If you’ve been reading Learn To Catch Catfish long you know I’m a huge fan of Abu Garcia fishing reels. They are the only fishing reels I own and I own a lot of them. I have a full arsenal of 5500C3 reels I use for channel catfish and an even bigger set of 6500C3 reels I use for blue catfish and flathead catfish.
I rely on the 5500C3 and 6500C3 fishing reels as my “go to” fishing reels for my catfish guide service and have been over a decade. Abu Garcia round reels are also without question the most popular reels among catfish anglers.
I get some grief now and then from people about mu support of Abu Garcia reels and have been accused more than once of being a “fanboy”. I always explain it like this. If you want an inexpensive fishing reel or are looking for a deal then buy something else. If you are only going to use a fishing reel a few times a year then buy something else.
If you are going to fish often, you want a fishing reel that is durable, well built, works well when you need it to and will last a lifetime then buy an Abu Garcia reel.
They’re the reels I recommend to others because I know they are quality fishing reels, the are reasonable priced and they are built to last. if you buy an Abu Garcia classic round reel and make a reasonable effort to take care of it with semi-frequent cleanings it will last you a lifetime.
This quality that lasts a lifetime is much of the reason Abu Garcia has a huge base of loyal customers. There are families that have been using these reels for generations as they are passed on to family members.
The Abu Garcia round reels have been apart of my fishing as long as I can remember and some of my earliest memories of fishing include the use of these reels, many of which are still in my family today.
Over the years i’ve worked with Abu Garcia a few times doing some field testing and providing feedback on some items, most recently this was on the BCX fishing reels.
Filming “For Life”
Around Christmas of 2012 the Abu Garcia staff contacted me and asked me to participate in a documentary they were filming called “For Life” which is a story of the Abu Garcia fishing reels. The Abu Garcia team coordinated with Steven Gonzales who has written some articles for the website in the past like How To Clean an Ambassadeur Fishing Reel and upgrading an Abu Garcia C3 to a C4 to have him come up and spend the day with us filming.
The documentary “For Life” was the purpose of the the day of filming. They gave me very few details on the project before they came out to film other than the fact that they were putting together a short film.
In February I met the Abu Garcia team and camera guy at Eagle Mountain Lake and they filled me in on more of the details of their project that was going to be released this summer and gave me a sneak peek of some new products and the “backstory” behind the film and why they were putting it together.
It appears that the story behind this film and what Abu Garcia is doing has not been made public yet. The film and the announcements will be released around the 2013 iCast show July 9th through 12th in Las Vegas. iCast is the big trade show for the fishing industry and is where all of the manufacturers debut new projects.
We spent most of the afternoon sitting around with the camera guy filming interviews about fishing for catfish and history of using the Abu reels, as well as what they have meant to me in my years of fishing.
Then we hit the water to film some action video catching some blue catfish and made quick work of catching some nice blue catfish. The first fish was hooked within minutes, a nice fat blue catfish that immediately surfaced when it was hooked in deep water and stayed on the surface the entire time it was being landed.
The “For Life” Trailer
Abu Garcia released the trailer for the “For Life” documentary last week and wanted to share it with all the Learn To Catch Catfish readers in anticipation of the full length film being released in July.
The trailer is a brief video (like a movie trailer) and is primarily focused on the history behind the fishing reels but keep a close eye at the 1:00 minute mark and you’ll see a quick shot of your’s truly in the boat headed out to catch some catfish!
I’ll post more information when the “For Life” documentary is released and also share some more details on the big news coming out of Abu Garcia when the documentary is released at iCast.
Share Your “For Life” Stories
Since I worked on this project with Abu Garcia and have been talking to other anglers who fish with me about Abu Garcia reels and the history of their uses I’ve heard some great stories about Abu Garcia reels. These range from people fishing today with Abu Garcia reels that their fathers or grandfathers passed down to them to some impressive lost and found stories of people losing reels in the water and getting them back years later, cleaning them up and fishing with them again.
There have been so many great stories i’d like to hear more.
Do you have a “For Life” story? If so post below and let me know. I’d love to hear some more great stories about the impact this product has had on your angling.
Check out the documentary trailer below.
Update: The Full Film
The full “For Life: The Abu Garcia Story” was released today, along with a bunch of announcements regarding the classic round Ambassadeur reels that will be hitting the market soon. I had the opportunity to see the new products when we filmed the documentary and they truly have taken a good thing and made it better. I’ll talk some more about that soon but for now the subject at hand is the documentary.
The documentary walks through the history of the fishing reels and company origin with a mix of stories from end users (like myself) and what these reels mean to them. There are some great stories that are testament to the durability of this product.
When you you learn the history behind the company and how a watch maker began the company, designing the first reel you gain some true appreciation for the history behind this product and exactly why it “just works”.
If you are looking for the latest “fad” these classic series round bait cast reels are not going to fit the bill. If you are looking for a workhorse reel that will last a lifetime and is capable of handling any catfish you throw at it, then you should definitely check them out.
You can learn everything you need to know about choosing the right reels and setting them up correctly with the correct drag settings, spool tension and how to use the bait clickers in the free Catfish Gear 101 ebook.
If you just want to see the catfish piece of this video you can jump to the 28 minute mark and the 31 minute mark.
I love the quote at the beginning of the film: “The best thing about fishing is whether your a garbage collector or an executive, on the river they are equals. Nobody cares what profession you have. It’s the guy with the biggest catch who is the superior.”