Of all the emerging brands from the last decade, I have been the most impressed with Ark Fishing. I have never seen a company enter into so many diverse segments of the bass fishing market almost simultaneously while also creating near perfect products in each subcategory time and time again. I review a lot of products in my line of work. The hard baits and rods I’ve used of Ark’s are among the best. And I’ve been no less impressed by the Ark Gravity 3 Baitcaster.
You can find it at these retailers:
SOLID REEL BUILD ON G3
When this reel was sent out to me for testing about 6 months ago, Ark also sent out their Gravity 5 (G5) and Gravity 7 (G7) reels, their only other baitcaster offerings at the time. Ark has since added three more options, a Gravity 1 (G1), a Gravity 8 (G8) and a Gravity BFS (Bait Finesse System).
Having the opportunity to test the Gravity 3 alongside the G5 and G7, I could tell the difference for sure between these products. The model numbers roughly correlate with a rise in quality and price. The G3 is a fantastic power-fishing reel and adequate reel for mid-sized baits. For lures under 3/8- ounce, you’d probably want to move up to the G5 option. The G7 casts like a dream, even with super-light baits. This was the reel I fished a finesse popper on through the spring.
But with the more capable reels come the higher price tags. The G7 has an MSRP of $239.99. The G5 is priced at $179.99. While the G3 comes in at $129.99. So if you’re looking for a good all-around baitcaster, at $130 the G3 is a solid reel with an appropriate price tag.
ARK GRAVITY 3 REEL FEATURES
- Magnetic Brake System
- Hyper Smooth Transmission
- Cone-Shaped Line Guide
- Reinforced Brass Gear
- Aluminum Alloy Frame
- Side Plate Line Indicator
- 14 pounds max drag
- Weighs 7 ounces
- Four gear ratios: 5.4, 6.4, 7.1, 8.1
- Left and right hand options in all gear ratios
- 6 bearings
- EVA Foam grips
- 100 mm handle
- 100 yard line capacity (12-pound monofilament)
THE COOLEST FEATURE ON THE G3
There’s a lot of innovation packed into this reel, but the coolest thing about it is a pretty simple mechanism that solves a problem that’s existed since the invention of the baitcaster. I have tried for years to figure out some good system for remembering what pound-test line I spool my reels up with.
I’ve tried writing it on the reel (or the rod blank) with a Sharpie, but it rubs off after the first few trips. The best option I found was to put a piece of transparent tape down first, write the pound test on it, then put another piece of tape over top of the writing. The first piece of tape keeps me from having to write on the reel or rod itself while the second piece of tape keeps the writing from rubbing off.
Some third-party companies have come up with products to help keep up with what line size is on what reel as well. But Ark is the first reel company I’ve seen to incorporate a system for this into their reels. And it’s really cool.
There’s a sliding lock system that holds the side plate on the reel, much like what you’d see on a baitcaster with internal brake system controls. Though the G3 reel has external brake controls, Ark still made the side plate removable and put a small dial on the back of the side plate that can be adjusted to show the appropriate line size through a little window on the outside of the side plate. There are options for indicating most line sizes between 8- and 65- pound test.
The system is easy to adjust. Simply remove the side plate, adjust the dial, return the side plate and lock it in place. Be careful though in this process not to let the spool slip out of the reel housing, as your line can tangle around the shaft of the reel spool and cause a bit of a headache— speaking from experience. I found this feature towards the end of my review process. So it’s set on 8 pounds in most of the photos.
OTHER THOUGHTS ON THE ARK GRAVITY 3
Again, this is a solid reel for the price. It’s noticeably less capable as compared to Ark’s G7, but that’s comparing apples to oranges. Up against other baitcasters in its price range, the G3 is as good as any I’ve fished with. Not quite as capable with light baits as the Lew’s LFS Speed Spool that’s priced at $99.99. But the G3 has more power than the LFS for sure, so again it’s not an apples to apples comparison in either direction— but the LFS did come to mind when trying to think of any more affordable reels that might be as good or better than the G3 in any area.
The aluminum frame makes for a solid feel while also keeping the reel light overall. I like the swept handle design, with what’s become an industry standard in the size and shape of the EVA foam grips. Maxing out at 14 pounds, there’s plenty of drag. The spool tension knob and magnetic braking system are easy to control and dial in. I really, really like the external line indicator, and wish I had realized what that was earlier on in my review process.
I spooled this reel up about 6 months ago and can’t remember if it has 15-pound test on it or 17 ( I think 17). This just further proves my point though that the line size indicator is a really simple but key feature that will help me keep up with the specifics of each of my setups, which will make me a more efficient and effective angler overall.
The Ark Gravity G3 Baitcaster is an easy reel to recommend if you’re in the market for a solid and affordable reel that can be used for 80% of your baitcaster applications. It’s strong, easy to operate, innovative and relatively affordable. Available in 8 options when taking into account the four gear ratios and the left or right hand configuration of each, this reel will likely become one of the gold standards in its price range.
You can find the Ark Gravity 3 Baitcaster at these retailers: