As someone who has been fishing for 30 years, I have had a lot of time to decide which gear works and which doesn’t. In that time I have gone through countless rods and reels and there is one reel that has always made it through even the toughest of applications. The Abu Garcia 5500-C3 is hands down my favorite all time casting reel.
The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 5500-C3 is Ambassadeur’s work-horse model, with features that make it appealing to a variety of fishermen. This reel has 3 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, making for a smooth, dependable operation. This should be enough for any anglers needs in most situations. This means that the 5500-C3 is quite affordable for most of us fisherman.
The 5500 is designed to hold 205 yards of 12 lbs. test line. It can run heavier or lighter line as needed. I have run 10 lbs. test for finicky spawning black bass in the spring time or 17 lbs. test for big striped bass in the rivers. Right now mine currently has 15 lbs. test for catfish fishing and general use.
It has a 5.3:1 gear ratio with a very smooth retrieve. This allows you to use it for a variety of applications from casting, bait fishing, plugging and jigging to buzz baits and crank baits.
The 5500-C3 features a push button free-spool, which I much prefer over the thumb switch on most low profile bait casting reels. I’ve used Ambassadeur reels for years and never had any issues. In fact, one one them is going on 15 years of regular use and still going strong and casting perfectly.
Possibly the best feature is the Swedish cut brass gears. When so many other companies have switched to plastic bushings and gears, Abu Garcia Ambassadeur still uses solid brass gearing on every model. This makes the 5500-C3 a very tough reel that will take years of abuse. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur is one of the most trusted names in the fishing tackle industry. The new 5500-C3 continues to show us why they have that reputation.