Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 Baitcaster Reel
Excellent salmon/surf reel
Abu 7000 video (scroll down).
If you walk along the “picket fence” at the mouth of the Rakaia or Rangitata rivers during a good run of salmon you are sure to see more red Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000s than any other reel. This reel has been New Zealand ‘s biggest selling salmon surf reel for many years. Like all Abu reels the 7000 is a robust, long-lasting, precision fishing tool.
They are made in Sweden of fine materials and to a very high standard. Perhaps most importantly for salmon anglers they last a very long time if well looked after. Parts are readily available. Parts are often interchangeable, for instance the pawl from a 7000 is the same as the one in a 6500. The design is simple with little that can go wrong and they are easy to service.
The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000, like the Abu 7500C, has long been a popular choice with salmon anglers looking for long distance casts at the mouths of the Hurunui, Waimakariri, Rakaia, Rangitata, and Waitaki Rivers. You just won’t go wrong with this reel in your tackle bag.
Many salmon anglers will be familiar with the Abu Garcia range of free spool casting reels. Salmon anglers who prefer to fish the surf, in particular, will be aware of the excellent long distance casting qualities of the Abu 7000 and it’s more expensive brother the 7500 C3. Current New Zealand dollar retail price is about $250 for the 7000 and about $399 for the 7500 C3.
These two very popular reels are essentially the same. They differ in that the 7000 has brass bushes, where the 7500 has ball bearings. However many anglers replace the brass bushes with ball bearings from the 7500. Indeed most parts are interchangeable between the two models.
Line capacity for both reels is 300m of 10kg monofilament. This makes the 7000 reel, at 519 grams, a bit large for river fishing, but perfect for fishing the surf where the extra line capacity can be put to good use. When you are casting a hundred meters of line you don’t want the spool diameter to drop markedly or your casting distance will suffer. Also if a big salmon takes at long range with the Abu 7000 you still have 200 meters of “insurance” left on your spool.
The 7000 has a retrieve rate of 4.1:1, while the 7500 C3 has a slightly faster retrieve rate of 5.3:1. When fishing I can’t tell the difference in retrieve rates. The red 7000 is also 90 grams lighter than the 7500 C3 but I can’t tell the difference there either.
Cosmetically the models differ in that the 7000 has red anodized aluminum side plates, whereas the 7500 C3 has chromium plated side plates. Both have the same chromium-plated brass frames. The red anodized aluminum side plates tend to scratch more easily than the chromed side plates of the 7500 C3
The 7000 offers the experienced distance caster several options for getting that extra few yards out to those salmon on the other side of the bar, or in a distant “hole” off the beach. Aside from keeping the gears, bearings, and other working parts very clean and well lubricated with light oil, it is also possible to get extra distance by removing two of the four casting brake blocks. Some anglers take out all four but in my opinion this makes the reel too difficult to cast, and results in “birds-nests” from spool over-runs. After all you are better to cast a few yards less than spend all day picking out birds-nests.
The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 is one of the best salmon/surf reels on the market. Amazingly prices have come down recently on this top of the range Abu, making it incredible value for money!
Abu Ambassadeur 7000 weight: 519 gm. Gear ratio 4.1:1. Line capacity is 300 yards/20lb line.