Abel SDS Review - Saltwater Reel Review of the SDS 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12

March 19, 2024
Abel SDS Review - Saltwater Reel Review of the SDS 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12
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Abel SDS Review - Saltwater Fly Reel Review of the SDS 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12 - Luxury and Performance

Abel is well-known for making some of the most beautiful reels. I will go ahead and say the most beautiful color options and finishes. The only company with comparable fit and finish is Hatch. Other reels might keep up with Abel in performance but not looks. And that's really the key to Abel's success, the SDS and all other Abel reels are so nice to own and to use. They are just a delight. AND they actually have excellent performance as well. Nobody "needs" to buy an Abel reel but everyone wants one.

SDS means "Sealed Drag Saltwater" Reels

Technically that makes these luxury items but I am fine with that. I am fortunate to have a few myself and they are awesome reels. Nobody needs a luxury car but many people choose them. Like everyone else, I wish Abel would stop raising the prices on these but I do think they rightfully maintain their spot at the top of the list of nicest reels. There's still at least one reel company that is more expensive model by model. I won't name it here because they don't want to cooperate. Those of you wanting to spend over $2,000 on a very heavy reel for absolutely no reason probably are familiar with them. "Twice as heavy for twice the price," that should be their motto. And it's even funnier to me if you know exactly who I am talking about just from me saying the price and the weight, only proving my point. They basically count as ballast when you have them onboard your boat.

Anyway, Abel does not suffer from being too heavy, fortunately. The only real criticism is that they are expensive but to be fair, their target customers will not be overly concerned about price tag. And that's kind of the bottom line here. There are companies that build a product to hit a certain price point and there are those that build to make something as nice as possible and then figure out what it needs to cost. And Abel is the latter. I am not going easy on them, there are plenty of other reels that will do the job equally well, but the key question is: Will you look as cool? 

In many years of selling Abel reels, I have always had excellent experiences with their team in Colorado, they are extremely helpful and friendly to me (and I hear the same from my customers who have interacted with them for repairs and so on).

If you have any questions or need help, we are always happy to hear from our customers via phone or email. Keep in mind if you find our reviews and info helpful, we appreciate your business here online in our store. Thanks!


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