Quantum Smoke Inshore PT Spinning Reel Review
Here is another Quantum reel that is designed specifically for inshore saltwater fishing. In this review of the Quantum Smoke Inshore PT Spinning Reel, I will try and show you why some people have come to call this reel the “Speed Freak” and why I think that Quantum reels are often overlooked. The fact is that Quantum does not have the same massive advertising budgets that Shimano, Penn and some of the other large brands have, so you don’t hear about them very often. In my humble opinion, this makes the Quantum reels a bargain as they are extremely well made and have quality components.
The smoke inshore is a lightweight reel that comes in 4 sizes and 6 models weighing in at just 7.6 oz for the 2500 or 25 model and only 10.5 oz for the 5000 or 50 model. The model SL30XPTSA and the Model SL40XPTSA are lovingly referred to as “Speed Freak” reels with a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and retrieve rates of 36 and 39 inches respectively.
The body and sideplates are made of Quantum’s SCR aluminum alloy and all components are treated with a special SaltGuard layer to repel corrosion. When this is combined with a sealed carbon fiber drag system and a fail-proof bail, you have a fishing machine that is lightweight yet durable and should last for years.
SCR™ Alloy body and sideplates – The body and the sideplates of the Quantum Smoke Inshore PT are made of a marine-grade alloy that was originally designed for marine engines. If you own a boat that you operate in saltwater, you know just how damaging the saltwater can be to your engine. The fact that the reel’s main body is made of a material that was designed to be submerged in saltwater for long periods of time should indicate just how durable this reel should be.
C4LF Carbon Fiber Rotor – The rotor is made of long strand carbon fiber that is rigid, strong and lightweight at the same time.
Sealed CSC drag system – The sealed drag system offers a lot of drag for such a small and lightweight reel. The drag is composed of 6 washers in all. There are 2 carbon fiber washers and two metal washers that are separated by a Teflon washer that delivers smoothness and then a ceramic washer on top of the stack. This stack is unique to Quantum and so far I have been impressed with the smoothness. I did opt to put some additional “Hot Sauce” grease on the drag and that made it even smoother. On top of the spool is the drag knob and underneath it is a washer that keeps water from reaching the drag washers and effectively seals the entire drag system.
MaxCast™ II spool – The spool on the Inshore PT is made of machined aluminum and is ported to reduce weight. The entire spool is treated with Quantum’s SaltGuard 2.0 to protect the spool for corrosion. Another feature that Quantum has added that I am starting to see on most spools these days, is the addition of a rubber band that allows you to go straight to braid line without the need to use mono as a backer.
Gears – The main gear is made of zinc while the pinion gear is made of brass. Both of these materials are pretty standard and seem to be substantial enough for the size of this reel.
9+1 Bearing system – The Quantum Inshore PT is able to deliver a smooth retrieve as it uses a total of 9 stainless steel bearings for the side plates, main rotor, line roller and the bail arm. There is also an infinite anti-reverse bearing to make sure that you get no slop when it is time to set the hook.
Fail-proof titanium bail wire – The bail wire for the Smoke Inshore PT is made of titanium so that is can be lightweight and still strong. What makes it unique is that it is flexible but snaps right back just like a pair of glasses that are made of similar material. Quantum says that it is fail-proof as it is guaranteed not to break. The bail itself has a bearing on it and the line roller also has a separate bearing, both of these contribute to the very smooth and solid snap you get when the bail closes.
SaltGuard™ 2.0 multi-layer corrosion protection – Being that this reel was designed from the ground up to be fished in saltwater on a continuous basis and being a smaller reel that is often fished while wading or from a kayak the addition of Quantum’s SaltGuard 2.0 protective layer is a welcome addition. The SaltGuard 2.0 layer protects the components from harsh saltwater conditions and when combined with Quantum’s SCR alloy material, I expect to see this reel last for years to come.
Features at a Glance
- SCR™ base Alloy aluminum body and sideplates
- Rigid and lightweight C4LF Carbon Fiber Rotor
- Sealed CSC drag system
- MaxCast™ II spool
- Sealed clutch
- Fail-proof titanium bail wire
- SaltGuard™ 2.0 multi-layer corrosion protection
Another feature that I think makes this a very fishable reel is the unique handle design that seems to just put your hand in the right position to crank on the EVA knob. The knob has a bearing to attach it to the handle and the handle is threaded directly into the main gear. This is a design that I have seen in a number of other high-quality reels and it means that you get strength and a very solid feel when cranking in your catch.
From a castability standpoint, the MaxCast II Spool with a frictionless rounded top of the spool means that your line will flow easily off the spool when you are casting.
Speed Freak Models
There are two models in the Quantum Smoke Inshore PT series that offer a higher gearing ratio of 6.2:1 that are referred to as the Speed Freak versions. These two models the SL30XPTSA has a retrieve rate of 36″ per revolution and the model SL40XPTSA has a retrieve rate of 39″. Both of these can be very useful when fishing top water lures like Spooks for Snook and Redfish.
For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.
|Model||Mono Cap (yds/lb)||Braid Cap (yds/lb)||Bearings||Max Drag (lbs)||Gear ratio||Line Retrieve (in)||Weight (oz)|
- Sealed drag
- Sometimes bail does not trip automatically
Staying at the same price point, I would direct you to take a look at a few reels. The first reel would be the Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel. The Daiwa is a slightly heavier reel, but is pretty close when you look at the other features. Read the full Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel review HERE.
Next up would be the Pflueger Patriarch Spinning reel which I really like. The Pflueger Patriarch is a super lightweight reel coming in at 6.2 oz for the 30 size vs the Quantum’s 7.9 oz for the same 30 size. Both reels feature sealed drag systems but the Patriarch drops the extra weight with the use of a Magnesium body and rotor. Read the full Pflueger Patriarch Spinning Reel review HERE.
Lastly, would be Shimano’s entry in this category – the Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel which weighs a little bit more at 8.3 oz for the 30 size but is a full metal body. I like the drag on the Quantum better than the Shimano and frankly, I think you are paying for the name with the Shimano. Read the full Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel review HERE.
Overall, I am impressed with the quality of the Quantum Smoke Inshore PT reels. While not an inexpensive reel, it is well made with quality materials and is designed from the ground up to withstand the harsh elements that accompany saltwater fishing. For the price point, I think that Quantum has delivered a reel that is extremely lightweight, durable and very functional.