conclusion

As I said earlier in this review, the Quantum brand of reels is one of those that seems to continually produce quality reels at affordable prices and somehow gets overlooked.  If you are in the market for a durable larger saltwater spinning reel then you will want to make sure that you take a good look at the Quantum brand.  I feel that these reels are a good value when compared to some of the larger brands such as Shimano and Penn.  With that said the new Penn Slammer III is an awesome reel that should not be overlooked at this price point.

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