Bass fishing can turn into an expensive hobby in a hurry, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. With a little research and thriftiness, it’s totally possible to stock up on quality gear without breaking the proverbial bank.
I’ve been testing the Quantum Icon PT Casting Reel for the last several months and it provides incredible value for anglers of all skill levels. Priced at $119.99, I’ve found this reel to offer high-end performance at an attractive price point.
What you’ll like about it
When any angler picks up a reel for the first time, the first thing we do is turn the handle; we’re simply looking for a smooth retrieve. Anglers will be immediately impressed by the silk-like smoothness of the Quantum Icon PT Casting Reel. You won’t feel any “grit” throughout the retrieve, whether you’re pitching heavy cover or burning a spinnerbait at high speeds. The 11-bearing system might actually make a few of your other reels feel a lot worse than you originally thought.
Fishermen will also appreciate the toughness and rigidity of the once-piece aluminum frame and graphite side plates. I’ve been able to wrench on several quality bass throughout my testing without the slightest bit of play in this reel. It weighs 6.9 ounces, so it’s not the lightest reel in my collection, but it’s a definite workhorse. You won’t notice any flexing while fighting fish or executing big hook sets, which keeps the internal components of this reel completely aligned for outstanding performance.
The drag system of the Quantum Icon PT is also quite smooth for the $119 price point. It’s a multi-disc ceramic system that handles powerful runs very easily. I’ve caught a few stripers on this reel and the drag engages easily and avoids surging without any issues. If you plan to pitch and flip with this reel with the drag cinched down, you’ll enjoy the sheer power of it. I’ve even hooked a few brush piles on purpose in order to purposely make the drag slip, but to no avail. If you like monstrous hooksets, this reel is a great choice.
My experiences with it
Poor line management and castability is probably my biggest pet peeve in regards to casting reels. I’m always retying different sizes of lures, so I don’t want to be stuck screwing around with brake and tension settings when I should be fishing. It’s a waste of my time, if I’m honest.
I’ve really enjoyed how non-temperamental this reel is. I have some reels that require dozens of casts to dial in, but that hasn’t been the case with the Icon PT. Its external ACS cast control makes small adjustments easy, allowing me to make quick tweaks depending upon lure weight and wind speed. I also like that the tension knob clicks with each adjustment so I’m able to keep track of small adjustments. I currently have this reel set up to skip docks and I’m able to put a jig just about anywhere I need to without the worry of backlashes.
It’s also a very quiet reel during both the cast and retrieve. I’ve tested reels in the past that screech and squeal with each cast, but the Icon PT doesn’t have that problem. I’ve been making bomb casts to deep brush and short pitches to shallow cover without a single peep.
Lastly, the overall durability of this reel should be mentioned. I’ve let it bounce around in my full rod locker in rough water, thrown it around in a john boat and abused it plenty of times in wet, inclement weather. Not only have the inner components held up beautifully, but the exterior is just about spotless. It seems to resist boat rash quite well, so if you’re an angler who likes to sell your reels after each season, the resale value of the Icon PT should be fairly impressive.
I’ve really enjoyed fishing with the Quantum Icon PT and its price point is perfect, in my opinion. It offers the high-end features that avid tournament anglers expect while staying in the budget of novice anglers looking to upgrade from their older reels. It will certainly be in my boat for the remainder of this year.